Archives for category: IndustrialFab

Below: the first batch of fresnels.  Took some time to get the settings right since what I thought were the old settings were scorching my new brand of lenses- eventually got it by dialing down the power and putting blue painters tape on the back, transfer tape on the front to protect.  Imagery from invertebrate biology textbooks and the biodiversity heritage library.IMG_8959.JPGimg_8943Video:

img_8925IMG_8973.JPGA scorched one:img_8903My tests:img_8905:

I’ll be trained on the laser cutter next week!  While I’m focusing on cutting fresnels and transparent materials, I couldn’t help but gawk at some of these laser cut paper sculptures.  The one right below looks like pretty mold!  While I don’t aspire to the level of these artworks, It’s really quite amazing what is possible now.



Some inspiration for my own cuts: Haeckel_Spumellaria.jpg64d46a8d0ff41ab0ebdd53ec352655cc.jpg9992f3c29f8c81c140f515bd2c68bfe0.jpgi-27d4775dda188d3c4c57ce61e8cb67c8-Arctic Creature 6 - nemertean pelagonemertes rollestoni.jpg7501c406670ce2f9f2ef87d3f0398dad.jpgearthwormcsl-14B8A4ABC7C2C986625.jpgstock-photo-a-low-power-view-of-the-entire-cross-section-of-the-small-intestine-of-a-guinea-pig-showing-villi-43653424.jpg10.pngchelicerata nervous system.jpgDemospongiae_spicule_diversity.png



I love transparent and optically interesting materials- I’ve been experimenting with printing clear objects which could be used to add sculptural depth to my laser cut fresnel-sculptures.  Colorfabb HT clear filament rocks!  It is quite strong and heat resistant (have to extrude at 260C), and has a high flow rate so seeps into air pockets which make other clear filaments turn cloudy.  With little to no fine tuning I produced the prints below, 100% infill of course.  Not perfectly clear, but pretty darn good.  I thought I’d have to have access to an SLA machine to do anything like this.  See:


unnamed-3.jpgunnamed-4.jpg16422944_1094187300710471_7746149964818617928_o 16422498_1094187387377129_3396496301691152864_o 16251902_1094187354043799_4222621691624287394_o 16423078_1094187457377122_7355409530632379873_o


IMG_8794.jpgReally love this clear filament- it prints pretty great also, atleast for these smaller objects- no warping or edge curling even though I’m not using an enclosure or cooling.  It is sticking well to PET tape @120C supplemented with wolfbite adhesive from matterhackers. At 0.1mm layer height and 15mm/s speed these are very slow prints though!

3dprinter_jessholz-4Got the new extruder- extruding much better now, there was definitely something loose in the old one.  I can get it to print a few layers of ABS but it then the print comes loose off the bed, so still needs tweaking.  My x-y is a little tight compared to Cameron’s and it’s making the motor drivers overheat (thankfully the smoothieboard protects itself by turning off)- hopefully can adjust the wheel tension ok.

EDIT: xy fixed!  Lionel noticed that one of the bolts from the belt clamps was protruding a little far and scraping the v-slot underneith.  Thank you Lionel for noticing that as I was about to take my carriage apart to put new spacers in.  Can’t wait to get this thing printing!  Video below is from before the xy was fixed, it was pointed out online that it might be skipping steps:

I spent a long time on brackets for the power supplies and electronics housing which attached to the outside of the frame, so I could eventually add an enclosure:


Other then the smoothieboard the main upgrades were the 575w heated bed and 3 point leveling.  Hopefully can get her printing over winter break.



So eventually I got my d-bot moving:

After a few erroneous steps per mm calculations it was still underextruding pretty bad so I checked the hotend, sure enough the heat block wasn’t tight.  I went to tighten it and accidentally ripped the thermistor off it’s wires.  So my printer is dead until next week when I get another hot end ($$$).

A sad looking print, the only one it’s made thus far:


I love the blebby membrane on this cell.  Blebs (the bubbly structures) can be a result of apoptosis, otherwise known as programmed cell death, where the membrane blebs start budding off into space, filled with cell junk.  However in this case this case I think this type of cultured cells (CHO cells: Chinese Hamster Ovary)  just sort of have a bubbly membranes a lot; they are not apoptotic.



The 3d reconstruction is made based on stereo pairs of images: two images at 5-10 degrees difference in tilt that could be viewed through a stereoscope, or computed into a 3d model.  Typically the reconstruction is done from two images near the top, with this cell the reconstruction was from two images on one side.  You can see the resulting distortion below.  But still looks like the cell when viewing from the angle it was reconstructed from.



For my independent study I am learning some lighting techniques, so I decided to apply them to my 3d printed cells in an attempt to make them look like an electron micrograph.  In scanning electron microscopy everything is grey and opaque, thus 3d printed cells have a good possibility to be rendered like an electron micrograph. I went with a gigantic softbox on one side, smaller softbox on the other side; to make the light wrap around.  Not entirely happy with the result, and definitely should have gone with a grey background instead of black.





3D reconstructed^

Electrons don’t quite behave like light- for one thing the detector has a positive voltage to draw electrons toward it, thus one can have a some electrons being sucked up from behind objects.  My professor suggested I combine multiple exposures of different lighting arrangements to try and get it to outline the forms like the top electron microscope image.  Below are the results- still not quite like electron microscopy.  _MG_9786 cropped.jpeg_MG_9785.JPG

_mg_0192_x^In the next iteration, I made a 3d printed mold of the cells, and cast them in clear silicone (it’s called ‘sorta-clear’, no lie).

I was interested in making an electron micrograph object be transparent, closer to a transmitted light image like below:x-polyarthra-vulgaris-male_11b-8

In the final iteration, not sure if I want to go there, but I’m interested in reproducing the look of what’s called Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy.  Things look like reliefs in DIC:


So I thought of doing a relief of cells, in yet another iterative reconstruction step.  The image below is a result of 3D reconstructing from the 2D transparent cell photo above, could be 3d printed.


I have the frame and bed assembled, this week I’ve been testing the electronics.  I decided to go with 24V electronics for the option of having more power to heat up my gigantic 200x300mm heated bed (this one:  The bed is actually a bit confusing: basically it can be dual voltage (12 or 24V), and each voltage has a different resistance for the heating element- 1 ohm for 12V, 4 ohms for 24V.  If you do the math the power is about the same for each: 140W.  However, one can run 24V through the 12V terminal (see below), making the resistance 1 ohm- 1 ohm @24V= 575W! (25 amps, yikes).  A little overkill, but I can’t find a bed between 140 and 575W.  So this week I tested the bed using 24V in the 24V terminal, to see if it would reach ABS temps @140W.  After about 12 minutes it is stuck at 100 degrees.  Might be enough, but barely, so I decided to go with the 575W approach- I am now waiting on a relay and a separate power supply.


For my controller board, I am using a smoothieboard instead of RAMPs, mainly since I’ve heard good things and it works at 24V.

It’s been a bit of an adventure figuring it out, the documentation is ok after you get to know it better, but at first I was lost.  But the customer service is great- they typically reply within an hour to my dumb questions.  The scary image below and the configuration code is actually starting to make sense, woohoo.


img_7967For my ‘Machines that Make’ class I have started a d-bot 3d printer, as found here:  I was sold on it because of the great documentation and sturdy frame.  However I keep making mistakes on the details like ordering the wrong gauge wire (and cutting it, so I can’t return it), so it’s getting a bit expensive, oh well.  img_7971


In the end, it worked!  I was worried that “there is a reason chairs are not shaped like this”- we had our fingers crossed right up to the due date- but it bears weight, there’s a little wobble- but overall it is ‘ok’.  Comfy and matches the patio, too.