AMS Spring 2023

The 3D Printer Broom – Sweeps Your 3D Prints Right Off The Print Bed When Complete

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When it comes to 3D printing, one of the complaints that I hear the most is that it can really be a pain in the neck if you have multiple objects to print. Having to wait around for the 3D printer to finish the first object, and then having to be there to remove that object, before starting on the next, can be quite annoying.  Recently we have seen an announcement by NVBots for the NVPrinter, which features a mechanism that removes finished prints from the print bed and stores them in an area to the side of the bed.

broom2Today, we learn about another project, called the 3D Printer Broom, which has been under development and working for quite some time. However, the developer, Matteo Borri plans to launch an Indiegogo campaign for the project in order to raise some funding for further development. The idea sounds very similar to that of NVBots. It is basically a mechanism that sweeps across the print bed after an object is finished printing. This sweeping motion deposites the object into a holding box.

“The (Indiegogo) campaign is ‘dormant’ while I wrap up the L-Cheapo laser cutter attachment campaign,” Borri explained to 3DPrint.com. “I mostly wanted to reserve a spot for the maker challenge, so content will come in later.”

Borri, just recently had another successful crowdfunding campaign for the L-Cheapo Laser Cutter which allows you to turn a 3D printer or CNC mill into a laser cutter.

“Basically, the broom is tripped by hitting the far end of the Z axis, and uses a gear motor to sweep the finished workpiece off the plate,” Borri told us. “It is useful when making a large number of small parts as it can allow the printer to run unattended. A few lines of gcode must be appended to the part file in order to trigger the broom and prepare for printing a new part, but no new software is required. The circuit is extremely simple and can be hand built.”

Borri also informed us that he’s been using the broom quite frequently, and is currently using it to print out parts for the L-Cheapo laser cutter. So far he has tested the broom on a Solidoodle and a RepRap 3D Printer, but he believes it should be compatible with most cartesian 3D printers. While he hasn’t decided on the price for the 3D Printer Broom, he plans to offer either PCBs (printed circuit boards), kits, or complete brooms for anywhere between $20 and $80. The PCBs hold a small microcontroller, an end switch, and a motor drive / H-bridge. The kits will contain this, plus the motor and jack screw.

I asked Borri about any patent concerns he may have about his “invention”.  From what I’ve been told, NVBots has a patent-pending for their system of object removal. NVBots claims to have had their invention since 2012. “The schematics and code will be creative commons’d as soon as the campaign finishes,” he told us. “I did a similar thing with the laser cutter.”

What do you think? Is this something that you would be interested in purchasing? Would you consider backing it on Indiegogo? Discuss in the 3D Printer Broom forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below:

broom

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