Thursday, July 25, 2013


ShopBot Desktop as a 3D Printer for Sugar Glass

Hi, So for Bioengineering research I've been looking for a way to improve precision and reproducibility of each print with a bit less consideration on cost (this is for working with human cells eventually, safety and sterility are more important than cost). The main constraint is I need it to be able to print sugar glass and use my BariCUDA extruder, which means the extruder mount needs to support a few pounds without having any problems.

Kliment in #reprap suggested I modify a ShopBot Desktop, and so that's exactly what we did. With awesome help from Gordon at ShopBot and Johnny at Ultimachine, we were able to get things going. Also, MAJOR props to Erik Zalm who maintains Marlin firmware for helping us get everything going. NOTE: BARICUDA is now a #define in Marlin so you can turn on/off sugar printing functionality on your RAMBo with a simple switch. Thanks again Erik!

We took out the brains of the ShopBot, left the gecko stepper drivers, replaced the brains with a RAMBo board from Ultimachine. We used the motor ext pins on the RAMBo board that we then sent the step and direction pulses to, and fed them directly into the stepper drivers using a modified 37 pin connector. My modified Marlin Firmware is available here: Here's the setup and some more details in the first video:

The ShopBot is all acme rod for movement, and it can drive the motors very fast because the large motors (NEMA 34?) are held at 48 V. So you don't lose steps. It's still open loop motion control, but it has been awesome. This RepStrap has been fantastic for sugar printing and it is being used every day in the lab at UPenn.

Now that I am setting up a new lab at Rice University in Houston TX, I am very excited to get another one! Forward SCIENCE! Did I mention you should contact me if you want to come do a Sabbatical? We need more specialized repraps for Bioengineering. More on that next month. :D

Here's the final video printing sugar glass on a ShopBot Desktop:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


3D printers shown to emit potentially harmful nanosized particles

I am reposting this out of  It appears that we have might have a problem not so much with the outgassing from our printers but from nanoparticles produced by our extruders during the printing process.  Those of us who aren't already making arrangements for ventilation should possibly consider doing so.

3D printers shown to emit potentially harmful nanosized particles

Monday, July 08, 2013


Your 3D print in the London Science Museum


The Science Museum in London is producing an exhibition on 3D printing.

It is intended to feature as part of it's introduction a wall of 3D printed items, of all shapes, sizes, colours and materials.

To highlight the open and social aspect of 3D printing the Museum's Rohan Mehra would like to invite members of the RepRap community to donate an object to this introductory display.

Your name would be added to a panel thanking all contributors.

If you have created a physical 3D printed object you can freely send in, please e-mail Rohan:

Rohan Mehra
Exhibition Content Developer
Science Museum
London SW7

Thursday, July 04, 2013


RepRap Morgan by Quentin Harley wins the Gada Prize!


I'm delighted to announce that Quentin Harley's RepRap Morgan design has won the Uplift Interim Personal Manufacturing Prize, the funding for which was most generously provided by Kartik Gada.

In Second Place was 'Simpson' by Nicholas Seward and in Third Place was '3DPrintMi' by Chris Lau.

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