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  1. #1

    Wink Probably most Inexpensive flex vat solution


    I am starting to design and build a DLP printer. I am trying to make it the cheapest (yet effective) DLP printer (using your own preferred projector). I have drawn up some designs and have some concepts. This is all a little besides the particular point of this thread, that is providing all of you my new found solution for a flex vat that is super cheap and super easy, AND provides a relatively large build volume! Anyways let me jump into it.

    So The other day I was back on trying to think of how I could build a DLP printer for a relatively low amount of money so my wife didn't kill me (I tend to have like 5 projects going at once). So I did what I always do when brain storming is I scavenged the internet for ideas, took a couple of hours just researching how other people tackled the problem. Then I came across this:

    Which I thought was ingenious... until I looked at the price of PVC pipe over 6 inches in diameter, but none the less it had furthered my design thoughts on what I could possibly do. Then one day it dawned on me. A BUCKET! lol I know you probably like ?what?. It makes sense that the best thing to use for a container that holds a liquid is a bucket. we just have to make some modifications and very simple ones at that. So I ordered a bucket which had a diameter less than the width of the roll of FEP I had and a sealable lid. I found this one:
    with this lid:

    So now for the quick and dirty modifications....

    I cut a whole in the lid so only the actual sealing part was left (so now with the lid on the bucket was still open on the top.
    I then cut the bucket right below the reinforced part stops (the lowest lip/ring on the upper half) and pulled of the handle.

    The last cuts I had to make where to the remaining lower half of the bucket, That was I cut the bottom out and then cut a ring 2 inches from the bottom leaving me with a 2 inch wide ring that conveniently fit through the lid hole I cut (just barely).

    Maybe you see where Im going with this maybe you don't. Anyways here is the magic... take your FEP and place it over the top portion of the bucket (without the lid on), then while keeping the FEP tight place the cover (or whats left of it) over the FEP and press it down to seal with the upper bucket part. If you are careful and make sure as you seal it to manipulate the FEP to prevent creasing you are now almost done! flip it over and you have what resembles a vat... now what about the tightness/ consistency. Remember that 2 inch wide ring we cut out that fit just barely through the lid hole? thats your "tensioner". the only thing I haven't explained is how to clamp the tensioner to allow tightening. I will update it when I do it. (mine will probably involve 3d printed parts but I'm sure you can get some brackets like the guy used with the PVC to do the same thing.

    I put it all together and took some pictures. I also filled it with water to ensure that it actually seals, and it does! now I just need to make the tensioners and it will be complete and I can move to the rest of the printer!

    For some reason I can't upload the images so here is a link to them on my google drive:

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    It certainly does sound inexpensive. But whether it actually works or not is still in question. Please do write back once you've had a chance to test it.

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