3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

General discussion of 3D printers

3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby TLHarrell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:49 pm

I'm considering a purchase of the Fireball Comet CNC machine http://probotix.com/FireBall_Comet_cnc_router/ and am thinking of the possibility of hanging a 3D print head on it. I figured the more knowledgeable and experienced people here would be able to chime in and give me some information as to the likelihood of this working, where the potential issues might be, and if there is a "best case solution" as far as additional electronics, extruder, materials or anything else I should look at.

I am into designing custom computer parts mostly, although I'm not limited to that and do other stuff ranging from jewelry pieces to home decoration items, custom lamps and other things. I have (as in my sig below) a 40w laser cutter.

What I would like, ultimately, to be able to do is create a method to 3D print an entire replacement front panel for a computer case. The Fireball Comet has a working area of 25"x25"x5". I understand fully that I won't be able to utilize the entire 5" vertical with a hot end hanging below the gantry, but will certainly try to get as much of that as I can. The parts I would like to produce would fit within a 12"x20"x2" area. If the machine is capable of producing movement within this range, and is solid and steady enough to have good accuracy, would a part this size be feasible with a 3D print? I would assume I'd print PLA or Nylon on an unheated surface. I don't think I'd be able to run a heated bed of that extreme size, so ABS is probably not an option.

As far as electronics, the Fireball Comet comes with a complete package including a computer pre-configured with EMC2. For those more familiar with EMC2, I assume it shouldn't be too difficult to "clone" the CNC configuration files, add the controls for the extruder stepper and heater... or am I completely out to lunch? Can the existing hardware, aside from an extra stepper driver, operate the 3D printer part of the system, or would I have to completely replace the electronics package with something more suited to a 3D printer (and likely have some way to switch control of the stepper motors to another board)?

Is this something that would be worth looking into, or is it completely nuts?
40w Full Spectrum Engineering 5th Gen Hobby 20"x12" w/ Rotary Engraver
South San Francisco Bay Area - Sales and Support Representative for Full Spectrum Engineering
408-47-LASER - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas - Facebook: White Light Laser
TLHarrell
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:30 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby bdring » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:15 pm

What you want can be done, but not well. A jack of all trades machine is master of none. Stiff, Light, Fast, Clean are all conflicting values in a machine.

You can use your fireball to make anything you want. That is much more fun anyway.
Bart
"If you didn't build it, you will never own it."
bdring
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2966
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:33 pm
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby TLHarrell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:45 pm

I would assume I'd drop the router head off of it to save on moving mass. Think once I get the thing it'll be worth running it around really fast to see how it behaves at the speeds needed for 3D printing. Do you have solid numbers on what speeds are normal during printing, infill, and rapid movements? I'd definitely be interesting in comparing. This is, of course, purely in the theoretical realm until I have the machine in my shop.

Could also use it to route parts for my own Ord Bot, but at the print size I need it almost makes more sense in my mind to use the Comet's frame, at least at this time, to save on money and shop space. (I'm in half of a one car garage right now.)
40w Full Spectrum Engineering 5th Gen Hobby 20"x12" w/ Rotary Engraver
South San Francisco Bay Area - Sales and Support Representative for Full Spectrum Engineering
408-47-LASER - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas - Facebook: White Light Laser
TLHarrell
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:30 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby cvoinescu » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:42 pm

For that envelope, an extended Shapeoko makes a decent 3D printer for not a lot of money. You can even make your own parts for it on the Fireball (and in that case, I recommend my take of it, the eShapeOko). But if you have the Fireball already, I really don't see why you wouldn't try to use it for 3D printing too, at least short term -- except having to swap the spindle and extruder will get old fast, and having your milling machine out of commission and unavailable for a five-minute job because it's in the middle of a day long print will suck too.
cvoinescu
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Camberley, Surrey, UK

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby ril3y » Fri May 03, 2013 2:05 am

We have a probotix. WHile its fast for a lead screw, its going to dreadful slow for 3d printing IMO. I would go with a shapeoko. Way cheaper and 3x - 4x faster.
ril3y
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby TLHarrell » Fri May 03, 2013 6:19 pm

I am thinking it may be more useful to pursue casting the parts from molds made on the CNC machine. This gets me up to a part size easily in my range without the fiddliness that 3D printing has. Still a concept to think over though. I'm currently thinking of milling patterns in Renshape 460, then casting molds in silicone. I think overall this will give me a better part finish, and once I have a good mold, I can cast many parts from it with the only time spent being waiting for the part to cure. 3D printing here has the benefit of not ending up storing molds in my rather limited shop space.
40w Full Spectrum Engineering 5th Gen Hobby 20"x12" w/ Rotary Engraver
South San Francisco Bay Area - Sales and Support Representative for Full Spectrum Engineering
408-47-LASER - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas - Facebook: White Light Laser
TLHarrell
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:30 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby cvoinescu » Fri May 03, 2013 8:32 pm

You mentioned casting. I'm sure you are aware of The Guerilla Guide to CNC Machining, Mold Making, and Resin Casting, but just in case you weren't, that's the link.
cvoinescu
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Camberley, Surrey, UK

Re: 3D Print Head on Fireball Comet?

Postby TLHarrell » Fri May 03, 2013 9:31 pm

Good resource that I have perused before. I'll have to definitely give it another look to brush up. I used to run programming in a custom cabinet shop on a HUGE 5'x12' KOMO CNC machine. Talk about a beast! It's been 15 years since that job and I'm looking into getting back into CNC. I miss those days.

Here's the article that snapped me off in the direction of casting:
http://blog.makezine.com/2013/05/02/res ... tic-parts/
40w Full Spectrum Engineering 5th Gen Hobby 20"x12" w/ Rotary Engraver
South San Francisco Bay Area - Sales and Support Representative for Full Spectrum Engineering
408-47-LASER - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas - Facebook: White Light Laser
TLHarrell
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:30 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA


Return to 3D Printer General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron