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8754 posts

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# 177843 16-Aug-2015 07:10
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Hi Guys and Girls

Im relatively new to Arduino, but have done a few projects, and have played round with a picaxe 3 a bit.

What im wanting to do it build a filament extruder for a 3d printer and i know there are possibly different easier ways to do it but i would like to play with arduino so it would be a good learning exercise.

The setup will be like this:

Hopper for raw materials, with level sensor (optical or ultrasonic havent decided yet)
underneath the hopper is an auger powered by a DC motor via a gearbox the will be PWM controlled to regulate speed, this will transport the raw material from the hopper to be heated and then create the pressure to extrude the filament.
nozzle/heating block, this will contain the heating device (resistive heater) and a temperature measuring device (thermocouple or thermistor) the heater will be temperature controlled with an upper and lower limit for the material chosen, have considered using a POT to adjust the temperature range to that of different materials so you could extrude PLA, ABS or other types of mateial
a small PC fan to cool the extruded materials. this is to start running when the motor does.
an LCD screen to display, temp, motor speed, and the level and an RGB led to be used as a ready indicator/warning indicator.

So whats needed shield/breakout board wise:
2A dual H bridge motor driver to power the motor and gearbox
240V Solid state relay board to control the resistive heaters from the arduino
if i use a thermocouple i would need to use a amplifier of some type otherwise the thermistor could just be connected to the appropriate pins on the arduino
20x4 LCD display, and possibly a serial adapter for this to minimize the pins required from the arduino
RGB LED connected to the arduino
Optical/ultrasonic sensor connected to the arduino
Computer fan, probably not speed controlled, just on an off

Can a single arduino uno/mega (leaning towards a mega at this stage due to shear number of pins needed) run all this at the same time? im more thinking in terms of the code required ie having the motor running via PWM, while checking the level of the hopper, while checking the temperature of the heating block while outputting into to the LCD. there is an awful lot going on.

is this going to require the use of interrupts to run some of the functions?
If the motor is pulse width controlled, would it still continue to run at its current speed if the arduino went into an interrupt service routine? same goes for the display.

any help would be very much appreciated

ill probably have a heap more questions :)

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  # 1367389 16-Aug-2015 12:31

Have you considered getting this? And then modifying the code instead. http://www.jaycar.co.nz/Tools-%26-Soldering/Power-Tools/Other-Power-Tools/Arduino-3D-Printer-Kit/p/TL4100







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  # 1367391 16-Aug-2015 12:38
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nope don't want a premade thing, would like to make it from sractch

 
 
 
 


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  # 1367491 16-Aug-2015 15:30
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A mega should be able to run all that.

Build it up as modules. Intureputs should not be needed.
The main look should not take a second and that is heaps of time to monitor and process everything.

Just work out the program logic, how the main loop will work then look at the functions to communicate to the different modules.

I would a a (phone) vibrator to the hopper bucket to improve pellet flow and stop and go switch.

The main issue will be the pressure of the material extruded as that will determine the filaments properties, as inconsistent pressure will cause blobs or thinning.
You will need to work out how much pressure the auger is providing, that could me checking the auger actual seed vs the pwn setting.

Have you thought about pointing the extruder down and was extruding into a bucket of water. The water would cool and also the buoyancy might take the load off the extruded line.




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  # 1367495 16-Aug-2015 15:52
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hellonearthisman: A mega should be able to run all that.

Build it up as modules. Intureputs should not be needed.
The main look should not take a second and that is heaps of time to monitor and process everything.

Just work out the program logic, how the main loop will work then look at the functions to communicate to the different modules.

I would a a (phone) vibrator to the hopper bucket to improve pellet flow and stop and go switch.

The main issue will be the pressure of the material extruded as that will determine the filaments properties, as inconsistent pressure will cause blobs or thinning.
You will need to work out how much pressure the auger is providing, that could me checking the auger actual seed vs the pwn setting.

Have you thought about pointing the extruder down and was extruding into a bucket of water. The water would cool and also the buoyancy might take the load off the extruded line.



Thanks for the reply

Ive drawn up a schematic and it looks like i have 2 analogue, and 2 PWM pins left over when everything is connected using a UNO

With the hopper i think i might just make it square and use a rectangle weight as it will help with measuring the level.

A stop start button is a good idea, as that could start the heater and when its at temp as measured by the thermistor it could signal the motor to start turning and the fan to turn on.

i was going to have the motor controlled by a POT so you can vary the speed of it. And looking at other designs as long as the pressure is ok they seem to make nice smooth and very accurately dimensioned filament. THe pressure will be determined by the motor speed the nozzle size and also the pitch of a auger

I have though about having it pointing down and the water cooling idea but the fan should be able to take enough heat out of it for it not to change its shape and it can just coil on the floor. That can be a project for after this one.

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  # 1367501 16-Aug-2015 16:08
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Apart from the DC motor, this isn't that different from the extruder in a 3D printer. I suspect that you could possibly use Marlin unmodified to do what you want, if you replaced the DC motor with a stepper (e.g. NEMA23 or NEMA34) with enough torque to do what you want. Possibly an  unmodified RAMPS 1.4 board, maybe with an upgraded stepper driver, would provide all the hardware you need. Maybe also use a standard J-head heater block and thermistor and a nozzle drilled out to 1.75mm for the output stage? All of this stuff (apart from the stepper itself) is available cheap as chips from AliExpress.

Do keep us posted on this project... I'm very interested to see what you create!




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  # 1367532 16-Aug-2015 17:35
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1.75mm isn't that the size of a hot glue gun? It could be a cheaper extruder option.



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  # 1367615 16-Aug-2015 20:50
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hellonearthisman: 1.75mm isn't that the size of a hot glue gun? It could be a cheaper extruder option.


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