3D Printing

Desktop 3D printer goes mobile with some help from Pi

Desktop 3D printer goes mobile...
Six battery packs provide enough juice to run this mobile 3D printer and the Raspberry Pi  that creates a Wi-Fi access point
Six battery packs provide enough juice to run this mobile 3D printer and the Raspberry Pi  that creates a Wi-Fi access point
View 1 Image
Six battery packs provide enough juice to run this mobile 3D printer and the Raspberry Pi  that creates a Wi-Fi access point
1/1
Six battery packs provide enough juice to run this mobile 3D printer and the Raspberry Pi  that creates a Wi-Fi access point

Desktop 3D printers are great for locally producing task-specific accessories, replacing broken mounts and holders around the home or churning out custom chess pieces for that special birthday gift. But they generally spend most of their life in a basement workshop or home office. YouTuber Thomas Sanladerer wanted something that could go where he did so modified a small inexpensive unit to run on battery power and be controlled with a smartphone.

For his "go anywhere" 3D printer project, Sanladerer selected a Printrbot Play desktop 3D printer for conversion, saying that it had the advantage of being "built like a tank," and already had a cross beam to the top that could be used as a carry handle.

The Printrbot Play features a non-heated aluminum print bed and auto bed leveling, offers a build volume of 100 x 100 x 130 mm (3.93 x 3.93 x 5.1 in) and rocks a filament spool mount to the top.

Battery power for the modified 3D printer is supplied by six 7.2 V Sony NP-F batteries attached to the back that give up to 6 hours of 3D printing on the go. Charging and power is routed through three DC/DC converters – one of which feeds 5 V into a Raspberry Pi running the OctoPi Raspbian based OS and another that ups the voltage to the 12 V required to run the printer.

Since his Raspberry Pi board didn't have Wi-Fi built in, Sanladerer added a Wi-Fi dongle to turn the printer into a mobile Wi-Fi access point, meaning that users don't have to rely on a home, workshop or office network to wirelessly connect to the device using a laptop or smartphone.

All of the boards were mounted in the base of the existing Printrbot Play, cables zip-tied up and a test print loaded into Octoprint and sent over Wi-Fi to confirm that the battery-powered, wireless 3D printer worked as intended. And it did, as you can see in the detailed build video below.

Source: Tom's 3D

3D Print ANYWHERE

1 comment
TomLeeM
I think that is really neat. It could be great for times one wants to create something even when there is no power source available.