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Using HP printers for 3D printing

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  • vrsculptor@hotmail.com
    I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the forum that has made ZCorp style 3D printing somewhat possible for the general public. I got
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 26, 2010
      I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the forum that has made ZCorp style 3D printing somewhat possible for the general public.

      I got involved in this project not as a hobby but to build a working printer. I am more interested in the results than the process. After a lot of time thinking and building several generations of lashups I've given up on building a machine based on a HP based printer.

      I've decided instead to build a RepRap extruder for my CNC mill. The potential quality is lower but the chance of success is much higher.

      I've learned a lot along the way about HP printers that I am passing on in hopes that someone else will be successful.

      You must use a belt or cable based drive on your carriage. A lead screw drive (at least in our hobby class lash ups) can't meet the acceleration and speed requirements.

      Don't mess with drawer slides and such. Use linear bearings and round ground shafting. 1/2 inch works well, 9/16 is better.

      Avoid custom programmed micros. If you must go this way the Arduino is the best choice. A better choice is to use a PC based program like Mach3 or EMC to do the gross control of the machine. This simplifies things like homing, moving the feed bins and powder spreading. Mach3 can control the feed roller speed by defining the roller as a step direction spindle. If you directly drive the carriage with a clutch Mach3 may be all you need.

      Use a breakout board. It greatly simplifies wiring. CNC4PC.com has some nice cheap ones.

      The HP servo drive has enough power to directly drive the carriage. Getting pitch diameter to match feed distance may be a bit of a challenge. Second issue is that you need a clutch to engage only after the dance is done. You can buy electromechanical clutches. I came very close with this approach.

      HP printers are servo based and the heart of the machine is the encoder wheel. The older lower end HP's encoder heads don't appear to be TTL logic. They are analog and I think in order to read them with your own controller you need to set up an OP amp based decoder.

      I was successful in determining what the printer was doing by putting my own TTL encoder on the paper feed shaft. This has the advantage of not messing with the printer's logic or operation. USDigital.com sells $40 encoders. CUI also makes nice encoders (see http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=102-1307-ND). I can vouch for either of these sources. I have used both at 1000 line (4000 crossings per revolution) resolution on my servo based CNC mill. You can directly read these encoders with a breakout board and Mach3.

      Newer low-end HP printers have the encoder reader mounted on the logic board under the printer. There is a flat ribbon cable running from the logic board to the print head. You have two choices to convert one of these printers. Unsolder the read head and move the logic board to the carriage or find a longer printed flat cable.

      It would be much easier to convert a printer if you could get a longer flat print head cable. This eliminates having to extending some wires and de-soldering stuff. Longer cables are available if you can figure out the cable specs the guys at sales@... will make you a long custom flat cable.

      HP printers do a dance at startup. You can always tell when the dance is over when the head moves all the way to the left and the roller turns in the correct direction for paper feeding. This is easy to detect by placing a micro switch on the left end of the carriage. Depending on the printer you may not need to know the feed direction. When it goes left you are feeding paper.

      Use professional quality electronics. The Gecko G540 is a 10 times micro stepping driver that handles 4 steppers and includes breakout functions and all kinds of protection form shorts and miss wiring. Opto22 ODC5's make good cheap high amperage drivers. On Ebay they are often only a couple of dollars each.

      Some times printers can be too smart. The HP 8000 has built in head alignment routines that you will not be able to fake with a hacked printer. Tried and failed. Stay with lower end printers.

      A lot of HP printers use a two-stage paper sense. 1st stage is a paper switch. Second stage is when sensor on print head sees the paper edge. There are a couple of things to look out for. The feed start (printer head left) must trip the paper feed switch within some expected encoder counts. Second, the printer head sensor must see the black to white transition within so many encoder counts. The head sensor can be made happy by having the carriage start to move after the first switch is simulated with a dark to white (paint to plaster) transition on the physical printer. I know this works.

      Netfabb is great free tool that can repair and manipulate STL's. Don't leave home without it. Professional paid version allows you to shell (hollow) solids to reduce ink usage.

      Finally, if you can afford $1K HP sells a kit of parts and OEM support for HP 45 based printers. This is probably everything you need to build a printer. See http://h10088.www1.hp.com/cda/gap/display/main/index.jsp?zn=gap&cp=20000-13698-16023-16038_4041_100__. I'm hoping someone gets around to doing this. I'm more than willing to buy a $2-3K printer that just works and that I can repair if it breaks.

      Part of the problem with buying a used ZCorp is the cost of spares and $200/hr phone support.

      Good luck all and best wishes.

      Roger
    • afogassa
      reprap is the way to go if you want to make a door handle replacment or so. I don´t think Precission is good and lacking off support material build limits
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 26, 2010
        reprap is the way to go if you want to make a door handle replacment or so. I don´t think Precission is good and lacking off support material build limits what can be built, unless you draw the supports on the 3d model.Reprap users have made far more advances on the build then we did, but still a long road ahead to get really good parts.I would make one if I had enough free time but I prefer infiltrade my parts with epoxy then build another, also I don´t like to mess with this powder as it gets everywhere, will have to build a depowder station.
        This is like cnc routers, if you want precission made parts you need to build the machine with precission parts.
        as precission goes up so does the price of our hobby.
        As for me, I don´t have the time nor the money to keep improving my printer,maybe later, lots of projects and work is keeping me busy.
        Any way thank´s for your contribution on this project.
        Good luck on your build.


        --- In diy_3d_printing_and_fabrication@yahoogroups.com, vrsculptor@... wrote:
        >
        > I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the forum that has made ZCorp style 3D printing somewhat possible for the general public.
        >
        > I got involved in this project not as a hobby but to build a working printer. I am more interested in the results than the process. After a lot of time thinking and building several generations of lashups I've given up on building a machine based on a HP based printer.
        >
        > I've decided instead to build a RepRap extruder for my CNC mill. The potential quality is lower but the chance of success is much higher.
        >
        > I've learned a lot along the way about HP printers that I am passing on in hopes that someone else will be successful.
        >
        > You must use a belt or cable based drive on your carriage. A lead screw drive (at least in our hobby class lash ups) can't meet the acceleration and speed requirements.
        >
        > Don't mess with drawer slides and such. Use linear bearings and round ground shafting. 1/2 inch works well, 9/16 is better.
        >
        > Avoid custom programmed micros. If you must go this way the Arduino is the best choice. A better choice is to use a PC based program like Mach3 or EMC to do the gross control of the machine. This simplifies things like homing, moving the feed bins and powder spreading. Mach3 can control the feed roller speed by defining the roller as a step direction spindle. If you directly drive the carriage with a clutch Mach3 may be all you need.
        >
        > Use a breakout board. It greatly simplifies wiring. CNC4PC.com has some nice cheap ones.
        >
        > The HP servo drive has enough power to directly drive the carriage. Getting pitch diameter to match feed distance may be a bit of a challenge. Second issue is that you need a clutch to engage only after the dance is done. You can buy electromechanical clutches. I came very close with this approach.
        >
        > HP printers are servo based and the heart of the machine is the encoder wheel. The older lower end HP's encoder heads don't appear to be TTL logic. They are analog and I think in order to read them with your own controller you need to set up an OP amp based decoder.
        >
        > I was successful in determining what the printer was doing by putting my own TTL encoder on the paper feed shaft. This has the advantage of not messing with the printer's logic or operation. USDigital.com sells $40 encoders. CUI also makes nice encoders (see http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=102-1307-ND). I can vouch for either of these sources. I have used both at 1000 line (4000 crossings per revolution) resolution on my servo based CNC mill. You can directly read these encoders with a breakout board and Mach3.
        >
        > Newer low-end HP printers have the encoder reader mounted on the logic board under the printer. There is a flat ribbon cable running from the logic board to the print head. You have two choices to convert one of these printers. Unsolder the read head and move the logic board to the carriage or find a longer printed flat cable.
        >
        > It would be much easier to convert a printer if you could get a longer flat print head cable. This eliminates having to extending some wires and de-soldering stuff. Longer cables are available if you can figure out the cable specs the guys at sales@... will make you a long custom flat cable.
        >
        > HP printers do a dance at startup. You can always tell when the dance is over when the head moves all the way to the left and the roller turns in the correct direction for paper feeding. This is easy to detect by placing a micro switch on the left end of the carriage. Depending on the printer you may not need to know the feed direction. When it goes left you are feeding paper.
        >
        > Use professional quality electronics. The Gecko G540 is a 10 times micro stepping driver that handles 4 steppers and includes breakout functions and all kinds of protection form shorts and miss wiring. Opto22 ODC5's make good cheap high amperage drivers. On Ebay they are often only a couple of dollars each.
        >
        > Some times printers can be too smart. The HP 8000 has built in head alignment routines that you will not be able to fake with a hacked printer. Tried and failed. Stay with lower end printers.
        >
        > A lot of HP printers use a two-stage paper sense. 1st stage is a paper switch. Second stage is when sensor on print head sees the paper edge. There are a couple of things to look out for. The feed start (printer head left) must trip the paper feed switch within some expected encoder counts. Second, the printer head sensor must see the black to white transition within so many encoder counts. The head sensor can be made happy by having the carriage start to move after the first switch is simulated with a dark to white (paint to plaster) transition on the physical printer. I know this works.
        >
        > Netfabb is great free tool that can repair and manipulate STL's. Don't leave home without it. Professional paid version allows you to shell (hollow) solids to reduce ink usage.
        >
        > Finally, if you can afford $1K HP sells a kit of parts and OEM support for HP 45 based printers. This is probably everything you need to build a printer. See http://h10088.www1.hp.com/cda/gap/display/main/index.jsp?zn=gap&cp=20000-13698-16023-16038_4041_100__. I'm hoping someone gets around to doing this. I'm more than willing to buy a $2-3K printer that just works and that I can repair if it breaks.
        >
        > Part of the problem with buying a used ZCorp is the cost of spares and $200/hr phone support.
        >
        > Good luck all and best wishes.
        >
        > Roger
        >
      • Leland Lewis
        Thanks for all of the info, it will help when I get started on mine. Leland ________________________________ From: vrsculptor@hotmail.com
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 26, 2010
          Thanks for all of the info, it will help when I get started on mine.

           
          Leland



          From: "vrsculptor@..." <vrsculptor@...>
          To: diy_3d_printing_and_fabrication@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, March 26, 2010 2:26:56 PM
          Subject: [diy_3d_printing_and_fabrication] Using HP printers for 3D printing

           

          I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the forum that has made ZCorp style 3D printing somewhat possible for the general public.

          I got involved in this project not as a hobby but to build a working printer. I am more interested in the results than the process. After a lot of time thinking and building several generations of lashups I've given up on building a machine based on a HP based printer.

          I've decided instead to build a RepRap extruder for my CNC mill. The potential quality is lower but the chance of success is much higher.

          I've learned a lot along the way about HP printers that I am passing on in hopes that someone else will be successful.

          You must use a belt or cable based drive on your carriage. A lead screw drive (at least in our hobby class lash ups) can't meet the acceleration and speed requirements.

          Don't mess with drawer slides and such. Use linear bearings and round ground shafting. 1/2 inch works well, 9/16 is better.

          Avoid custom programmed micros. If you must go this way the Arduino is the best choice. A better choice is to use a PC based program like Mach3 or EMC to do the gross control of the machine. This simplifies things like homing, moving the feed bins and powder spreading. Mach3 can control the feed roller speed by defining the roller as a step direction spindle. If you directly drive the carriage with a clutch Mach3 may be all you need.

          Use a breakout board. It greatly simplifies wiring. CNC4PC.com has some nice cheap ones.

          The HP servo drive has enough power to directly drive the carriage. Getting pitch diameter to match feed distance may be a bit of a challenge. Second issue is that you need a clutch to engage only after the dance is done. You can buy electromechanical clutches. I came very close with this approach.

          HP printers are servo based and the heart of the machine is the encoder wheel. The older lower end HP's encoder heads don't appear to be TTL logic. They are analog and I think in order to read them with your own controller you need to set up an OP amp based decoder.

          I was successful in determining what the printer was doing by putting my own TTL encoder on the paper feed shaft. This has the advantage of not messing with the printer's logic or operation. USDigital.com sells $40 encoders. CUI also makes nice encoders (see http://search. digikey.com/ scripts/DkSearch /dksus.dll? Detail&name= 102-1307- ND). I can vouch for either of these sources. I have used both at 1000 line (4000 crossings per revolution) resolution on my servo based CNC mill. You can directly read these encoders with a breakout board and Mach3.

          Newer low-end HP printers have the encoder reader mounted on the logic board under the printer. There is a flat ribbon cable running from the logic board to the print head. You have two choices to convert one of these printers. Unsolder the read head and move the logic board to the carriage or find a longer printed flat cable.

          It would be much easier to convert a printer if you could get a longer flat print head cable. This eliminates having to extending some wires and de-soldering stuff. Longer cables are available if you can figure out the cable specs the guys at sales@flypcb. com will make you a long custom flat cable.

          HP printers do a dance at startup. You can always tell when the dance is over when the head moves all the way to the left and the roller turns in the correct direction for paper feeding. This is easy to detect by placing a micro switch on the left end of the carriage. Depending on the printer you may not need to know the feed direction. When it goes left you are feeding paper.

          Use professional quality electronics. The Gecko G540 is a 10 times micro stepping driver that handles 4 steppers and includes breakout functions and all kinds of protection form shorts and miss wiring. Opto22 ODC5's make good cheap high amperage drivers. On Ebay they are often only a couple of dollars each.

          Some times printers can be too smart. The HP 8000 has built in head alignment routines that you will not be able to fake with a hacked printer. Tried and failed. Stay with lower end printers.

          A lot of HP printers use a two-stage paper sense. 1st stage is a paper switch. Second stage is when sensor on print head sees the paper edge. There are a couple of things to look out for. The feed start (printer head left) must trip the paper feed switch within some expected encoder counts. Second, the printer head sensor must see the black to white transition within so many encoder counts. The head sensor can be made happy by having the carriage start to move after the first switch is simulated with a dark to white (paint to plaster) transition on the physical printer. I know this works.

          Netfabb is great free tool that can repair and manipulate STL's. Don't leave home without it. Professional paid version allows you to shell (hollow) solids to reduce ink usage.

          Finally, if you can afford $1K HP sells a kit of parts and OEM support for HP 45 based printers. This is probably everything you need to build a printer. See http://h10088. www1.hp.com/ cda/gap/display/ main/index. jsp?zn=gap& cp=20000- 13698-16023- 16038_4041_ 100__. I'm hoping someone gets around to doing this. I'm more than willing to buy a $2-3K printer that just works and that I can repair if it breaks.

          Part of the problem with buying a used ZCorp is the cost of spares and $200/hr phone support.

          Good luck all and best wishes.

          Roger



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        • Krew Krew
          Hello all since it seems there’s no generic 3D printers (Zcorp) in the market, and it seems that the patterns are about to expire, I decided to build my own
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 22 1:03 PM

            Hello all

            since it seems there’s no generic 3D printers (Zcorp) in the market, and it seems that the patterns are about to expire, I decided to build my own printer based on an hp.

            I found a lot of material already, but I think in still need more.

            Questions like the best roller material, and its speed.

            How to properly change a paper printer into a flat bed one (using the printing program as a subroutine or something).

            And how to read STL files in order to print them.

            I would really
            appreciate some tips.

            Tanks
            in advance.

            Krew



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