Metrix Create: Space – a collective of
evil geniuses in Seattle Washington – recently posted their first results out of their current project, Big Robot. It’s an old CNC machine repurposed to carry a scaled up version of the plastic extruder from the RepRap open source 3D printer project. Aside from being built from mostly Home Depot sourced materials, it has one other penny-pinching aspect that it just too cool: it uses shredded milk jugs as it’s printing material. A few more details and photos after the jump!
3D Printing Milk Jugs
Far from a finished project, the Big Robot has just this month, made its first test run. However, from photo up above and on the Metrix site, you get the gist that it’s mostly working.
“To drive plastic into and through the head, we got an augur from Home Depot and chucked it into a Harbor Freight 1hp drill which is bolted to the frame. This drill is powered through the spindle relay on the router table, so it’s under software control. We can’t make it go backwards, but I don’t think anti-ooze retraction would be very useful on a head this big!” – Create:Space
The extrusion comes out of a 6mm nozel, but ends up 8-10mm in the print. There also seems to be some babysitting required to keep the auger full of plastic and feeding the extruder consistently. These are the sort of details that will get worked through, but all toegether, not too shabby for a DIY 3D printer using an auger bit! We’ll be keeping an eye on this project and post any updates that come out.