Open source 3d printer
Open source 3d printer software
Let’s start from the beginning: 3d printing is makers kingdom, and it’s often used in do-it-yourself, but obviously, before actually creating the object shape, you have to start with a pc design software in order to create digital 3d objects. For 3d models you need three kind of software: 3d modeling/CAD software, slicing and Client software. You can find many, and open source 3d printers software are quite common.
CAD are software used to design and create digital 3d objects. There are different types, and each one works differently: the solid modeling software are most suitable for mechanical parts, including free ones like Google SketchUp, Autodesk 123D, Tinkercad, Blender; the sculptural modeling software are useful to achieve figures, faces, human parts, natural objects because they allow to sculpt the basic three-dimensional shapes, for example with the free software Sculptris virtual sculptures can be realized through the concept of clay modeling clay; finally, we have the parametric modeling software, which allow to combine different forms between them, defining in a very precise way each minimum variation due to the setting of the parameters (among open source we mention OpenSCAD and Grasshopper). Rhinoceros is one of the software we use more, it is not open source but there is a trial version, then you can buy it with student license at a very fair price.
The slicing/CAM programs convert 3d models in mechanical controls, thanks to which the 3d printer will be able to figure out what to do and how it must move through a specific code, called G-code. Slic3r is one of the most used CAM open source, flexible and frequently updated, created by Alessandro Ranellucci, a guru of Italian making; Cura, from Ultimaker, has streamlined interface and many utilities; Skeinforge is one of the first software created by RepRap community.
Client software is the printer control program: it is used to give instructions to the machine, start printing, lock, manage parameters such as temperature, and so on. The most well-known open source software are Repetier-Host (which also provides the possibility to run the 3d model slicing) and Printrun. But we must say that often the client software are not necessary as the majority of 3d printers can receive commands of the G-code files through SD-card and USB-pen.
Open source projects for 3d printers
There are many web sites where you can download templates for 3d printers ready for use, for free: Thingiverse is the largest website for sharing 3d printing objects projetcs created by users. It provides mainly hardware open source projects; you can choose to distribute your contributions under GNU or Creative Commons license. This does not mean that open source is completely free because there are some rules to follow when they are released.
Thingiverse projects may seem simple objects related to the world of DIY, but actually mechanisms that govern their creation and implementation have a very high technological value. Pioneer was the RepRap project with MakerBot, a company that produces an open source 3d printer for rapid prototyping called Cupcake (we bought and mounted it!), that incorporates RepRap project ideas. Other similar web sites-communities are YouMagine, initiated by a company, Ultimaker, which like MakerBot started with the production of open source 3d printers, GrabCAD, with a large quantity of freely downloadable 3d models created by a group of engineers, Instructables, a community where users share models DIY, among them 3D models, and even 3D Hacker, 3DVIA, Shaper.
Best open source 3d printer
One of the most appreciated open source 3d printers, part of RepRap project, is Prusa i3 MK2S. It is sold with a DIY kit to assemble or pre-assembled. The cost is around 700 euros. Designed by the Czech maker Josef Prusa, the Prusa i3 was presented to the RepRap community in 2012. The MK2S is its evolution, with a volume of 31% larger than the original, coming to 250x210x200 mm, a new print bed HeatBed MK42 and a print speed of 40% higher.
Among the various 3d printing DIY projects, we want to point out the printer projected by some Tuscan makers fa)(a 3D, a modular and fully editable printer with the particularity of levitation: the X and Y axes contain neodymium magnets realizing a real magnetic levitation that reduces friction to a minimum during printing, lightening the load on the engine and favoring the printer acceleration. We, from Wasp, have realized the Delta Open, and we have released drawings and instructions: if you want to try to build it you can download it here and do not forget to give us your feedback in order to update the source models and sharing them.
What is Arduino project
Arduino was born in 2005 at Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea. Arduino is a small electronic card, fits in the palm of a hand. More precisely, the website says, it is “an open source electronics platform based on hardware and software easy to use”. It is a programmable hardware platform, a processor that reads an input and returns output, usable and editable by anyone, with which you can create many types of circuits, especially in the field of robotics and automation. We could say that Arduino does whatever we want him to do: the automation of the lights in the home or small appliances to the creation of complex scientific projects, since it is compatible with all existing sensors. For these reasons it has had a worldwide spread in several areas, domestic, educational, professional and industrial: this is a real revolution. We thank Arduino staff for the great contribution to open source digital revolution.
3d printing is one of Arduino applications area, when it comes to open source 3d printers or printer kit DIY. Materia 101 is Arduino 3d printer, developed together with Sharebot and designed to make the 3d printing accessible even to beginners, as well as, of course, open source.