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Full colour 3D printing ... using paper !!

Discussion in 'Concepts and Ideas' started by Serge E., Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
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    MCor developed an amazing 3D printer. The idea is simple enough and seems to work incredibly well.

    They use a water based ink with an inkjet printer to print on "both" sides and through normal paper. That's 2D. Then they feed the printed sheets to the 3D portion of their machine. It just laminates the sheets, one sheet at a time, each layer/sheet getting water based glue along the edge of the slice and in a grid pattern. Pressure is then applied (with a bit of heat I believe) before a tungsten cuter traces the slice. The lamination repeats until a block of laminated paper can be pulled out. Here comes the fun part for the kid in each of us : just break off the extra bits of laminated paper to magically reveal your finished part ! The part itself received more glue so it is solid !!



    They also came up with a flexible material for their printer. Instead of a rigid solid object, the result is flexible...

    Conor MacCormack and his brother started the design of this unique 3D printing approach about 10 years ago. Their MCor Iris printer is being used in production environment for a few years now. Conor seems to find the democatized (ie Maker / Open Hardware) movement as the way to go.



    Not certain if that means the concept of the MCor Iris is "Open" though. But, eh, I'm certain a few of "us" could come up with a nextgen (ie. "home") version.

    The MCor Iris is about 40k$ (!) to buy, about 700 lbs to park anywhere since it is "green". With todays low cost home inkjet printers and a Vslot OX like stacker/laminator, someone here should be able to bring that cost way way down ... Maybe adding a a new twist to make it even better ?

    What are your thoughts ?
     
    GrayUK likes this.
  2. brbubba

    brbubba Well-Known
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    Neat concept, but just thinking about how much paper they waste is mind boggling. Furthermore, it would seem you still need to waste an entire 8.5"x11" even if your object is 1"x1".
     
    Kermareg likes this.
  3. Serge E.

    Serge E. Master
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    Come to think of it, they still claim being "green" even with all the wasted paper ... It could be recycled, so that satisfies being 'green' ?

    One would have to plan their work so they use as much of the 8.5"x11" volume. I suspect it doesn't add much processing time since the approach still prints, laminates and glues full sheets regardless of the end product's volume... The post processing, breaking off waste, might get a whole lot trickier ...

    If I remember correctly, they target 'print centres' for now. So these places could optimize prints to cover as much of the 8.5"x11" to cut down on the amount of wasted paper. Which would allow them to make more money in the process, needed to pay off the machine ...

    It's the price of the machine which gets me : 40k$ ! It's basically an inkjet printer (they are basically free these days - just pay the ink!) with a "stacker press" to laminate to previous glued layer and a 2D printer (just X and Y, the Z being the stacker) to lay the glue trace... They do have a 'special' water based ink to sweat through the paper - regular inkjet printers/inks are designed to actually avoid this. A glue trace needs to be just enough to not spread too much, otherwise making the breaking off waste material difficult ... but no heated extruder to manage (maybe just the press to cure the glue faster ?) The software seems mostly were the magic happens (light 'infill' on outside of parts, heavier 'infill' on the inside - make object more solid than the break away waste). Furthermore, regular inkjet printer can take paper in various sizes, so why is the Iris limited to 8.5"x11", generating potentially lots of waste ? It should not cost more than 5k$, right ? Of course, I am still green and I could of missed some critical high cost aspects aside from : marketing, shareholders, ...

    I do love the idea though : a modern day 3D paper maché machine with the end product pre painted. :thumbsup: No mess, just more potential waste and definitely not as fun. :confused:

    :rolleyes: How much paper maché fibers, glue and paint can one get for 40k$ ? o_O
     

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