I am in a bit of a stand-still right now since I am waiting on resin to arrive in the mail, I can’t continue testing without it. I have come up with a couple more ideas for an inexpensive case and ordered some material to give my theory a try. I think that the corrugated plastic holds the most potential as it is easily sourced and is really cheap, the most expensive piece of the case will be the amber plexiglass viewing window. I also saw an idea for a case framing system that I think can be 3D printed, I’m not sure if that would be any savings though as there would be a considerable amount of printing involved in those parts. I’m hoping to come up with something simpler very soon.
I received white resin pigmentation in the mail as well as some ceramic additive. I have high hopes for both powder-based additives as they could both solve some problems as well as create some beneficial properties. For example, the white pigmentation is going to be used to limit the penetration of the laser beam into the resin so that there aren’t problems when printing thin layers. The ceramic additive is also white, and while it may add white color to the pigment, it’s role is to strengthen and add weight. It should also make the resin look nice like cast ceramic when the print is complete. Considering the resin that I am using creates a very shiny smooth surface I think that it will be a good starting point for pinning down print settings and getting this project truly off the ground.
I am still working on populating the site with information and plan to start working on documentation for building the machine as soon as possible. I also need to work with a couple companies and try to work out some agreements so that I can support the project with a healthy supply of parts, a couple of which are a bit unique to this machine. Things like the reservoir are going to have to be made by hand but I am getting pretty efficient at making them so I should be able to offer them here. That and the case will be the only real custom items besides the 3D printed parts that will need to be acquired by someone wanting to try this build. I do also intend to offer the printed parts because I realize there are some folks out there with no current printer or their printer doesn’t have the capability for everything.
That’s all for now, more to come as soon as the right things arrive in the mail.