[backlog] February 28, 2020

A project log for The Trash Printer - Version 3

An open-source, low-cost, large-format 3D printer that can print directly from shredded plastic trash instead of filament

Sam SmithSam Smith 10/07/2022 at 21:460 Comments

[ Backlog - This log was adapted from my Patreon, to fill in the details about how this project has developed over the years. Check the link for the full post, and if you appreciate this project, consider supporting it! ]

This month I installed the Trash Printer, along with the rest of the Metabolizer system, at Portland Winter Light Festival!

Between the rain, lack of shelter, strong winds, and large crowds, we ultimately decided to not to try and run the Metabolizer on Friday and Saturday nights, and opted instead to use LEDs and informational signage to demonstrate the flows of energy and material through the system.

Although I was a little disappointed to not be able to not be able to show the whole system running this time around, the demonstration version was a lot easier for people to engage with and understand, and we had a great time showing off the system and Trash Printer on Saturday Night.

For next month, I've started working on a new design of the Trash Printer (Version 3), built around a cheap and widely available harbor freight service cart, which gives it a much larger Z axis, and a completely redesigned XY gantry, so that the system can be fully-open source. 

Currently I'm using some else's design that is partially closed source, and while it's easy to build and cheap and I still recommend it, a fully open-source system will make documentation and replication much easier in the future. The enclosed design allows for the chamber to be heated, which helps with warping and adhesion issues, and also makes fume-mitigation easier.