We have seen an increasing popularity of dual extruder FFF/FDM 3D printers as of late. These machines provide many benefits over their single extruder counterparts, including the ability to print in multiple colors and/or materials during a continuous print job. This creates a simple method of building support material, especially when you use HIPS or PVA as the support material, as these can easily be dissolved in either warm water or Limonene. Dual extruder 3D printers, while they have tremendous benefits, also present a few problems.
Some frequently experienced problems when using dual extruder systems are that these extruders generally move together, meaning they have the potential of causing each other some significant problems. The two most common issues are scratching, and oozing. It’s never good to have a hot nozzle that isn’t extruding, pass by a printed object, scratching it and potentially causing it damage. Oozing is a problem that can be extremely frustrating as well. Usually a little residue filament is left in an extruder nozzle and even while it isn’t supposed to be printing, a little bit can, and often does, “ooze” out. Even the slightest bit of “ooze” on a printed object can cause a perfect print to become a disaster.
To try and conquer these problems, a company called 3D-Proto is working on an extruder that they call a Dual “Parking” Extruder. As you can see in the video below, it utilizes a magnet to move and “park” an extruder to the side of the print area when it is not in use.
While test prints have not yet been shown, the concept behind this new extruder model seems to be pretty solid. We look forward to seeing these extruders in action sometime in the near future. This demonstration was done on a Prusa i3 RepRap 3D printer, and if you wish to try and build this system yourself, it can be done quite affordably. 3D-Proto says that all you need are the following products:
- 2 complete extruders with stepper motor and drive ~ 25EUR
- 4-channel relay board (5VDC) ~ 4EUR
- X-axis idler, magnet holder, Power Holder (STL files for 3D printable models can be found here)
- 2 electromagnets ~ 5EUR
One of the drawbacks of this system is the reduction of print area caused by the additional X-carriage. What do you think? Do you like the idea presented here by 3D-Proto? Would you consider using an Dual “Parking” Extruder in the future? Discuss in the Dual Parking Extruder forum thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
3D Printing Polymer-Bonded Magnets Rival Conventional Counterparts
Authors Alan Shen, Xiaoguang Peng, Callum P. Bailey, Sameh Dardona, and W.K Anson explore new techniques in ‘3Dprinting of polymer-bonded magnets from highly concentrated, plate-like particle suspension.’ While magnets have...
South Africa: FEA & Compression Testing of 3D Printed Models
Researchers D.W. Abbot, D.V.V. Kallon, C. Anghel, and P. Dube delve into complex analysis and testing in the ‘Finite Element Analysis of 3D Printed Model via Compression Tests.’ For this...
University of Cordoba: Predicting Surface Roughness in FDM 3D Printing
Spanish researchers Juan Barrios and Pablo Romero experiment with different techniques in FDM 3D printing in the recently published ‘Decision Tree Methods for Predicting Surface Roughness in Fused Deposition Modeling...
3D Printing Antennas to Test Conductive Filament & 3D Printing Parameters
Researchers from Chile and Spain used a variety of samples to study settings for 3D printing samples in ‘Parametric Study of 3D Additive Printing Parameters Using Conductive Filaments on Microwave...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.