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The IceBot is a large scale 3D printer that is still in the development stages. Some parts and areas of the design change from day to day while others have remained the same since the initial phase of design.
The IceBot is set to have a printable area of 3'-0" cubed. Thats 3'-0" in in the XYZ directions. This printer is not being designed to move around much but to have a stationary spot in my shop.
Currently the printer will be using a Gantry system to move the extruder head on the XY axis. This design is similar to the Ultimaker. The Gantry design allows for fast and accurate printing due to low momentum and weight of the extruder head. The weight of the extruder is further reduced by the use of a Bowden extrusion system. The Bowden system allows for the motor pushing the plastic filament to be mounted to the frame as opposed to the printer head.
The Gantry system of the IceBot will use Torqspline Screws as opposed to the traditional belt method. This is due to the size of the printable area as well as the cost of belts large enough to accommodate movement along the axis'.
The Z Axis of the IceBot is the part that has changed the most both in design and concept. ABS and PLA plastics are both light weight and functional materials when used with smaller scale printers. The IceBot has the opportunity to do large prints of heavier materials such as Wax. Because of this the Z Axis has been redesigned many times in order to try to accomidate the possibility of 50 pound+ prints.
The current design uses 2 upright Acme screws placed at the center edge of the Z platform. In order to help stabalize the platform 4 smooth steel rods will be placed at each corner. These 4 rods will be removable in order to help remove objects from the printer.