Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Printing Metal!

Well not exactly.  Printing metal infused plastic is more accurate.  There are a number of filaments out there that contain tiny particles of real metal.  I have a spool of Colorfabb Copperfill but the workflow to make it look like metal is either to have a rock tumbler to polish the stuff or to do it by hand.  The latter is not a lot of fun so I focused on the former.

You can buy a rock polisher on Amazon but they run 40-50 quid and have a pretty small drum for parts.  I have all kinds of motors and electronics, and a 3D Printer, so I decided to design and build one.

Above is the assembled and operating tumbler polisher.
I printed the files you see with an 800 micron nozzle and a layer height of 400 microns. Any resolution will likely work.   Note that inside the drum there are five printed pieces that assemble to form a mixer.  It should be inserted into the drum such that it scoops up the little brass bits as the drum rotates. I glued mine into the drum.

The above image shows a close up of the base with the electronics and stepper motor.

The above video from adafruit walks you through the polishing process.

Above are the before and after pictures of some parts done in Colorfabb Copperfill and then polished for seven or so hours.

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