A Multiple Extruder on a rotating turret idea for FFF / FDM 3D printers *Updated*

I've been puzzled for quite a while over the issue of the design of multiple extruders on FDM 3D printers. Most of the current design dictates an XY offset, which I feel cannibalizes on the XY build space of the printer. Not only that, it requires multiple feed motors, one for each nozzle, and that does add significant inertia to the moving head, generating much unwanted vibrations. Another common solution was to use bowden extruders, which suffers from poor retraction performance.
So I started to think of a solution that tackles all my peeves at one go.

I ended up with a design that can comfortably take up to 5 nozzles in a relatively small area, and only requires 2 motors - one to drive the feed gears, and another to switch the nozzles around a rotating turret. Each nozzle/hotend will have its own feed gears which will mesh with feed motor when it's in the printing state.

concept for multiple extruder design
concept for multiple extruder design

So far it's still a concept and a drawing. Altho I'm a mechanical engineer, I'm not in a good position to actually implement it due to my work commitments and lack of firmware programming skills. So I will leave this idea with the wonderful and innovative folks of the 3D printing world to try it for yourselves if you decide it's worth a go.

Cheers~~

-James

From the (lack of) response in the reprap forum, I'd guess that my drawing sucked. lol

So I tried a sketchup model to see if I can get the idea across more easily.

extruder1

extruder2

extruder3

extruder4


Giclee printing

It aint easy but it's really friggin rewarding.

I used to have the (stupid) mentality that nowadays, digital photographs are supposed to just remain in the computer or the personal web gallery, to be shown to people from a laptop or desktop screen somewhere. For years I have carried on in my photography with this mindset and until now, I didnt realize how much I have missed.

The PRINT is an essential step, an intrinsically crucial part of photography. It's the final piece that brings completion to photography. when we take pictures, it's ultimately to get it printed. There's no famous photographer in the world who doesnt print his images. There's no self respecting photographer in the world who doesnt print his images. The PRINT is the reason why we photograph.

More than once I've been told by mentors that when taking a photograph, releasing the shutter only accounts for (using artistic aga-ration,) 25% of the work done. the rest of the 75% is getting that picture onto the print medium the way your vision dictates it to be.

Some time last year, it seems, that I was finally ready to walk the path of producing the print. of course I dabbled in photo printing in the past, which I will mention later, but this was different. having experiences plentiful in both areas of photography and advance digital imaging, I felt that I was finally prepared. This was the real deal. things and events slowly and miraculously started falling together and now I'm the printmaker of a fineart production outfit called Lateral Imaging x Vue prints, completely dedicated to producing the finest giclees on the finest paper and mediums for photographers and artists alike.

But things doesnt stop here. instead, it's just the beginning. >8D

Taken some time back when the printer just arrived:

An epson stylus pro 11880 ultrachrome k3 large format printer!!!!!! - The finest fineart printer in the world!!! And it's the ONLY ONE operating outside epson offices in the entire South East Asia (serial number xxx369)! w00t!

But that being said, it aint easy to use. i still remember the countless hours spent at epson center, tinkering, experimenting with profiles and exploring the characteristics of this new monster machine.

It's funny when I recall the days that me and triston and bunch spent on a epson4800 that kept rejecting sheet after sheet of german etching paper, and the frustration of trying to get the correct profile either for the driver or a RIP just to get the printout we desired for our exhibition. It's been almost 3 years since then already... o_O"

But that's all in the past now. Luckily for me the 11880 is much more reliable in terms of paper handling and print output consistancy.

Currently we're carrying and supporting the hahnemuehle range of fineart digital media. It's not cheap. Actually honestly it's friggin expensive to a normal layperson. But it's the best I've tested, and we're committed to offerering the best to people who're passionate about their work and art, so yea.

Soon we'll have a gallery up too! Bwaahahahahahaha I'm so excited. hehx.


Last sunrise of 2007

didnt think that i'd stay up till morning doing paperwork but i did.

then i saw this. it was beautiful.

it lasted only 3 mins.

but it was good enough to set my mood for the start of the last day of the year. =)


Leaf Aptus 22 on Sinar F2

after 3 days of fuddling around with the leaf aptus 22 digital back, and lotsa help from the distributor sales rep cum tech support cum wallet killer, i finally got it to work, tho not fully according to my expectations.

turned out that it needed the macbook pro to have a battery level of at least 80% for it to even start functioning(?!). i discovered it the hard way after lugging the 30+kg bag of equipment around for days to shooting locations and NOT being able to power up the thing.

so after solving the problem this morning, i proceeded to attempt a test shoot right in my own home. bad choice. my house is the worst photographic test area i could ever get.
luckily the location of my home provided a nice vantage point overlooking the dover MRT station.

thus i ended up with this.

the first few shots were bad due to the diffraction caused by small apertures, and the image quality wasnt fantastic even when the sensor came with microlenses.

so i compensated a bit to f/11 and got the pic at 1/60s at iso100.

not fantastic but it's a start. i gotta do more experiments on this thing.


1st post!

Hmmmm......here we go again! bwahahahahahaha...
got caught in the blogging fever by jon, william and ukay.
havent blogged for about 4(?) years?
maybe it's time to do some housekeeping and start all over again.
hehx.

p.s. the previous blog lasted 3 days.