FINAL YEAR MEng PROJECT Reprap Colour Mixing Project

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Department of Mechanical EngineeringFACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND DESIGNFINAL YEAR MEng PROJECTReprap Colour Mixing ProjectJames Corbett1st May 2012“I certify that I have read and understood the entry in the Student Handbook for theDepartment of Mechanical Engineering on Cheating and Plagiarism and that all materialin this assignment is my own work, except where I have indicated with appropriatereferences. I agree that, in line with Regulation 15.3(e), if requested I will submit anelectronic copy of this work for submission to a Plagiarism Detection Service for qualityassurance purposes”Author’s signature:Supervisor: Adrian BowyerAssessor:Andrew Dent

RepRap Colour MixingJames CorbettAbstract:With recent technological advances the cost of 3D printing has been driven down tomake the technology widely available for home users and projects such as RepRap havebecome much more widespread. RepRap is an open source project started by Adrian Bowyerof Bath University in 2005 which was designed around the ideal of creating a low cost homeprinter that could self replicate a larger proportion of its own parts and is the only currentproject of its type. The printing process uses a fused filament fabrication method whichmelts a strand of plastic which is deposited in fine layers to build up a 3D object.The current models of printers are rather limited to using the plastics that can be boughtfrom a supplier so a nozzle has been designed and developed in this report to enable thehome user to print in any colour from only having to purchase a few colours. Eventuallywhen this nozzle is fully developed it could be used for advanced engineering componentmanufacture by using hard and soft plastics.This report concentrates on developing the mixing properties of the nozzle to a highstandard of mixing of plastics and the final design incorporates an active mixing system usinga hex bar to generate the necessary shear in the viscous plastic to result in homogeneousmixing.Following this design, research should continue into its performance and developmentof the software and firmware should be carried out to further implement the nozzle into theRepRap design. Following the electronics being adapted to gain full independent control ofeach filament, a colour space map can be calibrated for use with the machine to makeprinting any colour possible.Page 2

RepRap Colour MixingJames CorbettAcknowledgements:I would like to thank the following people that without their help the project would havebeen much more of a struggle to complete;Dr Adrian Bowyer – for his inspiration, continuous encouragement, helpful advice andsupport throughout the project.Rhys Jones – for his unending technical support, ideas and advice with the project andmy personal machine build which both would have been significantly slower and morepainful without his help.David Corbett, my father – for the use of his machines and workshop most weekendsuntil unearthly hours in the morning to produce the nozzles and complex inserts, also for hishelp with providing suggestions and ideas for new designs.Dr Andrew Dent – for his advice and help with new and existing ideas.Submission NotesThis report concentrates on the specific design of the new nozzle where engineeringdrawings can be found in the Appendix and fine details about the specific mounting to themachine are omitted for the reason that this is very custom part of design and will varywildly from machine to machine.Final Word Count : 14.884 excluding Headings and AppendicesPage 3

RepRap Colour MixingJames CorbettContentsAbstract:. 2Acknowledgements: . 3Table of figures . 7Terminology . 131.Introduction . 141.1.The RepRap Machine Layout. 182.Brief . 193.Literature Review. 203.1.Single Filament Machines . 203.2.Dual Extruder Machines . 22Bowden Tube. 243.3.Material . 253.3.1.Polylactic Acid (PLA). 253.3.2.Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) . 273.4.Programming & Electronics of RepRap . 283.5.Static Mixing Nozzles . 303.5.1.Glue Mixing Nozzles . 303.5.2.Injection Moulding Mixing Nozzles . 313.6.Active Mixing . 36Page 4

RepRap Colour Mixing3.6.1.3.7.4.Multi-material Deposition – Robocasting [31] . 36Colour Space Background . 37Aims and Objectives . 394.1.5.James CorbettPossible Additional Work . 40Mixer Extruder-Head Development . 415.1.Design Methodology . 416.1.1.Extruder Design . 416.1.2.Material Selection. 416.1.3.Design for Manufacture . 426.2.Method. 426.2.1.6.3.Mixing Performance Testing Method . 42Initial Experimentation . 456.3.1.Colour Mixing Trial. 456.3.2.Initial Testing of the Nozzle MkI designed by Bowyer. 496.4.Static Mixer Nozzle Development . 536.4.1.MkII Nozzle Design . 536.4.2.MkIII Nozzle Design . 596.4.3.MkIV Nozzle Design . 666.4.4.Conclusions from Static Mixer Nozzle Development . 706.5.Active Mixer Nozzle Development . 71Page 5

RepRap Colour Mixing7.James Corbett6.5.1.MkI Active Mixer Nozzle Design . 716.5.2.MkII Active Mixer Nozzle Design . 76Printing Performance Testing . 797.1.Method of Testing . 797.1.1.Single Colour Printing Method . 797.1.2.Mix Ratio Analysis Method . 797.2.Results and Discussion . 817.2.1.Single Colour Prints . 817.2.2.Varying Mix Ratios of Filament . 838.Project Conclusions . 859.Further Work . 8610. References . 8911. Appendices . 94Appendix A – Useful G-Code Commands for Manual Control of RepRap . 94Appendix B – Printing Programs. 95Appendix B-1 Pronterface , User Interface for Printer . 95Appendix B-2 Sli3r Configuration File Settings for Two Colour Printing . 96Appendix C – Bowden Extruder Parts from RepRap Wiki . 97Appendix D – Nozzle Drawings. 99Appendix D-1 MkI Mixer Nozzle designed by Adrian Bowyer . 99Page 6

RepRap Colour MixingJames CorbettAppendix D-2 MkII Mixing Nozzle . 100Appendix D-3 MkIII Mixing Nozzle. 101Appendix D-4 MkIV Mixing Nozzle . 102Appendix D-5 MkI Active Mixing Nozzle . 103Appendix D-6 MkII Active Mixing Nozzle . 107Appendix E – Insert Drawings . 111Appendix F – Materials . 113Appendix G – Silicone O-Ring Data Sheet . 114Appendix H – Thermistor Data For Firmware . 115Appendix I – Heater Resistor Data Sheet. 116Appendix J – Colour Transition Print G-Code . 117Colour Transition Analysis Method . 117Colour Transition Print G-code . 117Appendix K – Different Filament Feed Colour Preliminary Analysis . 119Appendix L – Project Synopsis. 122Table of figuresFigure 2-1 - Makerbot Replicator with a Dual Extruder [2]. . 14Figure 2-2 - Longboat Prusa Mendel available in kit form. [1] . 15Figure 2-3 - The two separate STL files for printing the Globe in Figure 4 [4]. . 16Figure 2-4 - Globe printed using a dual extruder machine [5]. . 16Page 7

RepRap Colour MixingJames CorbettFigure 2-5 - The mixer extruder block for handling multiple materials [7]. . 17Figure 2-6 - Longboat Prusa Mendel to be modified for colour printing [1]. . 18Figure 3-1 - CAD Model of the Mixer Nozzle with PTFE feed tubes and Heater resistor inplace. . 19Figure 4-1 - Aluminium block with heater channel used to fuse filaments together [6]. . 20Figure 4-2 - Fused filament and associated print [6]. . 21Figure 4-3 - Example of colour printing using filament joiner [9]. . 21Figure 4-4 - Makerbot Replicator Extruder Carriage [10] . 22Figure 4-5 – MakerBot Calibration Print [11] . 22Figure 4-6 - Bi-Colour Dual Extruder Dragon Heart Print [12]. . 23Figure 4-7 - Isothermal weight loss of PLA at various temperatures [15] . 25Figure 4-8 - Identical prints is a range of colours [6]. . 26Figure 4-9 - 1.3 Sanguinololu Electronics Wiring Schematic [20]. 29Figure 4-10 - Epoxy Resin Mixer Sketch [23]. . 30Figure 4-11

FINAL YEAR MEng PROJECT Reprap Colour Mixing Project James Corbett 1st May 2012 . make the technology widely available for home users and projects such as RepRap have become much more widespread. RepRap is an open source project started by Adrian Bowyer of Bath University in 2005 which was designed around the ideal of creating a low cost home printer that could self replicate a larger .

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