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Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid

Posted by myearwood 
Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
September 26, 2017 06:52AM
Hey all

I've built several 3D printers over the years, Deltas, Cartesians and a CoreXY. Now I've got a new idea and I need a little help. I was inspired by OpenDTG.com and UFOPrinters and several others that are hacking inkjets to print right t-shirts with special garment ink. They are not trying to do vertical motion. They need to support different thicknesses of garments. They even have UV curable inks. They move the bed, but I want to move the entire inkjet printer, not just the head. I think it is far simpler to hijack the printer than tear it apart and use the print head directly - even though, I recognize it would be ideal to have absolute control. xyzPrinting has a 3D printer that is adding color to the deposited filament via inkjet. I can imagine doing an entire regular FFM slice and then inkjet print an image on it. This frame could become an experimenter's platform for different approaches.

I've mounted an inkjet on a frame and have it moving like OpenDTGs machine. The frame can be built at different heights and/or widths. The garment printer controller is not the right approach, the 3D printer controllers would be better. This frame and printer could be adapted to print color and binder onto powder or uv curable materials directly onto other objects like a flatbed. Different jigs could be devised for all of these, including printing normal ink onto paper.

The Arduino that OpenDTG, UFOPrinters and others use intercepts the optical encoder which is trying to move the paper and translates that to signals to drive a motor. I may have the x and y reversed - I'm calling x across the page and y down the page. I have an MKS Gen 1.4 available to me. I plan to integrate the encoder monitoring into it. I intend to have an endstop at min and max y. At the end of each page, I want to home the y axis and move the z-axis down. So the first question is how exactly would I wire the encoder to the mks board? Second question, where should this new code go in the firmware?

Third - there must be slicers that can retain color and textures, but since few printers do full color, little has been done. The slicers could tell the inkjet to print a normal page by generating an image of the slice?

Thanks

Mike
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
September 26, 2017 11:22PM
Some thoughts:
A slicer is definitely the wrong software generator. It would try to print one color at a time and to make perimeters and infill.
Maybe you are better off writing a python script as inkscape expansion? ( If only inkscape would run stable....)

I'm wondering if a 8bit cpu is able to control the inkjets fast enough. Each pixel on the T-shirt requires 9 bytes ( 3x 24bit ) and there a many pixels in one line printed at the same time. All you could do, is writing a firmware that moves the print(head) across the shirt and synchronize the moves with the "end_of_line" code in the printfile ( sent by a PC over USB )
Unfortunately the arduino USB port is to slow to filter these signals from the datastream and bypass the data to the printhead.
But maybe you only want to control the motion of the printer by the MKS board?
I then doubt the small stepper drivers are able to move the whole printer fast enough. Acceleration has to be very high, otherwise you'd have to find a way to slow down the ink-output while accelerating.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2017 11:23PM by o_lampe.
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
September 27, 2017 06:30AM
Hi o_lampe

Quote
o_lampe
Some thoughts:
A slicer is definitely the wrong software generator. It would try to print one color at a time and to make perimeters and infill.
Maybe you are better off writing a python script as inkscape expansion? ( If only inkscape would run stable....)

I'm after a 3D model - inkscape is not 3D. Blender would be better. However, one might want to include infill and print the perimeters in full color.

Edit: The slicing software could produce image files of each slice and after homing each layer, tell the inkjet to print the slice.

Quote
o_lampe
I'm wondering if a 8bit cpu is able to control the inkjets fast enough. Each pixel on the T-shirt requires 9 bytes ( 3x 24bit ) and there a many pixels in one line printed at the same time. All you could do, is writing a firmware that moves the print(head) across the shirt and synchronize the moves with the "end_of_line" code in the printfile ( sent by a PC over USB )
Unfortunately the arduino USB port is to slow to filter these signals from the datastream and bypass the data to the printhead.
But maybe you only want to control the motion of the printer by the MKS board?

Yes I only want to coordinate moving the printer. The point I made was the printer already does so much, ignoring all of that is preventing moving forward.

Quote
o_lampe
I then doubt the small stepper drivers are able to move the whole printer fast enough. Acceleration has to be very high, otherwise you'd have to find a way to slow down the ink-output while accelerating.

The t-shirt people - including Epson's own printer - already have the process working. All I am looking for now is to move the bed vertically between "pages"/slices/layers.

Thanks

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2017 07:14AM by myearwood.
VDX
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
September 27, 2017 08:03AM
... there are several slicers for DLP-printers, which exports the layers as SVG or bitmap images into a numbered sequence, which can be normally printed like a series of documents - simply insert some steps in Z before loading and printing every new image, and you'll get the 3D representation winking smiley


Viktor
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
September 27, 2017 03:44PM
Hello Viktor

I'll look into NanoDLP.

Thanks
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
October 02, 2017 08:37AM
Hey all

I would like to pay someone to integrate inkjet encoder monitoring and show me how to wire it to a mks gen 1.4. PM me for info.

Thanks
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
October 05, 2017 09:30AM
Hi Viktor

What slicing software and firmware and control boards would be used in a DIY material jetting 3d printer, such as a home-grown Stratasys PolyJet?

Thanks

Mike
VDX
Re: Inkjet + 3d printer hybrid
October 05, 2017 11:14AM
Hi Mike,

my last relevant activities were maybe 10 years ago with testing the freesteel slicer and an Arduino1280 ... look here for some more actual hints:
[www.freesteel.co.uk]
[3dlprint.com]


Viktor
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