May 5, 2017

Valentia Case-Rap foldable 3D printer

In the summer of 2016, browsing in Thingiverse I came across the Case-Rap 1.0 foldable 3D printer by jlguils. I liked the design strategy of dividing the structure in parts that, when folded, transformed themselves into a portable case. And started to develop my own custom version: the Valentia Case-Rap foldable 3D printer.




The name "Valentia" is taken from the name (Valentia Edetanorum) the original roman founders gave, in 138 BC, to the city in Spain where I'm living now: Valencia.

jlguils' design (published in reprap.org) was released under GNU / GPL license (as it is based in the design of the Mendel90, also GNU / GLP ), so I'm publishing my own variant under the same GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 3.
From the original design I took only the general division / parts of the wooden structure, but chose my own measures to suit two of my goals: low volume and low weight.
Case-Rap 1.0 by jlguis (source: reprap.org)


Valentia v0.1

One of the first parts i developed on my own (using Sketchup Make free software) were a special hinges that ensured a smooth and accurate opening / closing movement, while keeping the hinges concealed inside the case when closed. My first version of Valentia (v0.1), incorporated the initial design of these hinges.



I also incorporated in v0.1 an experimental "off-carriage" or "remote" direct extruder. This idea wasn't new (many machines incorporate such a thing) and was also commented by others (see this proof of concept), but couldn't find any publishing of a working prototype.






This design was working fine but the advantage of the reduced inertia and increased speed was not enough to compensate the complexity of the design and the required maintenance, so it was substituted for a more standard extruder, originally designed for my former (now sold) Prusa i3. 

Version 0.1 was stable and printing fine, but there was a lot of room for improvement, specially the mechanism to lock the part in place in the open/printing position.

Valentia v0.2

Version 0.2 was deprecated as some of it's parts were made of 7mm plywood, which wasn't rigid enough.

Version v0.3

As of 5th may 2017 I consider version 0.3 finished and stable, both in open/printing mode and folded. 
Documentation is ongoing but sources are released on the project's github.
Here you got some pictures:





Some links to other foldable 3D printers (in no particular order):

DIY:



COMMERCIAL:

2 comments:

  1. Very nice project David! I've build a Case-rap 4 myself with some of my own modifications. Sadly jlguil has since choosen to start asking money for his design (Case-rap 5) and has removed all of his previous design work. I'm very happy to see someone has taken it upon himself to improve on the idea, look like major improvements too me, I'll be keeping track of the progress!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback!
      Yes, jlguil tried to remove his work, but he first published it as GPL, which can't be changed. I still keep the files he published (I guess you too) in case someone needs them.
      I encourage you to publish your version, so others can benefit from your effort.

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