OK, I've picked the 350-pound unit up in NJ and brought it home to MA and I'm currently constructing a rolling stand out of aluminum extrusions that I'm reusing from another lot of surplus laboratory items. Once I get the machine on wheels, I'll park it in my 1 BR apartment for a detailed assessment of how it is constructed and its capabilities, then determine how I will get from the factory configuration to the optimal design to accommodate FDM and SLA, as well as laser scanning and engraving, as well as CNC routing/shaping. I need to locate the components for manipulating a moving mirror to control the laser for the SLA and scanning, along with a software solution to drive them; this may include a "moving projection" to allow printing & scanning across the entire print area because a simple "slide show" snapshot design for SLA printing/scanning using a DLP projector won't be able to utilize the entire usable surface area unless I hang the projector 12' from the surface.
If anyone has the knowledge & experience with piezo or salvo/servo rotating mirror components & how to control them, please offer me some potential sources, sample project links and advice!
Also, a multifunctional tool switching scheme will be very helpful to accommodate different functional heads for FDM, SLA, laser scanning, laser engraving and CNC routing. If I could afford the components, I'd imagine this could even perform laser sintering - just think, switching from SLA to metallic sinter-welding in mere minutes (or so I hope).
Seen in the pictures, the moving assembly/business end is a fairly large, long cube hanging from the X & Y rails mounted in the top of the frame; this contains the Z axis mechanisms, as well as the 8-channel fluid injection lines formerly used for moving various liquid samples around on the work surface to perform mixing & moving samples. This capability alone could be repurposed to use multiple color resins, powders, adhesives/binders, inks/dyes and plastic/metal/carbon fiber printing media.
It has built-in pneumatic and electrical controls that will allow for lots of bells & whistles, and that's where my idea of a "jack of all 3D trades" system came from that will accommodate multiple 3D printing methods, laser scanning/engraving & CNC routing/shaping using a rotary tool. I may even have enough control circuits available to include automated tool switching.
Definitely very ambitious for a first-time project! We'll see how far from reality that is after I assess the machine & break down the core moving assembly. It is equipped with a servo motor control called a "staccato" controller, which I'm guessing means it is wicked fast and accurate to make the optimum use of machine time.
I swear, getting this machine for less than $100, plus the various expenses to go retrieve it and build a professional rolling stand has hardly cost $250 total so far. I'm hoping that I can use open-source software to drive the motor controllers & servo actuators and that the modifications to the core "business end" will be as simple as possible, and with collaborative support from the community here and Instructables, we might yet construct and elegant solution to compliment and do justice to the incredible capabilities and huge original cost of the machine.
My thanks to all who have subscribed and waited patiently since last summer when I got started after winning the surplus auction. Since then, I've seen the same model machine sell for over $5,000 in the same surplus auctions, so I consider myself fortunate to have this opportunity. It will be a realistic example of re-use and value-added engineering when we see the first successful operation come to fruition.
Plus, I always thought it was pretty neat that it was originally called the SciClone because it will have the capability of copying and replicating/cloning just about anything that can fit in the 14 cubic-foot usable area. I wanted to be able torrent entire prosthetic arms & legs, embedding metallic,...Read more »