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  1. #1

    Question (Working on art project) printing / drawing

    I am working on an art project focused on portraits. Instead of having the 3d printer print the model I would either like to replace the extruder with charcoal or a graphite pencil to draw the information coming from the computer file or hook one of those items to the source as it moves through its program for printing (without the actual 3d model being built).

    The final images would be line drawings moving back and forth over and over in a finite space flattening the image and information coming from the printer rather than building it. From what I have learned asking people with various companies is that the system won't work without the filament coming from the source, but I have seen various hacks on youtube where people are able to do other things, but haven't seen this.


    Help! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    I would think this could be done quite easily. Just disconnect the lines to the z-axis stepper, replace the extruder with your charcoal or whatever, and hit print.

    The big issue with that approach is that as the charcoal or pencil wears, you will have to manually compensate for it or it will stop drawing.

  3. #3
    You'll also need to prevent z-axis movements. You can do this with a simple search-and-replace on the g-code file, although you might want to keep the z-axis movements for getting to the initial position of the extruder. You could also turn on z-lift and set it to a couple of mm, so that the writing implement lifts off the paper for non-extrusion moves.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Technician postmahomeson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    well to be honest what you are looking for is a 3d printing pen

    there are different types

    * the extruder type

    example the 3doodler ( which is the 1st company invent the 3d pen but now out with the latest 2.0
    for this

    kind you will want to get snips of filament from spools because i noticed on the owners manual they mentioned wood
    filament which is not otherwise sold on the site so it should be good but with the 3doodler use 3 mm filament and follow temperature guides
    and it does use a hot extruder so be careful

    * the stereolithography kind which is mostly the Creo pop 3d pen but others may be potentially possible

  6. #6
    Is there a brand of 3d printer or printer kit that is best suited for doing this? I was told by someone I needed to buy an old makerbot and that then newer models / brands don't allow for these configurations. ??

    Thank you everyone for your assistance and comments! Much appreciated!

  7. #7
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    It's probably easier to do this with a regular CNC router than with a 3D printer. It's easy enough to put a pen in the spindle and draw; there's no requirement for filament to be flowing, and you can get the machine to lift the pen when needed for the image. Use the engraving function of a CAM program to generate the G-code; the only think you'll need to edit out are the M3/M5 codes that control the spindle on/off. Depending on the router, you'll be able to produce a much larger drawing than with a normal printer, which tends to be rather small.

    Andrew Werby

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