3D printing is rapidly becoming the one and only way to manufacture parts – making anything from little action figures to wearable clothes. But, no matter how expensive or fancy your printer is they all have the same problem: getting finished parts out of the printbed. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? It wouldn’t be if you didn’t wait hours for your project to finish only to have it ruined by a sticky printbed. Luckily, there is a solution out there by the guys from MatterHackers, a team dedicated to letting people bring their 3D designs to life. Introducing the Automatic Print Ejector, the solution that not only works, but is fun to watch.
At first look the device looks like something Wile E. Coyote would order from ACME to help him catch that darn Roadrunner. Created by Tyler Anderson, it’s pretty much a big red boxing glove at the end of a scissor mechanism, which automatically punches your designs off the printbed. It’s very Rube Goldberg in design, which was intentional on the creator’s part. According to Anderson, the original idea was to have a boot swing down and kick designs off the printbed. Why the switch to boxing glove? Purely for comical reasons. But won’t the punching destroy the design? As you see in the video, no. Tyler has fine tuned the speed to make sure it’s fast, with minimal force behind it.
Parts for the device were created entirely from printed parts and things laying around the MatterHackers warehouse. Most of the printed components took less than 30 minutes to print, but you wouldn’t think it by seeing the Automatic Print Ejector in action. Every part was actually printed in PLA with a layer thickness of 0.2 mm, 2 perimeters, and 30% infill. If you didn’t catch all that don’t worry, Anderson has posted a tutorial for the ejector on the Hackaday website. You can even download all the 3D printable files from the same site. Once you put it all together all that’s left is the programming. Tyler has you covered there – all the necessary code can be found on GitHub. The firmware itself is based on the OpenBeam branch of Marlin firmware.
Now, hopefully you have all the tools you need to make your own comical Automatic Print Ejector. Who knows, maybe the boot version of the device will become a reality in the near future.