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Daid

Introducing: The TITAN

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I found my Ultimaker very pleasant, and very fun to print with. However, I have one problem with it. The size.

So, I'm working on a new printer. A different sized printer. So (thanks to Jelle) I call it now the "TITAN"

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Making sure you have to scroll for extra drama effect.

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I'm serious.

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Really.

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Ok.

I'll show you:

IMG_0559.JPG

It's the TITAN prototype I'm working on. Sitting next to my Ultimaker. As you can see it is not finished. And as you can see, it is small.

How small exactly? Let me show you this size chart I made:

SizeCompare.png

These are outer dimensions, on scale. Width and height.

As you can see, the Ultimaker is almost the largest printer, but a Prusa mendel is even bigger. And the replicator is gigantic. The Huxley is a portable Prusa, smaller to make it easier to take with you. The Tantillus is a "portable open source 3D printer". Both are suppose to be small printers.

Notes on the size chart:

 

  • [*:2cj3a700]Prusa Mendel size is guessed, could be larger, I could not find the outside size from the documentation.
    [*:2cj3a700]The Ultimaker is larger then advertized, I used the advertized size, but the real size should include the extruder drives, which would make it 110mm larger. Making it larger then an Mendel.
    [*:2cj3a700]When looking at width, I took the largest of width and depth of a machine.
    [*:2cj3a700]The printrbot is missing, because of the many variations, and I could not find the size. But I expect it to be about the same as a Prusa.
    [*:2cj3a700]The Tantillus also cheats with it's size, as it has gears on the outside.

 

But all are giants compared to the TITAN. It's only 180x180x180mm. And with this size it fits inside of an Ultimaker.

Even at this size, I manage to get an 80x80x80 build area. Or I should say. I hope to get an 80x80x80 build area. Because I'm still working on it.

The goal of the TITAN is an easy transportable 3D printer. So it should be small, light weight and tough. Which is my main problem with the Ultimaker, I don't like transporting it. Not because it's not sturdy (because it is, I don't fear breaking it on transport) but it's heavy and bulky. So the TITAN will be light, small and sturdy.

I'm using the Ultimaker hotend. Which is pretty small compared to the alternatives. (I had one spare and you can order them online)

As I'm building and testing the X/Y parts right now, I still need to design the Z stage (which I will figure out, I've figured out solutions for all other problems so far)

My current design (in OpenSCAD) looks like this:

Titan.png

As you can see, I already placed the motors in there. And there is a gray box for the build area (so I know what to stay clear from).

For the math people, yes, there are 4 motors there. Unlike the Ultimaker design, I want to put my extruder drive inside of the machine. Same as the Tantillus does. Which makes it very crowded in there. Unlike the Ultimaker, I want to see if I can make the bowden tube "quick release". So that during transportation, you can unclip the tube, and put it inside of the machine. So it really is only 180x180x180 during transportation (the tube is the only thing sticking out of the 180x180x180 area)

I still have more to figure out, but I also see a battery powered TITAN as an option. I know Joris already has done it with an Ultimaker. Would be totally awesome to walk around with this thing :-)

As I'm building and designing this, people around me start to have ideas on how to improve it, change it, which is great. But first I want to get this prototype ready and working.

I guess some people want to know if I will open source it. Yes, I will. But not right now. For 2 reasons, first I don't want my half finished and most likely changing, design to be out there disappointing people. And also, the design currently contains a beta hot-end from Ultimaker. So it would be impossible to build right now anyhow.

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uhh.. silly question but what do you usefully print with something that small?
About 90% of my prints are smaller then 80x80x80mm. So, just about anything?

Yes, it is too small for some prints. But so is the Ultimaker ;-) And the TITAN is designed for portability, so you don't want to do long prints on it. You want to do quick prints, at location. Most likely I will also fit it with an 0.6 or 0.8mm nozzle, instead of the stock 0.4mm.

Of the currently last 10 featured items on Thingiverse, 1 is not a printable object. 1 is unfinished, and 2 are too large for 80x80x80. The other 6 are printable on that size.

 

can you print TITAN with ultimaker :D:D ?
All printed parts can be printed with the Ultimaker. (Or the TITAN itself) But the case is lasercut right now. And I think the Z stage will also have some lasercut parts.

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Actually this is something I have been wanting for some time, a more portable printer. It doesn't matter if its not large, if I have a larger print I already have an Ultimaker.

I just got access to a laser cutter so I'll be really watching this with interest. Might even give me something to do with my spare Ultimaker hot end. :D

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i guess i'm too ambitious then! 90% of what I print is larger than that and I often wish I had just a little more space.

that's not to say what you've done isn't cool - au contraire. if you paint it pink and put fur trimmings around it you'll become a chick magnet too ;) who couldn't resist such a cute lil UM ;)

be interested to see it finished and what quality prints you can get! keep up the good work Daid :)

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That's awesome Daid. I'm planning a Tantillus myself... And I want to put together a DLP STL resin printer (I expect my resin to arrive later this week). My STL printer will probably have a build volume equal to or greater than my Ultimaker, but there is a lot to be said for a portable printer. Like you, most of my prints would fit in your Titan's build volume.

In my professional life I work as a software developer for a bank (a Dutch bank actually, but in London). I'd love to have a printer small enough to sit on my desk here at the office. The most attractive part about the Tantillus (for me anyway) is that it's case can be printed on my Ultimaker.

For your design, I love how you've placed all of the motors inside the case. It's going to take some clever work to get your Z axis working, but I can think of a couple of possible arrangements. It's definitely doable. I think your extruder might be difficult to get to for filament changing, but we'll have to see how it goes. It's nice having it all self-contained anyway. I also like how you've used the Ultimaker style head but fully printed it.

Have you thought about re-working the bowden to hot-end coupling at all to prevent the cold plug problems in the Ultimaker design?

Look forward to seeing it completed!

Cheers,

Troy.

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Actually this is something I have been wanting for some time, a more portable printer. It doesn't matter if its not large, if I have a larger print I already have an Ultimaker.

I just got access to a laser cutter so I'll be really watching this with interest. Might even give me something to do with my spare Ultimaker hot end. :D

I'll be opening up the design as soon as it's working. This is just my prototype right now. Once it works, I'm going to cut the case again, but in 3mm wood instead of the 6mm (to save weight). I'm also going to print all parts again in a fancy color. I hate my black, but I have lots of it, so perfect for test parts, I already had to replace just about every part you see, just because I had some problems with getting the belts in there.

 

i guess i'm too ambitious then! 90% of what I print is larger than that and I often wish I had just a little more space.
Then it's not the printer for you :)

 

that's not to say what you've done isn't cool - au contraire. if you paint it pink and put fur trimmings around it you'll become a chick magnet too ;) who couldn't resist such a cute lil UM ;)
:lol: Make it pink and it attracts girls. Would be nice to get more girls interrested in tech tough.

 

be interested to see it finished and what quality prints you can get! keep up the good work Daid :)
I'm very interrested in the quality myself. As the design is simply a small Ultimaker, I think I should get the same quality. But I replaced the belts with T5 belts, the pulleys with printed versions. And the bearings and bushings with printed bushings. (which might cause problems)

 

That's awesome Daid. I'm planning a Tantillus myself... And I want to put together a DLP STL resin printer (I expect my resin to arrive later this week). My STL printer will probably have a build volume equal to or greater than my Ultimaker, but there is a lot to be said for a portable printer. Like you, most of my prints would fit in your Titan's build volume.
I was looking at the Tantillus, and I took a few bits from that design (like the printed bushings) but there are parts that I don't like about it. Like the outside gears, and the lack of belts. (belts make me feel more comfortable)

As for a resin printer. I don't like the idea of having resin in my home. I can be clumsy, and I know I will spill it. I do like the results I see, but I am wondering about the strength of the parts, as so far I've only seen "pretty prints" (not that pretty prints aren't great, they are)

 

In my professional life I work as a software developer for a bank (a Dutch bank actually, but in London). I'd love to have a printer small enough to sit on my desk here at the office. The most attractive part about the Tantillus (for me anyway) is that it's case can be printed on my Ultimaker.
The noise might be an issue tough, if you place it on your desk :)

I think the TITAN could have a printed case. But if the design works, and people are interested, I could offer lasercut kits (I think the lasercut parts only need to cost like 20-30 Euro). Maybe I could even work with Ultimaker to sell full kits (as I need a few Ultimaker parts) but first, let's get this machine working, then maybe a kickstarter...

 

For your design, I love how you've placed all of the motors inside the case. It's going to take some clever work to get your Z axis working, but I can think of a couple of possible arrangements. It's definitely doable. I think your extruder might be difficult to get to for filament changing, but we'll have to see how it goes. It's nice having it all self-contained anyway. I also like how you've used the Ultimaker style head but fully printed it.
The Z stage will be my biggest hurdle now. If I place the Z screw on top of the motor, I don't think it has enough length for 80mm before it hits the X/Y assembly. I just have to try some arrangements.

As my photo shows, I already solved the belt tension issue. It looks a bit odd on the photo, as it only has 1 screw in it. But with 2 screws it works great. I'm also clamping the belts in the slider blocks with the X/Y rods. Which is a very clever design I think. (and very small) The slider blocks took 4 iterations to get right, so that where quite a few wasted prints :)

The printed Ultimaker head style was smaller then a wood cut version (I designed a wood version first). I'm using a wooden plate as bottom plate, however, this might not provide enough isolation and thus the bottom printed part might melt. If this is the case, then I can replace the bottom wood plate with an alu plate as in the Ultimaker.

As for filament changing. The extruder motor is the one in the front, without a pulley on it. A direct drive extruder would be the most space efficient (but will it be strong enough?). I can see how you could think that changing filament would be hard. But a bit of extra tube going from one side of the machine to the extruder would solve that I guess. I'm also thinking about an "out of filament" sensor. Which pauses your print if you are almost running out of filament.

 

Have you thought about re-working the bowden to hot-end coupling at all to prevent the cold plug problems in the Ultimaker design?
I did not have to. Ultimaker already did this. (But don't tell anyone I said this, it's a secret, and still in testing phase)

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I'm also thinking about an "out of filament" sensor. Which pauses your print if you are almost running out of filament.

This is also something I had on my mind for months, so I just opened another topic for this: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1147

The TITAN looks excellent! I want something I can bring in my bike topcase...

While a foldable printer such as the foldarap seems quite nice, I'd go with a smaller and (probably) more robust one such as yours. I agree that most of my prints really fall within the box also.

Also, I think it could be easily made expandable vertically by using rods in place of plywood for example (or some kind of lego stacking?), even though this is not the best direction to increase the print size...

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I'm also thinking about an "out of filament" sensor. Which pauses your print if you are almost running out of filament.

This is also something I had on my mind for months, so I just opened another topic for this: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1147p

That's a slightly different but also very interesting idea (maybe you could combine both, an toptical sensor on the other side of the mouse sensor, if you see the light from the mouse, then the filament is gone. (unless you have transparent filament)

 

The TITAN looks excellent! I want something I can bring in my bike topcase...

While a foldable printer such as the foldarap seems quite nice, I'd go with a smaller and (probably) more robust one such as yours. I agree that most of my prints really fall within the box also.

The foldarap, even when folded, is still a lot larger then the TITAN. But it gives a bigger print area. However, it will never be able to "print while moving". Battery powered is one of my design goals :) And how about a plug for your cars cigarette lighter?

 

Also, I think it could be easily made expandable vertically by using rods in place of plywood for example (or some kind of lego stacking?), even though this is not the best direction to increase the print size...
How about a printer that prints it's own legs? (Joris says it is possible)

I think my design should scale in Z, just like the Ultimaker design (however, the Ultimaker+ gets more wobble as it gets taller)

I suddenly get a strange idea on how to "scale up the Z". You could cut the machine in half, add some clips for rods, and just put 4 longer rods in the corners to make it taller. But then you also need to replace the Z guide rods. You get some more problems with the belts to the X/Y motors. But all can be solved :p later.

As for the Z axes. On the UltiEvening yesterday people had 2 good ideas. One is a scissor jack solution, which should require very little space, but requires special software, as motion is not linear. And the other, much simpler solution is a hoist, you don't need a lot of force for the Z, as you just need to lower the bed. A simple wire hoist could be very space efficient, and much less costly then the Z screw used in the Ultimaker.

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That's a slightly different but also very interesting idea (maybe you could combine both, an toptical sensor on the other side of the mouse sensor, if you see the light from the mouse, then the filament is gone. (unless you have transparent filament)

Well, the optical mouse sensor would detect the absence of movement, and it may be because of the end of the filament or b/c of a stalled filament. Nonetheless, the resulting action still would be the same: pause as soon as possible!

 

As for the Z axes

Also if you manage to use belts for the Z movement, you could add a nice feature to your printer: think about it like an expandable rigid skeleton, with belts sized to the maximum height you expect to achieve. Then, using a hoist indeed would let you "eat" efficiently any such extra belt size, according to how tall the TITAN is set up. Ie; instead of O belt loops you would have multiple forth-back with idlers to keep the belt under tension may be...

Hence, the printer could collapse to a tinier Z footprint, eg. for storage but also for the default printing configuration since most 3D objects are Z-short... The printer could still be made taller by adding more rigid Z elements (or longer rods? - not convenient), and without having to change the belts. This would really be awesome :) The main drawback could be the volume of the hoists and probably increased complexity...

my two cents (or how to clobber a simple design) ;)

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Well, when you almost run out of filament, there is no reason to stop directly. There is always the move buffer that needs to be finished, and after that I want to retract a bit and move the head away from the print. Then wait for the user to insert more filament, press a button, and continue printing.

The expanding Z axes won't make it in the first design anyhow. My first goal is a working printer.

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Nice printer!

Thinking about it, it would have been very cool to have one of my own, now that I'm going on holiday. Nice and practical to carry around :-)

...well, I guess I just have to leave the ultimaker at home for the next weeks :-(

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Very cool.

I am wondering whether it is worth it to make an ultimaker style gantry with such a small footprint. All those rods make everything very crowded! You should consider making it like the mojo, which has a gantry like a darwin but one continuous belt path which goes in an H-shape. The motors are mounted on the back (stationary) and driving both motors in opposite directions moves the head up and down along the H (y axis), moving the motors in the same direction moves the head side to side (x axis). With that design you need only four rods instead of six, and it seems to me you get all the advantages of ultimaker (light weight head) without the excessive complexity. The two transverse rods could be mounted one on top of the other to further reduce the build area taken up by rods.

Another thing you may consider is using steel cables instead of belts. Steel cables are way smaller and fit in smaller spaces. I am not convinced that they stretch more than belts, and besides with a thin cable the tension mechanism would be much less bulky (guitar string tuner??). Besides, with the H-belt(cable?) setup there are naturally two idler positions at the bottom of the H (motors at the top) which lend themselves to spring-loaded tensioners.

Keep up the good work and consider making this printer have a heated chamber. Smaller volume = easier to heat up!

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The H-shaped X/Y frame is called CoreXY, and they added support to Marlin for it a few days ago. And it has come up as a possibility. But that was after I build this X/Y frame. You are free to draw up a quick design, but I think you will only win a few cm in 1 direction, and add a lot of complexity. And it might not even fit.

I have considered steel cable (guitar strings or fishing line). However, it does not win you any space, and I felt more comfortable with belts, as they are easier to attach to something. Cables would be cheaper I guess. I have 2 10T5/800 belts, which I cut in half to make 4x 5T5/800 belts. I need 6 belts, which are all less then half the 800 length. These 2 belts costs about 10 euro each. So they do add in the cost of the machine. (I haven't done a BOM yet)

But step 1 is a working machine. Step 2 will be improving on it, and as I will open up the design, everyone can improve on it if they want. I won't be building an heated chamber in my machine, but a simple change of the lasercut sides should provide with most sides closed. It will be the top (with the bowden tube) that is hard to seal. With the motors inside of the case, it should be even easier to heat it up :)

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CoreXY is supported in Marlin now?

I've been slowly working on building a CoreXY based gantry for a while now... My main intent is to make a simple isolation routing PCB mill though rather than a 3d Printer. However the idea is to make the tool interchangeable with an extruder.

I'm also planning to try out synchromesh cables instead of belts. However there is very little information available on synchromesh cables and they're unfortunately only available from one vendor who is located in the US.

Cheers,

Troy.

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I might just give Marlin a try and see how it goes, but if it doesn't work well then I'll just go with Grbl don't think it would be difficult to get Grbl instead. I should not be hard to get Grbl to work with CoreXY. I've read somewhere else that someone did it with a simple change to one file but they did not document the specific change or release the updated code.

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TITAN2.png

I've made some progress on the design, I have designed a Z stage now, which I hope is stable enough. It was more troublesome to fit in a small area then I had expected. There are still some parts missing, like the winch and the top parts of the Z axes.

Also there is still room behind the Z stage, so the Z motor and extruder will fit there. (I hope)

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I know it has been silent on the TITAN front. But I'm still working on it!

As people might have seen, I released the belt tension/connection system on thingiverse:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:31914

It's pretty simple and small, but works great. I actually managed to almost break the machine by putting to much tension on it.

In the design, I've placed all the belts, motors, a Z screw, added feet, added caps for the Z guides. Added all screw holes. The only things missing right now are the extruder drive and electronics.

Design pics:

TITAN2.png

Without the front and side panel, so you can see the insides

TITAN3.png

Newer front design, the TITAN text is engraved (it always was, but didn't show like that on the design) and the hole in the front is larger so you can easier access the build area from the front.

I need to cut new wooden parts. As my current case is cut from soft wood, and that isn't strong enough. Also, the screw connectors are slightly to short so I lengthen those a bit.

I installed the belts for the X/Y system on my test machine, and those work. Need to test the Z mechanism next, if that works then I almost have a working printer.

Quick cost estimate:

50 euros on the screws (could be done for a lot less, just got 100 of each length and 1000 nuts)

30 euros rods

52 euros on steppers

20 euros on belts

~20 euros on wood (for the final case)

Add about 100 euros for a hotend with all parts from UM (heater, temperature sensor)

Using UM electronics would add another 180 euros (but the UM electronics are too large, and pretty expensive)

So total raw cost for the machine sits around 450 euros. Excluding the printed parts. Excluding any extra parts I might need for the extruder drive.

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