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I have a friend looking for help. Please read. :)

I have a friend named Quentin. He is a green fox and is looking for someone who can assist him with a project. I would like for you to read through his request and see if you are able/willing to assist him. You may also know someone who might be able to assist him. Either way, if you think you can help out, just contact me, and I'll put you in touch with Quentin. The following is his problem and request:

Ever since I started working with 3D printers, the first thing every maker figures out is that everything they really want is metal, and that thermoplastics are extremely limited. Metal 3D printing as we know it is not going to be affordable to hobbyists for at least another 30 years, if ever. However, approximately a year an a half ago, I found out about a process that could provide metal parts on a small budget.

Normally, in machining parts are cut using tungsten carbide tools and mechanical force (rotating parts on a lathe, or rotating a cutting tool in a milling machine spindle). These methods require heavy machines to absorb vibration and powerful motors to produce the energy to cut into metal. Because of these properties, these machines are expensive. However, there are means of cutting metal using electricity. These processes are EDM and ECM. What is special about these processes is that they cause virtually no vibration, and require no mechanical force to cut metal.

Knowing this, I came to the idea, that if I could put an EDM power supply and pump on a 3D printer chassis, I could create a CNC milling machine/lathe capable of cutting large, hard, and/or complex parts for a tiny fraction of the cost that a commercial CNC machine costs. While there are some downsides to this method, most notably how slow the cutting process is, this would allow hobbyists to make incredible things that they otherwise would never be able to without investing much more money and time into learning than they likely have.

So what I did with this knowledge, was I purchased Ben Fleming's book and PCB instructions for his pulse EDM machine, with the hopes of seeing if I could convert his design to something that could be controlled by a RAMPS board, or some similar 3D printer controller. I attempted to make sense of the documents, however they were not written with the intention of being understood, merely used as a blueprint for making his design of machine.

I have several talents that are useful for this project, including parametric modeling and design, C++ programming for use with arduino based boards (such as 3D printer boards), the ability to write Gcode (as well as CNC program using Mastercam). However, the one skill that I lack is electronics engineering. While I have a general understanding of the circuit, I do not know enough to safely begin taking out or changing components in order to alter the design to fit my ends.

This problem has been disastrous, as finding the knowledge base required to solve this problem either requires taking several courses in electronics engineering (something which I do not have the time to do, working full time and taking classes already) or it requires finding someone to interpret the information that exists and redesign it for my needs. I have no idea who I could even contact to do such a thing, let alone how much it may cost. Because of this situation, I have been unable to substantially proceed for the past 6 months.

If there is anyone willing and able to help, I'm desperate for your assistance.
Viewed: 12 times
Added: 7 months, 2 weeks ago
7 months, 2 weeks ago
So bad I haven't no experience about 3d printers ...
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