Sunday, September 07, 2014

Finally, the thing is printing

Tomorrow I start a new job with Formlabs, a 3D printer company, and I'm psyched about that. Unfortunately, however, one of the conditions of my employment there is that I cease development on my own 3D printer. I spoke with their attorney and it all makes sense, it's the right thing to do, because my printer is entirely open source and they are selling a proprietary product. If I were to continue developing my printer, it would be too easy to unintentionally include pieces of their technology. So tonight I am putting the finishing touches on the Github repository.

Today was the first time I made a successful print with this printer design. I had hoped to print four dodecahedra at once. But I had some crud on the surface of my build plate, and I hadn't stirred the resin before printing, so only one of the four came out really well. Another was misshapen, and two of them never came together at all.

 Here are the two that were at least coherent solids. I think with a little more learning and practice, I'll get to where I can make four that all look as good as the one on the right.
Here is the setup I'm using. If you've followed this blog, you'll recognize the stuff on the bucket. The box-like thing overhead was quickly cobbled together when I realized that my mirror wasn't reflecting enough UV light to make the resin cure properly, because the mirror's glass isn't transparent enough in the UV range. To remove the mirror from the optical path, I needed to put the projector directly over the bucket, pointing down.

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