Darksun 3D Printer

A UV-LED based 3D SLA printer.

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Working with as many scrapped parts as possible, trying to build a 3D SLA printer. Parts were cannibalized from a Chimera build.

I built a very crude Chimera DLP SLA printer last year. Never got around to refining it, as I was disenchanted with the price of resin. I also didn't really have anywhere to work on printing with the fumes and all.

A month or so ago, I stumbled upon the uTopiaPrinter project. I have old LCD screens from unused or dead tablets and laptops, and it seemed cool to repurpose. I was excited to attempt bottom-up printing instead of top-down, as well. Like all the other projects I enjoy, the point for me is to do it as cheap as possible, preferably with repurposed equipment. My coding skills are very backyard mechanic, so I'm having fun learning how to make things talk to each other as well.

This is my first project being documented on Hackaday. I have high hopes for using the site to organize other crazy ideas I have.

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  • 1 × Arduino Nano V3.0 ATMEGA328P Module CH340G 5V16M Micro-controller Board A cheap Arduino Nano I picked up off of Aliexpress.
  • 1 × A4988-StepStick Stepper Motor Driver Module with Heat Sink Picked up as a combo with the Nano.
  • 1 × 7" 50-pin AT070TN90/92/94 LCD Driver Board A controller used to provide basic connectivity to an LCD display panel. They're great for repurposing screens from other devices. I'm hoping I'll find driver boards for other screens I have.
  • 1 × A few cheap breadboards and packs of jumper wire connectors.
  • 1 × TX Aluminium Heatsink Cooling Fan+44mm Lens 120 degree For 50W 100W Led Chip (Heatsink +120 degree Lens)

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  • New name!

    angelus07/11/2017 at 00:20 0 comments

    Changed the project name from Sunbox to Darksun. I was originally looking at using a standard light source like incandescent power. But not wanting to deal with the raw heat factor, I switched to the UV bulb, hence Darksun.

  • The story so far....

    angelus07/11/2017 at 00:18 0 comments

    I started the project before learning about Hackaday, so I'm behind on logging.

    I realized early on that I'd have to buy at least a couple of components, mainly the UV LED and the power driver for it. Also, the Arduino Nano and the EasyDriver stepper power board had to be purchased, of course. I suspect over the next year or two, as people start junking old first-gen 3D printer home brew attempts, some of those components will be salvageable. Who knows?

    I went ahead and bought the combo heat sink / cooling fan to go with the LED, and the lens to provide some concentration. These things could have been salvaged, and I will attempt to do so on the follow-up build of this project. Heck, if accuracy wasn't hypercritical to your prints, you could use a standard threaded rod and nut assembly and some duct tape to connect it to a salvaged stepper motor.

    The LCD panel came from an old Android tablet. Again, if you don't need double-digit micron accuracy, you could salvage the LCD screen off dead laptops and flat panel monitors. You would need to hunt down the proper LCD VGA driver board for the specific model of LCD, unless you're smart enough to burn your own chip or something. That's pretty far beyond my expertise. So we're just going to recycle as much as we can.

    This project has turned into more of a proof-of-concept deal. In the next iteration, I'm going to meticulously document where I got scrap parts from and all that.

    An old cabinet with adjustable shelves was repurposed for the housing. It is working great so far, and will provide a sizable print area. I'm looking at about 4" x 7" x 10" at the moment. If I can find a monitor screen with a good dot pitch and available driver board, the base surface could go even bigger. This allows for multiple prints or single massive printed pieces.

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