WORK IN PROGRESS
Update 2019-05-05: Added 'Variants' section, filled 'BOM' section
LCD printers become more and more popular as provide incredible printing quality and getting more and more affordable. LCD printer is a type of photo polymer printer - it cures resin with UV light layer by layer. UV light is masked with regular LCD matrix - black pixels displayed on LCD prevent resin above the pixels to cure.
One day I found JAP LCD 5.5 printer on internet. It looks pretty simple to build and set up. Studying its drawings and BOM I realized I already had number of parts, but they were slightly different from ones suggested by author. Additionally I was not happy with some of the technical decisions. So I decided to make an improved clone.
Basically this printer is a DIY analog of mass produced printers such as Wanhao Duplicator D7 or KLD-LCD1260, providing basically the same capabilities:
- LCD resolution - 2560x1440
- X-Y dot size - 47um
- print area - 120x68mm
- Z resolution - 10um
Differences with original JAP printer
You can find original articles (Russian only, try using google translate) here:
Overall I tried to preserve original dimensions, as well as printed parts. Here is a brief list of my improvements:
- Box and mechanics
- The only way to get the electronics compartment in the original design was a big hole at the bottom. I added a door instead
- Added a bottom plane with plenty of mounting holes
- Used MGN9 rails instead of 12mm shafts. Though shafts support is preserved, you can use either of them
- Using Raspberry Pi instead of connecting printer to a computer via HDMI
- Used CNC Shield v4 + Arduino Nano instead of CNC Shield v3 and Arduino Uno
- Alternatively it is possible to use a Raspberry Pi shield specifically designed for LCD 3D printers.
- Added 16x2 LCD screen
- Using powerful MOSFET to drive LED instead of relay (which caused significant electical interferences)
I am still experimenting with various setups for a better print quality and printer stability.
Thus, initially I was using MGN9 rails for Z-axis because I had ones. Once I noticed that back side of the wooden carriage (the plate where MGN carriages are screwed to) is not super rigid. This caused some bending of the Z-carriage when moving up during printing. Although this did not impact printing quality I decided to try using 12mm shafts and flange linear bearings instead. I have not tested this new set up yet, so please stay tuned for an update.
Also I was using an arduino + cnc shield to drive the motor. This setup was somewhat buggy, arduino-raspberry communication failed randomly, it has a lot of wires and poor connections between components, and a few other issues. So I decided to develop my own nanodlp shield for RaspberryPi. See details here.
Perhaps Arduino-based setup could be tuned for a better stability, and wiring issues are also could be fixed with a cable management. But I just wanted to practice in developing RaspberryPI shields :) In any case I am describing both setups in this thing
Bill Of Materials
Below is the list of materials and components that are currently used on my set up,
- Laset cut 6mm plywood (see DWG files in Files section)
- PLA for printed parts
- Some acrylic or glass-fiber laminate
- aluninium self adhesive tape (it is just thin and non-transparent)
- various thin and thick wires, e.g. awg26 for signal wires, 2x1.5mm2 or 3x1.5mm2 (or even 2.5mm2) wires for power lines and LED.
- 2 pcs 300mm MGN9 rails + 2 pcs MGN9H carriages
- OR 2pcs 350mm 12mm shaft + 2 pcs LMK12LUU flange linear bearings
- 8mm diameter 300mm length 4mm pitch lead screw
- 2 nuts for the lead screw (I used POM nuts)
- 2 pcs 608zz bearings
- 60 pcs square M3 nuts for box assembly
- 60 pcs M3x15 screws
- 30+ pcs M3 locknuts + 30+ pcs M3 washers
- 30 more pcs M3 locknuts + 30 more pcs M3 washers if using MGN9 rails
- 30+ pcs M3x12 screws for mounting electronics (depends on how may stuff you want to mount)
- 20+ pcs M3x20, and 20+ pcs M3x25 screws (not really sure how many of them I used)
- 8 pcs M4x15 screws, 6 pcs M4x20 screws
- 2 pcs M4x70
- 2 pcs M4 wing nuts
- 10 pcs M4 locknuts
- 1 pcs M5x30, 2 pcs M5x50
- A few M5 nuts and locknuts
- 2 pcs M5 wing nuts
- 1pcs M6x70, and 1 pcs M6x80 screws
- a few M6 nuts and locknuts
For an Arduino based setup you will also need:
- Arduino Nano
- CNC Shield V4
- USB-MicroUSB cable
- 10-15A MOSFET module (I soldered my own with IRL2203 transistor)
The box is made from laser cut 6mm plywood. In addition I sanded the surface with 400-800 grit paper and coated with couple layers of varnish. For parts assembly I used M3 screws and square nuts as well PVA glue.
Box assembly is pretty straightforward:
- mount top, middle and bottom plates to side walls
- mount front and back plates
- there are 2 parts supporting bearings glued below top and middle plates
- Glue top and bottom horizontal plates
- screw/glue vertical panels
- screw/glue back panel
- Screw linear bearings if you use shaft version
It is a good time to assembly anti-wobbling parts to the carriage as it will be quite tricky to do this later:
- Print top and bottom anti-wobbling parts
- Screw them with M3 screws
- Install T8 nut - POM nut at the top, and brass one at the bottom.
- Use 4 M3 screws for each nut. Check T8 lead screw moves freely, but without backlash, tighten screws if needed
The work is in progress. There are number of items to do.
Here is a reminder for myself:
- upload final STLs and DXFs when ready
- upload detail parts and assemblies pictures
- describe assembly steps
- Describe software set up
Let me know if you would like to join the project. Current work in progress sources are located at https://cad.onshape.com/documents/e9d65b07c23a08b13072c45e/w/5bea1c47c1cb98c3704fd181/e/c33ec5266769ab47ec768ee5