Wester3D Printer


Introduction: Wester3D Printer

Hello, folks!

In this Instructables, you can see our final project graduation entitled "Wester3D". It is a 3D printer designed by academic Elizeu Greber and Thomas Andreas Westphal, the teacher's care and guidance Walter Mikos the Federal Technological University of Paraná - UTFPR. All development and evolution of the project can be accessed at the site: https://wester3d.wordpress.com/.

About to finish the course of Technology in Mechatronics Industrial UTFPR, we were unsure of what we would do to complete our graduation, we think of something that could be continued, which enabled the sequence of new ideas and both personal projects and for the university to which appeared a great idea: a 3D printer, a choice bit adopted generally by graduates of the course, given the complexity and commitment in the development of a machine. From the guidance of our teacher, we discussed about the specifications, thinking about how to design it according to our knowledge throughout the course.

Just below are revealed all parts of the project, from initial concepts, based on the choice of components, the mechanical structure of the solutions adopted, the electronic part, the developed programming, brand creation and ending with the approval of product by the judges teachers of the final stand.

Step 1: General Concepts

Our initial ideas set out in the modular concept for product development. Our intention was to mount it in parts, so that a possible maintenance, disassembly is simple and easy. In addition to the modular parts, we made some design sketches (stepper motors and components that push the filament, filament hot end and melting).

Step 2: Select the Components

Adopting the concept of prototype for the project, we opted for materials that fulfill the following requirements: low cost, good strength, light weight, market availability, possibility of quick replacement, easy handling and machinability. The materials chosen were: MDF wood and aluminum.

In the electronics, we acquired a kit for RepRap 3D printers, composed of Arduino microcontroller, controller board shield RAMPS, MMI (Man-Machine Interface), stepper motor drives and hot end.

Step 3: Mechanical Structure

Given the choice of components, we manufacture 3D Wester following the modular concept in the project. We chose the base assembly (in this case represented by the Y axis of the machine) on the basis of MDF, linear axes with 12 mm diameter and pillowblocks for fixing the printing table. In this Y-axis motion is made by a strap, together with the stepper motor.

Another solution adopted at the base was elevation of the printing table, leaving a good space to allocate all the electronics part of the project, leaving the separate system of axes and compactly.

We adopt in the Z-axis: MDF wood for the structure, linear guides 12 mm in diameter, linear bearings, and threaded rods 8 mm in diameter for movement on the shaft.

With Y and Z axes designed and assembled, planning and assembly of the X axis demanded greater effort, because needed more work machining. From aluminum blocks, we made the project of support of X axis and manufacture parts in machining laboratories UTFPR. In this axis linear guides use of 8 mm diameter and linear bearings.

Step 4: Good Solutions

In the course of the project, we adopt some solutions that are worth being shared. In the linear axes, the important thing is to have a great parallelism, it is of big influence on the future linear motion results that each axis will perform. Were machined bearings aluminum, specific to the project, which have a higher opening, causing the bearing to perform force against the shaft, working as a clamp, better distributing the forces and contributing to the axis of centering of the axle at the bearing .

To ensure better alignment, a spacer has been adopted, an aluminum plate that ensures the same distance from the axis.

Another solution adopted corresponds to fixing the bearing in the linear guides of the X axis in order to enable the centralization and the correct spacing of the same. To do so, a v duct is machined to 90 degrees. Thus, the linear axis is fixed between two ducts, the corresponding lower and another upper bearing as a part of a bearing cover. In this configuration the duct serves as a concentrator, because as the assembly is tightened, the shaft is forced to move only the center duct, which is the point of highest parallelism between the linear axes, also allowing better distribution of forces the four points of contact.

Step 5: Electronic Part

At the beginning of the project was acquired an imported kit (Figure 84) with the following components: microcontroller Arduino Mega, shield Ramps 1.4, stepper motor drivers, LCD and MMI display (Human-Machine Interface) built, in addition to the extruder hot end. The Arduino Mega microcontroller is the brain of the system, stores all programming and connects directly with the RAMPS shield. The shield is responsible for connecting the devices that make up the system such as motor drivers, HMI, sensors, power system, heated table and hot end.

For the movement of the axes, the traditional NEMA 17 stepper motors were chosen. In all been used 5: 1 NEMA 17 for the X axis, other for the Y axis, 2 motors for the Z axis and 1 motor for the extruder (moving the filament).

The MMI (Man-Machine Interface) makes control of the system by the user without the connected computer, it reads the schedule contained in the microcontroller. The MMI shows real-time throughout the course of printing, temperatures control, moves the axle, etc.

For the filament extrusion, we decided to purchase an extruder with hot end already coupled and we fix on the car axis X. We also acquired a heated table (PCB Heatbed MK2B Dual Power - standard RepRap), which make the balance temperatures for printing an object.

For voltage control and system power, we acquired a switching power supply of 12 V.

Step 6: Programming Developed

In programming, we chose the Marlin firmware, open source, which makes the management and control of devices incorporating the equipment. So we downloaded all the code and import on the Arduino software, Arduino IDE. The Marlin is inserted in the Arduino memory, which uses a ATMEGA 2560 microcontroller to process this and put firmware running the machine as a whole. Marlin is programmed in C / C ++ language and uses libraries, which allow to create multiple separate codes that can be subsequently integrated in order to perform a more complex function. The main Marlin code is in the image below, it works with several libraries and indexed codes. The set of files that make up the Marlin can also be given below.

To create the G code, responsible for generating the print run, chose the Slic3r software. It performs the import of 3D file in STL format and generates a print run, allowing configuration settings (layer height, temperature control, print speeds, brim adjustments, raft, fill options and others).

Step 7: “Wester3D” Creation

As guidance of Professor Walter Mikos, create a web page in order to gather all the information about the project, including photos, project updates, some new features in relation to Printing 3D. All of this content can be checked via the website: https://wester3d.wordpress.com/. The project name was chosen by joining the surnames of responsible students (Westphal and Greber). With the choice of the 3D printer name, a logo identifying the developed equipment and giving a product aspect that can be marketed in the future.

Step 8: Results and Approval

After completion and assembly Wester3D printer, we did some tests printing with some hubs and flanges to analyze print quality and were very pleased with the results.

With the machine in full operation, we completed our graduation with the approval of teachers in banking and still guarantee some keychains for those who were present at our final presentation.

Thanks a lot!



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    9 Discussions

    Parabéns!! Ótimo projeto desenvolvido!!

    Excellent project! I love to see the transformation from concept to reality!

    1 reply

    Great DIY 3D Printer! Is this compatible with Cura? And what are the build area dimensions?

    1 reply

    Thanks! Yes, Wester3D is compatible with Cura too. The printing table is 20 x 20 cm

    Nice! Do you have a total cost for the whole project?

    1 reply

    Thanks! We invested about US$ 400 in the project.

    Great!!!!! The best project ever! Congrats!

    1 reply