Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Print any colour you like...

...without added stripes.

Myles has got the mixer nozzle (see here) working!

The two filaments left and right were mixed to print the component in the middle.  (Myles says sorry for the lousy iPod photos.) The mixer is now active - it has a small DC motor turning a stirrer in the brass hot end to churn the melt up, and that seems to do the trick.

Next stop - full five-colour operation!

Awesome! I'm looking forward to something like this.
WOW! cant wait to see more of this. shure it will add complexity (and cost) to the repraps but it will be so much more mature.

Perhaps even a 6th fillament with a water solvable polimer and fully functional and already assembled items can be printed in full color.
(at least 2 years in the future)
"DC motor turning a stirrer in the hot-end" Wow!, I have to see that, how is it being sealed? So many questions, we need more pictures please :)
More pix follow.

The seal is simple - a silicone O ring. Silicone can easily handle 250 C. However, it does leak a tiny bit. But I think we can fix that.

Of course the full design will be on the wiki as soon as we can get organized.
Clever idea about the stirring - congrats!
Want to share an idea that is not mine on a multiextruder for different, materials, colors ecc.
I've talk to a worker in an alluminium factory and he sayed that when they put a layer of color on the surface of alluminium they first prepare calibrated cips of pre mixed material to lay on the pieces of alluminium and then use the makine that put them down on pieces.
So he think that also in reprap we can separate mixing phase with extrusion phase. First have a machine that create a multicolor, multimaterial filament, and then give it to the standard reprap with a standard extruder.
use standard, low price, extruder with already working tecnology
make easy use wasted material
use material fn every shape and not only filament so we can avoid buying coils of filament buy materials in pellets is cheaper then in filament
no problems of dimension, limited number of filaments, ecc in mixing phase
possibility to choose filament diameter
tecnology partialy already present
more energy use to hit, cool material a first time for filament and a second time for extrusion
risk of systematic error if machine is slower or faster then calculated in introducing rainbow filament or if the filament isn't perfect (need of optic sensor)
not fast to start printing because first need to produce filament if we will not be able to produce filament and give it live to the printer
if 2 material aren't mixable mix them is a problem in every case
Something I'd be curious about is how rapidly the mix's colour can be changed on the fly. If you've got a full five-colour array of filament feeds, could one print out a picture like an inkjet printer does on paper? Or would there need to be some kind of waste receptacle where the print head would need to go to flush itself of the old mix before switching to a new colour?
i think it would be practical for the firmware to send the head to print a different part on the plate when transitioning colors that way you get one rainbow print and on print with the color sharpness of a dual head printer
so when do we get to see the extruder?
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