Display Boards are arrived!

The display board that we designed with DipTrace and ordered from PCBWing.com are finally arrived. These are the first PCB that we buy from external PCB service so we were pretty excited to see how they looks like!
And we are very proud; they are very simple PCBs, single copper layer, but it is awesome to see the BadDevices logo on them and we hope these are the first of a long list of electronic products from us.
These are interface boards for the BadPrinter2. They interface the megatronics board with a push button encoder and the ST7565 based Graphic LCD display providing also jumper configuration for backlight color.

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Testing the parking area with toolchange (Double color)

We made a custom gcode script to run at every toolchange (when you switch hotend to print with the other color/material)

The problem in using two color/material is only one: “oozing”

When an hotend is printing, the other, due to temperature, is randomly dropping material on the piece.

One way to avoid this problem can be to cool the inactive hotend, so the material won’t come out randomly during the print.

Anyway there is the possibility that the material “freeze” on the tip of the inactive nozzle creating a hard little ball of material that can crash into the printed object. (This is due to very tight tolerance of the hotends height that must be perfectly leveled in Z to obtain a good bi-color print.)

To avoid all those problems we made a silicone pad where to park and plug the nozzles during the toolchange.

In this way the pad works as a “cap” to the cooling hotend nozzle, so oozing is avoided; moreover the silicone pad acts as a barrier, cutting the excess filament from the active tip when print restart.

We have to adjust and tweak some parameters and redefine a little the geometry of the silicone pad, but it works 🙂

This is a video showing a toolchange while printing a traffic-cone

 

And here is the traffic-cone mounted on its black base (printed separately)

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Under the magnifying glass

We are testing the print capability of the new BadPrinter2 and, in particular, we are trying to make a systematic work to check every single aspect of the quality of a 3D printed parts, so we will check retraction, oozing, dimensional precision, minimum layer height, bridging, speed etc..

Today we concentrate on X, Y position precision, but in particular regarding layer stacking precision and consistency of layer extrusion. We made some very simple and small test pieces with 0.2 mm resolution and check the pieces under a 20X magnifying glass and the resulting photos are very interesting.

The layer stacking is clearly visible and the result is very good with a very good consistency in the deposition of the material, so we are very happy with these first tests, next step to reduce the layer heigth and find the limit.


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BadPrinter2 is born!

Here it is, the new BadPrinter2, completely redesigned! Starting from the experience of the BadPrinter2 prototype seen at the MakerFaire in October 2013.

The idea is to build a reliable, easy to use and maintain machine; the first objective is quality of printing, so the precision positioning of x and y axis and layer height is the main target that we want to achieve; this, combined with the awesome E3D all metal hotend gives a very good finish on the printed part, good dimensional precision and layer deposition consistency.

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We hope that this machine is not simply “another 3D printer” that has good-looking design or fancy features. The BadPrinter2 was built on our experience and the experience of the 3D printing community and it is made to be a reliable tool, especially for the 3D printing experts, but enough easy to use also for the beginner of 3D printing.

The H-bot gantry movement remain the main characteristics of the machine, but improved with the use of completely new movement system. Here are some of the feature and characteristics that you can find in our printer:

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– Anti-Racking: The use of industrial-grade linear guides prevent any type of play on any X, Y and Z axis. The H-Bot, single belt design is commonly affected by racking issue due to play in the bearings and lack of rigidity. The BadPrinter2 does not suffer from racking due to a rigid structure of the carriage and the use of preloaded linear guides.

– Steel, laser-cut frame: the frame is completely metallic and laser-cut. The idea is to have a very rigid structure and also an heavy frame to have less vibration. Moreover it is possible to have the best 90 degrees angular precision between x,y and z axis.

– Two All-metal hotends (E3D) and extruders: the machine born with two hotends, in future we think about the possibility to offer a single end version, but we think that a printer with already this provision can be more flexible to use, using two colors or two materials for complex printing; all-metal hotends guarantee a very short transition zone between cold and hot end giving a precise control of filament flow.

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– Belt tensioner: the belt is captive in the x carriage and with a simple system it’s possible to regulate the belt tension with a screw.

– Extruder spring tension: it is possible to increase the preload on the extruder idle bearing spring in case to control filament slippage or to adapt to different filament material (e.g. flexible)

– Any filament: the only restriction in filament is to use 1.75 mm that is the diameter of the hotend, but no proprietary filament, no proprietary cartridges, you can use any filament you want. Mainly PLA, but also ABS, nylon ecc..

– Megatronics v2.0: the core electronics is the megatronics v2.0 from Reprapworld with support for the driver DRV8825 with 1/32 microstepping. The series printer will include the new Megatronics v3.0. The firmware included is the well-tested Marlin and the Megatronics include a micro sd card reader to print as stand alone.

– Graphic LCD: the direct interface to the printer is by an encoder and 128×64 LCD display that supports the Marlin graphic interface.

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– Raspberry Pi ready: the printer has provision for install a Raspberry Pi giving external access to ethernet connector, Usb and HDMI. In combination with the octoprint distro for RPi, it is possible to print and monitor the printer remotely by network (cable and wireless adding a wifi dongle).

– Glass Bed: the heated bed has a removable glass plate, with quick disconnect clamps that allow easy part detachment at the end of the print. As medium to stick the part to the bed we use hairspray that do perfectly the trick. Anyway you can use any medium that you want such as blue tape, bi-adesive tape, glue stick, etc.

– Partially self replicating and open source: The Badprinter 2 rely on open source firmware (Marlin) and open source hardware (Megatronics and E3D) so all the machine will maintain the same philosophy. Some of the parts are self 3D printed, that means that is possible to print spare parts for the machine itself. It is also possible to re-print all the parts in different color if you want to make contrast with the all-black structure.

Now let’s go to a deep testing period; stay tuned for updates and new feature to come.

Keep working; collecting the puzzle pieces

We are not posting so much these last weeks, but we are very busy working on the pre-series machine.
We are keep working and improving the design and we are collecting all the material to build the first item.
It’s like a big puzzle and we are trying to match all the pieces and the result is promising.

The electronics is almost finsihed, still missing a small PCB board to be etched for the display and some components will arrive next week.
Now we concentrate on printing some of the parts of the carriage and some brackets.

We hope to post some good photos of the assembly status before the end of the month… stay tuned 🙂

Long week-end, Hard work

It is some time after the last post, but we are very busy working on the pre-series version of the BadPrinter2, in particular these three days of hard work.
After the MakerFaireRome we evaluate and identify all the areas where the BadPrinter2 can be improved: we found a lot of minor improvements that can allow us to make the machine more precise, reliable and easy to maintain.
Starting from the extruder we decide to introduce the possibility to trim the spring tension, so we are making some prototypes and the results are very good, we need to try it in the machine testing the extrusion during real prints.

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We are also reviewing the metallic frame; we want to switch to a complete laser cut steel frame, so there are some work to do in accomodating all the parts in the new frame.
We will maintain the winning H-Gantry style and the very good E3D hotend.

Moreover, this week some new material arrived: PVA, Nylon and Rubberlike material; we start with some test print with red rubber from Plastink and we discover it is an interesting material: it prints easily and it is quite flexible.

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Next days we will try with Nylon 🙂

The Maker Faire Rome experience

We are back at home, but also if three days had passed since the end of the First European Maker Faire in Rome, all the emotions and thoughts of those days are still with us.
It was a great experience and we are happy that about 35000 visitors come to see the revolution of the makers, the future of technology coming from common, but fabulous people that spend their spare time in designing, thinking and building something awesome.
We want to thank, first of all, Massimo Banzi and Riccardo Luna for organizing this fantastic event and Massimiliano Colella and Stefano Venditti of Asset Camera for making this event possible.
The presentation of BadPrinter2 was a success; a lot of people asks information about us, about our work and about the project; who was already inside the 3D printing world asks for us technical details, and gives also suggestion and it is a satisfaction to share thoughts and ideas with them; others, that never saw, a 3D printer has the possibility to see this fantastic machine running and creating things in front of them, from a simple 3D computer model.
We want to thanks all of those people, coming from Rome and from other part of Italy for their kindness and curiosity, it was a very intense experience to have contacts with such people.
We met also a lot of makers and we want to greet them all and, in particular, new friends that share with us those days: Tobeca, Sharebot, Hipstercircuits, Hardware girls, Hobbymedia, Italymaker, RepRap.me, University of Cambridge and MakeTank; see you next year!
We want to thanks also all the fablab, hackerspaces, university and schools that shows interest in our project; keep in touch with our blog and updating of the work.

The star of our booth was Pacman and ghosts Blinky and Inky :-); we made it for fun, but they show to all the people the capability of our printer. Now we have to work hard to complete the project and enter in a production phase in order to make available the BadPrinter2 to everyone, so, see you on next update.

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