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noodles

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  1. This is one of those "shot-in-the-dark" naive kinds of ideas, but here goes... I remember seeing on here previously people talking about different ideas for printing in colors (mixing plastic, multiple print heads, etc). I think there's even a new Makerbot that has two print heads. I was watching a video of a print running (I don't have my printer yet) and what I noticed is that it prints the wall of a layer very quickly, but then proceeds to spend a lot of time pushing the print-head back and forth to fill in the interior area with thin little stripes (I'm talking about solid layers, not the internal support hexagons for hollow objects). Anyway, why not add another print head, not for the sake of color, but with a wider nozzle to fill large interior areas of a layer more quickly. The tiny nozzle would build the detailed sections first and then the large one would fill in the open spaces. I realize you'd probably go through engineering hell trying to get the layer thicknesses the same between two nozzles extruding different volumes of goo, but the upshot is that once you achieved that, you could make drastically fewer "swipes" over large open areas, which would probably mean faster prints and maybe even better print consistency, since you'd probably be less likely to skip steps if your paths were shorter and you're turning fewer tight corners. I guess it would only help to the extent that you have large flat areas that need to be printed. The first few and last few layers of the whistle would go much faster, but the others probably less so. Anyway, just a random thought on a Wednesday night.
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