Monday, 24 February 2014

Hot Rocks

Found a video of a prototype project I worked on a few years ago:

A bonus feature for a 3 player gaming machine we were doing. All the machines are linked with a proprietary bus which allows them to synchronise the effects, and the volcano has an Ethernet connection to all 3 machines so any one can start the bonus. The lighting effects are all written in Pawn scripting language, and uploaded to the lighting controller at the start of each session. Looked good, but we never put it into production.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Milestag sniper rifle

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Finally got around to trying out my Milestag sniper rifle at Steve's (Operation Lasertag) site in Wakefield. Fantastic day out with son Joshua as usual. Rifle performed well in situations where enemy was attacking from a distance. Useless close up though! All 3D printed as usual.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Need to learn...

I really....really need to learn to say no when work offers me things that they are throwing away...

HP Designjet 500 with about £300 of paper. Coincidentally I am in need of a large format printer as I'm starting on my CNC router.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

More rolling my own..part 2

I've had some great results with my Filastruder and ABS pellets from CraigRK

The temperature and nozzle diameter are critical. With the standard nozzle supplied by Filastruder I got filament I was not happy with. It was brittle when extruded at 220C, and had a rough outer texture. Anything much below this suffered from too much die swell and I was getting filament of 3.2MM which jammed one of my extruders. I found this was the case with pellets from several sources, so this is obviously a result of the hardware.

Lower temperatures seemed to improve the filament quality, but there was a corresponding increase the die swell. I'm now running with a 2.5mm orifice on a filtered die. This was supplied at 1.75mm and drilled to 2.5mm, and with an extrusion temp. of 190C.

I found horizontal extrusion less than satisfactory with jams regularly occurring. I tried vertical extrusion but found that the hopper guides available on Thingiverse simply jammed after a few minutes extrusion.

So I got a hack saw to the vertical hopper feed, and hot aired the chute until I could screw in a cola bottle, and mounted the filastruder at 45 degrees:

This gave me reliable pellet feed and after a nights worth of extrusion I was presented with this:

About 0.8Kg of filament. It is of really good quality. Here is a 10x view under the microscope:

Nice and smooth. And it is not brittle. It turns white as it is bent around a small radius as you would expect HQ filament to do.

Here is one of my Lasertag parts printed wholly from home grown filament:

I'm now at the stage where my primary source of filament is myself. It's much cheaper! The only problem I have now is spooling it up, perhaps I should get a Filawinder.