3D Printing maven and inventor Richard Horne released 4 new 3D printers today sharing the files for them so that anyone can use these designs. Richard has been doing a lot of innovating in color mixing, deltas and different extruders for the past few years.
The geared peristaltic quick fit extruder for example lets you 3D print in many different materials. He also comes up with lots of great designs such as a pencil topper for kids and a 6 stage planetary gears set. This time Richard raises the bar even higher with a 1.80m Delta 3D printer, the 3DRMega.
This huge machine lets you make really large objects and is a real breakthrough. Instead of tiny things this enables the making of true human scale objects such as chairs, tables etc.
Richard used Sketchup to design the printer. He completed it in February this year but redesigned it since then. The printer uses LM10UU bearings and rods, NEMA 23 steppers, the ARM Smoothie board & the Delta arms are made from carbon fiber tent poles as well as a redesigned geared extruder. A 10mm clear corrugated poly-carbonate roof sheeting is wrapped around the frame.
The printer uses around 2 Kilo of 3D printed parts. An interesting element is that the printer is designed to be “bottomless” in that you could place it on an object and then print on top of this.
This means you could in situ 3D print on top of an existing structure. All the motors and other electronics are mounted at the top of the printer. You can put in a base of 12mm Ply base, Cork insulation, thermally reflective sheets made from Bar B Que grill pads with 4mm sheet of glass on top. This gives the 3D printer a heated build chamber.
I contacted Richard and had a quick interview with him about his new gigantic 3DRMega.
Joris Peels: Why did you make this huge machine?
Richard Horne: The wish list for designing 3D printers and new applications is growing ever longer. Also I noticed that bigger 3D printers, even normal desktop size ones were increasing in cost substantially. I wanted to get back to a machine you could print and build yourself, but with high quality results.
Joris Peels: Who did you make this for?
Richard Horne: My initial target was to artists for large prints and also for sculpture and furniture. I have various extruders in development, one pumps clay/ceramic and even chocolate materials via a pressurized tube. You can’s use syringes of material as they don’t even last for one layer of a big print. A constant flow of material is essential. Other extruders are using screw drives. This new extruder design is a very exciting area for development and once established and refined will change the landscape of 3D printing, a real game changer.
Joris Peels: What are next steps?
Richard Horne: Ideally I would like to make custom printers for specific applications and then help refine that use with people who need good results. Like all my developments I like to see what people think about it and also what they would like to be able to do with the machine.
Joris Peels: Can I buy one?
Richard Horne: I tend to keep my prototypes, but really I should sell some to make space.
Joris Peels: Will you sell it as a kit?
Richard Horne: This 3D printer would work very well as a kit and extending or shrinking it’s size is all down to the aluminium extrusions. So it’s a very flexible design to make a printer whatever size you need.
Joris Peels:Why does it have an open print bed?
Richard Horne: The goal of having an open print bed was directly aimed towards ceramic and cement printing of sculptures directly in place. Furniture also requires a large print area and hopefully the use of recycled materials, so that was another consideration.
Joris Peels: Was it hard to do?
Richard Horne: I must say designing four different 3D printers in 6 months in parallel is not a good idea. But it’s nice to get them out in the open, and now to show what they can do.
I think this is an amazing 3D printer and hope that many will make it. You can download Richard’s Delta 3D printer from YouMagine here. Keep up to date with the amazing things Richard makes through his blog. Or follow him on Twitter.