The heart of this project is really the tool changer: it is also completely 3D Printed, and differs from other designs in its high-stiffness clamping mechanism. The design qualifies as a kinematic mount but uses a non-standard layout in order to automatically clamp and release tools.
Like the rest of Clank, the hotplate can be made with a small list of off-the-shelf parts and FDM printed bits. It should cost about $40, depending on where you are in the world, and you’ll just need a set of allen keys to assemble it.
The tool changer also implements a blade-type circuit-to-circuit connector, meaning that power and data from the Clank modular controller are automatically bussed through to new tools when they are picked up.
For a little video that might help make sense of the kinematic workings, see below:
Lots of similar work is going on in this regard in the open source, for example Joshua Vasquez and E3D. Prusa have also released a toolchanging machine. Most other projects target FDM printing exculsively, and each requires some machined parts: the hotplate is the only project I am aware of that accomplishes the same automated kinematic mount w/ only FDM printed parts.
Here’s where it lacks; there’s just a few tool patterns for the time being:
Now that the motion platforms are stabilized, I have a few tools in the works:
- a lightweight, high-speed bldc spindle
- old dev work for similar tools is here: Simple Spindle
- a 3 DOF load / touch probe
- an alignment / scanning camera
- a rotary / knife tool
- old dev work: AAxis
I’m curious about strange processes, so if you have ideas for tools-to-build that no-one else seems to have developed, send a note.