Experiment to replace the Y-axis with a rotary axis
A small rotary Y-axis experiment turned out into a full featured egg printing device. Including scanning the surface of each individual egg as a preformed 3D printbed. The first tests for the rotary axis were done on a cylinder where you can level the first layer easily by hand and vision. A smarter solution is to use automated bed leveling and the Ultimaker Original got upgraded with a probe. And with that in mind: Why not replace the cylinder with an egg…!
Making the rotary axis
Making a design for the rotary axis is done in Onshape. The wooden parts are laser cutted at ProtoSpace, FabLab Utrecht. The gears and egg holder are 3D printed. You can reuse the same Y stepper motor, but you need a longer belt. There was no belt with the right length in my own stock so I cutted a timing belt, shortened it and glued it together, just like the good old RepRap days… You can easily replace the existing Ultimaker print bed with the rotary construction, it has the same mounting holes.
Egg leveling procedure
For the egg leveling procedure the ‘standard’ bed leveling options in Marlin are [ab]used. There was a slight problem with the most recent Marlin, most likely because the egg surface is too curved, but with live help from the Marlin developers the ‘bugfix’ release was able to correct the egg surface to a proper print bed.
Design academy project
Two weeks before printing the first egg Amandine David, a Design Academy student, approached me for an interesting project. She want to combine coiling with 3D printing:
« My ongoing graduation project in Social Design Master at Design Academy Eindhoven questions the boundaries between handcrafts and digital crafts. In order to explore the formal parallel between 3D printing and hand coiling (a basket weaving technique), I initiated a collaborative process involving both Esme Hofman and Joris van Tubergen, as masters of their respective craft. The first step of the collaboration brought us to develop a tool challenging the horizontal layering generated by 3D printing. »
Another Ultimaker add-on is the Z-Unlimited. Maybe the Eggcelent add-on will be kickstarted one day as well. To be continued…..