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recreating the wheel... or a 3d printer

  • ok for my big project log,
    the design phase is the start. standard 3d printers are becoming more and more user friendly. there are still some issues though.
    first and foremost is that most work inside itself. so technically the idea is that it can only print inside a certain area. take the UP mini. its pretty cheap at $600 but if you want to build the Eifel tower there is the issue of "plastic welding" parts together. not what I would call a true prototype as I want to click print and walk back later to find a complete item.
    I then thought of adding a mechanical arm to do the work for me. couple of issues there with programming and aligning etc.
    so I thought "why not just make a robotic arm that can print"[​IMG]
    I was at work and saw a knuckle boom or cherry picker and thought this could do quite a large area. stability is the issue here. also the placement of the forearms leaves a bit to be desired.
    the arm is able to extend out increasing build size.
    so now I have to work on several areas, stability, rework the armature, redesign a print head to accommodate and lastly is have the item be able to self home.
    the advantages to a machine of this type includes
    • using a claw like end will allow multiple "heads." you could technically add scanner, painter and possibly a cnc type item
    • with different heads it could technically do a complete build from a cad type file
    • due to arm being able to extend it can print quite big up, even able to print itself up to twice its original size
    • with the ability to print itself you could technically make a production line for home made production lines.
    • lastly if you give it an artificial intelligence you could technically have an iRobot type scenario.... wait...
    when I get something close to a cad file completed I will ensure pics are uploaded. then comes first build and fine tuning.

    just saw this too so I know its possible
    http://3dprint.com/52978/robotic-arm-3d-printer/
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