It’s been a couple of years since we’ve heard from the Diyouware initiative, which was started by two brothers in Madrid with a passion for robotics, design, electronics, software development, and mechatronics. The two were inspired by the RepRap 3D printer revolution, and built DiyouPCB, an open source, 3D printed PCB 3D printer, in early 2015, and soon after released the design for their “TwinTeeth” multi-purpose PCB manufacturing machine, which moves the construction bed instead of the toolhead. The last Diyouware blog post was over a year ago: personal problems forced Diyouware to temporarily halt its hobby work, but the innovative brothers recently reached out to let us know they are back at it again, publishing a new blog post about the new 3D printing method they invented, called Resin Deposition Modeling (RDM).
The brothers have mentioned that their ultimate goal is to have fun, while doing what they love: designing low-cost, open-source, easy to build robotic tools that can help people around the world build their own industrial-quality items at home.
“Diyouware means that: ‘do-it-yourself-ware’ – the hardware that you create by yourself,” they explain on their website.
The Diyouware team has begun feasibility tests for its new RDM method, which they hope will “be useful for 3D printing electronics using conductive resins.”
“It consists in the deposition of a fine layer of UV curable resin which immediately is cured using a 100mw/405nm laser diode beam,” the Diyouware team told 3DPrint.com. “We developed a rotating turret with an extra axis – the R Axis – which guides the laser tangentially to the dispensing needle. In this way the laser beam is always following the motion path, curing the resin just when it is out of the needle.”
The team references three of the main 3D printing methods: stereolithography, or SLA, which uses a light source to cure fine layers of UV sensitive resin, and has two variants in digital light processing (DLP) and laser stereolithography (SLL); selective laser sintering, or SLS, which uses a laser to melt polymer powder or metal; and fused deposition modeling, or FDM, the most used method for hobbyists, where thin, molten layers of plastic filament are melted and ejected through a hot-end with a nozzle.
The Diyouware team has described its new RDM method as a hybrid between FDM and SLL, which they note is probably not the most correct term, but that it does “differentiate itself from the rest of the methods.”
Diyouware said, “The correct term could be UV Resin Laser Deposition Modelling, but is too long and Laser Deposition Modelling has been already used.”
The team developed one of its TwinTeeth toolheads, which features a rotating turret, to implement the new R axis. A 0.25mm ID dispensing needle deposits the UV curable resin, and then cures it with a laser diode beam, which is guided so that it’s always following the needle’s path and can cure the resin the instant it’s out of the orifice. The team says they could try a thinner needle, in order to achieve even greater accuracy; since the resin has a low viscosity index, a thinner needle could help print layers that are less than 0.1mm.
This is just a prototype, and while the first results are good, the team already has a few things it needs to fix; for example, since the turret rotates 180° when it’s changing direction, the toolhead is slower than the regular FDM method when printing fillings. While this issue in particular is a simple fix, the team acknowledges that there is still a lot of work ahead, and more problems could be uncovered later.
Some employees from professional DLP printer company Robotfactory, headquartered in Italy, are friends with the Diyouware team, and donated some DLP resin to the project. Barcelona-based Mecaduino, a group of makers that develop construction tools, offered assistance by helping Diyouware machine a few custom pieces.
To get a look at the Diyouware team’s innovative new RDM printing method, take a look at their video:
Discuss in the Diyouware forum at 3DPB.com.