MakerGear "Twin Extruder"
by TimEdwards, published
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This is a proof-of-concept project for a magnetically-coupled dual extruder system with two independent single extruders operating on one belt drive. It is designed so that only specific movements of the X-axis belt are needed to transfer control from one extruder to the other, so that no additional electrical parts, electronics, or firmware is required beyond what is used in a standard dual-extruder system.
The principle of magnetic coupling introduced by this project should be generally applicable to a large number of printers, although this project is specifically demonstrating the principle on a MakerGear M2.
Cost for the conversion of a MakerGear M2 to the "twin extruder" design depends on the configuration of the printer to start with, but the price comes to around $250. Most parts of the system are MakerGear-sourced, as the result is, in essence, two MakerGear v4 single extruders running on the same rail. Parts that need to be printed are posted here on Thingiverse, and on the project website (see below).
For a complete discussion of the project, parts list with sources and costs, and full instructions, see http://opencircuitdesign.com/~tim/3d_printer/twin_project/index.html
Printer parts are best done in ABS or PETg. I tend to prefer PETg for all my printer hardware.
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MakerGear "Twin Extruder" by TimEdwards is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
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