Adventures in 3D printing

Powder Based 3D Printing

I have long been interested in additive manufacturing methods commonly referred to as 3D Printing. A few years ago I was experimenting with 3D printing using old ink-jet printers and powdered media. The results of my experimenting were partially documented in my first You-Tube video which is embedded below. I was not happy with the strength of my test items. I could tell I was a long way from getting the strength I wanted so I tabled that project.

Manual 3D Printing

Extruder Based 3D Printing

After a long break from 3D printing I decided to give it another shot. Since my last attempt I had accumulated some new tools on of which is a CNC converted Sieg X3 milling machine. My latest attempt at 3D printing involves mounting a plunger sized for standard caulk tubes to my X3 Mill and controlling the extrusion with a stepper motor set up as the 4th axis of my machine. I am running my CNC machine with LinuxCNC (formerly EMC2) and generating the G-code for the 3D prints using Slic3r or Cura.

Silicone Caulk Extruder Setup

There is not much to my current setup. I have a piece of C-channel (bed-frame) with angle iron bolted on to provide mounting locations for the stepper motor, reaction point for the plunger and a support for the caulk tube. The plunger is made from 3/8 water pipe and a couple of pieces of aluminum for the business end of the plunger and an adapter between the pipe and threaded rod connected to the stepper via a flexible coupling. I do have a thrust roller bearing at the angle iron reacting the plunger force to keep the torque at a manageable level.
extruder 1
Caulk Extruder Sketch

extruder 1 extruder 2 extruder 3

Silicone Extruder in Action

Printing Silicone Fishing lure bodies (Soft Baits)

Printing Silicone Bracelets

Sampling of my Printed Items

Printed Item Description
Silicone Wrist Bands (Similar to Silly Bandz)

Silicone fishing lures bodies. These little guys are shaped like my logo (see bottom of this page).
Available on Thingiverse as: Scorch Bait
Octopus with thicker legs downloaded from Thingiverse.
Bucket O' Octopodes (thicker legs)
Silicone spinner bait skirt for fishing.
Available on Thingiverse as: Spinner Bait Skirt

Silicone frog for fishing.
Available on Thingiverse as: Topwater Frog - Fishing Lure

Related Links


Other Places to Find my Work

My YouTube Channel (Scorch Works)
My Thingiverse Page (scorch)

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