Continuous printing is gathering quite some steam lately. It’s easy to see why because of how many prosumers and companies want to convert their printers into an assembly line system. This advent will push 3D printing closer to producing in batches or even in perpetuity. In keeping with this, Michael Molinari has produced a great prototype ejection system for continuous printing.
The system is in many ways quite simple while in others fairly complex. It uses a regular 2D printer to pass pages on to the build platform, using each paper as the bed for prints. The advantage of this is that the printer acts as a bed replacement mechanism for the next print, as soon as the previous one is complete. The system also deposits the completed prints through a trap door at the base of the platform. Then the trap door retracts up and a the 2D printer slides a new paper on top as the FDM printer preps the next one. Users can place a bucket that collects the prints as the system continues to pump out new ones.
Watch the video below to see the whole process in action:
While it’s far from perfect it is a novel approach. The use of paper as a removable bed is quite innovative. The entire system is connected by a computer that acts a node for processing the g-code and managing the necessary steps within the ejection system and the printing side.
Continuous Printing Methods
Michael Molinari is not the only one trying to fill a gap in the market. Continuous 3D printing has been in the news more so these few weeks than usual. Just last week we covered OPENCREATORS’ BS210 kickstarter. The BS210 solves the same problem by using a conveyer belt system and a build plate replacement machine.
The core difference between this one and most others is that it proves that the enterprising print enthusiast can build at home without much cost. Of course, it does require quite a bit of coding and programming but it is quite possible. As a prototype, it does its job and is quite economical.
Only time will tell how future improvements would improve it. One possible route would be to trade up the paper for a better material, i.e. sheets of metal or a more durable material. Another improvement could be in speeding up the system as it can be a bit slow. However, for what it is, the whole system seems like an ingenious prototype. It goes a long way in producing continuous printing with relatively simple measures.
A special thanks to Michael Molinari for contacting us and providing all the relevant information.