Kimball Kaiser


21.04.14 DTS Printer Progress

This week was mostly consumed with continuing to figure out how to use the print head. A few things were done to make a testing setup, but also a lot of work is left with figuring out how to actually fire all nozzles of the print head and print something that is intended.

First, while we are not quite ready to make our own entire board with a programmed microcontroller, we definitely need to make some things so that we continue testing the printer head with all 12 pins. Therefore, we milled a quick board to connect the fcc connector to some surface mounted female connectors for our jumper cables.

Here is the finished board all soldered up. The soldering job on the fcc is incredibly tiny to work with, so it was good practice. I am hoping this will make it much easier for us to keep testing the printer head.

Also, we made a quick 3d printed mount for TinyZ so that we could actually attach the print head to our machine to add motion to the print. A quick side note, I was looking forward to using some threaded brass inserts in some 3d prints, which I had never used before.

Here is the quick 3d print that will hold the carriage of the printer head. It recieves M5 screws to connect to the aluminum framing, and I added the threaded brass inserts by heating them with a soldering iron and pressing them into the 3d print.

Here is the 3d print attached to the y-axis of the TinyZ. For another iteration, we realized that something like this is probably not ideal as it adds more distance between the ink jets and the surface of a substrate.

For now the carriage is also only held in by friction and these set screws. This will be improved at some point as well, maybe we will modify the carriage to more securely screw or snap in.

Here is the entire setup again of connecting the Arduino board to all of the 12 pins now with our new FCC connector board.

We have successfully got multiple jets to fire at once, but we have yet to cycle through all of them at once. We hope to continue testing tonight. We are mostly fighting with writing the right code, and understanding how to cycle through the jets, as we understand the jets adjacent to each other cannot be fired at the same time.