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New type of 3d printing Answered

This is a sample of a new style of 3d laser printer. or Stereolithography.
I  have not seem a similar setup like the one im proposing (please let me know if it already exist)

I have a good understanding of mechanics, but I'm clueless on computer programing and electronics.
What I propose would be a rotating laser device that would create SLA model from 3d printing design.

The main benefit that i would hope this design offers is a quiet smooth operation. Would Ideally work with high rpm ( Similar to conventional cd/dvd burners operation, except the laser rotates instead of the cd). Ideally this setup would allow for fast production of multiple prints in a single process.

If anybody has a computer/electrical background who would be interested in working on this type of desgin , please let me know.
Here are some pictures of how the setup would work

12 Replies

theexternaldisk (author)2012-05-01
looks very nice! but you will get some serious problems with getting power and feedback signals to and from the "printer head."
this because:
a stepper needs at least 4 contacts,
your laser needs 2
and I think the laser-axis needs to home somehow which gives you 2 extra contacts for a micro switch.
that makes a total of 8 contacts

still looks cool though  
and I also came across this (different concept but also fast printing)


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Thanks for the video link I had not seen that before! So in that link and my design what they have in common is that they are using consistent fast speed to build( no jerky movements).

What Im surprise and amazed about is that the machine in the video is capable of printing parts that are rotating so quickly. I would think the G force of the material in rotation would distort or fly off because of the speed....anyway it seems to work.

For the wires on the rotating laser part, I was thinking of using a slip ring ( I think I might have made an error in refering to it as a slip joint) Anyway it seems some basic parts can have at least 12 wires tangle free. (http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/256112136/slip_ring_Capsule_slip_ring_SR022.html)

Please keep this project in mind for anyone you may know would be interested in such a project. ( I dont have the electrical/computing skills to put it together.

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Kiteman (author)james123cb2012-05-05

(I think the video may have been sped up for a while...)

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theexternaldisk (author)Kiteman2012-05-06

no no it's really that fast!

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theexternaldisk (author)Kiteman2012-05-06

The future my friend!
Third revolution some say.

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oh ok
I hope it will work, but make sure the slip ring can take the amperage!

Don't know if I can find someone to help you out and I'm not the best with electronics and computing either.

For controlling your machine I can recommend the Arduino together with the RAMP shield. The Arduino has a big community who can help you out a lot I think.


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akanerd (author)2012-04-30

I think there would have to be some wires going from the spinning board(the one with the laser) to the motor (i mean, in order to control the laser and the motor synchronously) i think u mention that in one of the pictures but i wasn't able to understand it. (i have some electronics knowledge but not so much in mechanics)

Controlling stepper motors "per se" its pretty much trivial but i have some questions...

1- Will it have some kind of position or velocity feedback? If so, encoders will be needed.

2- wont the movement of the laser create some vibrations on that axis?

3- I don't have knowledge on 3d printing so i wonder, is the laser operation ON/OFF or does it require PWM control?

Best regards

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james123cb (author)akanerd2012-05-01

hi Thanks for the post

replies to your post and points

1) Yes the machine would require a position and or velocity feedback in it. I'm not sure what would be the easiest way to do it. But I would think some techniques used by DVD burners would/could apply. A dvd burner has to keep track of the dvd position and speed while the laser is going on and off and rotating at crazy speeds.

I was thinking there could be two ways, One is some type of feedback/tracking system within the control of the stepper motor that rotates. Two is maybe some type of optical sensor that can accurately keep track of position.

2) Any movement within an axis would cause some type of vibration. In this design the laser would start at the center of the circle and after a few 100 or 1000 rotations it would be on the outer part of the circle. The slow consistent movement combined with a counter balance of the laser with a fly wheel will hopefully mitigate any vibration.

3) As for the laser...I'm hoping the controls once again would be similar to a dvd burner. A dvd burner laser turns off and on in fractions of a second and is super accurate. I would hope that what ever electronics are used in a dvd burner would transfer over to this device.

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akanerd (author)james123cb2012-05-01

Well its a great project, i've been working on a CNC machine and would advice
you to use just steppers instead of the drivers motors as they are much more difficult to control. I easily made a CNC machine with steppers but i'm now struggling to do it with DC Servo motors(main problem is braking the motor and the PID control). Let alone the drivers motors BLDC(3 phase). Steppers dont allow for feedback on their own but u can add a cheap encoder, and the opereation speed willalso be considerably reduced but you will be able to make a proof of concept fast.

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Jayefuu (author)2012-04-30

What advantage does your idea have over standard stereo lithography?

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james123cb (author)Jayefuu2012-04-30


I'm hopping that it will print faster.

Most designs require rapid acceleration and deceleration of the laser beam.Either with mirrors tilting side to side, or motor pulling the laser in abrupt movements. This constant acceleration deceleration reduces the speed of the production

With my concept I'm hoping that the speed would be much faster. The laser would be able to coast at a steady speed reducing time and potentially increasing detail.
Just theories though at this time.
Thanks for the question

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