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Dual Head - Why?
#1
I've often considered modding my V1.0 and putting twin heads into it, bowden driven, but always come to the same conclusion, why? I realy dont need to print with dual colours for anything much. Most of what I print is to do with my other hobby of R\C models, \I'm currently into multirotor airframe, see me avatar and that more often than not means slightly more complicated prints with shed loads of support material. I've hacked me printer and tend to use Voltvo filament, slic3r and the modded Xyzprint.

Here's a picture of a print I'm working on at the moment and just look at all the support material at the base:




Then it came to me!
Why not print with a dual head using one ABS for the main body and another material for the support network. Hopefully one that would separate away from the ABS far more easily than an ABS support. On the above print it can take a couple of hours to successfully clean off, without damaging the original model, all the support structure. I guess this is going to be a combined hardware \ software solution and don't even know if it's possible, but it would be a nice idea and certainly justify going to dual extruder.

Any thoughts on this.[Image: TailPrint1.jpg]
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#2
There are a few dissolvable filaments for this purpose
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#3
Oh thanks for that, just did a search and found PVA filament. OK, next question, what software will handle the separation?

Don't answer that, twit am me, just had a look at me slicer and if you tell it you've got 2 extruders you can set it up to do it.

Looks like I'm now saving funds for a dual head conversion :evil:
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#4
That's exactly why I bought the dual extruder model. Look into HIPS (High-Impact Polystyrene). It can be dissolved with D-Limonene (citrus solvent) and is cheaper than PVA.
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#5
While dual head's are nice, if your major concern is support material. I would suggest looking into Meshmixer from Autodesk. Its free, and it generates supports for models based on whatever criteria you want. There is also a nice YouTube video explaining how to generate and customize supports in Meshmixer.

I use it myself, because I don't like removing masses of plastic from parts i print out. While I don't care how much plastic is used for supports, the the cleanup that gets me.

Meshmixer adds supports, but they have small contact points so its a lot quicker to clean up.
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#6
The increased popularity and accessibility of 3D printing has also influenced the demand for 3D printers that are able to combine materials in one single print. Of course a well developed dual head system brings great possibilities but it requires a bit of knowledge to use the technology to it's full potential.


HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) - 3d printing FDM Technology
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