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Inventions 2018, 3(1), 8; doi:10.3390/inventions3010008

Inexpensive Piezoelectric Elements for Nozzle Contact Detection and Build Platform Leveling in FFF 3D Printers

RepRap Project, Foxham, Wiltshire SN15 4NB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Inexpensive piezoelectric diaphragms can be used as sensors to facilitate both nozzle height setting and build platform leveling in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. Tests simulating nozzle contact are conducted to establish the available output and an output of greater than 8 Volts found at 20 °C, a value which is readily detectable by simple electronic circuits. Tests are also conducted at a temperature of 80 °C and, despite a reduction of greater than 80% in output voltage, this is still detectable. The reliability of piezoelectric diaphragms is investigated by mechanically stressing samples over 100,000 cycles at both 20 and 80 °C, and little loss of output over the test duration is found. The development of a nozzle contact sensor using a single piezoelectric diaphragm is described. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; open source; RepRap; calibration; bed leveling 3D printing; open source; RepRap; calibration; bed leveling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Simpson, M.; Khoury, S. Inexpensive Piezoelectric Elements for Nozzle Contact Detection and Build Platform Leveling in FFF 3D Printers. Inventions 2018, 3, 8.

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