RepRap Squad’s Next Project

RepRap Squad’s 5 axis build

The next project We will be undertaking is a 5 axis 3D printer. 5 Axis you say? Yup 3 of the axis will be mounted to the z axis. This will give us the ability to print just about anything. Several years of research has gone into this project. A man only known as Rap has dedicated hundreds if not thousands of hours on this project alone. We are only limited by our imaginations. At RepRap Squad we are always trying to push the limits of what is possible. Innovation is the key to building the ultimate machine. I cant wait to get started. If you have any ideas or input feel free to share. Once We have gotten together a workable model it will be all open source. I will update this post with new research as well as a build log when We get started. My trip to Arizona is going great. Its good to see Rap and work on the new 5 Axis RepRap project. The work he is doing down here is amazing and I’m glad he’s a part of RepRap Squad. He has the start of several working bots. A lot of his work history is on the design and implementation of 5 axis CNC’s as well as extruded design. He is on the cutting edge of the new commercial machining. He also gave me some sketched up models he is basing his working models from. I will post all new information I have as soon as I am back in town.

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Update: I’ve gotten back from a great trip to Arizona where we are working on a 5-axis printer. Many of you might say, “what’s the point? 3- axis is plenty and 5-axis is just overkill.” I thought the same thing until a team at RepRap Squad started getting some results from testing, building and modeling 5-axis machines. Contour forces placed on an printed item are up and by up I mean a lot. Also overhangs and printing in, “air” so to speak is a problem that I feel will be an issue of the past after this technology is perfected and implemented in the RepRap industry. I’m seeing very positive results and I wouldn’t of believed it without seeing it as that was part of the reason for the trip to Arizona where the project is being based. Once we get a few more kinks worked out I will update you with pictures and information. This is exciting stuff and I hope others are working on this as well. It would be unjust if it wasn’t explored by others. Till next time, keep thinking outside the box and happy building.

Update May 18th 2013—>
I have recently recieved some updated information on the 5-axis Reprap project. The main issue we are trying to overcome as of now is feeding the filiment into a head that moves in 3 different axis. One step we have taken to overcome this problem is a dual bowden setup. Yes thats right I said duel bowden. This setup that we have built originally in oregon and perfected in Arizona used two smaller motors. One by the spool and another next to the print head. They are wired somewhat in unison. This helps with consistent feed, keeps weight on the head down as well as helps enormously with retraction. Using the small motors keeps weight and cost down. The bowden setup is also mounted so it swivles in 190 degrees in each direction.

We have some major issues to overcome but as far as I’m aware of we have taken more steps in the 5 axis direction then anyone else. This is exciting stuff and I hope others are working on this as well. The problems we have to solve for the 5 axis will help build a better 3 axis machine. Like our bowden setup, these improvements will help the current reprap community. I will be updating as new information is made aware to me .

Update May 21st 2013—>
So I finally have some Info to update you on the 5-axis reprap project. The project has split into two seperate builds with thesame commen goal. I am very excited about the new direction the 2nd build has taken. Its quite interesting, definatly one of those thinking outside the box thoughts. This 2nd build solves one of the largest problems with 5-axis, (feeding filiment) The following information is pertaining to the 2nd build and it will eventually have a working name assigned to it for easier referencing. There are a couple different ways to implement this design, one of them uses quite a few motors but offers a lot of benefits. It is loosly based on the delta platform. The style is similar but thats about where the similarities end.

The 1st and original design has more of a 5 axis styling of some cnc’s. It takes some of those basic design ques and throws away a good portion of them. This design has been researched longer but, more of that time has been spent attempting to overcome issues. Where the new design and its variations solve a lot of issues that left us scratching our heads. The main issue with this design is the complexity involved as well as the amount of motors. The nice part is that we are working with a stepper controller driver designer. There is also RAMPS 10 which is currently being designed and will suit our needs quite nicely. I will update ASAP.

Update: May 23rd 2013—>
Hear you can see some of the workable space advantages.
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This gives you an idea of basic head motions of the new design.
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The working name has been determined. It will now be referenced as: Project Viisi which translates simply to 5. It has been named this for easier referencing.

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About RepRap Squad

I have been involved with 3D printing for years and I wouldn't have it any other way. I also started a foundation called, "Printing a Future Foundation." The sole purpose of this foundation is to get as many 3D printers as we can into schools via donations. Being an Industry trends adviser within the additive manufacturing community allows me to be immersed in the things I enjoy most.

Posted on March 15, 2013, in RepRap Squad's Projects and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. hey that sounds cool, if you have more details about the 5 axis keep us posted, i live in arizona and id love to see the progress on your machine, i myself am designing and building my own largescale 3d printer, it uses an hbot configuration based on aluminum extrusions and open rail.

    • I’m currently back in Oregon but the project is still progressing. It will probably be a little while til we have a functional build. We have made a few functional models but there is always design, build and re-design. We have ran into a few issues we are working on overcoming. Such as filament feed issues with a print head that moves in almost every direction. We are making a lot of headway though and I will update with new information as soon as I hear anything or go to Arizona for an update. Thanks for taking an interest in one of our many projects.

  2. Is it possible to print at more than 90 degrees rotation with current design? Why not put 2 rotating axes to the heated pcb bed? That way extruder will be facing down all the time and work piece will be rotating in yaw and pitch axes. I understand it comes with own challenges of holding the work piece in place, obstruction caused by rotating heating platform, etc. But is it feasible? Which design is better, 2 axes of rotation at print head or on heated pcb bed?

    • Rotation of the bed in a circular motion is something that we played with early on and it is still something we debate back and fourth on. The main issues with that is keeping everything level which can be overcame. Another reason we have been looking into other alternatives is moving the print. We prefer to not move the print as much as possible. Our current focus is confining most of the movement to the print head or hotend. If you have anymore ideas please feel free to share them. We are always looking for a fresh perspective. Thanks for your thoughts.

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