British 3D printer enthusiast Jon Wise has designed a proof of concept for a new way to move the print head in a 3D printer. Conventional 3D printers require periodic calibration to ensure that the correct geometry is maintained so that prints are accurate.
Jon’s new system does away with the mechanical sliders that correspond to the three X, Y and Z axes as these carriers and bars must be perfectly parallel and run smoothly to ensure an accurate print.
His radial axis design uses a rack and pinion motion from stepper motors, but the computation required to control the print head is much more complicated. Hence the Raspberry Pi has been programmed to calculate the movements in real time and to send the instructions to a controller board that is wired to the stepper motors.
The Raspberry Pi is a very cheap small computer which has been designed to help students and computing beginners learn computer programming. Google have even given several UK schools Raspberry Pi’s so their children can start to learn coding.
This project combines the two hottest tech products of the moment, 3D printers and the Raspberry Pi.