picaxe fabber

Hi Everyone,

I noticed somone mentioned make magazine in an earlyer forum post, and it was an article in the current make maga zine that has recently inspired me! what I wanted to ask is ...

has anyone on these forums thought about/done any work on a picaxe fabber?


Senior Member

fabber wiki =&gt;<A href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabber' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a>

Sound like &quot;Star trek's&quot; REPLICATOR device

i think what you're talking about is somewhat similar to a 3d printer

currently they are limited to powdered plastics and liquid fast setting glues and such and in some cases firm clay

currently though it's easier to use a cnc machine and just recycle the offcut waste
which is one of the things i'm in the middle of building,
not totally true - Make has a number of DIY efforts in this area using different materials - sugar for example!.

I have long though that a glue gun (I.e. hot melt gun) would be a good starting point.

it's getting along in the diy crowd but not as much as diy cnc
i've seen one 3d printer that used somthing to finely ground plastic and a green laser
the plastic was similar to the hotmelt glue sticks


New Member
DPG - have you a link for the green laser + plastic powder? I have just completed the machanical parts to a repstrap modeled on Tommelise. Google if you need.

I was going to use a dremel for cnc and a reprap for plastic.

The plastic injector is to be run using a picaxe 08M or 14M. Not that far along yet. Just this morning got all three axis finished.

There is not real magic in the technology - Once you have a 3D CAD system that makes STL files, and a pro gramme to slice the STL file up into suitable thicknesses you have with an X/Y/Z plotter the entire system.

Most thermo plastics - that includes ground up milk containers, yogurt containers etc will melt at about 130 to 160 depending on the plastic so if you go the plastic or similar - e.g. sugar - rout you need a suitable nozzle heated to the correct temp and then put some pressure on the contents and move in X and Y.

Indeed if you are in a hurry you could cut the slices into 3mm thickness and cut out of something like plywood or MDF with a router.

There is a lot of promise but the Startrek replicator it is isn't quite - yet -

Oh, and the end product can be quite fragile.

And while I am throwing cold water on the idea it is VERY VERY SLOW.

Edited by - rickharris on 21/08/2007 20:09:09


Senior Member
this isn't "Star trek's" replicator...
but look similar to "Jurassic park's" Bone-builder polymeric printer
(remember the Velocirraptor's sound-maker cavity?)

Once I saw one "model-scale" maker machine, this device put one sheet of plastic over another and plotting the next surface, blow the debris away and one hot air nose slightly melt down the sheet to provide adhesion, over previous &quot;pancake tower&quot; of sheets, and start again with one new sheet.

I remember too the movie "5th element" when the machine "re-build" the gorgeous women slice by slice starting from one hand as DNA source...

but... "only in Hollywood movies" by now...


Edited by - sedeap on 21/08/2007 22:43:02
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:) we have a card based system that cuts the profiles out of sticky card and you put them together - Interesting but very slow.

These things have there place but so does traditional modeling.


Senior Member

Talking with some friend of mine, his wife working on a system to provide 3D construction tooths for a dental company (sorry, no mention allowed), so she build the tooth or part of them with one experimental 3axis device who "spout" one VERY-VERY smallest bubble of material over one "core" base small than the tooth, and "fill" the shape wanted.

Look here => <External Web Link>

The material later is hardened by UV light.
As she says, once hardened, resist like natural ivory, and can't be corrupted.


Edited by - sedeap on 21/08/2007 23:19:00
Last edited:


New Member
On a similar note, has anyone used polymorph pellets before with success? I wonder if the final result would be good.

Search polymorph pellets at www.jaycar.com.au
Polymorph melts at about 60 deg C - At higher temps it will become fluid and difficult to handle - it tends to stick to everything like a glue.

Mmm maybe there is a use for that property!

It is also relatively expensive and if you are about to design a heated nozzle system anyway you may as well go for the normal thermo plastic range of 130 to 160 deg C. Then you can cut up plastic milk bottles or other scrap plastic articles and they provide free materials.

Typical thermo plastics: PET - Clear drinks bottles.

HDPS - yogurt cartons - plastic cups cheap pens.

LDPS - carrier bags - may be PVC as well.

ABS - Computer and printer and HiFI cases.

There are a lot of plastic item in our houses that are effectively rubbish - recycling makes sense.
Between 140 and 205 deg C according to <A href='http://www.adco.co.uk/applicators.htm' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a>

there is also a low temp hot melt glue that melts from memory at about 90 to 120 deg C

Big range of colour and type <A href='http://www.pyrosupplies.com/shop/page/category/Category/df53813e598d920642774d3837d1ca21.html' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a>

A range of H&amp;S manuals for hot melt glue <A href='http://www.gluegunsdirect.com/index.asp?Sessionx=IaqiNwB6IHqiNwY6Jwc6IA' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a>

Try this (British) site
<A href='http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?tier1=Tools%2c+Fasteners+%26+Production+Equipment&amp;tier2=Service+Aids&amp;tier3=Adhesives&amp;tier4=Low+temperature+glue+gun&amp;moduleno=64261' Target=_Blank>External Web Link</a>



Senior Member

I believe the reprap (and Tommelise) people have used CAPA (polymorph) in some of their experiments but as has been mentioned, the melt is quite low which limits applications.