Mar 30, 2018 | By Benedict

Joris van Tubergen, the Dutch industrial design engineer who created the Z-Unlimited add-on for Ultimaker 3D printers, has created a device for 3D printing on eggs. It’s the perfect 3D printer accessory for Easter!

We’ve already treated you to some Easter-themed 3D printing projects this week, but when we heard about this brilliant eggsperiment from a well-known printing engineer, we couldn’t resist adding another.

You might know industrial design engineer Joris van Tubergen from another crazy (if slightly more practical) project of his: Z-Unlimited.

Around three years ago, the Dutch engineer created a Kickstarter for an open-source add-on for Ultimaker 3D printer. The add-on enabled unlimited Z-axis 3D printing, by essentially hanging the Ultimakers upside down.

The Kickstarter was a big success, raising €27,074 from 81 backers and allowing van Tubergen to deliver his unique vision to customers.

Van Tubergen’s latest project is a little less serious than Z-Unlimited, but it’s also innovative and forward-thinking. It involves 3D printing on eggs. Yes, eggs.

The project came about as van Tubergen was experimenting with a rotary axis to replace his 3D printer’s Y-axis, allowing him to print on a kind of rotating spit instead of a static print bed.

When he realized he could use the same technique to incorporate an egg as the printer’s “print bed,” he thought it was too good an Easter trick to keep to himself.

“A small rotary Y-axis experiment turned out into a full-featured egg printing device,” the engineer reveals, “including scanning the surface of each individual egg as a preformed 3D print bed.”

The rotary axis used to rotate the printed-on egg was designed using Onshape, with the wooden parts laser-cut and the gears and egg holder 3D printed. Van Tubergen used a timing belt, shortened and glued together, for the Y stepper motor.

“For the egg leveling procedure the ‘standard’ bed leveling options in Marlin are [ab]used,” van Tubergen says. “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.”

And that was that: with a few clever tweaks, the creator of the Z-Unlimited was able to turn a desktop 3D printer into a high-tech egg decoration machine. He’s even used the rotating Y-axis to help a Design Academy student create some incredible sculptures for a project.

If this project doesn’t inspire you to get 3D printing over the Easter weekend, surely nothing will…

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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