Industrial grade 3D printing pen/welder

Discussion in 'General' started by Eric, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Eric

    Eric Member

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    I am creating an industrial version of the 3D printing pens that you see on the market. In fact it really wouldn't compare to the pens but more to a MIG welder but of plastic. I will create a hand held unit that will have the hot end in it and possibly the extruder. I would like it to act like a welder where when you pull the trigger it will extrude and two other settings; 1. for the heat and 2. for the extrusion speed.

    What is the application?
    I am a sculptor and create enlargements of my work with a 3D printer. I then need to reassemble the many pieces and the best way to do that is to use the same base material that was used for the print. I currently use 3DoodIers pens but burn through them as the work load is hours a day.

    What do I need?
    I need direction from members here as per the electronics (and maybe coding?) The part that is easy for me is the physical build and design. What parts do I need and what is the best way to go about this? In return for the help I will post the progress in detail in the event that someone else will want to build one of these as well.

    I currently have some electronics
    OSOYOO 3D Printer Kit:
    RAMPS 1.4 Controller + Mega 2560 board + 5pcs A4988 Stepper Motor Driver with Heatsink + LCD 12864 Graphic Smart Display Controller with Adapter For Arduino RepRap

    I'm thinking the E3D V6 with either the direct drive titan or set it up as a bowden to save on weight. I can custom make the gun.

    What else do I need?
     
  2. Eric

    Eric Member

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    Here is what I have thus far...not sure if I am on the right path or not.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    Hi Eric,

    Interesting project.

    My thoughts are that as you do not need accuracy and or the high level of detail that comes with a direct drive system it makes more sense to use bowden.

    Go with 1.75 to help keep the weight down.
     
    Eric likes this.
  4. Springfield-Jack

    Springfield-Jack Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered friction welding?


    or adapting a heatgun or similar (maybe a soldering iron) to something like this:
     
    #4 Springfield-Jack, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  5. Eric

    Eric Member

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    Yes. That would take ages for what I am doing. I am putting large scale things together and need a real workhorse.
     
  6. Eric

    Eric Member

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    Sounds like a good idea! Also I was thinking that the V6 with the volcano block would be a good option since it extends the block outward allowing a visual of the tip. Otherwise I think that the tip would be occluded by the aluminum cooling fins. Any pointers on the electronics? Or can you send me in the right direction? Simply put I need a dial for temp and a dial for speed and a momentary switch to turn the extruder on and off (for the trigger)
     
  7. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    Basically yes.

    Keep it as simple as possible, 3d Print a pistol grip to hold the hotend and fit a trigger switch to turn on and off the extruder. leave the main controls on the electronics box.

    Keep the electronics simple, you could use a modified version or marlin and run a ramps board or similar.
     
  8. Springfield-Jack

    Springfield-Jack Well-Known Member

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    It just seems like you are building a 3d printer minus XYZ control, when what you need (as far as I know) is the equivalent of a welding rod and heat source.I was going to mention K.I.S.S.but Greg beat me to it :(
     
  9. Eric

    Eric Member

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    I guess I need to come clean here and say I really have no clue what to do with the electronics and need directions accordingly. As per practical skills of physically putting it together and soldering even 3D modeling the other components to piece it together I can do all that no problem. Where do I start?
     
  10. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    You're going to have to spend some time doing research. Google is your friend.

    I recommend writing down a specification of what you want your machine to do, and then go and find out how to do it. Be as detailed as you can be and include any expected components such as control board, switches, sensors, mechanicals and electronics :)
     
  11. R Design

    R Design Well-Known Member

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    If I was doing this, would try with:

    - Arduino starter kit;
    - a stepper motor / extruder combo;
    - a single stepper motor driver;
    - variable resistor / spring mechanism for a pistol trigger that will offer speed control;
    - complete hotend (including thermistor and heater);
    - a simple mosfet circuit to control heater;

    Then learn to code such that:

    - Arduino will send pulses to a stepper motor driver wired to the extruder motor stepper (google for projects doing that);

    - Arduino will send those pulses at a speed determined by a variable resistor in the trigger (analogue in pin on arduino);

    - Arduino will send pulses to the hotend heater via simple Mosfet circuit;

    - Arduino will modulate those pulses in response to temperature input from thermistor (again analogue in pin + grab PID code from 3d printer);

    If this is all new to you then it will take a little while, but taking it a bit at a time should never be unmanageable.

    The gear that you have already might undoubtedly help, but the disadvantage with starting with more complex electronics is that it will be much harder to figure out what is going on / what to do.
     
  12. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    The adafruit 16-channel PWM motor driver shield is perfect. I've used it for steppers, servos, gear motors, etc. Not sure you even need a stepper motor, a high-torque gear motor likely will work just fine since you aren't doing retraction, then it's just speed control...
     
  13. mburnett

    mburnett Member

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    Have you tried the plastic welder at Harbor Freight?
     

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