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No DIN Rail Printers?

Posted by tgit23 
No DIN Rail Printers?
March 14, 2017 08:25PM
I've googled around for a 3d printer made of DIN-Rails and come up with nothing.

I was rather surprised as from my figures they are about 1/3 the price;

~ 6-feet of DIN Rail $8 [www.automationdirect.com]

~ 6-feet of T-Slot $22.80 ( Local Store )

I just wanted to check with community to see if there is some reason I'm over-looking as to why the DIN Rail doesn't seem to be more popular than the T-Slot. Is the DIN-Rail too flexible or something?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

I did run into two others that had the same idea; but nothing created yet.
[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
March 14, 2017 09:36PM
These are mainly used for mounting electrical equipment, not for building frames like the T slot

I think the DIN rails would be flimsy until they are mounted against something like an electrical cabinet or wall. Might be 1/3 the price but if you need 3 times as much to get the strength then you are not really winning.

What you can do is see if you can get a sample and see how much load it can take before bending or twisting, that will give you the best indication of how it will work out.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
March 14, 2017 11:42PM
I do actually have a set sitting on the shelf. Which sprang the thought - which started the googling.

We'll put it this way - in the vertical position it seems to be about as solid as a small polished rod although I don't have a 3-meter length for comparison; I'm unable to pull it down even 1/2" with about 100+ lbs.
Although; Horizontally on a 3-meter stretch I'd approximate 20 to 30-lbs on center required to bend it ~ 1/2". ( Stuck a roll of scotch tape on both sides on a counter to test strength )

I'd imagine they'd be strong enough; though I'm sure they aren't as strong as 20/20 T-Slots.

Also; I thought maybe the make specification could be sloppy - so I took a stainless steel ruler and held it up on the edge. They appear to be created very straight also.

I guess the savings just aren't enough to make up for the strength I guess - be nice if someone had put something together though to see.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2017 11:59PM by tgit23.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
March 15, 2017 02:00PM
Well if you still like the idea do it,

As you said its cheap enough, so build a small test machine then you will know if you like the idea.

Use this post as your build blog, would be interested to see how your idea develops
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 22, 2018 11:27AM
Just now starting on it; for anyone interested the project is at: https://github.com/TGit-Tech/DIN-Rail-3D-Printer

Here's an attached picture - If anyone has a brilliant idea to better the design; don't hesitate to reply smiling smiley


Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 12:33AM
Some cross bracing won't hurt....
The gearing of the Z-steppers won't help much. It's usually the fine-pitch leadscrew which reduces max-speed capabilities, not the stepper.
BTW: Good luck with keeping 4 Z-motors sync'ed
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 12:56AM
Thanks so much for you input. It is much appreciated.

I've been considering a X wire cross cabling approach to solidify the envelope. That indeed will most likely be added to the models unless first print shows decent stability on its own. Thanks for that input. These are the fine-pitch lead screws but the biggest factor for gearing had to do with not cutting the lead screws short for a direct motor connection but instead mounting the motor to the side; this may change - but for now; I hope the gearing will suffice.

I was under the assumption that the Z-motors would always stay sync'ed per-step driven hoping it would be just like the regular Cartesian sync. Can you clarify this a little? Although, I also wanted the ability to auto-level the gantry by driving individual motors if needed.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 01:29AM
Quote
tgit23
I was under the assumption that the Z-motors would always stay sync'ed per-step driven hoping it would be just like the regular Cartesian sync. Can you clarify this a little? Although, I also wanted the ability to auto-level the gantry by driving individual motors if needed.

The Z motors will stay synced during printing assuming you get the firmware settings right, but not necessarily when you power them off and on again. But as you say, it is possible to auto level the gantry by driving the motors individually and you should make this part of the homing procedure. See [forum.seemecnc.com] for an example. You can use 4 leadscrews instead of 3, but obviously that will only work if there is a little flexibility in your gantry.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2018 01:33AM by dc42.

Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet [www.duet3d.com].
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 01:52AM
Awe, yes, thanks for that - I hadn't considered the loose slide that would occur during non-locked drive. I will add auto-level procedure to the homing cycle smiling smiley. Thanks!
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 02:36AM
Quote
tgit23
Awe, yes, thanks for that - I hadn't considered the loose slide that would occur during non-locked drive. I will add auto-level procedure to the homing cycle smiling smiley. Thanks!

I don't think you have said what electronics and firmware you intend to use; but RepRapFirmware can do all of that without having to make any firmware changes.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet [www.duet3d.com].
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 03:07AM
Thanks for that - I hadn't heard of RepRap Firmware until now. I'll certainly be looking into it.

Things progress so fast - I haven't taken a look at firmware since 2013 when Marlin, Mega2560 and a RAMPS board was the only standard solution smiling smiley . I will be investigating newer solutions and their price tag as that point comes around. If you have the time perhaps you can tell me if the ARM core is adding machine functionality improvements or if it just allows a more manageable and feature richer environment? If not, I'll look into it when shopping for an appropriate firmware.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 02:30PM
The ARM processor frees us from the performance and RAM constraints of the 8-bit processors. The most obvious advantages are that RepRapFirmware supports an awesome web interface, and all the printer configuration is done in a text file on the SD card. So ordinary users never need to compile the firmware themselves, because for each board support by RepRapFirmware, a single binary build offers all the features - including such things as resume-print after-power-fail and motor stall detection. You just edit the text file (normally in the web interface) to make the configuration changes you want.

The additional processing power has also allowed us to develop advanced features quickly. RepRapFirmware was the first open source firmware to support pressure advance properly (what Marlin calls 'linear pressure advance', but to me there has never been any other sort), mixing extruders, least squares calibration for delta printers, SPI-controlled stepper drivers, and accurate motor step timing in all phases of movement (including acceleration and deceleration). It is still the only open source firmware that doesn't use segmentation when driving a delta printer, and the only one that can simulate a print at many times actual printing speed in order to get an accurate printing time before you commit to starting a long print.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet [www.duet3d.com].
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 08:29PM
From the little surfing on the subject - it looks like the 3-Z level is using Duex Wifi $160 and Duex5 expansion. Is that right?

I see I can get the Standard Due for $10 out of china but I'm a little concerned about going to 3.3V. Will the AD4988 and DRV8825 work on 3.3V I/O? Or is the distinct drivers needed for that (TMC2660)? I fear I may have to go with a custom made interface board (Like RAMPS) for driving the 4-Z-steppers as well as modifying some firmware - since anything close to the $100 range is beyond my ideal "cheap" price target. I'll have to dig into this a little deeper. The RepRap firmware sounds like an ideal solution though smiling smiley just need the right priced hardware to go with it.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 24, 2018 11:53PM
Yes A4988 and DRV8825 drivers are compatible with 3.3V signals if you give them a 3.3V logic supply. Of course, if you use those types of driver to expand the number of stepper drivers beyond 5 then you don't get the benefits of software controlled motor current, high microstepping, high current and built-in temperature monitoring of them that you do with the TMC2660 drivers. But it's a reasonable option, especially if you need just one additional driver. I suggest you use it for the extruder drive.

There is also a DueX2 expansion board that costs a little less than the DueX5. But if you are looking to save money then perhaps you should use a single stepper motor with belt drive to all the leadscrews, so that you save money on motors too.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi/Duet Ethernet [www.duet3d.com].
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 25, 2018 12:27AM
I'd start cheap and test the frames ability to print anything, before spending money on a great controller.
X-wires for cross bracing won't do, because they have to be tensioned to work. I'm afraid the frame is not stable enough to allow tensioning.

I can already "see" the Y-rails bend and swing, when the hotend zips back and forth on the X-rail.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 25, 2018 06:02AM
Quote
o_lampe
I'd start cheap and test the frames ability to print anything, before spending money on a great controller.

Sounds about right - the projects intent from the beginning was cheap as possible although I don't think you're giving DIN rails quite enough strength credit; although I could be mistaken. Do you have some on hand or just estimating? I did go with a little heavier DIN than I described in my post here last year which was Aluminum 35x10mm and instead opted for Steel 35x15mm. Weighing 220lbs I can walk around on the build plate without any worries on permanent bending/bowing of the base rails or the 6" lift underneath.

That said; While considering the X-Cross cabling; I've also been thinking about using MDF board to build a base-cabinet attached to the DIN framing with a counter-top just to make everyday use of the big thing taking floor space and also to add an 'enclosed' build/heated area. However, I worried about the straightness of MDF fighting with the Rails on attachment - but if MDF is straight enough I'm thinking this could add substantial support as well as a heated chamber. Does anyone have experience with MDF's straightness in the realm of 3D printing?

Considering the size - I hadn't figured or planned on having a super tight resolution and also plan to use probably a 1.0mm nozzle or bigger if possible with the standard hot-ends heating element. Anyone have experience in the large nozzle domain that can add some advice?

Thanks so much for the suggestions - they are very helpful to the project and the path in which its directed. Keep them coming smiling smiley
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 25, 2018 06:36AM
With the large diameter nozzle, a regular heater block won't be long enough to melt the filament as fast as it will be coming out of the nozzle. I've used volcano heater blocks and nozzles up to 0.8 mm diameter. I found it very difficult to tune retraction. It works great for continuous extrusion like vases, but I was getting a lot of gaps at the start of layers that I couldn't tune out. I've temporarily gone back to 0.4 mm nozzle, still with the volcano heater block.

You'd think that the molten plastic would just fall out of a bigger nozzle, but it actually seems more like it gets sucked back in as soon as you stop extruding.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 25, 2018 05:36PM
Thanks digital dentist - I think that gave me a good enough excuse to start out with the already installed stock 0.4mm nozzle for first test and then I'll try larger ones from there. I wonder if 3mm filament helps in the layer-start gap issue? Do mention it if you find a suitable solution smiling smiley.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 25, 2018 06:15PM
3mm filament is worse. It takes longer for the heat to penetrate to the center so it needs more even time in the heater block.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 26, 2018 10:53PM
3mm filament also spends longer in the heater block since you need less movement per volume extruded. I recall someone doing the math a while ago and the extra time spent in the heater block actually outweighed the fact the filament was thicker.

EDIT: Looked around for a bit, but couldn't find the original reddit post I remember seeing, but here are two others that echo the same sentiment
[www.reddit.com]

[www.reddit.com]

A couple of comments in the first link mention that the folks at E3D did some testing on this and said in a stream with Tomas Sandladerer that they (to their suprise) found that 3mm filament can extruder faster.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2018 11:34PM by Trakyan.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 12:44AM
How much will you save with these rails compared to how much you will spend to match the rigidity of other type of rails, let even make a working machine ?
True, their advantage is that it is easy to mount circuit breakers and electrical devices that are DIN compliant. But are they UL approved ?


"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 02:53AM
Thanks for the input - Trakyan & MKSA. Sounds like whether 1.75 or 3mm require some time to extrude - I guess a 3ft model will still be, "Print Time = 1Month, 7Days, 9Hours" eye popping smiley lol.. I guess only time and experimentation will tell.

I keep shopping for T-Slots but until recently the cheapest I could find was $3/ft and $4.31/ft seemed pretty average. Recently I found $2.76/ft buying 10-Meters at 8020.net - So, maybe eventually I'll break down and buy some.

DIN-Rails price --
Steel 15x5.5mm @ $0.79/ft (Really flimsy on the flat side)
Aluminum 35x10mm @ $1.10/ft (Strength of these mentioned in second post above)
Steel 35x15mm @ $1.51/ft (Which is what I've created this project from)

I purchase from:
https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Terminal_Blocks/DINnector_DIN-Rail_Terminal_Blocks/DIN_Rails,_Clips_-a-_Brackets#start=0&Product__F__Accessory_Type_ms=%22DIN+Rail,+Clips+%26+Brackets%22

lol.. I'm pretty sure they're UL approved but remain dumbfounded on why it would matter smiling smiley. I guess that's the point of this project is to see if and/or how well a 3d printer could be constructed from DIN-Rails. It would be a pointless project if T-Slots didn't cost so much smiling smiley.

If anyone can find this stuff for cheaper - be sure to post links!! Even considering wood framing - but as far as I know wood although cheap is never straight. Thought about using steel 2x4 beams as those are even cheaper - so do comment on any cheap framing ideas and links you might have.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2018 03:02AM by tgit23.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:15AM
Steel/aluminium tubing from the hardware store is relatively cheap, and quite rigid. I'm working on a CNC that uses it for the frame and rails.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:20AM
Gotta link by chance of your project thus far? I've been very tempted by conduit tubing or steel pipe. I chose DIN-Rail just because of it's ability to hold a vertical fitting. How are you running a bearing across your tubes?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2018 03:21AM by tgit23.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:38AM
These DIN rails are for electric distribution box to clip DIN circuit breakers etc. These are standard in pretty much all of Europe and gaining in other continents. The UL approval was for these breakers in case you want to mount them !
They are totally unsuited for your purpose.
Now you have the answer to your question in the title.

Plenty of suitable round/square/rectangular profiles in Al or steel.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2018 03:41AM by MKSA.

"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:41AM
lol... I'm well aware of what they are made for and used for.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:44AM
Quote
tgit23
lol... I'm well aware of what they are made for and used for.

Never saw them in a US main panel box.


"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 03:56AM
I haven't seen them in any houses either - they're heavily used in factory automation.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
February 27, 2018 11:32AM
Quote
tgit23
Gotta link by chance of your project thus far? I've been very tempted by conduit tubing or steel pipe. I chose DIN-Rail just because of it's ability to hold a vertical fitting. How are you running a bearing across your tubes?

Not a complete design yet, I'm still working in a couple of parts. If you're looking for an already complete and tested design, have a look at the MPCNC. I'll post on the forums when I've completed my design and start a build log.
Re: No DIN Rail Printers?
March 19, 2018 08:40AM
Just some update pictures; For anyone interested or if something jumps out as a design flaw.

So far; things are looking promising and might actually hit a budget around $300.






I haven't update the github repository yet - didn't plan to until an operational status has been achieved. So if anyone is interested in the models; let me know and I'll update the repository for them.
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