Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 12, 2012.

Update #3

Electronics

8 comments

The B9Shield

The B9Creator uses the widely available Arduino Uno open source hardware microcontroller to implement a simple 3D Printer Application Programming Interface (3DPAPI).  We support and encourage all 3D printer software developers to easily adapt their software to our machine via this API.  Likewise, as our software expands and improves we hope to use it to run any future resin based printers which may emerge.

In addition to the Uno, we'll be shipping a ready to use "B9Shield" which is simply an interface board that plugs into the Uno and allows it to communicate with the Projector, the manual position input switches, the "home" optical sensors and also to control the z-axis stepper motor and the vat slide motor.

You really don't need to know how it all works (unless you want to!)  Just know that the B9Shield will make assembly a breeze because there will be no soldering or wire crimping.  Just plug in the pre-built wire harnesses.

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Comments

    1. Michael_bell_headshot_04052013.small

      Creator Michael Bell on May 16, 2012

      Ah yes, Raspberry Pi would fit the bill. Ok.. no more suggestions for now! Congrats on the success again!

    2. Mike.small

      Creator Michael Joyce on May 16, 2012

      Michael - Yes, we thought about that. But with devices like the Raspberry Pi coming on line it would be difficult to match their flexibility and price with a low quantity, custom built board. Also consider that a 200 mm tall object sliced at 50 microns would have 4000 (1024x768 pixel) images. That's a lot of info, you'd likely need a card reader.

    3. Michael_bell_headshot_04052013.small

      Creator Michael Bell on May 16, 2012

      Have you considered making a stand-alone board to output over VGA to the projector? You could make an Arduino shield for it.. and your layers would just be black and white gif's or png's which would be a very simple output.

    4. Mike.small

      Creator Michael Joyce on May 16, 2012

      Yes, a layer image (to be cured) is output from the host computer (either via VGA or HDMI output) to the projector. If the host computer has a second monitor output then you can continue to use it during the build process for normal operations. If not, then host will be tied up during the print. I've done it both ways, with an inexpensive netbook and an older desktop (single output).

    5. Michael_bell_headshot_04052013.small

      Creator Michael Bell on May 16, 2012

      So Mike, you're still controlling the projector's image over VGA and the RS-232 is just for projector commands? I don't think you said anything about that anywhere... Thanks!

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Leyland on May 14, 2012

      I like that layer height can be made variable, which seems like an opportunity to optimize when layers are identical.
      This makes me think that an interesting thing that could be done in a futures design would be to use a motor to move mirrors such that you can have variable x/y resolution for smaller and larger layers. Or to even have multiple passes on the same layer to increase resolution.

    7. Mike.small

      Creator Michael Joyce on May 14, 2012

      I'll be posting the gerber files and schematics so I would think that would allow for pretty easy mods by someone skilled at that sort of thing. And yes, we control the projector via a serial port. In our case it's a Vivitek D535 which has an RS-232 port. The most important command is "Power OFF" so we can shut down the projector at the end of a build cycle and not waste bulb life. This is good if you leave the printer going and aren't around to shut off the projector manually when it's done.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Raymond Gage on May 14, 2012

      Nice to see a simple solution. Will the API/Shield solution be open enough to easily mod for things like more stepper and/or DC motors? What is the 3-prong projector connector for, serial control?

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