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View Full Version : Need Help! converting 4' x 8' cnc router into 3d printer.



hewhoworkswood
03-30-2014, 02:48 PM
i am thinking about making an ad-on to my cnc router so that it can do 3d printing. has any one else tried this? I think I just need a plastic line feeder and heater assembly attached to my spindle frame. or is it more complicated than that?

Fastest1
03-30-2014, 04:46 PM
Though that is all you really need. It won't be as easy as that. You will need to spend some time configuring and calibrating the set up.

Download KISSslicer or Slic3r to create the GCode.

JoeKumanchik
03-30-2014, 06:22 PM
Just did this myself. I needed it add a 4th axis. Bought an extruder already built. I needed to add two temp controllers, one for the extruder and one for the heated bed.. Just completed this project this weekend and so far everything works well. I also needed to create a separate profile for Mach3. I am using Slic3r to create the g-code. and I still need to do a bunch of tweaking to get better results but I did make a part. Next up is to add features to operate the temp controllers from Mach3.

cjsamples
08-07-2014, 06:41 AM
Joe,
Any chance you can put up a post on your build? I have a techno router and want to do the same, Printer/router combo. Found some links but I have a hard head. Extruder, temp controller, 4th axis, glass bed, but the mojo to get it working. Is there a "best" extruder most people use. Just started thinking this out and came straight to the Zone to get the best information.
Thanks, Chris.

JoeKumanchik
08-08-2014, 10:51 AM
Hi Chris,
I am new to the printing world myself so I don’t know if there is a BEST extruder out there. I purchased my extruder from QU-BD MBE v9 Extruder - Quintessential Universal Building Device - 3D Printers and Accessories Store (http://store.quintessentialuniversalbuildingdevice.com/category.php?id_category=6) this looked like an inexpensive way to get started. I also learned that you want to buy known good quality filament so not to fight issues with impurities and inconsistent diameter. My machine is opertaeed using MACH3 with the 2010 Screen set. I purchased a spindle speed control through CNC4PC that has two AC outputs. One with PWM for the spindle and one without for a vacuum (or whatever). I am using a 12" square pad style heating element from McMaster Carr for the bed under galss. I use the second output for the heated bed. and simply turn it off via a screen button once my print completed several layers I am using Slic3er. Very easy to understand and set up. Let me know what exacltly what you need help with and I can go into detail as to what I did.

cjsamples
08-13-2014, 05:03 AM
Sorry I have been a little side tracked lately. Life and finishing a few projects before I start on another has gotten in the way. Thanks for the information Joe, I am sure I will bend a few ears when I get back to it. I think the next two months will be very busy and maybe I can return to get this ball rolling.
Chris

sdiverjack
09-27-2014, 05:14 PM
I am in the works of converting a smaller cnc mill into a 3d printer right now, so I will be watching for updates, and maybe I will be able to give some input if I am done first!

kb0nly
09-29-2014, 02:58 PM
Sounds like a neat project, i have been into 3d printing for a while now. I have a Makerbot Replicator Dual.

If i was just getting into it now i would start with a Printrbot Simple Metal Kit. That kit printer is only $539.00 now and its a great printer for the money, they also have a heated bed addon for it now for $99 that you can get later on if you decide to print in ABS, which i recommend. PLA is ok, but other then for little doodads that are going to sit on your desk PLA is too brittle to make anything strong enough for regular use. PLA also biodegrades, doesnt stand up to being outside, UV light breaks it down pretty fast, and you can't give it an Acetone finish. ABS stuff is easy to make weather resistant, give it a couple coats of clear or paint color of your choice, Krylon Fusion paint loves ABS and bonds great.

I got lots of tips for printing ABS if you have any questions on it, i have been making everything from replacement automotive parts to appliance parts to doodads.. LOL

hoss2006
09-30-2014, 09:42 AM
Sounds like a neat project, i have been into 3d printing for a while now. I have a Makerbot Replicator Dual.

If i was just getting into it now i would start with a Printrbot Simple Metal Kit. That kit printer is only $539.00 now and its a great printer for the money, they also have a heated bed addon for it now for $99 that you can get later on if you decide to print in ABS, which i recommend. PLA is ok, but other then for little doodads that are going to sit on your desk PLA is too brittle to make anything strong enough for regular use. PLA also biodegrades, doesnt stand up to being outside, UV light breaks it down pretty fast, and you can't give it an Acetone finish. ABS stuff is easy to make weather resistant, give it a couple coats of clear or paint color of your choice, Krylon Fusion paint loves ABS and bonds great.

I got lots of tips for printing ABS if you have any questions on it, i have been making everything from replacement automotive parts to appliance parts to doodads.. LOL

I beg to differ, I've made parts almost exclusively from pla and it works great for far more than just doodads.
I've made mounts and brackets for my mill, even stepper motor mounts, tons of different attachments, tools, supports, prototypes, printer pieces, my last printer was built using all pla parts Hossmachine OB14 3D Printer by Hossmachine - Thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:50968), too many to list here. I have a camera mount that has been outdoors in the weather for 2 years and is still going strong. pla is also much easier to print and doesn't stink.;)
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/commercial-opensource-3d-printers/146896-hosss-3d-printers.html
Hoss

kb0nly
09-30-2014, 12:55 PM
I guess we have had far different experiences... PLA sucks in my book. Too many failed prints that wouldnt stick to the bed, brittle, the filament would break as its feeding into the extruder, and a bracket i made for my rain gauge fell apart after three months outside. The ABS one that replaced it has been fine.

I also had nothing but problems with PLA, the edges of a large object would curl, everyone says they have that problem with ABS but i had that problem with PLA.

I use a heated bed, the green PET tape and ABS juice to wipe the bed before a print, it sticks so well that i have to use a small fan to force cool the part for 20-30 seconds at the end of a print to get it to release from the print bed. Otherwise if i am not in a hurry i just leave it to cool and pops free. The bottom of the printed parts is mirror smooth and perfectly flat. I could never get that with PLA because there was no way to improve adhesion other than trying different tapes or glass, which i tried them all.

ABS doesn't stink depending on the color, transparent and light colors i can't even smell. Black is the worst for odor though, i think its more a factor of the dye in the plastic then it is the plastic itself. My printer is about three feet from my computer and it doesn't produce enough odor to be a bother.

The PLA was just a big headache for me, too many failed prints when the filament broke in the tube to the extruder and i wouldnt know it until it was printing air. I tried a few different brands of PLA thinking it was the cheaper filament but i still had breakage. The other problem about PLA is it absorbs moisture and you have to treat it like a sponge, keep it in a sealed container with dessicant, keep it dry, etc etc... My ABS spools are on a shelf above the printer and they don't give me any trouble.

If you have good luck with PLA then more power to you! I just know i hate the stuff.

hoss2006
09-30-2014, 07:47 PM
Completely opposite here, pla is a dream to print, sticks great to glass with a coating of elmers glue stick, no curling what so ever and it's smooth as glass on the bottom.
Heat the bed to 48C.
Don't do anything special to store it other than leave it in it's sealed plastic till I need to use it otherwise it hangs on the rack above the printer.
Used a bunch of different colors from reprap walmart from china, I use 3mm, the stuff has printed great.
To each his own.
Hoss

kb0nly
09-30-2014, 11:21 PM
Have you ever used 1.75mm PLA? Just curious if maybe the 3mm filament is more resilient. The 1.75mm stuff i tried kept breaking while it was being fed into the extruder, very brittle.