From Fab @ Home
Welcome to the Tool Catalog Page
A deposition tool is a device which is mounted on a Fab@Home chassis, and which can deposit material in a controlled fashion to allow the Fab@Home system to build up a three-dimensional object, layer by layer. A milling/cutting tool is an alternative attachment for the Fab@Home that converts it into a CNC or foam/vinyl cutter
Here you can look at all of the printer attatchments developed for the Fab@Home family of fabbers.
All the tools on the Model II share the same universal quick-mount system. Simply slide the tool into the carriage, secure with a thumbscrew, and enjoy the versatility. Details can be found on the Tool Mount page.
A syringe tool is a deposition tool which controls the dispensing of material from a syringe. Syringe tools can be used with almost any fluid or paste material. With the addition of temperature control, materials that are solid at room temperature can also be used. Additionally, the materials do not typically need to be very carefully filtered to achieve reasonable results. The drawbacks of syringe tools are:
- Resolution limited by needle/nozzle diameter - difficult to get below 100 micrometers
- Need to precisely control the height of the needle/nozzle relative to the object being built
- If too large a gap, the material will tend to bead up and drip from the syringe
- If too small a gap, the needle/nozzle will plough through previously deposited layers
Many methods exist for controlling the flow of material from a syringe, including:
- A linear motor driving the syringe piston
- Controlled flow of compressed gas (e.g. air) into the syringe
- Constant pressure compressed gas behind the material in the syringe with a controlled valve at the syringe tip
Model 2 Syringe tool
This is the default deposition tool for the Fab@Home. It can print with any material that can be extruded through a syringe and retain its shape at rest - this ranges from silicone to chocolate frosting to biomaterials. The Model 2 uses snap motors to power its tool, which attach via ethernet cables to the controller. The motors are not inline with the syringe, rather they transmit power via two gears to a plunger. For more information about the model 2 syringe tools see the Model 2 syringe tool page
PREVIOUS VERSION: Model 1 Syringe Tools
The Model 1 1-Syringe Tool is the standard deposition tool for the Fab@Home Model 1. It uses the linear stepper motor method of controlling syringe piston position, hence material flow. This is the recommended tool for beginner fabbers, in that it allows the use of a very wide variety of materials, the materials do not need careful preparation, it operates in an intuitive fashion, and allows simple swapping of material syringes to build objects with multiple materials.
The Model 1 2-Syringe Tool is a simple modification to the 1-Syringe tool, just wider, with 2 motors, and two syringes. At present only the SolidWorks design files are available. The assembly is essentially identical to that of the 1-Syringe tool. PLEASE NOTE: The 2-Syringe Tool has an additional motor which will require an additional motor amplifier, and the addition of a couple of cable connections between the microcontroller and the additional amplifier.
Download the Model 1 2-Syringe Tool SolidWorks Files:
- [media:Model 1 2-Syringe Tool SolidWorks Design Files]
Learn how to build and install a Model 1 Syringe Tool:
The valve tool uses an external pressure supply to extrude the material and two snap motors to regulate the flow. It can hold bigger syringes than the worm drive syringe tool, allowing larger prints without changing the syringe. Also, the valve tool greatly simplifies the parameters that need to be changed when the material is changed. However, materials that react with air cannot be used in the valve tool. The valve tool requires an external air supply. For more information about the valve tool, see the Valve tool page.
Other Syringe Tools
The standard syringe may be heated up to at least 250°F (121°C) using a simple heated syringe.
Thermoplastic tool (Makerbot MK5 Derivative)
Using a pinch wheel extruder based on the Makerbot MK4 Plastruder design it is possible to do plastic prints using the model 2. More information about FDM tools, including assembly instructions of the Fab@Home redesign of the Makerbot MK4 Plastruder, can be found on the pinch wheel FDM tool page. Information on the heated build base can be found on the heated build base page
Makerbot’s MK5 Plastruder is a significant improvement to the previous MK4. The new model is designed for reliablity, low maintenance, and ease of use. They have completely redesigned the heating element, barrel, and nozzle to make the extruder as long-lasting as possible. In comparison with the MK4, the components screw more tightly together, the tool is smaller in general, the redesigned heating element heats very evenly to provide a consistent temperature. The new filament guide system and drive gear produce a much greater push strength and a smoother slide than before, and the new tool can extrude smoothly for extended periods of time.
The tool has been redesigned to be powered by a snap motor by JrKerr. All the acrylic plates have been modified, and the tool now includes top and back plates so that it fits on a standard Fab@Home tool mount. The Plastruder needs to be heated to 230 degrees, and it sits at just the right distance from the build base, which is heated to 100 degrees. Once calibrated correctly, the tool can be used in almost the same way as the MK4 was on the Fab@Home, and will produce ABS models with a high level of accuracy.
To download the DXF files for the new acrylic parts and view the assembly instructions, visit Thingiverse
Dremel Milling tool
Dremel or Rotozip flexible extension shafts can be mounted on the Model 2 to turn it into a milling machine. These can be outfited with milling bits for PCBs, foam, wood and more.
The Dremel tool holder can now house an attachment for a Shop-Vac (for ease of vacuuming dust that results from milling foam, wood, and other materials). The vacuum attachment fits onto the end of a standard Shop-Vac hose and easily slides into the right side of the Dremel tool holder. The Shop-Vac attachment (Crevice Tool) can be purchased here: Shop-Vac attachment
More information can be found on the Milling Tool page
Vinyl Cutting Tools
Pro Vinyl Cutting tool
The Pro Vinyl Cutting Tool adds the ability to accurately cut outlines thin sheets of material, including vinyl, stickers, paper, etc. It can also engrave line art into harder materials. It features a standard replacement blade mount and blade from Roland vinyl plotters which is held spring-loaded on guide rails to compensate for material or build tray misalignment.
More information and assembly instructions may be found here: Tools:Pro Vinyl Tool
Edu Vinyl Cutting Tool
This tool is an inexpensive and simple alternative to the pro-vinyl cutting tool above. It is an acrylic mount which attaches a Fiskars Fingertip Control Swivel Knife to the Fab@Home Model II. It is limited in accuracy but provides value for money.
More information and assembly instructions may be found here: Tools:Edu Vinyl Tool