Building the framework

With the design shown in the previous post, we got our hands dirty and built the framework:
Framework_0.5

Once the outer rigid framework was complete, we could start adding the rails representing the X and Y direction frame for the enlarged printing area. The Z direction frame is fastened on the outer rails of the of the rigid framework as shown in the picture above. The two long vertical metal sheets facing each other allow the printers to be maneuvered up and down which are attached to the outer rails.

We are working with a configuration of two Ultimaker printers fastened together and hung between the horizontal rails as shown in the picture below. Using strips of sheet metal we constructed a way these two printers could be hung in the framework and be able to slide over these horizontal X-axis rails with wheels attached to the outer bends of the sheet metal, see to the picture below:

X railsmetal sheeting

 

 

As the two Ultimaker printer nozzles are limited by the spacing between the box of the ultimakers itself, we needed to construct a way the ‘overlap’ in between could be printed. This was done by letting the dual printer configuration slide over the X-axis rails, which gives them the freedom to move more than their overlap and thus print a larger object than they are seperately limited to. The dual Ulitmaker configuration will be controlled by a stepper motor which is attached to the rails, see the image below:

X direction framework

For the Y-axis frame, a bed is placed at the bottom of the rigid framework. The 3D object will be printed on this base plate and can move in the Y-direction over rails placed in the framework, see the picture below. With a 3 points constuction, the 15mm multiplex plate can be calibrated by a spring suppressing it. A mirror plate will be placed on top of this bed plate fastened to the multiplex wood with double sided tape.

Y direction rails

The base plate rolls on wheels and is controlled by one stepper motor attached to the base of the rigid frame work. See the picture below:

Y direction stepper motor

Coming back to the Z-axis frame, two stepper motors are used. One motor on each vertical rail. As these stepper motors need to lift the entire dual Ultimaker configuration and the framework they are fastened in, counter weights were needed on both sides to assist the stepper motors. The motors were not strong enough to lift this weight by themselves.

Stepper motors Z direction

Below is a picture of the final framework. We are all very pleased with the final result!

near completion framework

 

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