After concluding that Focus lacks vital components for SLS printing, I went to (one of) my backup plans. Converting Focus into a working 3DP printer.
I have now reached a point where I think it is worth sharing.
Focus has been completely discontinued. Focus will no longer be updated or improved.
It was too slow, to unreliable and the piston design was constantly jamming. Also afters seeing that inkjet printing in powder works really well, I decided that Focus was too slow for further experiments. A 5x10x20mm print took over an hour.
Now I haven't given up on this technique. I am currently building a new, faster printer purely aimed at 3DP printing. I have learned a lot from Focus an have implemented a lot of improvement in the new design. It should be running full speed around march 2014. I will make a post on thingiverse, but I might host the files and instructions somewhere else.
End of edit.
Focus is converted so it uses HP C6602 inkjet cartridges. It is currently hooked up so it uses only one nozzle and prints with ordinary Gcode. As soon as I have more results, I will get the right slicers and firmware to print more like a printer, but for now this will do.
It prints with Zcorp powder and binder. This works by printing with binder (water, alcohol and glue) in Powder (glorified gypsum) to make a model. This model is then cleaned and impregnated with CA glue to make the model strong. It works great, but since a new layer currently takes 30 seconds to deposit and I print with only one nozzle, even small things take forever. The maoi is 40 minutes, the creeper 30 minutes. Plans are already being made to make a new printer specially for 3DP powder printing that is at least 30 times faster, but this will take several more months.
I will post a proper video of a 3D print as soon as possible, but for now I just have pictures. I do have a crude video, but my camera ran out of batteries when I tried to make a timelapse of the moai. Have it anyway here:
I do however have a few better videos of Focus printing on paper with ink as some early experiments.