DLP-Based Resin Printer for < $200
by ScribbleJ, published
This is a DLP projector-based resin printer that can make very fine 3D prints in record time.
This is a work in progress. Today I plan to begin actual experiments with the resin.
I believe the basic design I am producing here is very suitable, however, the details of the design need changes in almost every part to be ideal. Most importantly, the vat should probably be much shorter, but the whole thing could be made significantly smaller.
I am currently using resin from Bucktown Polymers:
(You might notice their price for resin is cheaper than some current PLA prices, by volume)
A2Sheds has provided a page with a few helpful resources, as well as the beginnings of his own DLP project:
This is very much a work in progress. Expect more photos and videos to come.
Here's a link to my flickr site documenting this project:
Video of resin cure here: http://youtu.be/UVDN2xq575A
Next steps: Experiment with resin. Create working software stack.
Known Issues: Vat is too tall/big, glass may be too weak/thin. Vat probbaly needs a nonstick coating, like silicone or PTFE. Z Axis range is 5", vat is 5", so Z stage cannot quite clear the vat. A2Sheds recommends a heated vat to 50c so the resin flows better...
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1) Get yourself a DLP projector with a Xenon bulb -- not the ones with LEDs. Open it up, and use a pair of pliers to break all the glass edges off of the color wheel. I'll take some photos later, but it's pretty obvious what is the color wheel; it's just like it sounds, a wheel with some various colored glass bits on it that the light goes through to make the colors. If you break off the colored glass and leave the wheel in the projector, you don't have to worry about whether the projector will sense the wheel missing and refuse to run; it still thinks the wheel is there.
2) While you're all up int he projector, loosen the final optics, the focusing part, and move it further away from the innards of the projector to get a closer, narrower focus. You want it to oply be a couple-few inches across. Remember, when you do print, it's the resolution of your projector over the area of your focus that determines how fine your print can ultimately be, so smaller area and greater resolution is ideal.
3) Construct the frame - you should see how it works from the photos. There's two MDF clamps in the bottom to hold the projector in the proper position.
Using a rubber mallet to pound the smooth rod into the Z axis ends is a good plan.
- I've included a copy of nophead's Z coupler here, slightly modified. Instead of using vinyl tubing, I attach the coupler to the threaded rod, then shoot the open end full of hot glue, and then quickly attach the motor end before it cools. I find this works spectacularly well.
4) Adjust the position of the projector so it focuses on the bottom of the vat, by dropping a bit of paper on the bottom of the vat to see how you're doing.
5) Get to experimenting... if you've come this far you're about as far along as I am. For the record, the "Pronterface" host suite supports (to some tiny extent) prjecting an SVG for printing, and Skeinforge can export them, but I'm working on something a little more tuned to the task as well.
COSTS SO FAR:
1 used but working DLP projector from eBay: $75 1 2'x4' MDF sheet: $10 (some) 8mm threaded rod: A few bucks 1 8mm smooth rod: A few bucks Buncha 8mm Nuts and Washers: A few bucks 1 5"x5"x5" fishtank: $25 (not a good choice) 1 bit of glass for the platform: $5ish 1 Stepper motor: $7
I'm currently using a RAMPS board to drive the stepper because I had some on hand, but any cheap little single motor driver should do.