Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post new topic   Reply to topic

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:23 pm

Ivan wrote:Hi Harry once more,
the solution for you might be:
- buy a "cheap" kit eg. from http://www.prusa3d.com/prusa-i3-kit (if the text is not in English, click the flag in the upper right corner); this is no "China export (CE)" product;
- replace the original driver with yor own interface, preferrably using USB or wifi and a small MCU like Onion 2;
- replace the original melting head with your own head making small dots of paint or resist on demand, something similar to inkjets.
You would easily put the replaced parts back and use the 3D printer to its original purpose if needed. BTW, it supports the Ninjaflex (TM) among others.

VBR from Ivan
Hi Ivan,
That would be exactly what I want  Smile   Direct image plotting and without destroying anything.
I will look into that.

I have though a lot about the interface, and I believe it can be done with a 16F624. Very little memory needed, just use the 2-colour Bitmap image in the BMP file. the BP is already in the correct format to be used without translating file formats. But your solution sounds like a good idea.

Thank you very much.

Best regards from Harry - SM0VPO

_________________
(Thanks to those who tried and couldn't make the QSO. Back on 14.200MHz Sundays from the 24th Sept.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 429
Join date : 2012-11-24
Age : 66
Location : Märsta, Sweden

View user profile http://www.sm0vpo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:30 am

Hi Harry once more,
the solution for you might be:
- buy a "cheap" kit eg. from http://www.prusa3d.com/prusa-i3-kit (if the text is not in English, click the flag in the upper right corner); this is no "China export (CE)" product;
- replace the original driver with yor own interface, preferrably using USB or wifi and a small MCU like Onion 2;
- replace the original melting head with your own head making small dots of paint or resist on demand, something similar to inkjets.
You would easily put the replaced parts back and use the 3D printer to its original purpose if needed. BTW, it supports the Ninjaflex (TM) among others.

VBR from Ivan

Ivan

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-11-25
Location : Praha, Czechia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:11 am

Hi Harry,
the author of the fist link states:"PLA, Nylon, ABS and most common filaments used for 3d printing do not stick to copper well enough to lay down a pattern that can be etched". He had success with white Ninjaflex (TM) only. The black and clear ones are worse, he says. The level of the printer bed is critical, too.
The speed in the Z-axis in 3D printers seems to be much slower than that in plotters. I am afraid the ethanol or acetone based ink in the pen tip will get dry during the head movement.
This field offers vaste experimentation anyway.

VBR from Ivan

Ivan

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-11-25
Location : Praha, Czechia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:10 am

n0th1n6 wrote:Hi Harry,

I have played with 3D printer for some time that I can say I know a bit. I have not tried plotting with a 3D printer firmware but I have success using GRBL. 3D printer firmware has several check for hotend temperature, bed temperature, and other thing before it will start printing. Streaming gcode of your pcb will not satisfy these checks.

GRBL and some free software to convert your gerber to gcode then you're all set.

73s Noli - 4G1ZYS
Hello Noli,
Thank you very much for the info. I know that I can switch OFF the table heater, but it must be possible to make a replacement head that simulates 195º.
Is it not possible to remove the nozzle temperatire parameter from the G-CODE file?

I think maybe that existing G-CODE and other file formats is blinkering us. It should not take much of a program to drive four stepper motors (via drivers) to push a pen around the table. I could have done it very easily using GW-BASIC and using the printer port as an interface, but GW-BASIC will not run on modern 32/64-bit computers. It could be a good programming exercise for the days I am in Spain :-)

You and Ivan have given me a lot of information and food for thought. When I get back from Spain I will have a good think about this. I will see if I can do anything and see if you guys have any ideas. In the meantime I will study the links Ivan gave me and hopefully find a simple way :-)

Very best regards from Harry - SM0VPO

_________________
(Thanks to those who tried and couldn't make the QSO. Back on 14.200MHz Sundays from the 24th Sept.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 429
Join date : 2012-11-24
Age : 66
Location : Märsta, Sweden

View user profile http://www.sm0vpo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:47 am

Ivan wrote:Hi Harry,
I have no practical experience at this field, I have a suggestion only: what about to print the PCB pattern using a 3D printing filament? Several different materials for 3D print are manufactured. Maybe some of them adhere tightly to the copper foil? The mask could be removed using a hot air gun or a common (not microwave) kitchen oven after etching.

BR from Ivan OK1SIP
Hi Ivan,
I had thought of this, but I have a problem with plastic fillament adhering to the plate. I have to use painters masking tape and even office glue to get the plastic to stick to the bed. Even then the first layer is not 100%. If you look at the foot of a printed object you can see the extruded fillament tracks and it is not 100% squashed against the table.

I think that I may have bought a bad batch of fillament because I have tried everything, from levelling the bed, nozzle and bed temperatures, and even extruding too close to the printing bed in an attempt to really press the fillament onto the bed, hard.

Once I have gotten the first layer to stick then it goes fine, and I had thought of using a conductive fillament to make conductive tracks, making the first layers with a recess to accept an IC, then just joining the tracks after changing to a conductive fillament.

I used to make PCBs by putting a fine felt-tipped pen in an HP7474 plotter and I had some very good results drawing the resist tracks prior to etching.

But since the printer is nothing more than X, Y, Z (and NOZZLE) it should not be too difficult. The 3D printer is basically an Arduino with current drivers for the motors. All the rest is in software. Perhaps it could be an idea to write software myself? Instead of moving the pen around the board, just simply move it left-to-right, and move the pen up and down according to the white/black pixels in the BMP image. In that way there would be no need to calculate radii, elipses or even do any diagonal printing.

More food for thought.

very best regards and thank you very much for the information.
/Harry

_________________
(Thanks to those who tried and couldn't make the QSO. Back on 14.200MHz Sundays from the 24th Sept.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 429
Join date : 2012-11-24
Age : 66
Location : Märsta, Sweden

View user profile http://www.sm0vpo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:33 am

Ivan wrote:Hi Harry and all,
it looks like more guys have had the idea of making PCBs using a 3D printer. The most valuable I have found are:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Flexible-Circuit-Boards-Using-A-3D-Printer/
http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printing-3D-Print-A-Solderless-Circuit-Board/
http://www.lamja.com/?p=635

They describe three different methods. I hope this helps you.

VBR Ivan
Hi Ivan,
Thank you very much for the information. It seems that there are few new ideas these days. but I really liked the metal stylus that scrapes enamel off the board to expose copper.
I once put some candle wax on a copper board, the using a scriber tool I scraped away the wax where I didn't want any copper to be, then etched. It worked really well, but you had to be very careful with the scriber tool as it is easy to miss strips of wax that should be removed. perhaps now I can use the 3D printer. I noticed in my G-Code that the head does indeed lift between islands of plastic, and that mat be sufficient. It is worth a try.

Thank you, Ivan, for taking the time and trouble to find these links for me. I will certainly study them and see if I can use the information.

Very best regards from Harry

_________________
(Thanks to those who tried and couldn't make the QSO. Back on 14.200MHz Sundays from the 24th Sept.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 429
Join date : 2012-11-24
Age : 66
Location : Märsta, Sweden

View user profile http://www.sm0vpo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by n0th1n6 on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:56 am

Hi Harry,

I have played with 3D printer for some time that I can say I know a bit. I have not tried plotting with a 3D printer firmware but I have success using GRBL. 3D printer firmware has several check for hotend temperature, bed temperature, and other thing before it will start printing. Streaming gcode of your pcb will not satisfy these checks.

GRBL and some free software to convert your gerber to gcode then you're all set.

73s Noli - 4G1ZYS

n0th1n6

Posts : 27
Join date : 2017-07-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:14 am

Hi Harry and all,
it looks like more guys have had the idea of making PCBs using a 3D printer. The most valuable I have found are:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Flexible-Circuit-Boards-Using-A-3D-Printer/
http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printing-3D-Print-A-Solderless-Circuit-Board/
http://www.lamja.com/?p=635

They describe three different methods. I hope this helps you.

VBR Ivan

Ivan

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-11-25
Location : Praha, Czechia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:47 am

Hi Harry,
I have no practical experience at this field, I have a suggestion only: what about to print the PCB pattern using a 3D printing filament? Several different materials for 3D print are manufactured. Maybe some of them adhere tightly to the copper foil? The mask could be removed using a hot air gun or a common (not microwave) kitchen oven after etching.

BR from Ivan OK1SIP

Ivan

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-11-25
Location : Praha, Czechia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:31 pm

Hi all,
I have a Wanhao Duplicator i3, 3D printer. The thought I have had is using the printer to move a permanent (water-proof) felt-tipped marker pen around a copper-clad board to draw my PCB foil pattern, ready to etch.

The problem I have is software. I can use the 3D printer to print a pen-holder, but I would need to translate a BMP picture to G-CODE. I have 3Ds Max so I can import the BMP picture and create a 0.1mm thick 3D model of the tracks, but the program would have to lift the Z-axis motor to change to the next PCB track.

I had thought about learning the ASCII codes of STL and G-CODE, and and using NOTEPAD search/replace to change the extruder stop/start command with a pen-up/move/pen-down command, but that could take a lot of time to learn and execute.

Anyone got any clever ideas?

PS - Maj-Lis is coming back from Spain tomorrow, and I have not finished unpacking the house things. So I may not have much time for a couple of weeks.

BR Harry - SM0VPO

_________________
(Thanks to those who tried and couldn't make the QSO. Back on 14.200MHz Sundays from the 24th Sept.)
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 429
Join date : 2012-11-24
Age : 66
Location : Märsta, Sweden

View user profile http://www.sm0vpo.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Using 3D printer as a pen-plotter? Can anyone help me?

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


Post new topic   Reply to topic
 
Permissions in this forum:
You can reply to topics in this forum