Dec.27, 2013

1. Pimaker 3D printer

3D printer with a rotating platform gives you much bigger build area than Cartesian (xyz) printers. PiMaker was one of the earliest rotary 3d printers available on the market. It has the same size as the Makerbot Cupcake, but features increased build volume (200%+) and the decreased parts count (30%.)

How does PiMaker work? It uses a polar coordinate (radius, angle) system for calculating the tool path instead of the standard cartesian (x,y) coordinate system. The system will automatically accept standard G codes for X,Y and Z, but it will automatically convert them to the corresponding polar coordinates. This allows you to use all the standard software like ReplicatorG, Prontorface, Repetier.


2. Blacksmith Printr 3D printer

A group in Singapore, Blacksmith Group, has been working on another rotary 3D printer since early this year. Blacksmith Printr 3D printer has a print platform that rotates continuously in a direction while its extruder moves radially within the line from centre of the print platform to the brim. This mechanical design cuts down by half the distance that its extruder needs to move. Also, it minimizes the support structure needed for my extruder, making Blacksmith more compact than other 3D printers.

The team has their office at Nanyang Technological University, and according to John Fang, co-founder of the Singaporean startup, the Blacksmith prints the same volume as a Makerbot but takes up only half the space. Watch the video interview below:


3. Theta polar 3D printer

In January 2013 RepRap user unlimitedbacon presented his polar 3d printer 'Theta'. "Its basically a giant 3D printing record player." says unlimitedbacon. It features four extruders for multiple colors and materials and 320 mm print platter. Objects are printed onto a platter that spins back and forth. Its driven via a stepper motor and a large gear. Rollers support the platter around the perimeter and keep it level. Four Extruders are each mounted on the end of an arm that swings in and out. Watch the video to see how it works:

These 3D printers are either experimental or still under development. We shall see if polar 3D printers have more advantages to other printers that operate in a cartesian space. You can follow the progress of the Theta polar printer here, and all files are available at GitHub.


4. Polar Automation

Polar Automation (Polar-3D) is another team working on a new (experimental) Concept Prototype. Its design has the potential for printing as well as general tool automation (such as two or more sequential operations involving printing, milling, and scanning). The ability to mill opens up a much wider range of materials, such as metals, wood, and hard acrylics. In addition the rotational platters provide the ideal motion for high resolution scanning of objects.


Posted in 3D Printers



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mike morrison wrote at 2/14/2014 9:20:38 PM:

Just search for ultrabot on kickstarter to see the story on pi maker

SOLID ENGINEERING wrote at 12/31/2013 5:29:20 PM:

Very interesting post. We have shared it in all our social networks!

Joe D wrote at 12/30/2013 3:28:24 PM:

A weakness with this design is that printing at the very center of the rotary platen will require very significant rotation of the platen to move a small amount in the "Y" direction.

Dirty Steve. wrote at 12/29/2013 1:20:13 AM:

I just don't see the point. It's not an improvement on existing machine designs.

Seth Swanson wrote at 12/28/2013 12:02:48 AM:

WHOA WHOA WHOA! Please watch what you're printing here for the public. The PiMaker is a sham. it should not be offered any real publicity as a show of validity. It had 90 backers on Kickstarter and only a handful of people received anything, and even those items were broken. Bill conveniently made his tech open source right before designing and building an entirely new 3D rotary printer for another company called Pixie Printer with Ed Estes. When the Kickstarter Backers found out and demanded that he fulfill his Kickstarter obligations, he said he was filing bankruptcy. To date he has shown no proof of actually doing so. Be VERY careful of anything William (Bill) J Steele or Ed Estes is a part of. I spent $1449.00 for one of the first 10 fully assembled units. After waiting 15 months now, I still have nothing except a bunch of BS emails and a bankruptcy notice.

Jason Harkins wrote at 12/27/2013 4:59:51 PM:

The Pimaker was never realized. Willaim Steele never delivered a single working maker to anyone. The project is over year late with it's promises. Bill is claiming to be filing for bankruptcy but will not give any details to any of us who might make a claim against him and is now involved with another rotary 3-d printer company. Pixie Printers, I think.

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