Several DIY Rapid Prototyping techniques have come up off late. Making a 3D printer at home can prove to be quite cost-effective. The other names for such sort of prototyping are fabbing, three-dimensional printing, reprapping, and fabrication. RepRap is one such 3D printer. Let its making be studied in detail.
RepRap: RepRap is the abbreviation for Replicating Rapid-prototype. In other words, it can be said to be a Practical Self-copying Printer. RepRap would make metal, ceramic, and plastic parts. It's itself made up of plastic. This is done in order to facilitate the making of multiple copies of its own self. The final product can be described as a 3-axis robot moving numerous material extruders. Fine filaments are produced by these extruders. The filaments are made up of their own working materials. This process has a paste-like consistency.
If one intends making plastic cones, RepRap would make use of the plastic extruder for laying down a 0.5 mm quickly hardening filament made from molten plastic for drawing the filled-in disc. The Plastic Intrusion Head would then be raised and the layer following that would be drawn, exactly on the top of 1st. This process keeps on repeating till the complete cone is formed. If making an Inverted Cone is on the agenda, the same procedure is followed. The only difference would be laying down the support material beneath the parts that are overhanging. The removal of support would take place after the completion of cone. Intermixture of conductors with plastic is allowed. This can help in the formation of circuits.
The process described above is known as Fused Deposition Modeling. These machines, though useful, are not very much prevalent. The software of the above process is believed to work on all the computer platforms, that too, free of cost.
Fabr: The Fabr makes use of parts which are commonly available. The other advantages include requirement of minimal fabrication of parts, high accuracy and availability of enough power for not only plastic, but also wood or metal.
The key components of Fabr include 80X20 extruded aluminium, fasteners and bars, drive and anti-backlash nuts, couplers, bearings, aluminium bars, screws, pulleys, timing belts, and 'A Custom Stepper Motor Controller Board'. The learners are advised to use an Allegro 3967 Micro stepping Stepper Motor Controller. The board contains three drivers, and connectors to have end stops.
DIY 3D printer made from pure sugar: The objectives behind making the above-stated DIY 3D printer are cost-effective design using recycled components, huge printable volume emphasizing over better resolution, and ability of using low-cost print media inclusive of granulated sugar. The process of printing starts with the bed of granular print media which has low melting point. The printing media is fused selectively with a directed, narrow, low-velocity beam. This beam consists of hot air. The bed is then lowered by a diminutive amount. The bed's top portion is then bombarded with a flat thin layer (of media). By this process, a 2D object is formed. If this process is repeated, 3D object is formed.
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