By Cory Doctorow at 5:08 am Sat, Jul 24, 2010
Got a HP 540 inkjet lying around? Here's an ingenious way to hack it into a crude but serviceable 3D printer.
Inkjet Printer to 3D Printer Hack.
I wouldn’t say that rises to the level of “serviceable”.
What is the purpose of the paper?
Oh I think I see. The stack of paper supports the cardboard piece holding the powder. As he removes paper one sheet at a time, the cardboard piece gets lower and lower so he can print in layers in 3D.
It’s definitely ingenious. However, the printer seems to be limited to the width of the print head, unless you set each layer to multiple different positions manually, and that would be difficult to do accurately. But it already works great for making thin objects… I wonder if the material is sturdy enough to make a hollow pipe?
Clever! With post-it flags, he could have little handles to pull out each layer of paper. There must be a way of keeping the little wood base in place. Were I doing this, at some point there would be powder everywhere and the reek of fail in the air.
In this particular case it is limited to the width of the printer head. The paper feed motor that controls the other axis is not hooked up, and if it were wouldn’t be robust enough to accurately move the added weight. But you could print a pencil, or some other object more complex than the test characters used as examples in the video.
Why would it be limited to the width of the print head?
just because he only printed a single line of textish characters doesn’t mean it couldn’t print any number of lines. Might need to fool the feed detector mechanism, but shouldn’t be hard.
laborious but surprisingly effective.
The Very Expensive 3D printer (Zprinter 450 IIRC) at my local college uses Consumer HP Inktanks. I thought they would use something more industrial.
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