Reflection

Since the prototype is going to be developed further by Jelle this reflection will be mainly written about the future possibilities of the prototype. The major things to reflect about is the design of the machine itself and the nozzle. One of the goals was to make a machine that’s easy to handle and very mobile. There are still things that can be worked on to make this 3D-printer handy enough to print freely and to design intuitively using this printer.

For the upcoming prototype, there will be a few vital measures to consider for the advancement of the current prototype. Although the current prototype is relatively lightweight designed, demand for accuracy during 3D-printing manually is inevitable. So, a smaller and lighter version will be designed to achieve maximum freedom in movements. For now all the heavy parts of the 3D-printer aren’t integrated within one design of this machine. The parts for now are placed on the ground. Preferably all parts have to be small and lightweighted enough to be in one design but due to the requirements of the engine and also the prices of high quality parts it will be quite difficult to obtain this design. For example, one of the solutions is designing a moveable nozzle whereas other part are placed on the ground and the only mobile part would be the nozzle. This will also solve the problem of not having to carry around the large amount of plastic for the printing. The only thing that has to be solved is how to distribute the plastic into the nozzle. So there are still many future versions of designs to make for this 3D-printer that come with their own pros and cons.

Another possibilty is to develop the outcome of the 3D-print. The idea of a changeable nozzle which prints diverse shapes and sizes is already applied to the current prototype. However, this leads to the problem where the time taken for the plastic to solidify plays an important role in order to obtain the desired shapes. So a cooler after the nozzle will be implemented in the next prototype. As the temperature is already adjustable in the current prototype, implementing adjustable rotational speed in the next prototype enables the plastic to be produced more consistent and more accurate.

As previously mentioned in the beginning of the blog, we are a team of five members. Our team consists of students who venture in different field of studies, architecture, industrial design engineering and maritime engineering. For the most of us, presumably, it was our first time working with such diverse group of people, with distinct mind set, ideology and ways to bring something into reality. It’s inevitable for a team to have internal conflicts and frustrations, but those weren’t enough to keep us hindered from moving on and achieving our ultimate goal.

In our team, tasks were given out at the end of every day. Everyone had their fair share of workload to deal with. Although, some of us might be more knowledgeable in certain fields, opinions from others were still taken into considerations during the process. Hence, we have learnt to value and respect everyone’s opinions as a team.

We would like to thank all the help we got from Tiwanée, Casper, Martijn and Mascha. Also thank you for reading the blog for those who were interested in our project. It was a fun project with a lot of further developments and possibilities to come. As a team we’re proud that we could be part of this project and help with the research on this type of 3D-printing.

Science Fair

On the 1st of November 2016, Science fair was held in the Industrial Design Engineering building at TU-Delft. The science fair was held for exhibiting the 10 projects of advanced prototyping minor. This was the opportunity for all advanced prototype-ers in this minor to present the projects to the public for the first time.

Of course, we were very excited to have this opportunity yet griefful due the fact that we would be parting with the team members and project at the end of this fair. Nevertheless, save the tears and let’s talk about the science fair.

On that very morning, thrilled yet hysterical because we had to pick up posters and still a little touch-up had to be done on our “art-piece”. Fortunately, everything went smoothly with booth set up in the end and every member prepared to astonish the public with our masterpiece!

When our booth was ready, curious faces were seen in front of our booth. Well, that kind of showed that what we had been working with had caught the attentions of the crowd. First goal, achieved! During the exhibition, During the exhibition, our handheld 3D printer was used to build some sculptures, accessories, arts, and some other useful things. Interested people were even allowed to have a hand-on experience with the printer to create whatever they desired. The team members and our expertise seemed contented with the positive response. Other than the overwhelming response from the public, we also received feedbacks from people of all walks of life, from an experience plastic extruder builder to a mother of 3 children. We were told that, our 3D printer could be better by extending the front barrel, so that less torque would be used by a hobbyist of 3D printer. Apparently, our 3D printer caught a lot of attentions of parents as well. We were told to childproofing it and making it more user-friendly, so that it could be used in the household as hobby or an activity with their children.

Only for several hours, we had the opportunity to show-off our prototype and standing proud in front of it. It was worth all those endless hours of hard work, determination to burn midnight oil on researches and designing, dreadful early morning wake-ups in the cold rainy morning, and the adaptations to failed prototypes. We were ecstatic and contented with the response and encouragements from the public.

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Almost time for the Science Fair!

This is the last week before the Science Fair, and it’s IMG-20161025-WA0003getting real! At first we were waiting for the experts at the Applied Labs to finish with the electronics so we decided to start working on the column for the sculpture. After a lot of driving around town to get everything we needed, we could finally start building.

We found it to be very easy to build the column and we had very little complications. But our estimation that we would only need half a day to build was very wrong, since we had to work on it for another day.

IMG-20161028-WA0011The plastic extruder was ready just in time for us to start working on the sculpture. We tested the extruder and the moment the plastic started flowing out of the extruder was a very exciting moment, all the hard work was finally paying off!

 

 

Plaatje 3 We had made a sketch earlier of what we wanted the sculpture to look like and we began with our first attempt to make the sculpture. The first thing we noticed was that it was not that easy to see what you are doing when holding the extruder. The second thing that we noticed was that the extruded plastic would break off right away and it was impossible to extrude vertically. After trying several times with different types of support we realized that our idea to extrude vertically into the air would not work. That is when we decided to put the extruder down, and use a large piece of triplex to catch the extruded plastic, this way the plastic would not break off due to gravity. At this point we also noticed that thd58dce74-245a-47e9-b4ad-78b1dab61f3fe drill that we used as the motor for the extruder was not strong enough to handle the large amount of torque needed, so we switched to using a handle to make the extruder hand-driven. We extruded straight pieces onto the triplex and we went over it several times so that it would be several strings of plastic stuck to each other instead of just one. After this we heated up the strings with a heat gun, so we could easily manipulate them and bend them around the column. We drilled holes in the shelves of the column and used wire to attach the strings to the shelves. We just kept repeating this process until the whole sculpture was built! Even though the sculpture did not look exactly like what we had envisioned, we were very happy with it and proud of it!

The Fourth Week

Entering the  last week of our project we can look back at a very productive and fun week.

Besides all the modeling and improving our model  we still managed to obtain a well-designed model. Finally we could add the last details to our plastic extruder and build it!

Unfortunately we still have not tested it but we still have time.! Last week our focus remained on the electronics and which cooling system we will use and how we could ensemble these two major  subjects into our model. Step by step we could manage to keep working and improving and rebuild our model without creating setbacks.

On Tuesday we met with Tiwannee and Casper. Like all the other meetings this one again was very helpful. We discussed our project, the steps we had made and also our presentation on Thursday 20-10-2016.

Last week we also started on our electronics. At the same time we started creating our structure which is the basics of the sculpture that we’ll have to build.  Luckily we don’t have arguments. On Saturday a couple of us went to The Dutch Design Week.

Looking forward to next and final week our goal is to finally build the extruder, make several model tests and build our sculpture.

We started the week by rebuilding our plastic extruder with the new parts we had received from Better Future Company. After we reconsidered shrinking our extruder to the minimum so in the future if someone else want to build the extruder it will save them money and material.

The negative part of last week was all the time we spent modeling and improving our plastic extruder in Solid Works. If we didn’t had this set back we could finalize our sculpture frame last week. Another setback is that Applied Labs is being re-organized. Due to this we could not add the electronics on the extruder.

The Third Week

We are entering the 4th week of our augmented project soon. So far these three weeks have been quite an adventure for us. We have been designing, building, squeezing our brain juice to solve problems, touring around and so forth. What’s more, we are actually applying the skills which we have learnt from practical in building our prototypes. For some of us, that was even our first time to use those machines to build something which we designed ourselves.

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After a meeting with Casper, we were invited to have a tour in his workplace, Better Future Factory/ Perpetual Plastic. Of course we were really excited after hearing that. The tour took place on 3rd week’s Monday evening. As soon as we walked into his workplace, we were introduced to his partner, Laura Klauss and we were shown around. It was really an inspiring tour; many ideas sprung to our minds after the tour. Upon leaving, we were surprised with a few gifts from them: a hopper, a nozzle and a handle.

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On the next day, a little adaptation of our design of the plastic extruder was done again due to the parts we had received from Casper. These given parts actually saved up our time and thoughts in the overall plastic extruder building process. Simultaneously half of our team was busy with designing the frame of the sculpture. We had decided to build scaled sculpture of 1:2. In addition to that, the materials use for the frame, the dimensions of the frame are planned.

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On Thursday, as usual, we proceeded with our tasks respectively and made quite a progress in our building of the extruder. The ordered parts, heating element bands arrived on that day as well. So we would be expecting the extruder to be completed and usable in the very near future. Also, we had Tiwánee checked out on our progress on that day.

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Our First Presentation…!

For our meeting with Tiwanée and Casper just after the first two weeks we prepared a presentation. The ideas are quite ambitious and pretty difficult to execute in this short time of period. Apart from that the concept is very clear. We also made a planning of how to approach this project since we also need to set boundaries for ourselves to efficiently work and create this prototype. Also part of the assignment is the sculpture. For the sculpture we already have a few ideas and now we’re going to design a frame first as to support the 3D-print. We plan to make a scale 1:2 model. The hardest part of the prototype probably will be the electronics. To get optimal feedback we at least did some research beforehand. Roughly we’ve thought about the usage and the form of the 3D-printer leading to our first sketch model.

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The Second week

This week our objective was to build a prototype of the plastic extruder for initial testing. Last week we disassembled an old extruder and we are using some of its parts to build a new one. During the building of we discovered several problems which we solved with some creative thinking. The first problem we encountered was with collecting the parts we needed for the prototype. Since we did not have these parts yet and we did not know exactly how big they would be, it was hard to envision what the prototype would finally look like. So we decided to work on the front of the extruder (the nozzle part) in the meantime until we get the parts that we need for the rest of the extruder.

Since our plan is to 20161006_210457experiment with nozzles of different sizes we decided to create a ring that would fit around the nozzles. We would then tap a screw thread in this ring so we can screw it on the extruder and remove it easily. This way we can easily change between nozzles without having to tap screw threads on all of the nozzles.

20161006_213347Our initial plan was to tap a screw thread around the end of the extruder, but we found out that this would be impossible since the tube is way too thin. We decided to make a thicker extension for it, that way we can tap the extension. We will later create the ring to fit this extension.

Below you can see the tube with its extension:

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After this we decided to place the nozzle inside of the tube instead of on top for better heat transfer.

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This week we also20161004_155856 played with the table version of the extruder to see what the material (PLA) looks like when it is melted. This was also our first attempt at finding the optimal temperature for working with the melted PLA. 

 

 

 

We also had a meeting with Casper van der Meer, project manager of Perpetual Plastic Project. He provided us with a lot of insight into the building of the prototype and also working with plastic. First he suggested that if we wanted to make the extruded plastic look more consistent we would have to focus on the plastic when it has already been extruded and it is drying, instead of when it is still in the tube. He suggested using air or water to dry the plastic faster, that way we will be able to build on top of the already solidified plastic.

He also pointed out that we would have to pay a lot of attention to safety since the machine will get very hot, insulation will be very important. We also talked about the fact that we wanted to make the machine hand-held, but it will probably be very heavy. So we will have to think of ways to support the machine to help the user.

Finally we talked about the parts that we still needed to finish the prototype. Some parts will be given to us by Casper, and some parts will be ordered online.  Hopefully next week we will have all of the parts so we can continue to build the prototype. Stay tuned!

The First Week

Even though our first week is quite short due to the introductions etc. we still managed to do some thing for this project other than only opening the weblog. In the first week we went to the current prototypes and analyzed on how things worked and took notes of what we can develop and what we can use for the new prototype. This all wil be presented at our first prsentation to our teacher Tiwanée. After having done some research on the prototypes we disassembled the prototype that was given to us as starting point. From here we were quite sure to make the design more lightweighted and mobile. Also some improvements will be made in the heating element as it is only a heating wire for now. For the other part of our assignment we already made an impression on how us sculpture needs to look like.

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Printen

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Welcome to our page!

Hi everyone and welcome to our blog!

This weblog will show our progress throughout this whole project. The project, which is part of the minor Advanced Prototyping, is named ‘Architecture as Painting’. A quick introduction to our team:

We’re a team of five students: Elvis (Maritime Technology), Jelle (Industrial Design, postgraduate student), Marcella (Architecture), Gary (Architecture) and Cindy (Industrial Design). For this project we’ll also work together with architect Tiwánee van der Horst, industrial design engineer Casper van der Meer and Mascha van Oossanen from the technical support TU Delft.

‘The City as Canvas – Architecture as Painting’ is a challenging project where we have to research on how to use the 3D-printer intuitively. In this project we’ll try to figure out how we can create a light-weighted, portable and manageable 3D-printer which allows us to actually draw a 3D-model without having to design a BIM beforehand. While designing and building this 3D-printer is one part of the assignment, the other part of the assignment is to create a sculpture with this machine.

A quick summary on how we planned to approach this project:

Applying the principles we already know, ex.: glue gun. The current prototype will be analyzed to find the problems. New solutions will be found by understanding the problems and possibilities of the 3D printing machine. After the analysis, a design for the sculpture will be made so that a list of specific requirements for the prototype can be set up. By trial and error an optimal material for printing and for the prototype will be found.

As a team we plan to meet up at least three times a week. Hopefully we can post a lot about our project the coming weeks until the date of the Science Fair. We’re all very excited to work on this project and we hope you’re as curious as we are about the end result.

More to follow……!!