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  1. I agree! Don't worry, I will be private messaging them to discuss just that eventually. We're still in the early stages. I haven't done anything besides get it working and test cell viability in one test print. We still need to run an actual project through it, and I'm not there yet.
  2. I'm looking into this option today! About to install Tinkerware and test the extrusion! Thanks again!
  3. The LEDs on the commercial bioprinters in our lab are 3.5V, 0.5A, so I just bought a handful of those. I think one will do, honestly. Regardless, it sounds like that's still too much power for the microcontroller. It looks like I have a little research to do, but don't worry, I'm not going to come this far and back out! I'll persevere! Thank you, once again, for your help!
  4. Thanks for your patience! I just sent you a message with some pics. I have the most current version of [what I assume is] the official Ultimaker firmware. I just installed it recently through Cura (usb connected). Haven't really looked into Tinker firmware before, but I just looked it up, and I think I'm already sold! I'm going to install it tomorrow and give it a shot!
  5. The BioStruder is up and running! I just had to swap a couple cords in the wiring diagram, but now it works perfectly! The solenoid opens and closes with the LED commands from both gcode and the LCD menu. Unfortunately, my principal investigator doesn’t want me posting any pictures/videos of the alteration until we’ve submitted a paper for publishing (shouldn’t be long). Until then, I am willing to send them, privately, to anyone that helped out here! Just let me know in this thread or in a message, and I’ll share some pictures/videos with you—the only caveat is that I have to ask you to please not share them with anyone until we have submitted a paper for publishing. I was wondering if anyone had insight into a couple questions I’m still having. The extruder is working great, but I still have one work-around to figure out…the LED turning on automatically when I start a print…this causes the solenoid to open early. I changed the Ultimaker’s LED setting to “Always Off”, and I inserted an “LED off” gcode command as the first thing in the code, hoping it would “head-off” the automatic function that tells the Ultimaker to turn the LED on at the start of a print…but the Ultimaker still automatically turns the LED on the moment I start any print. Is there a way to disable the LED at the beginning of the print? Is this something that would have to be changed in the firmware? The other question I have might be a simpler one. Now that I have the extrusion working, I was hoping to add a small LED to the end of the extruder for curing the gels (they polymerize when irradiated with a specific wavelength of light). Are there other available outputs on the control board that have the convenient solution of powering on/off with a simple gcode command like I’ve done with the solenoid? As always, sorry if any of this isn’t making sense—let me know if I need to clarify anything a little better. And thanks in advance!
  6. I know this is old, but I have the same setup as you, and I found a way to abort the print from the lastest version of Cura via USB. I have an Ultimaker 2 Extended+, webcam, and a Windows 10 computer with TeamViewer on it. I start an SD card print and watch it remotely with TeamViewer and a webcam. If I need to abort for some reason, I just open Cura, which initiates a USB connection to the Ultimaker, stopping the print.
  7. No need to worry. First off, a solid state relay is basically an optocoupler driven power transistor. Short of someone melting the part and somehow fusing the internals together, there is nothing the secondary side can do to affect the primary side of the relay. Second, the LED's are switched by a pin on the microcontroller driving a transistor. Even if we were to do something evil like short the output to ground, we'll only kill the transistor. We have the schematics, we have the parts list. You can have a handful of replacements for 1 euro, all you need is a soldering iron and someone to wield it. You've put me at ease I'm ordering the solenoid and SS Relay today! Thanks again, SyntaxTerror!
  8. I understand your concern with the gel extrusion, but that isn't usually where the problem occurs with our other printers. Controlling the extrusion with a simple valve open/close method (with upstream regulation of the pressure to get the ideal extrusion velocity) is how all our other bioprinters operate, and it seems to work well enough for the resolution we need. Also, please correct me if I'm looking at his design wrong, but from what I can tell, the Joris method uses the filament to actually push the syringe? If this is the case, it isn't useful to us, since we want to print PCL from the hot end with a syringe extrusion in the same print. Anyone else have any input on the whole "damaging the circuit board" possibility? After seeing that come up twice now...I'm getting a bit worried about it.
  9. Beautiful! Thank you both, SyntaxTerror and foehnsturm! I'm going to go ahead and order the solenoid and solid-state relay now (we have some options for 12v sources in the lab already). I'll let you know how it turns out!
  10. Thanks for this info, gr5! I've actually come across this already, and while it's definitely the best solution, we are trying to keep this project relatively low-cost (I'd like to keep the first version/attempt under $100 so I can at least show it working first...then it's easier for us to talk the higher-ups into funding it further).
  11. I definitely do want it to integrate with the whole printing environment. I assumed the LED idea was still fulfilling this requirement. If I reroute the LED wire to a solid-state relay (thank you foehnsturm!), and then the solid state relay controls the 12v solenoid, then shouldn't opening the gel extruder be as easy as inserting the gcode for "LED ON"? We work with very small print sizes and layers, so manually inserting this code for now wouldn't be that big of a deal. I attached a low res workflow image of what I'm thinking.
  12. And if the simpler option just won't work, something like your Ulticontroller sounds like it would!
  13. Thanks to all three of you for the quick replies! ultiarjan, I love the idea of using the LED wire--seems like it would be the simplest option. Unfortunately, as SyntaxTerror mentioned, I think I'm going to need more voltage. I was considering this solenoid. The lower voltage solenoids weren't rated for high enough pressures for what we need (5-40 psi). Is there a way to use the signal from the LED wire to send a signal to activate a different 12V power source to open the solenoid? Does that make sense, or am I just getting into nonsenseland? I just really like the idea of using the LED wire so I don't need to mess with electronics or firmware.
  14. Hello, First of all, I'd like to thank you all, in advance, for all the help I've received just from reading through topics in this community--it has been incredibly helpful. I manage a bioprinting lab--we work with commercial bioprinters that use pneumatics to extrude viscous biomaterial gels. We'd like to alter our Ultimaker 2+ Extended in a very specific way--we'd like to add a 10 ml syringe-holding attachment that can extrude our gels in coordination with the Ultimaker's hot end extrusion. I would like to be able to control a solenoid valve with the Ultimaker's electronics--this valve would control the air pressure that drives the gel out of the syringe. Is the Ultimaker 2's motherboard amenable to this? If so, can you please point me in the right direction to start that alteration? Also, how would I go about changing the firmware/gcode to accommodate this new extruder? Thank you in advance for any responses!
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