Multi-material Printer is here!

After waiting months (no exageration), The Multi-material Upgrade (MMU) kit has finally arrived! This kit allows my Prusa Mk2s Printer to print with four different materials at the sae time. There are certain limitations and the software needs some tuning to allow for more flexibility, but so far its been awesome.​​​​​​​

First thing I did was to get right to work on the changes I wanted to make to the Audio Panel, which is a resemblance of a KMA30.

What I wanted to do initially is have translucent windows over the Outer, Middle, and Inner marker lights. I tried just putting a sticker or printed photopaper overly over the opening,  but the light looks too bright and solid during testing. THis is only possible with a printer than can use more than one material type. So I waited for the MMU to arrive. 

Also, I tried to add some lettering directly into the build. Unfortunately, the lettering comes out very squished together when I have the faceplate facing down against teh printer bed. This orientation results in the smoothest finish on the unit. Printed parts LOOK printed (layers visible and textured lines) everywhere except on teh flat sections that smush intot he printer bed. Since I wanted a smooth surface  facing the pilot, the lettering would have to be done another way. Regardless, I couldnt print with enough colored transparent PLA material to colorize each marker window properly anyways, so they would still need some stickers.

So I made a photoshop image of hte faceplate and printed it to to glossy photopaper. Hot-glued it to teh smooth facing and trimmed off the areas that needed holes. After dusting the final results with some satin clear coat to break up the smoothness of the shiny paper, I am pleased with the results. The image showing teh marker windows being lit by my phone's flash make them look brighter than they apear to be to the human eye. When you see them lit, they lettering is perfectly readable.

Satisfied with the results, I moved onto finalizing the GPS 530 unit. While it does not have any windowed lights like the audio panel, the GNS 530 does feature lettered buttons. Another reason I was awaiting the MMU upgrade for the printer. Before I got into this process, I needed to move my printer back into its enclosure.

This took more doing than expected with extruders now having four hookups. But once completed, I began to iterate the GPS unit assets.

The lettering here needed to get larger than the real unit. When I printed with a smaller font size, the results were just not readable. THe printer I own just isnt capable of that kind of fine resulition in the XY plane. Maybe it can be upgraded, but thats beyond me for the moment. I made a similar overly in photoshop to add the text that would be too fine for the Printer to handle.


After that, I figured why stop there? The real GNS 530 knobs have writing on the heads of hte knobs. So, I iterated a few of them to finish out the piece. I could like smaller lettering on both the buttons and the knobs, but the printer doesn't wanna :-) So I either take it like this, or I embed printered overlays into flat buttons and flattened knob caps. Still considering that approach after trying it on the smallest knobs.


I am leaving the GPS unit alone for now and will decide on the optional approach at a later date. I have had more than a few people ask me if I am wiulling to sell this unit. The answer is yes, but it will be with a lot of caveats. I didnt build this for mass produciton, only to allow me to tmake my own simpit. I chose parts of higher quality trhat cost more as a result.  WIth the above image being what you might expect to recieve, please let me know if this, or any other unit I am working on, is something you'd be interested in.

With that, now its on to the Bendix Kind Radios, Transponder and Autopilot units! Radios fitting tests look good, but needs refinement.