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Robot 3D printer auto eject sys & web print queue

A 3d printer system that can be operated by multiple people that just spits out parts placed in the web based print queue

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I am moving the instructions over to ( http://www.3dpaperprinter.com/ ) and publishing more information there.

This is a project that combines multiple things together.
A web based interface for uploading stl files to a server that manages a 3d printer (Or multiple printers) queue.
Server side slicing of the stl file.Gcode preview in web browser.
Approval of model to print.
3d printer control software (gcode sender) that connects to the server and can retrieve print jobs.
Hardware to perform auto ejection of part from 3d printer.
See the following presentation for details ab

So this is one of the first tests.

Link to the git hub for the GCODE sender written in BASIC

Link to the github for the web based queue and slicing software (PHP laravel and mysql reqd)

This is the latest video

This is a really old video with first printer

  • 1 × Delta 3D printer I am using a Kossel Delta (About 230$ shipped on ebay)
  • 1 × Incjet printer An incjet printer that is able to spit out paper that can fall on the build plate of the 3d printer (50$ at best buy). You will want one with the paper output as close to the fron of the machine as you can get it.
  • 1 × Linear actuator To open and clsoe the trap door
  • 1 × Plywood with sooth surface for printer table and trap door
  • 2 × Hinge For build plate paper clamp

View all 8 components

  • New concept built. Been testing and have printed about 10 items so far.

    mmiscool6 days ago 0 comments

    • This is what I started with when toying with the concept.
    • Got the half in piece of Polly carb affixed to the 3 smaller pieces of wood to keep it level and the linear actuator all in place. This is with the print bed retracted. 
    • Print bed all closed.
    • Print bed closed from the front.
    • 3d Printer mounted and all hooked up.



  • Got a new concept for automatic print removal.

    mmiscool08/10/2017 at 06:01 0 comments

    So I have been toying with a new concept for automatic print removal. This one does not use paper. The queue system as is will function with both types of printers as the gcode for the ejection is printer specific and is not managed by the queue but rather configured on the individual printers. 

    Also did a bunch of work on the print queue. It now allows for the model to resliced with different settings after the initial upload.  I also added a drop down that lets you select if you want to have support material. Also on the print queue server side I added some functionality to send email notification for when prints start and when they are completed. This has been rather handy. Only problem I have been running in to is that the printer eventually runs out of paper. I will be adding some checks for that and some checks for if it has run out of filliment. Still have some more work to do but I really feel that this is going to be rather polished here sooner than later. 

  • I have lost count of the successful prints over the past few days

    mmiscool08/06/2017 at 05:05 0 comments

    So I have been printing like a mad man over the past few days. The system has been working great. 

    Ever since switching to using a rasberry pi 0w every thing has been great. 

    I am working on the design for v4 of the machine. I will be sourcing some parts and if any one is interested I can throw together a bit of a kit. Mabe it is time to do a kick starter? 

  • Uploaded the print run controlling bash script

    mmiscool08/03/2017 at 03:22 0 comments

    I uploaded the bash script that communicates with the print queue and uses the print run package. 

    This script works in a rasberry pi 0 w.

    The link is 

    https://github.com/SparkMakerspace/Printrun

    I plan to get a set up script that dose a bunch of apt gets to install all the required packages and dose a bit of the set up on here before too long. 

    Got a lot of documenting to do for this project at this point as the design has changed a bit and the software to operate the printer has moved to Linux. 

    Stay tuned.

  • Rewriting the GCODE sender software to work on a Raspberry PI

    mmiscool08/02/2017 at 04:22 0 comments

    Soooooo. I was having all sorts of problems running the linear actuator and having the USB connection cut out for the print to the desktop. A friend had Raspberry Pi 0 W lying around and it seemed like the perfect solution.

    Most of the ramps or ramps compatible boards have the serial lines broken out so that you can attache a blue tooth dongle or a wifi module. 

    I decided to hook it directly to the serial pins on the raspberry pi. This worked in my favor as there is only 1 use port on a pi0w and that had to be used to connect the inject printer. 

    After loading up the pi with raspbian os and getting the "PRINTRUN" pronterface package working I set about trying to get the EPSON inkjet working.

    Getting the EPSON incjet working with cups did not end well. I ended up going to best buy and picking up the cheapest HP inkjet I could find. HP has drivers that work great on the pi.

    After that and some bash shell script cobbling we have a working printer that can fetch jobs from the print queue on the server and continously print with out problems. 

    I plan to gt a nice little shell script all put together that will install all the stuff needed to get the printer up and running. Hopefully then we can have some one duplicate the effort. 

    That should be posted to github some time this week. 

    I really want to collaborate with some one and see if they can duplicate the printer. 

  • Added some checking code to make sure you don't break your printer.

    mmiscool07/29/2017 at 12:27 0 comments

    So one of the fun things about this project is the software. 

    I have a web server that manages the print queue and dose all of the slicing/gcode generation.

    There is a problem though. It is possible to slice a file larger than your build area in the 3d printer.

    It is also possible you have more than one 3d printer and each one has a different build volume.

    The fix to this I updated both the web server and the gcode sender client.

    I added max x y z values to the server. This data is extracted from Slic3r and stored in the database.

    I added settings fields in the gocde sender software (The software running on the computer connected to the printer) that allow the user to specify the max size of a 3d print for that machine.

    I added the logic to the PHP scrit that communicates with the printer to check if the model is to large for the printer.

    Wha la. Problem solved. 

  • Moved the server to a Windows Server 2016 box and broke thumbnail images

    mmiscool07/29/2017 at 12:20 0 comments

    So i was minding my own business and just getting the server software for this project set up on a VPS in the cloud when all of a sudden my thumbnail images of the 3d models stopped working.

    I have been using open SCAD to render thumbnail images of my parts but it seemed that on my new windows 2016 VM it would not work. I had to scower the web for a while to find MESA open GL dll files in order to make it work.

    I know. You all are going to say "If you used linux you would not have those problems". Well that's true and I think that every thing would have worked on linux with out any kind of extra work. It runs on Mac OS no problem (Freind has been testing it with mac os).

    Well all's well then ends well. We have working thumbnail generation and it;s all running on a VPS so that a great thing. 

  • Problems and soultions.

    mmiscool07/23/2017 at 06:34 0 comments

    so I was having some trouble with EMI. When the relays or switches were opening there would be a pulse from the coil in the motor that would interrupt the serial communications with the computer. This was the bane of my existence for a while. 

    I rigged up a couple of limit switches to control the linear actuator that the print head would hit using a bit of gcode.  and it was working great. That was untill some one uploaded a file that was way to big for the printer and the print head broke the limit switches. I have been working to make it so that there is a check for the print size to prevent future problems. 

    Might also get an h bridge motor controller for the linear actuator. 

  • Problems and soultions.

    mmiscool07/23/2017 at 06:34 0 comments

    so I was having some trouble with EMI. When the relays or switches were opening there would be a pulse from the coil in the motor that would interrupt the serial communications with the computer. This was the bane of my existence for a while. 

    I rigged up a couple of limit switches to control the linear actuator that the print head would hit using a bit of gcode.  and it was working great. That was untill some one uploaded a file that was way to big for the printer and the print head broke the limit switches. I have been working to make it so that there is a check for the print size to prevent future problems. 

    Might also get an h bridge motor controller for the linear actuator. 

  • I ordered up more parts to build another printer.

    mmiscool07/16/2017 at 22:26 0 comments

    So I ordered another kossel printer and linear actuator.

    Going to be building yet another printer.

    Also had some issues with the control board on my existing printer. A friend ordered up a new board and is going to be building a different circuit to control the relays for the linear actuator. More details to come.

    Just want to make sure the printer is truly replicable before publishing more documentation and assembly instructions.

    Hopefully will have some good news by thursday.

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Nathann wrote 06/23/2017 at 23:01 point

If you have a laser inkjet, here is a little hack : You can transfer a picture from the paper to the bottom face of the print. I only tried black text and logo but it may work with color too.

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mmiscool wrote 06/05/2017 at 04:14 point

well been having pretty good luck with the printer and trap door. Still pooping out parts and it is really great. 

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Kevin Harrington wrote 05/02/2017 at 14:35 point

I have been doing work with a vaccume bed to hold paper down and getting very good results. It gets rid of the paper warping problem on larger prints. Oak Ridge National Labs uses that trick to print huge parts. Think of it like an air hockey table in reverse, you get a firm even hold that is robust to part warping.  Just a thought...

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mmiscool wrote 05/02/2017 at 15:19 point

I did try a vacuum plate initially when I was working with a standard prusa style printer in the initial videos.

Unfortunately I think that the vacuume required will need to be significantly better than the one I had.
Possibly iteration 3.

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mmiscool wrote 05/01/2017 at 03:09 point

So the printer is fully working now. Been printing a whole bunch of stuff on it.

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mmiscool wrote 05/01/2017 at 01:20 point

You know you want auto ejection for your 3d printer !!!!

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mmiscool wrote 04/22/2017 at 13:31 point

That is good. Really trying to pull all the parts together for this.
So far I have had a working prototype (The one that sent the pice of paper flying at the end. The next one will be better with the trap door concept and positive clamping provided by applying pressure trap door plate.

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David Scholten wrote 04/21/2017 at 12:38 point

This project makes me so damn happy :)

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mmiscool wrote 05/01/2017 at 01:09 point

I upload a new video with things working. 

I have been print and continuing to print with out any problems so far. Just need yo make sure i keep loading up the paper. 

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mmiscool wrote 04/21/2017 at 04:11 point

really can't wait to have this fully working. 

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