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Warp / Weft

by tomburtonwood, published

Warp / Weft by tomburtonwood Jul 13, 2015
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One of the projects I was looking to make some head way on during my artist in residency at Maker Media Labs is/was “Weft / Warp.” Last summer I produced a body of work called “Plotting Curves” the majority of which will be exhibited next week at The Compound Gallery in Oakland, CA. These 3D printed pieces are “hand colored” – I shaded in the filament prior to it hitting the hot end with a variety of dye and pigment based marker pens.

I am still impressed that the STL file for the Futaba motor and the Sharpie marker that I pulled off Thingiverse both fit perfectly when I assembled the device this morning. Thank you to txoof and beardicus for sharing the files. I did have to modify the 3d printed part with a soldering iron to move some plastic around on the filament guide and make a hole wider for the motor wire ends.
With “Warp/Weft” i should be able to dial in how much of X and Y is needed to produce A and B. From there i should be able to establish a framework to start thinking about how to make the device more responsive to other inputs and more complicated patterns. There was definitely a fair amount of friction on the filament produced by both the device and the kink going into the top of the machine, this is reflected in a few layers being less the perfect.

I’m honestly not sure that this will work as intended. The “bleed” of the color, and the manner in which the color changes from sharp hues to pastels suggests that getting any kind of detail is going to require a lot of precision, a really big print, or really dense marker pen. Either way i’m excited to have gotten this far. Later on I hope to write more a more complex program that lets the system draw basic shapes and patterns, then images. It would be great to integrate the STL file into this somehow and remove some of the guesswork.
I’m really grateful to Maker Media Lab interns Cameron, Eileen, Adam and Jose for helping me with the project and to Sam Brown for providing the moment of clarity needed to understand what was going wrong and why.


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this is super cool man... great work!

Have you thought about using it to print colored 3d models?

Essentially, one could activate the dye when gcode Switch from E0 to E1. Off course it need to look ahead in the gcode to guess in advance when to switch the dye on(taking into account the physical filament lenght distance of the dye mechanism to the extruder), so the colored filament gets in the extruder at the right moment when it was supposed to switch to E1.

This opens the door to do proper colored prints with a single extruder, very much in the same way as mosaic palette (google it if you dont known! Pretty cool), but at a fraction of the cost!

It has the potential to become an very affordable diy option for print in multiple colors!

I'm definetely going to print this rig and do some experimenting... let me known and we could join forces! I'm good with programing!! ;)

What about a 3 dye pen version... red, green and blue?!?! Or 5 CMYKB?!?! Lol

Wow! This is super cool!
When I posted that Futaba library I couldn't even imagine that it would be used for something this cool. I'm glad you found it useful.
You mentioned that the wire guide wasn't quite right. If you can give me some specifics, I would be happy to modify it or point you to the spot in the .SCAD file where it is set up so you can fiddle with it.

thank you! you're all good. the bump on the front was fine - the terminals on my servo was bigger than the hole i originally made. i'll update the rhino file soon.

What an interesting idea. I found that the filament needed to be fully coated in sharpie in order to achieve any kind of brilliance. There was a kick starter product that was clipping and melting together 4 different colors of filament as needed based on the STL file. The other idea I had was using the ink from an ink jet printer to coat the filament any color as needed to get full color models.

thank you! yes - i find/found that i had to color in the filament for at least half the circumference of a given length of plastic to get good solid, strong colors in the print. the hot end definitely knocks the zap out of all but the strongest hues. i found that pigmented fabric markers designed for polyester textiles work well on PET+ and Nylon filaments. i plan to mod this project to include 3-4 servos and therefore increase the pen count by the same factor - and hopefully cover more material that way. i backed the "Mosaic" kickstarter - and i am looking fwd to getting their device asap.