Learn More About This Exciting Technology!
CHESTERLAND OH – At CAS DataLoggers we're working on a new prototype design for one of our datalogger accessories using a 3D printer assembled by our own Engineering Manager Terry Nagy. Constructed from parts Terry fabricated and sourced, the 3D printer consists of a plywood frame, two PC power supplies, and a homemade Arduino data logger as the system's 'brain' to monitor the extrusion temperature. A laptop runs the design and automation software which communicates with the printer to create each object. It only took Terry a few months' off-and-on work to make the frame, source the motors and get the hang of the software options, and now we look forward to improving the new design as we go along.
The printer is a RepRap open-source design and forms products from a supply of filament PLA (Polylactic acid, a dimensionally stable polymer) fed in from the top, and it can also fabricate parts from ABS filament (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a widespread thermoplastic). Both substances are affordable, easy to get and ideal for these small-scale 3D printing applications. During operation, the printer's filament feeds into a melting extruder head in the machine which raises the PLA's temperature up to 356°F (180°C) during operation, or 446°F (230°C) when working with ABS. The onboard datalogger monitors this temperature in real time. The 3D printer melts the plastic filament and extrudes it onto a copper plate according to a series of programmed instructions based on a CAD-designed model. The printer gradually layers the filament until it forms the complete part, which then hardens after it cools. In this case we're making a prototype version of our wall-mount brackets for our Accsense A2-05 Ethernet Data Loggers. These plastic parts have good durability and only take a little over an hour to make. In addition to the wall brackets, so far the printer has churned out other pieces including parts for a bandsaw, Christmas ornaments, cabinet knobs and more.
RepRap.org is a free open-source community site with all the information and resources people need for making their own 3D printers. Terry's RepRap printer utilizes 3 freeware programs installed on his laptop:
• FreeCAD is a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) modeler enabling 3D design.
• Slic3r is an automation utility that takes the digital 3D
model and breaks it down into a sequence of printing instructions.
• Pronterface is a printer communication tool which reads the layered instruction file and controls the RepRap 3D printer to manufacture the part.
This inexpensive RepRap printer is a good introductory example of how this flexible technology can be applied in product design and manufacturing. We look forward to improving the prototype design and seeing what else the printer can do!
Our Accsense A2-05 Ethernet Wired Temperature Measurement Pod is the ideal temperature monitoring and alarming solution for vaccines, blood supplies and samples. These data loggers record temperature in medical refrigerators and freezers to provide cost-effective monitoring for one or more units. Accsense is also ideal for monitoring frozen plasma temperatures and other ultra-low supplies stored in medical freezers down to -200°C. Each Ethernet pod has inputs for external sensors including 2 RTDs and a thermocouple. At CAS DataLoggers we've provided the Accsense solution to many of the world's most prestigious healthcare institutions including the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, New York
Hospital Queens, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, the Smithsonian Institute, and the US Navy Medical Center, and many more.
For more info on automation and control systems, our Accsense A2-05 Ethernet Pods, or to find the ideal device for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026