Saturday, August 30, 2014

WOOF Members Attend 3D Printer World Expo in Bellevue

Friday August 22, 2014 

WOOF members had the opportunity to attend the 3D Printer World Expo held at the Bellevue Regency Hyatt in Bellevue WA. 3D Printer World Expo Bellevue, WA Aug 22-23, 2014

The Expo was well attended and the 3d Printer research, design and manufacturing communities were well represented. University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Professor Mark Ganter, one of WOOF’s faculty advisers, gave a presentation on 3D printing materials sustainability.  After Friday’s closure, Professor Ganter accompanied a group of WOOF’s officers to the Cheesecake Factory in Bellevue.

Photo Credit: Mark Stamnes

When asked about the experience, WOOF Officer Mark Hanson stated “For me, it was exciting to see the innovations people have made in the consumer market. I loved comparing the various ways people are doing more with less as we continue to perfect these machines.” 

This experience helped bring WOOF onto a broader playing field and allowed WOOF to connect and catch up with current 3D Printer innovators like Lulzbot, Makerbot, Matter Hackers, Flashforge and Leapfrog.

HDPE Print Bed Adhesion Solution

3D printing using recycled HDPE (shredded gallon milk jug flakes) comes with many challenges, one of them being print bed adhesion. HDPE has become infamous to WOOF for its uncontrolled warping and shrinking, which causes prints to peel off of the print bed. To mitigate this, WOOF Officer Brandon Bowman began developing a process to create an HDPE print surface. 

The initial idea was to heat gun HDPE flakes onto steel plates (18” X 18” X 1/8"). This evolved into baking using a standard baking oven. Bowman initially baked HDPE flake onto a steel plate then applied force on top of the flake using another surface, his body weight and his feet.

Photo Credit: Brandon BowmanPhoto Credit: Brandon Bowman

This process produced inconsistent and non-optimal results. Size limits of the baking oven, the need to put plastic in an oven, and the need to apply spray on Teflon coating encouraged designing a different solution.
Over time the flake baking process evolved into a recipe reasonably perfected by WOOF’s Director of Operations Dana Henshaw. The following recipe utilizing a Wabash Hot Press has produced promising results:

Stack 4 plates prepared in the below manner with a 5th steel plate by itself as a barrier on top into a hot press.
To prepare each steel plate requires:

1 - 24” X 24” Steel Plate (1/8” thick)
Photo Credit: Dana Henshaw

3 - Pints of Recycled HDPE Milk Jug Flakes (cleaned and shredded) spread on the steel plate leaving an approximately 1" border.
Photo Credit: Dana Henshaw

1 – 24” X 24” Sheet of Porous Teflon Coated Fabric

Photo Credit: Dana Henshaw
1 – 24” X 24” Sheet of Breather Material

Photo Credit: Dana Henshaw

Finally top the sheet off with: 
1 – 24” X 24” Sheet of Non-Porous Teflon Coated Fabric (Not Pictured)

Then using a Hot Press:

Photo Credit: Mark Stamnes

Apply and maintain 400lbs of force
Increase temperature to 375 °F over 30 minutes
Hold at 375 °F for 40 minutes
Cool for 10 – 20 minutes
Remove the 400lbs of force and separate hot press platens
Then carefully remove the hot plates

After the plates are cooled, they are attached to the build surface and then used for printing.

Photo Credit: Mark Stamnes

This is an attempt to print a cylinder that was to be used as a potential floatation device.

Photo Credit: Mark Stamnes

Photo Credit: Mark Stamnes

This turned out to be a great learning experience. Here are a few things that were tried but did not work: 

Failure of first hot press: Used only non-porous Teflon coated fabric. It made sheets that were too smooth, and the first layer of printed HDPE wouldn't adhere well enough.

Failure of second hot press: holding pressure for 20 minutes with the breather material was not long enough for temperature to penetrate deep enough into the stack to allow full adhesion of HDPE flake onto each plate. The HDPE on the middle plates stayed as flakes.
In all, developing this process has allowed the WOOF team to achieve successful prints of the sections a multi-sectioned Kayak.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Work Day

Hey you WOOFers! Don't forget about our Friday work days! Brandon Bowman will be in the room from noon onwards, so come on down, and check out the progress on Big Red!

See you there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Big Red's Hot End

As the Seafair Milk Carton Derby approaches, work on Big Red is accelerating. Seafair's Milk Carton Derby is an event we participate in every year to highlight some of the potential benefits of additive manufacturing/3D printing. Participants in the derby traditionally collect used milk jugs or cartons and use them as flotation for rafts or boats. For the last two years, WOOF has participated by collecting milk jugs, grinding them up and using them as raw materials for 3D printing a boat on Big Red, our largest 3D printer.

I'd like to present different aspects of Big Red as the event approaches. Today, we'll take a look at the hot end/extruder. This is a great improvement over last years design in functionality and ease of use. First, the basics of the extruder:
The motor on the end is a 12V wiper motor, which spins an auger inside the steel pipe, driving the plastic down to the end of the extruder.
The heating element is wrapped around an aluminum pipe, with some insulation and another aluminum pipe on the outside.

The most significant improvement so far has been the modular heating assembly that we can pull off easily when changing which recycled material we will be printing with. We use the same heating element for PLA (compostable silverware) or HDPE (milk jugs), but switch out the steel pipe and auger.
The extruder tip is simply a pipe cap that we drilled a hole in. Actual hole size may vary.
And that's the hot end/extruder fully assembled.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Engineering Discovery Days Success!

A big "Thank you" to all volunteers that helped us out during Engineering Discovery Days. The work room was packed pretty much all day on Friday. We couldn't have introduced that many children, parents, and teachers to the wonders of additive manufacturing without the help we received from our volunteers.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Open Workroom Cancelled Tomorrow

Hi WOOFers,

As mentioned in our last post, tomorrow April 25th is Engineering Discovery Days. Because we will have hundreds of kids coming into our space to see our awesome projects we will not have our regularly scheduled open workroom. If you have pressing questions for us you can come in after the event ends at 4, but since we need to keep the space clean for Saturday we can't let anyone work on projects. 

If you are so inclined, you may come in during the event and help us out. If you know all about 3DP then you can help us present to the kids. If you're still a 3DP novice then come on in and listen to our veteran members so you too can become a 3DP guru.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Engineering Discovery Days

We'll be introducing thousands of children 3D printing/additive manufacturing and our projects on Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th. The workroom will be open and needs volunteers from 9:00AM until 2:00PM on both days. It was a great event last year, and we ended up being one of the most popular stops. We are in need of volunteers, so please contact your officers and let us know if you can make it for any amount of time.
Engineering Discovery Days 2013 (Photo Courtesy: Bethany Weeks)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PAWS-On-Science Event

Hey you WOOFers,

This Saturday will be the PAWS-On-Science event! We're going to be sharing a booth with the UW Garbology team, and will be discussing our work in sustainability at UW. We're going to be focusing on Big Red, and how we've taken material from the waste stream and have used it in printing.

We will also be talking about 3D Printing in general. We'll have a couple printers there, making things!

This is a great opportunity to teach some kids about 3D printing, and get them excited about the technology! All WOOF members are welcome to register: This is also a great way for YOU to learn about printing. We guarantee that by the end of the day, you'll be an expert at talking about these printers!

The event is from 10AM to 6PM this Saturday, April 5th. It's not required to attend the entire session! We'll be heading down for setup at around  8:30 - 9AM.

The venue will be the Pacific Science Center:
200 2nd Ave N
Seattle, Washington, 98109

Here's the link to register

Fill out your information as needed. The "Title of Booth/Group Name" is WOOF and UW Garbology. On the second page, hit "no" for "Does your activity require access to water". You can also leave all the check boxes on the 3rd page blank, since we don't need to register for any training sessions.

Please send an email if you do register, so we can get a tally of how many people we can expect!

See you there!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A few announcements over spring break...

Hey all you WOOFers! Hope you've been enjoying your spring break!

WOOF is staying busy...

Ulticrater kits have "shipped", and there's been a lot of progress on them already! If you ordered a kit, get excited -- these are looking great.

Big Red's finally moving about and oozing plastic! We're having some trouble with our stepper drivers overheating, but we've got a plan for that.

And lastly, our Replicator's new parts came in. It's printing beautifully again, so if there's a model you've been itching to make real, now's the time!

Just like any other Friday, WOOF will be open from noon to five tomorrow (3/28). Come on in -- there's a ton of projects to work on!

P.S. We're still looking for volunteers to talk about 3D Printing to people at the Pacific Science Center! Email to get some details, and stay tuned for a blog post on it soon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Announcement You've Been Waiting For

Hi all,

Drum roll please... The Ulticrater kits will be ready by mid-afternoon on Friday, MAR 14 (happy Pi Day)! There's a bit of final machining on Friday morning but after that the kits will be fully aggregated.

13 kits ready to go
You are free to pick up your kit any time you want as long as the room is open. We're always here noon-5 on Fridays. 

If you're taking your kit home to build it on your own time then you'll need to get access to the documentation. We will have our rough draft done by the last day of finals. It's in a google doc so to get access you will email me and I'll share it with you. I'd advise double checking that you have access to the required tools before you start assembly at home so you avoid hitting any stopping blocks. I'll post that list in the next 24 hours.

If you're building your kit on campus then you will need to sign up for an assembly time. By 2 pm Friday we will have a sign up sheet posted on the WOOF room door. Space is limited for each session so be sure to sign up as early as you can. The first build session will be offered on the Friday of finals week. There will be more offered throughout spring break including Saturdays.

Remember that there are two types of build sessions: supervised and guided. If you feel comfortable building your bot from the documentation but want someone available to answer questions, then you will attend a supervised session. If you'd rather have us explain each step to you, you do it, then we explain the next step, then you do it, etc...,you will sign up for a guided build session.

One last thing: the officers have decided to have a pizza party during the first week of spring quarter if we get a high completion rate of the Ulticraters. It will actually be a Printing Pizza Party, because printers, pizza, parties, and alliteration are all awesome. If all that isn't enough motivation to get your printer done then I don't know what is. I'd personally love to see all the Ulticraters in the same place printing at the same time (the pizza will be a bonus).

I'm very excited because this is shaping up to be our best club build to date. I'm looking forward to having a 100% completion rate before spring quarter begins.