Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Home Brew Printer Development

Posted by Spitiemk4 
Home Brew Printer Development
May 13, 2020 07:50PM
I took to making my own printer when laid up following a nasty car accident, I am a controls engineer with a history in CNC and robotics, so it was a fun project.

Once I had it assembled and moving, it went on the back burner due to surgery and bones being re-broken and reset in different places - repairs to me following the car accident.

So it was probably 18 months before I dusted it off and got it printing, I spent most of the time improving the poorly printed kit of parts I bought on eBay for the original build. It’s not pretty but it’s lots of fun.

Once I ran out of printer things to print I started on an inmoov robot, I have printed the arms head and torso, almost completely but got weary of waiting for prints. I decided to sketch up and print another printer, I don’t like the DIY threaded rod assembly types, so designed a printed A frame and sketched the parts up via TinkerCAD, importing STL’s for other machines and butchering them to my needs and sketching up a lot of my own new parts.

The final result is a lovely working printer, very few teathing problems in calibration and set-up, basic control system, no whistles and bells like bed levelling or LCD display, but prints really well with great adhesion.
So I thought I would CAD it up and get rid of the bodges, still a little work to do on wiring channels and electronics mounts but I have assembled all of the parts virtually in the CAD package to make sure they all fit and line up, so after a little more tweaking, printer 2 will create printer 3!
See attached pictures below.

- 3D design Now all CAD’d up and trial assembled in CAD package

- Assembled working prototype - parts sketched via TinkerCAD and exported ( probably a printer and a half in scrap - not quite there parts!)

- My original home brew - based on the Mendelmax - I bought a kit of printed parts on eBay and made the rest up as I went a long using RepRap.org and downloaded pictures - almost its 6th birthday! A bit like triggers broom - probably only the frame and a few of the printed parts left of the original (not many!)
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 13, 2020 08:37PM
I love it. It's an evolution of something other than the same regurgitated copies of copies of prusas, hypercubes and kossels. I also appreciate the concept of using the printer to make the printer better, which is a more common practice but you've certainly done a good looking job of it in my opinion. I assume it is working well for you. Thanks for sharing.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2020 08:40PM by obelisk79.
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 16, 2020 08:32PM
Looks nice! I'm getting more and more interested in building a custom setup myself, although i'm leaning towards an all aluminum frame(or maybe wooden: i have a lot of wood working tools).

You say you were in a car accident? any thoughts as a "maker" on modern medical capabilities? I had a hand injury ~3 years back, and I was very disappointed with the outcome of my care. It's too bad because the ecosystem in America cuts so many people out from being able to contribute. It was impossible for me to find a suitable finger splint in stores or online(There was one seller on Amazon, but they shipped me a 1" long version of what i thought i was paying for). I'm talking about poly-alum splints, pretty basic stuff, although it's impossible to find one of any quality in stores(the ones you get a CVS are crap). And depending on where you go they may not even have it at the medical establishments either: at the emergency room they did not stock poly-alum splints, and of the 3 different doctors saw in the month following the accident, I saw 2 different splints, each of very different quality materials. Actually I think a popsicle stick would have been better. The doctor ended up putting some pins in my finger, and he did a horrible job(nothing close to alignment). I've been typing on a crappy index finger for 3 years now(and I wish that was all that was wrong with me).

More recently I've seen some stories online about people printing their own casts and splints. here's one: https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/epppet/better_than_popsicle_sticks_and_tape/

Seems kind of silly depending on what part you hurt, and the time it takes to print(not to mention time to design, And with whatever that is broken on your body still hurting).

Anyway, apologies to hijack you post and go on a rant, but I'm very curious to hear if you have any thoughts. how did you find the doctor to reset your bones? what bones were they? are you in The States?

Maybe there is an opportunity here for FDM in a medical manufacturing process... I'm kind of skeptical about per-patient custom printing though. ...well at least when it comes to acute care...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2020 08:45PM by kippbits.
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 17, 2020 09:22AM
I am in the UK. I am lucky enough to get private healthcare with my job, so I used that for the accident treatments. There were multiple issues mainly from injury to my spine, when I got to hospital the initial assessment was that I had broken my neck at C6, they were going to ship me off to have surgery on that and as part of that assessment decided I hadn’t broken it. There was damage that has left me with some loss of movement and sensation to my left arm and some loss of sensation to the left Side of my face. Nothing disabling, the worst I suppose is my left hand doesn’t do as its told now, only my forefinger and thumb properly function and there is a loss of sense of touch and pressure which makes me a bit dropsy.

The leg surgery went very well, but very painful, three operations, the 2nd one they cut through my tibia and reset it and the 3rd to remove the plate and pins. They didn’t cast it Because of the wound but put a hinged Brace with straps to keep it in place, no load bearing fo 7 weeks, the same when I had the plate & pins out.
I have piled weight on due to the injury restricting me, which I have not been able to shift but have really pushed myself to get mobility back, like when going to work parking in a multi-storey car park on the roof every day and only using the stairs, walking and cycling and going to the pool at my gym and walking up and down in the water for a couple of hours - I think people there must have thought I was crazy!
I have gone from being on two crutches for two years to walking fairly normally, though one leg is 1/2” longer than the other. I can’t enjoy long country walks like we used to, but I can tag along on my mountain bike, I can get out and about for work and will probably wrack up a couple of miles a day walking whilst at work, I am still on far too many prescription pain killers, without them the pain in my spine, and my leg is still quite bad, but I have got in to the habit of pushing through that so that now some of the things that used to hurt like hell are now minor annoyances. When I feel low I look back two years and it just makes me smile and shrug my shoulders and crack on because I have gone from being crippled on crutches to walking around normally.
Overall the medical treatment for the Brocken bones has been excellent, I really pushed myself in the 1st 6 months after surgery and my surgeon stood there grinning when I went for my 6 month review and I walked across the waiting room without my sticks.
As far as the nerve damage has gone, that’s where I realised that field of medicine is very limited, you are stuck with it, lots of poking and prodding and needles injecting electrical signals, it seemed like I was just an experiment, then being told yes some signals are not getting through so that’s that ( I knew that already).

I got a decent payout from the drivers insurance who crashed in to my car, £40K but that went straight to the mortgage, though judging by what some celebrities get for suing newspapers I would have been better of if he had just insulted me rather that hitting me with a truck
open | download - FC078768-ADBF-42D0-8CC7-A3C7B5F2EB3F.jpeg (85.8 KB)
open | download - 51ACA381-A8B0-4026-BF1E-ED625D581866.jpeg (53.8 KB)
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 17, 2020 09:33AM
Finally, I ran out of characters!!

I also face the prospect of a full knee replacement in 10-15 years due to the damage done (they did some work involving bone marrow and stem cells to regrow the bone lost in the knee but they say it probably will only last 15 years or so) - my knee took the main leg damage in the accident and I lost part of one side of the joint, that’s why they reset my tibia, to change the leg geometry so that I use only one side of the knee joint, after the accident I had oedema in the broken side of the bone that closed the joint so that the broken face was grinding against the cartilage on tibia side of the joint , now that is some kind of pain you just can’t believe, between the 1st surgery to remove the bone fragments etc. to the 2nd surgery to treat the damage was about 18 months and it was hell, they would inject steroids and lidocaine right down in to the joint, to try and bring the oedema down and relieve the pain, but there is very little blood supply down there so no joy, so they decided to reset the tibia and drill and micro fracture the damaged area to release bone marrow and stem cells - the attached photo shows that it’s grown back, the slightly lighter area is where the new bone has grown, and where the plate is is where they opened up a 3/8” wedge to change the geometry, the plate was the only thing holding it together for about a year, the joint repair took about 2 years.

There we go - very 3D printer related.

Just so I can keep on 3D printing, all of the servos, bearings and electronics just arrived for my next printer, I best go and print it!

Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 17, 2020 09:58AM

I remember in the early days with my hand thinking about some kind of 3D printed servo assisted exo-Skeleton affair and maybe something to help with the leg, but after a few internet searches I came across the inmoov hand on the thingiverse, I printed a very rough and ready version on that and lost all thoughts of exo-skeletons etc. and got hooked on printing an inmoov robot.

Eventually you adjust to the changes, I think it helps not to focus on them and maybe laugh at them, I find my self talking sternly to my hand when the fingers lock up or just won’t do what my brain is telling them to do, that usually makes me laugh. Also when I discover I have been touching the soldering iron, and didn’t feel it or I find blood dripping from some cut I didn’t know anything about, then I smile and think how lucky I am not to feel the pain.
I use computers a lot, I write a lot of software and write FDS’s for my job, I now have very dyslexic typing, with the correct letters but in the wrong order - from left hand letters. I have a rant at my hand and then laugh at the stupidity of me shouting at my hand!

I think the more I find something difficult the more I am determined to do it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2020 09:59AM by Spitiemk4.
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 17, 2020 01:19PM
Wow, sounds like you had(still having) quite an ordeal! You definitely beat my story, although I can relate a little: my typing has definitely become dyslexic. Also I had a snake-bitten & subsequently fractured foot(poorly diagnosed both times) about 5-6 years ago; sort of takes the joy out of outdoors things. ...and then there are my other injuries/problems going back way back. Inmoov looks cool! I guess the idea is to build a robot assistant?

you reminded me of something, if you're working one hand down: http://www.chordite.com/protophotos.htm

I saw this a awhile back, but never followed up(glad it still exists).

...some funny legal mambo-jumbo at the bottom... where is the license?: found it ...sort of looks the same it did 6 years ago, but I guess it's a good start. ...good luck all.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2020 01:38PM by kippbits.
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 22, 2020 03:07PM
I have set to work on 3d printer no.3

Have printed one side and trial assembled it it’s looking OK, I added some mounts for the arduino - the marlin FW that I have tweaked over the years, won’t compile under the latest IDE - I hate it, very time I rebuild or upgrade, the arduino IDE has had an upgrade (or several) and throws out the old code.

I have the latest Marlin FW and have noted all of the bed levelling etc. In there - it’s geeky eye candy! I’ve got to have it
Re: Home Brew Printer Development
May 31, 2020 08:40PM
Printer 3 now trial assembled and taken up residence on the kitchen table.

I have made a few tweaks along the way, blended in some bolted on parts so that they are no longer bolt on, increased the A frame height to achieve a 200mm print height. I am re-jigging the X carriage to allow for the hot end cooling fan, and have tweaked the extruder to get a better fit.

I have thrown in some Marlin, X & Y steps are wrong, it goes approximately half the distance it thinks it has, probably jumpers and micro-stepping, not worried about that.

I need to wire it all up nicely, I have just lashed it in because I was keen to see it come to life, the display is a bit flickery - either dodgy wiring or it needs some Software interrupts.

So a little more re-printing to do on the X carriage and I need a decent bed, I have the glass and heater, the last one was a sample of click flooring from the DIY shop for £1 flipped over,
works a treat!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login