Tuesday, February 20, 2007

 

Serious Slicing and Dicing

Now that I know that Tommelise can print after a fashion I've turned to getting the software that I wrote back in August of last year to handle STL files a bit more easily. I'd like for my first print job on Tommelise to be either Adrian's Mk 2 parts or something rather like them, so I've been using the polymer pump of that parts set as a test case for Tommelise's Slice and Dice code.

The code is still buggy but I was able to do an abbreviated slicing exercise on the polymer pump this morning. I used a big z-dimension because my little digital camera can only record for 15 seconds. I really need to record this on my PC cam.

Anyway, here it is...




I especially like the last slice.



:-)

Comments:
very nice. i cant wait to find out how it works in conjunction with the computer.
 
Niceness! About the polyurathane foam core as an extrusion bed, does that stuff have a thin cardboard shell on it like other foam core I've seen? Could be peeled...?

Now I'll go gather up the aluminium covered bits I have leftover from house construction...
 
****i cant wait to find out how it works in conjunction with the computer.****

I'm thinking about just using Slice and Dice to generate a file of tracking directions and then writing a small background program to read that file and feed it into a RAM stack in the Tommelise controller board. Every once in a while the background program will check the level of that stack of instructions and top it up as needed. That's what the plan is, anyway.
 
On the subject of substrates...

You can get flexible cutting boards that are essentially sheets of slightly-roughened plastic about the thickness of a credit card. They'd probably stand up to the heat and could be reused.

Another possibility is silicone bakeware. Pick up a cookie sheet and trim the edges. That stuff'll take the heat without any problems. Won't slip around much, either.
 
Steve, my babbling about silicone substrates jogged my memory. Last year Vic was looking for something to extrude on, I forget what he was first using(aluminium plate, sandpaper?), but then he settled on a nice flat piece of wood so that things wouldn't peel off during the extrusion process.

Well, my little experiments with the flat section of silicone I improvized shows the same problem, nothing sticks to it! :) Ideally, the substrate should be heat resistant, very flat, yet with just enough fuzzy wood/foam like texture to hold the cooling plastic.

I think silicone with a little keyed in grippy pattern molded into the surface would work, but how would you make it?
 
Something I think might work great would a be a quilting mat, sometimes called a rotary cutting mat. I worked in a fabric store for a year or so in college, and quilters use these compination cutting and ironing mats that have a grid pattern already printed on them. They have resin impregnated woven tops so the fabric doesnt slip. Plus they are available in lots of different sizes.

Other than that I would sand the top of a cookie sheet or maybe crosshatch it with a razorknife.
 
***Well, my little experiments with the flat section of silicone I improvized shows the same problem, nothing sticks to it! ***

The problem is getting what you are extruding TO STICK to the substrate because if it doesn't it shrinks and curls up at the corners as it cools.
 
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