Speaking of 3D printing... I had an idea...

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chrisinestes

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I've been interested in a 3D printer for a while now, but I don't have the money to buy one that I think is actually reliable, has good resolution, and isn't painfully slow.

Then... BOOM! The "something To Doodle With" thread kick-started my brain.

I already have a very well built 3-Axis CNC router table that is good to a couple thousandths of an inch! It's got 8' of X-Axis, 4' of Y-Axis, and around 4.5" of Z-Axis!

So, I Googled it up, and found that I'm not the first one to think of it. Turns out I'm even further along on that setup than I thought I would be.

The control box I already have has a Gecko G540 4-Axis stepper controller in it. 3 are in use for X,Y,& Z, and one is free for use for a feeder motor for the 3D printing filament. My control software, Mach 3, is capable of controlling 6 Axes, AND there is already a 3D printer driver built to run with Mach3. Sounds to me I lucked into being a long way towards this conversion.

I'm going to see if I can get something working for this. I figure 3D prints would come in handy in the model engine hobby. Especially for casting molds.

Has anybody here done this type of conversion to their CNC machine?

Woohoo!
Chris
 

Tin Falcon

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Has anybody here done this type of conversion to their CNC machine?
there ia company that sells food 3d printers that are a import router with an extruder built on it.

My only concern about your plan is how do you plan to control the heat of the extruder and the heat bed.
 

RonGinger

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The heat control is simple- there are many good temp controllers for under $30 on ebay. Just wire it up independently and let it control the temp. Temp is not something that gets changed while a job is running.

The bigger problem is speed, particularly with such a big router table. 3D printers run quite fast, and they are still slow as molasses in doing a job.

But you are right, the idea has occurred to many and has been talked about on lots of forums. I have not yet heard from anyone that is doing it well. Good luck.
 

Tin Falcon

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The bigger problem is speed, particularly with such a big router table. 3D printers run quite fast, and they are still slow as molasses in doing a job.
if you are still doing this you may want to look into an ED3 volcano extruder. They use a larger . 8 mm ozzle a larger heater block and can spit out the plastic a lot faster.
Tin
 

chrisinestes

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It's still on the list, but delayed. I'm developing a new product line, and it's putting all the fun stuff to the back burner.

I'll check out that ED3 nozzle, though.

I did know about the Mach3 add-on. I run Mach3, and my control has an extra stepper driver to run the extruder motor. I've just not had the time to dig into it.

I'd also like to have a 25-ish watt laser diode attachment for some engraving.

So many projects! :Doh:

Chris
 

Tin Falcon

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They are available for a couple hundred bucks . to do it right you need laser shielding and safety lockouts some kits have all this stuff.

I think if i was going to do laser I would just buy a laser engraver . You can get imports with water coolers for around $500 IIRc about 50 watt with a working envelope about 8 x 10 x 2 inches. Something else for the dream sheet. I have actually wanted one for a long time but until recently not affordable.
so many tools so little money.
Tin
 

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