Metrix Create: Space and 3D Printing
The world of personal fabrication is continuing to grow and develop in exciting ways. DIY projects combining elements of future Fab-lab systems are gaining wider exposure among the rep rap community. In this article we will look into the Metrix Create: Space “big robot” project. The concept of a recycling system for plastic has been a long goal of the community, expressed through a host of DIY projects and forum activity. Metrix has approached this in a new super cool project.
The premise behind the Create: Space project is the conversion of an existing CNC router table into a FDM 3D Printer. This machine is integrated into an industrial shredder used to convert high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The shredded chips are then fed into a hopper. There a drill and auger bit pushes the chips into a custom 6mm nozzle. This is interesting considering the majority of reprap users print with .5mm nozzles.
The machine nucleus uses a DynaCNC1000 controlled using Mach3 software. The shredder, named Tarnator by its manufacturer, is a West German model that shreds into 4mm (3.8mm according to the nameplate), and the run through a second time to produce the chips.
To drive the plastic into and through the head, the metrix team used an augur from Home Depot that was fed into a Harbor Freight 1 hp drill bolted to the frame. The nozzle extrudes at a thickness between 8-10mm across the printing platform at about 1 centimeter/second.
For more information on this very unique and exciting project check out the metrix team at: http://metrixcreatespace.com/post/7358646850/big-robot-lives