Week 4: UltiSucces

At Thursday 9.30 pm, we have concluded our first, complete, UltiCast. As our emotions of joy welled up like the silicons did in the overflow valve, we were tossed into an historical perspective that only Neil Armstrong could adeptly describe. This is a small step for one hacked UltiMaker 2+, but a huge step for UltiCast.

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In all seriousness, we are stoked that we finally made UltiCasting work. Previously we have had major issues with the silicons curing inside the system, and consequently blowing up the tubing and covering our print head in silicons.  This is why we redesigned the entire set up all over.

We have removed the right fan of the print head, to use that space for the nozzle. We had concluded that the mixed silicons settle faster when subjected to heat and one of the main reasons for our system to get clogged was the fact that our casting nozzle was right next to the heating element of the first extruder. Also we have once more increased the diameter of the mixing nozzle, and seeing we can now start mixing closer to the bed, we have shortened the mixing nozzle as well.

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Not only the silicons proved to be though to work with, also the PVA had a will of its own. Getting the PVA to stick to the print bed proved to be a really big deal. After trying alcohol, window cleaner, vinegar and prayer, we found ye good old Pritt stick. The rest is history, we finished our first print and are waiting for the PVA to dissolve in water to see the final result. All in all, we did it, and we’ve got it on film.

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