When it comes to 3D printers, over the past several months we have seen quite a few new and innovative ideas sprout up. Everyone wants to create a machine that is capable of increasing print resolution, in the process saving money, and making operation of the printer an easier task. Some companies and individuals have been able to do so, while others have tried and failed.
One man, named Nicholas Seward, is known around the DIY community for his innovative new 3D printer designs.. He recently created a CoreXZ 3D printer which uses a completely different geometry than typical 3D printers (i.e. Core XY), on the market today.
“My printer is the first to use this geometry to quickly move the hot end in the XZ plane,” Seward told 3DPrint.com. “My bed is moved in the Y direction. Moving the bed in the Y direction is pretty easy to do with less hardware. Additionally, most of the printer can be narrow. By definition this printer isn’t that exciting, but it does fix a lot of issues that I have with other boring printers.”
Seward’s CoreXZ printer has motors that don’t move, 4 steppers instead of 5, it’s quick, rigid, and does not allow for any accidental loss of leveling. It also has three times the resolution in the Z direction when compared to the X. In standard CoreXY printers, the resolution is the same in both directions. Seward built one of these CoreXZ 3D printers for $500, but he believes that he could probably create one for as little as $250. “I will probably sell kits from $750-$1000 but only in quantities of a few a month,” he tells us. “I am a school teacher and I don’t want to destroy my love of this.”
The printer proved that he could create a machine that would print in high quality, but at the same time save on the cost of the fifth stepper motor, get rid of the belts, and print more efficiently. Check out the video of the CoreXZ below:
Seward’s Collapsible 3D Printer Design
Seward has also designed some other off-the-wall 3D printers, such as his “GUS Simpson” and “Wally”, but his latest creation is one that brings portability to the 3D printing process.
Portability is not something that comes to mind when you mention 3D printers. When most people think of a 3D printer, they picture a rectangular box that takes up permanent space within one’s home. There are some forms of foldable/portable 3D printers out there on the market today, but there isn’t much to choose from. Earlier this week, we reported on a new portable 3D printer that was launched by a company called Portabee.
Seward is working on the creation of yet another portable 3D printer. This one is unique in its own right. “The foldable printers are neat but I thought it would be better if the printer just was thin,” Seward said.
So that’s exactly what he set out to do. He created a design for a 3D printer that is able to basically collapse upon itself and fit inside of a backpack. In fact, when collapsed, the shortest dimension is only 72mm high (less than 3 inches).
“The other dimensions are similar to a full-sized laptop and will most definitely fit in my backpack,” said Seward. “It features four scissor lifts that are coordinated by a loop of string, and are actuated by a NEMA 14 with TR5*2 lead screw. Assuming I can get the hot end to zero out when the printer is fully collapsed, there shouldn’t be a problem with the firmware.”
Seward plans to create his own firmware for the printer. He still has a few issues to work out prior to trying to build a working prototype, but the design (seen below) appears to have everything it needs to be a fully functioning collapsible 3D printer. One issue that a colleague brought up was that he has to make sure that the hot end does not crash into the bed when the printer is being transported. So Seward plans on having the hot end rotate 90 degrees, in order to reduce the thickness by approximately 10mm, and prevent him from having to remove the bowden during transport.
The working prototype still appears to be quite some time away, but seeing how fast Seward has gone from having an idea, to creating a working machine in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sooner rather than later.
What do you think about the feasibility of this new portable 3D printer? Do you think the design will work? Discuss in the Collapsible 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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