Thursday, October 20, 2005


First Polymorph Object Made

I attached the new Polymorph extruder (10 September 2005) to the old Cartesian robot mentioned in the blog for 14 May 2005. Then I programmed the robot to build a rectangular block. It worked...

Here is a still taken at the end:

Click here for a Quicktime movie of the extruder working to make the block (N.B. it's a 20 MB file...).


Any chance of the move as an MPEG? Open Source QuickTime players are hard to find.

Vik :v)
Yes - .mov files are just what my camera makes. Actually, do you know of an open-source translator? I messed about with xine a while ago, but my patience was exhausted before I got it to work... And I don't think that ImageMagick convert will do it.
Hmm, I don't seem able to
download the file.
I only get 462 bytes.

The latest 'mplayer' seems to play it OK.


'mencoder' (which comes with 'mplayer') can convert most things.
Awesome movie Adrian! I was watching your extruder in operation and thinking of big reels of the sort of polypropylene filament that is used in weed whackers as feedstock for your system. :-)

You need a little blade across the extruder nozzle that cuts off the thread that starts when you pick up and move the extruder head.

Great stuff!
Yes - the machine needs a way to clean its nose...

I see that the drive motor for your extruder seems to draw just over half a watt. Do you have any data on the feed rate that it is capable of in something like mm/second and how many watts is required to heat the polymer? I'm trying to get a handle on the energy budget and extrusion rate of your device. Just doing some calculations here. Love the design! :-)

The heater is 12W (12V into a 12 ohm resistance wire). I haven't measured it, but the duty cycle seems about 50% - that is the thermostat has it on half the time. So the average heater power is about 6W. The motor is being driven by PWM to control its speed, and again the duty cycle is about a half - about 500mW. The head in that first movie is running too slow over the ground. It works much better at double the speed you see.
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