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10. Open Source Hardware - From Fibers to Fabric

Research & Ideation

We have decided this week to hack Ender into a biomaterial printer. 3D printer that had some troubles with printing anyways, so we wanted to try to adjust her for our biomaterials. I have to give huge credits for this documentation to Shushanik and Marieke, both were assigned to make notes and keep structer and did a great job. If you want to see the whole process, please check Marieke's documentation. This is just a short addition to hers documentation by some files I have adjusted and made, also pictures that I have taken for the documentation.

References & Inspiration

We have used Rexflexlab 300CC-Extruder as a follow along, but we have added slight changes. We wanted to achieve the same result as shown in the video bellow.


Division of work

We have devided our team into different parts, Marieke was the head engineer, Alessia was in charge of biomaterials and I was there as a helping hand to make the little-works to support both of them, if needed, but mostly Marieke since figuring out how to connect everthing together was mostly job for two people.

3D printing and adjusting files

I have been screwing a lot of screws this week, but apart from that I was assigned a task on how to figure out, if the software or hardware needed some changes in order for the extruder to work. I have tested ReflexLab for advice:

Their response was that we need to check the motor wiring, so it fits the motor we were using, which Marieke has already done and to enable cold extrusion on our 3D printer. I was researching and found out that the Ender 2 printer type did not enable a cold extrusion. But Michelle has cleverly found that it could by hacked by simply forcing it with GCODE. This webpage has a lot of useful GCODE commands and explain them really well.

F.e. Commands for cold extrusion:

M302         ; report current cold extrusion state
M302 P0      ; enable cold extrusion checking
M302 P1      ; disable cold extrusion checking
M302 S0      ; always allow extrusion (disable checking)
M302 S170    ; only allow extrusion above 170
M302 S170 P1 ; set min extrude temp to 170 but leave disabled

Two main problems hardware problems I wanted to solve were that some 3D printed parts did not fit together and few parts that we were missing. I have 3D printed the missing spacers.

3D printing settings for the spacers:

- Filament: PLA Prusament Orange 
- Bed Temperature: 215 °C
- Nozzle Temperature:  60 °C
- Infill: 50%

But since we hacked the closed belt, I needed to carve some holes in the some that a screw would still fit, but the spacers would not block the hacked belt. Unfortunatelly, we have realized that even carved spacers did not fit inside correctly, so we decided to wait for the closed belt in the project.

I has to adjust the plunger by cutting a whole in a glue bottle, so it could fit our plunger, that was much bigger than the siringe we were about to use. Michelle has 3D printed 2 nozzles with different widths. Only the larger nozzle has fit into out bigger pluger. It still needed to be curved and duck taped at the end, but we managed at the end.

The next thing we needed to solve was to have 3 Thread Rods. We had several long ones, but none of them actually fit the needs for our project so I decided to take a slimmer, that was long enough and cut it with a metal saw. Thouse rods at the end weren't strong enough to hold the bigger bottle in place.

Open Source Hardware week by Linette Manuel

Here is a little video of us testing th plunger that should push the material down the bottle.

Fabrication files

Last update: 2023-01-22