Design Data for the 3D Printer Modification to Print Gels and Pastes and the Corresponding Firmware
In order to deposit gel and paste-like materials, a commercially available HICTOP Prusa i3 plastic 3D printer was modified. The modification included replacing the existing plastic microextruder with a customised 3D printed syringe pump which could hold a syringe containing the printing material. The arrangement also allowed the temperature in the syringe to be controlled. Since the hardware of the printer was changed significantly, a new firmware was loaded on the 3D printer which was also customised to enable it to perform its new function. The present data consists of the 3D image files of the syringe pump assembly and instructions on how to assemble the components. It also provides a copy of the modified firmware with a list of the changes made to it. This data will allow the readers to modify a similar type of 3D printer to print pastes and gels. This can be achieved by recreating the entire syringe pump assembly by 3D printing the given 3D image file data. With some changes, these designs can also be adapted to a variety of different printers. Similarly, the given firmware can also be loaded onto a similar type of printer. The list and explanation of the changes made to the firmware also allow such changes to be made to the respective firmware of a variety of different printers.
Steps to reproduce
The syringe pump can be reproduced by 3D printing, using the 3D image files. If required, changes need to be made to the images in order for them to be compatible with a different printer or a different syringe. The assembly instructions can be found in the referenced publication. The firmware can be loaded onto a compatible 3D printer, or the specific changes made to it (as explained in the referenced publication) can be replicated on another firmware suitable for a 3D printer.