I know i'm not the first thinking about this, but i can tell you how i did it if you want.
This is a special support to be placed in a CNC/3DP wich uses the Extruder Motor connection and a 9g servo to control an airbrush.
You can join the group CNC Airbrushing if you want to go deeper with this.
So you will think your airbrush doesn't fit. I designed this for a double action side feed airbrush worth about 30€.
I also used 2 608 bearings, a M8 large bolt, 2 M8 nuts, a 5mm to 8mm coupling, 4 M3x20 for bearing top and airbrush jacket, another larger M3 to attach jacket to body, a TowerPro 9g servo and a Nema17 stepper.
Te stepper is used to control amount of paint, and the servo just control the air flow.
This is my V2 for this project. I previously used 2 servos but Mcode is not sync with the rest of the XYZE code, so i had some problems with definition in some points.
If you plan to experiment with this, you must know that is way more easy to make drawings lets say like a plotter. I mean making lines without changin amount of paint is easy compared with controlling amount of paint shot for each mm.
My bests trys of printing B/N photos by now are made using CNC sofware to make a 3D raster over a Z-height from grayscale model. I use top of "stock material" as origin, and then all "-ZXXX" text in the gcode is replaced by "EXXX".
At the beggining of the program, just after the airbrush is moved over the start point you must "open air" with a M280 Sxx command and close it in the last point of the raster.
Im working by now in 1/2 A4 or A4 but i think this would be better for bigger sizes. If i get complete control over this technique i will paint my bedroom curtains in 6 panels of 100x50 aprox.
The worse part of all this compared to 3dp is the 92db my air compressor makes :S.
If you want to see it in action airbrushing an image please take a look at this video:
video You can now also take a look to 5my first attemps airbrushing CMYK
Will you give it a try?¿?
Overview and Background
Just another head?
You can see this thing just as another posible head to mount onto a MPCNC. So as a base you will need the knowledge about building and controlling a CNC machine and a 3D printer.
As there is no software exactly for this purpose, you will need to make your own software chain and a little of "magic" to get the features you want.
As i quickly explained in the summary, this magic is using CNC cutting software to generate the XYZ gcode, then "text edit" this code to replace parts of the code and add some commands manually or with a macro.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Here is an example of my start gcode and the start of a raster. The machine initializates, the stepper E coordinates are set to 0 and the servo is positioned in close position.
If you send a "G1 E1 F1200" you would move the needle of the airbrush 1mm up at 1200mm/min and partially open paint flow but would be no air pressure so probably you would get a ink drop.
After the initialization, the head moves over the initial raster position, the servo moves to press the air flow button of the airbrush and inmediately the head start to move over the raster in sync with the E stepper at the desired speed.
( Initialization Parameters )
G90 ; Absolute Coords
G21 ; units in mm
G28 ; XYZ Homing
G92 E0 ; 0 setting paint flow
( Initial Servo Position for CLOSED AIR flow )
G4 P2 ; 2 ms pause
M280 P0 S55 ; S0 and S127 would be extreme positions
G4 P2 ; 2 ms pause
( Initial XYZ position for my machine )
G1 X0.000 Y0.000 Z150.000 F1800.0
( Raster Code Start )
( Initial XY positions of the example raster and desired Z )
G0 X316.954 Y131.449 Z5.000 F2100
( Open Air Flow )
G4 P1 ; 1ms pause for sync of mcode
M280 P0 S35 ; Servo 1 moves so the air flow button is pressed
G1 E0.632 F1200.0 ; The raster starts opening 0.6mm the paint flow
G1 Y131.951 E0.897
G1 Y132.955 E0.915
G1 Y133.958 E1.088
G1 Y135.213 E0.672
G1 Y135.966 E0.596
G1 Y136.468 E0.427
G1 Y137.221 E0.514
And the raster goes on...
So here is the code i use when the raster ends. In the last point of the raster first the paint flow gets closed and then the air flow. After that the head lifts and goes to XY 0 and steppers are unelectrified.
G1 Y142.741 E0.891
G1 Y141.236 E1.031
G1 Y140.483 E1.292
G1 Y131.449 E1.300 ; this is the last point of the raster
( Raster final code )
G1 E0 ; close paint flow
( Close air flow )
G4 P2 ; 2ms pause
M280 P0 S55 ; servo moves to non-pressing position
G4 P10 ; 10ms pause
( Machine final code )
G1 F1800 Z180 ; lift the head up a lot
G1 F3600 X0 Y0 ; move head to XY origin
M18 ; disable stepper motors
Shake your pocket baby!
- A CNC or 3D Printer machine controled by Arduino + RAMPS + Marlin Firmware
- Side feed airbrush like mine
- Air compressor with manometer and able to sustain 0.5-1,5 bar pressure during print time
- Adaptors and hoses to connect them and extra manometer near the airbrush if possible
- Some quality paint for airbrusing and the appropriate solvent
- Lots of second hand papers or fabrics to try over
- airbrushing concepts
- gcode language
- firmware edition
- CNC configuration
- tool limits
- openware thinking