Project image
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$2,450
pledged of $3,500pledged of $3,500 goal
27
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, August 31 2015 2:33 PM UTC +00:00
$2,450
pledged of $3,500pledged of $3,500 goal
27
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, August 31 2015 2:33 PM UTC +00:00

About

We are a team of engineering students from UT Dallas that is currently working to create a fully functional 3D printer boosterpack that controls a maximum of 3 extruders for Texas Instruments MSP430F5529LP. The 3D Circuit Printing Kit has a triple advantage over what is available in the market: 

1.  Low cost printer kit with low cost ink

The 3D Circuit Printing Kit is much cheaper than what is available in the market for the same functionality. A paste extruder (955726; 727314; 482873) was used to help extrude a conductive copper paste from a syringe with a plunger. Other printers use silver nanoparticle (particle size ≤10nm), which is about 50 times more expensive than copper paste, and requires a curing temperature ranging from 120°C (735825) to over 400°C (736511); PLA melts at about 185°C and start warping around 90°C. With our current design we were able to print traces with a needle just under 1 mm. The manufacturer for the conductive copper paste (LessEMF) recommends to "use an opening of at least 0.060" (1.5 mm) with corresponding needle. In order for us to make the best prints, we double filter using latex paint filters to remove the bigger particles which tend to block a syringe. 

2.  Blobs on paste which enables components to be mounted without soldering

The paste extruder has the added functionality of forming blobs of paste which can mount electrical components on the copper traces without any additional soldering required. 

3.  Support for two additional extruders enabling printing of multi-layer circuits and structures.

Furthermore, the kit comes with a dual extruder which is able to extrude using two different materials if desired, we are currently under development with printing using Repetier and Pronterface for both materials. 

The boosterpack is a custom board developed using Eagle CAD to be able to connect to the TI launchpad in order to execute the functions of the 3D Printer. The setup is very simple overall, instructions can be found here.

Programming: As a completely open-source project we have all of our codes posted on GitHub for direct utilization or further developments necessary. The firmware to control the launchpad utilizes Energia.

The project started out as developing a boosterpack for Texas Instruments which had the capability to control a single extruder for general printing. The updated boosterpack has the capability to run multiple extruders for whatever the customer deems necessary. For the purpose of our project, a dual-extruder and paste extruder are used to print simple 3D circuits.

The boosterpack comes with the ability of having 2 thermistors for the dual extruders as well as one for the heating bed. The board also makes use of six carrier boards modules which accommodate DRV8825s to drive the motors for the three axis and the extruder motors which can be easily replaced from the boosterpack. The drivers we use specifically are the Pololu DRV8825 modular drivers, any drivers with a similar pin orientation will function. All boosterpack rewards will come with 6 tuned drivers

As of today there is no boosterpack that is compatible with multiple extruders for the MSP430. Another goal for our project is to market this boosterpack relatively cheaper compared to what is available for other microcontrollers. The boosterpack can be modified to serve any other purpose that would make use of three extruders if wanted. Currently, the boosterpack has been tested to ensure that all extruders are working correctly.

The 3D Printer kit is geared toward electronics enthusiasts or hobbyists who would like to make simple 3D circuits in the comfort of their own home. 

Watch our working prototype video and follow our blog to keep updated on our progress.

Risks and challenges

Most of the product design and testing is already complete. Some of the challenges that we may face during the last part of the project include incorporating a new dual extruder design using a single hotend which would theoretically work better with the firmware we have developed as well as calibrating the extruders depending on personal preference and delivery delays. The Funding from this campaign will solely be used to manufacture and deliver rewards to our backers.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    $1 -$10 pledges will receive a personalized thank you message from all of our members to show our grattitude..

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    $35 pledges will receive the designed PCB board(completely soldered)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    $130 pledges will receive the entire circuit board printing kit which includes designed PCB board(completely soldered) with the functionality of controlling the dual extruder and paste extruder, MSP430 Launchpad, dual extruder (design)+ paste extruder (design) and a CIRC3D T-shirt.
    This reward is similar to the $100 reward with the added bonus of the T-shirt.
    The 100$ reward was a special promotion for the first ten backers.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    "Teacher's pack" - Two sets of dual extruders design and paste extruder design + 2 PCB boards soldered + 2 MSP430LP along with some Google Hangout sessions with the team on how to setup and use the extruders.

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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    $100 pledges will receive the entire circuit board printing kit which includes designed PCB board(completely soldered) with the functionality of controlling the dual extruder and paste extruder, MSP430 Launchpad as well as the dual extruder + paste extruder

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)