design tool

AEP: Air Extruder Parser

Air Extruder Parser (AEP) is a design tool that allows to take any regular slicer and convert a stepper extruder output into an air extruder on/off control.

What it does?

AEP goes through your gcode file, finds the points where the extruder is not printing and adds lines to control the air extruder on/off state and adds possible start or stop delays.

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How to use?

Click on “select file” button, and browse for your GCode. Once selected the tool generates and downloads automatically the parsed GCode.

Options?

AE on and off  GCode commands can be edited for custom preferences. Also delays after on or off commands can be add to adapt to the properties of the material being printed.

Conclusions

This is a very simple tool, that does a simple job. We have been using it for our Lost chickpea casting experiments (coming soon). We are thinking on implementing a new feature that allows to decide how many millimetres we want the extruder stop printing before reaching a printing line. This is targeted to be used for materials tendency to ooze after AE Off, what do you think? it would be useful?

References:

Curv3s, new/update design tool

Curv3s is an update for Lin3s.

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The main different in between this two is that Curves, does have the ability to draw Bezier curves. This means mainly more organic shapes.

A few parameters have changed their names. Also the parameters has been divided into three groups Design, Effects and Printing. Hopefully this makes it more easy to use.

Now if the line is closed (shift + c), the nozzle follows an spiral motion with z-axis increments per segments. This means no big z movements while printing with a closed line. This is known as spiral vase in Slic3r.

If you decide to print an open line, it will go back and forth changing printing direction on each layer(always printing). Please notice that if paste is not thick enough it is quite difficult to hold a not connected end of line.

Another cool featured added is support for extruder based printers. What makes Curv3s compatible with filament printers. We run some tests and it worked. But I think there is plenty of better tools for plastic, still is fun and fast.

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Curv3s is and experimental tool. It generates a LOT of segments for a Curvy GCode. We tried to finetune it to reduce segments without decreasing the smoothness of the path. This requires more work and experimentation . Meaning that sometimes the amount of data send to the printer is too big so the printer stutters for a while.

How to use it:

  • To draw, just click on theplace where you want your new line joints to be (starts drawing the line with the second joint). If you drag your mouse after clicking you would be able to edit the bezier joint handles (paired).
  • To move around a line joint, click on and drag it to the new position.
  • To select a joint, click on it.
  • To edit a bezier curve handler joint, joint needs to be previously selected. Click on and drag the handler point and modify the curve (independent handlers edition).
  • To add a new joint to your line, click on it.
  • To remove a line joint, hold shift and click on the line joint.
  • To close a line, click shift + “c”.
  • To open a line, click shift + “o”.

Parameters:

  • Height (z) [mm]: This param is the total height of the figure.

  • Scale [%]: Total scale percentage between the base and figure’s top.

  • Layer height [mm]: Layer height.
  • Material diameter[mm]: This is equivalent to filament diameter for regular printers. And would be equal to the inside diameter of a syringe based extruder.

Curv3s, even if it has a different name still use Lin3s repository. (Yes, being too lazy to change it :))

Hopefully this new and simplified tool help us to bring easier ways to print food, and a nicer dinning experience.

Lin3s, new design tool

Lin3s is a remake of our straight lines design tool.

This time we have added a 3d viewer, so it is easier to get a sense of how the design is gonna look like. Example of a GCode printed with hummus. We keep our no-sense design rule (sorry for that).

What it does?

Creates a GCode path following a drawn line. Without jumps. Goes back and forth over the same line increasing the height until the desired number of layers is reached. The output just controls position, and valve on/off. Mainly for air compressed extruders.

What is what?

3 main parts.

  • Parameters: Left column has a title “Lin3s” (does nothing), list of designing and printing parameters, and GCode button to generate your GCode (after designed).
  • Canvas: Middle area, here is where to draw the “base” view of our design with a single line or path.
  • Viewer: A 3D viewer of the design, with basic mouse controls.

How to use it?

First a short video that we hope makes things easier to understand. If not we wrote a boring description that hoping is good enough.

The center area is a canvas where a path or line can be drawn. This represents the base of the design. Following the basic design actions:

  • To draw, just click on it and place where you want your new line joints to be (starts drawing the line with the second joint).
  • To move around a line joint, click on and drag it to the new position.
  • To add a new joint to your line, click on and drag it to the new joint position.
  • To remove a line joint, hold shift and click on the line joint.
  • To close a line, click shift + “c”.
  • To open a line, click shift + “o”.

To help building and printng a 3d design from the base line the following parameters are implemented.

  • # layers: Number of layers for the whole print.
  • Rotation [deg/layer]: This rotates each layer with the given degree parameter. If you get to play with some crazy fast setting material this might be cool. I can not get it to work over 1deg/layer
  •  Scale top layer [%]: This helps to give a less 2.5D feeling. What it does is change the proportion of all the layers based on the relationship between bottom and top layer. Equal to a basic cone effect (/\ or \/).
  •  Feedrate [mm/min]: Printing speed.
  •  Initial delay [ms]: This adds a delay after the beggining of the print. This is set for printer using valve controls (or at least for mine :)).
  •  enter y [mm], this 2 parameters help to center the print, at whatever center position is desired. By default this parameter is set for delta printers center = 0,0.
  • File name. Write here the name that you want for your file, it will be saved by default at your browser Downloads folder.

If you are interested in the source code, here it is the repository, spoiler alert not fancy coding here;).

It would be awesome if you have any feedback please let us know! 🙂

3d Food printing