Aug.3, 2012

The University of Twente, the Netherlands brought their Pwdr Model 0.1 to the open source community, an open source powder-based rapid prototyping machine.

Its goal is to promote experiments and innovations in powder-based rapid-prototyping. The machine is ready to use both the 3DP as the SLS process with minimal adaption, although the printer is currently prepped for 3DP.

A wide range of new materials become available for experimenting with open-source rapid-prototyping; for example, when using the 3DP process: gypsum, ceramics, concrete, sugar, etc. And when the SLS process is fully supported, plastic materials like ABS, PP, Nylon and metals become available as building material.


  • Maximum build size: 125mm x 125mm x 125mm
  • Print resolution (3DP): 96DPI
  • Minimum vertical step size: 50μm
  • Speed (depending on printed part): ±1 minute per layer


The Pwdr Model 0.1 consists of chassis, tool head and electronics. The printer consists of two bins (#1 for storing powder, near electronics and #2 for building the part), which move up and down respectfully during the printing process. The powder is distributed using a counter-rotating roller.

The printer head that deposits the binder is a standard Hewlett Packard C6602A cartridge. The cartridge can be refilled with custom binders using a syringe. A custom binder of 20% alcohol and 80% water has been proven to work. The printer head is connected to the Arduino micro-controller via a custom protoshield board that supplies the correct voltages to the nozzles.

It has a simple design and can be built within a couple of hours. The machine is easy and affordable to build and modify. Building a Pwdr Model 0.1 machine costs about €1000,-.


Two pieces of software are used for the printer control; the firmware running on the Arduino micro-controller and control software running on a computer. The control software converts the CAD model in a printable format, this file is then uploaded to the Pwdr Model 0.1 micro-controller.

This technology will certainly make a change and bring new opportunities to rapid prototyping in the open source community.

Thanks antonio for the tip!


Posted in 3D Printers



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GR0B wrote at 12/14/2012 4:12:27 AM:

And I thought the Candyfab ( back in 2009 was the first open source powder based 3D printer.

Michael Tig wrote at 8/5/2012 5:56:54 PM:


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