First Router then Plasma Cutter and Laser How about 3D Printing?

First Router then Plasma Cutter and Laser How about 3D Printing?

So the question is, can we do 3D printing on the LongMill?

I’ve just incurred an injury on my table saw, and I have to evaluate whether to upgrade my table saw to a saw stop table saw and still horrify my family whenever I go to the shop or move on to an alternate hobby at the age of 69. Been looking at 3D printers and got thinking why couldn’t the LongMill have a 3D printer head installed on it, no differently than a laser or plasma cutter head? Thoughts suggestions insights are all welcomed.

First off I hope you didn’t get hurt too badly, not sure if there is such a thing as a minor table saw injury but I hope so.

I have a 3D printer and there are some differences that come to mind. The build volume on a LongMill is large for a printer but not very tall. Most printers I have seen are more towards a cubic shape. Most 3D printers have a heated bed that helps the filament stick when it’s hot and then when it cools the print is easier to remove.

The other thing is you need to be pretty precise as far as the bed leveling is concerned. My Prusa printer has a build volume of 250x210x210mm (width, depth, height). Even with a bed that small as compared to a LongMill it probes the bed at 9 points before each print and compensates for any errors in bed leveling in the firmware.

The other thing that comes to mind is the firmware. Not sure if grbl could run a printer. Not aware of a firmware that does both but I have never looked into it either. My printer has 5 steppers, one for X, one for Y, two for Z and one for the extruder. Maybe an A axis could drive the extruder. The extruder can move the filament in two directions, one to push out the filament and one to pull it back, called retraction, to stop the flow of filament when doing rapid moves etc.

I’m certainly not saying it can’t be done, and the build shape might be ideal for doing batches of parts that aren’t too tall. After seeing the LongGrill I believe anything is possible!

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