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A project log for Printing bones on a DIY powder bed 3d printer

This project focuses on using building a budget powder bed 3d printer capable of printing bones, and creating the needed ink and powder.

JureJure 07/19/2017 at 21:530 Comments

This week I was able to get most of the prototype electronics together. Last few days I have mostly worked on getting the firmware and software up and running. I have also made a ceramic powder that might work with the printer. So if everything goes according to plan, I will be printing with ceramics next week. Then I will get the parts printed parts smelted so I can do some testing of strength, etc.

Current electronics consist of two lm298 h-bridge drivers (one could be replaced by a normal stepper driver) , a pololu stepper driver, 2 maple minis 2 encoders with simple voltage dividers. Current system looks rather promising as it could be already used without any additional controller (it would lack any interface and the usage would be rather limiting, as user could not select a file from a SD card. I am still working on getting software on Beaglebone together (it is rather hard for me as i am new to beaglebone and especially PRUs on it). For now I have modified previous python program to open an svg and then export it to .pbip file (stands for Powder Bed Inkjet Printing) which is just a bunch of run length encoded nozzle data that is 'synchronous' to the printing protocol (data is in the same order as printer needs it). This could then be also used as somewhat of a universal system if the file is going to be reliable enough. This would also allow for easy replacement of SD card with an SBC as only changes to communication would have to be made (10-20 lines of code)

If everything works as it should I will make custom pcbs. I will probably draw them in single sided version and double sided version, so they can be ordered or even made at home (I know I tend to make a lot of promises, but I have decided not to upload everything from previous versions as it had a lot of bugs. I will upload almost everything when a design prooves itself as stable)

I hope I will be able to upload few photos or even a short video of functioning printer.