Sunday, 11 May 2014

Creativity of a computing kind - Rep Rap 3D printing!

Mr Squidge is an engineer.

Over the years, I've gotten used to the greasy trousers, smell of Swarfega, and the hours he spends in the garage on our lovely Moggy Traveller.

There have been other projects too...his latest is a rep-rap 3-D printer.

Now, for those in the know, this is a printer that extrudes warm plastic into 3-D shapes...although certain entrepeneurial types have also 3-D printed chocolate, cement, precious metals...

For the last few months, Mr Squidge has been building his printer. It's not pretty to look at, being cobbled together from bits of wood and various bits which have been 3-D printed on another printer. My lounge had, for quite a while, cogs and screws and wires and circuit boards; they all moved into the dining room for a bit, then back to the lounge.

After a couple of hitches with the z-stop (the up-and-down control to you and me) this afternoon saw the inaugural printing of a 3-D object on the homemade printer.

*party poppers* *champagne corks*
*general flag waving and much merriment*

It's quite fascinating to see the thing working - just look at family Squidge! They're transfixed! - because a solid object actually isn't; the interior is filled with a honeycomb mesh to save on material. The nozzle on the print head whizzes back and forth and then lifts up about half a mill to the next layer, and it's off again.


By this evening, we had three small items manufactured - the largest is only 20mm square, but it was cause for a huge celebration.

Me - well, I'm a little more restrained in my response, because I know that now we've got to find a home for the printer... Once upon a time, I had a spare bedroom, y'know.

Having said that, I'm really proud of Mr Squidge - just don't tell him I said so. *winks*


  1. Must be high precision. Amazing. Mr. B is impressed. He also makes , builds and repairs things. I know that Swarfega smell.
    Quite incredible.

    1. Apologies in advance if I've given Mr B ideas, Bren!

  2. Hey Squidge, this is fantastic, you do realise of course that 3D printing is THE biggest thing since the Internet and is set to become a trillion dollar investment don't you. As an aside, I think Old Tom could have trouble with his 3D printer and send for, Granny Rainbow to come to his rescue. Well done to Mr Squidge for a marvelous achievement.

    1. D'you reckon Old Tom would manage to put it all together?! Mr Squidge has been trying out various things, but had a problem with the scales...he's over the moon today to have made two whistles that actually work!

  3. Wow that is really exciting ... apart from the lack of space bit ;)

  4. Wow!! I've been meaning to read this for ages. What an amazing invention! Congrats to Mr Squidgeling :)