The last few days I've upgraded my 3D printer with some additional support structures to fixate the x/y axis in relation to the z axis. As you can see on the feeds they are not exactly straight, they got sort of a wobble to them. It's not really bad (like 200 micron wobble or so) but it might be the cause of some issues with the feeds. I finalized this yesterday so we'll see if it's straighter when I get the chance to test it this evening.
I've also found that 3D printing, while great for prototyping is definitively nothing that can be used for production, at least not with my machine and with my current print speed/resolution. A feed takes around 2 hours to print. I guess Pierre is even faster at pushing out the pens than that
Well the biggest learning currently: The material is crucial, some of the plastics do bond with the ink and it does work quite nicely. Some others (and even when changing parameters on the print this can happen like temperature) are really hydrophobic causing the ink to stay in the pen or flow out of the pen freely without any control. It's quite hard to get this to work using the standard materials.
I've now ordered (and received today) some printable rubber which has micro-pores which should be quite hydrophilic. I hope this will help with the ink not wanting to go into the channels.
Overall the 3D printing works quite nicely to produce feeds that do work. But since the channels are such small details this is very very hard to print in a way that capillary action does work like it does in modern feeds.
The internal ink chamber does clog rapidly with the pigmented ink I'm using and is impossible to clean.
I'm also struggling at getting the breather hole drop-free. When shaken the breather hole is one of the points where ink will fly out from the ink channel underneath. So I would love to prevent ink from getting there. Like directly feed to the front of the breatherhole underneath the tines. This however does introduce sort of a problem for the ink bubble as its builtup is prevented when the breather hole is empty on the Zebra G nibs.
I'm thinking of introducing a pin into the breather hole, the feed having a little tower on top that goes into the breather hole, basically cutting it into two sections. Ink side on the front of the pen towards the nib only the border of the hole inked up basically. Air zone/inkfree to the back/towards the pen and combining two materials in one feed like an ink channel with the hydrophilic material which will suck in the ink and an air channel that is hydrophobic and thus doesn't easily take in the ink. If the air channel would end into the ink channel and the ink channel would store enough ink for the flexing then this could provide a nice air trapped ink reservoir while removing the need to balance between no ink and ink over the whole table.
This does however still pose the issues I currently got with the ink chamber clogging, so I would need to design this with bigger structures than on the current nib.
Just a short overview of my current theoretical thinking process.
Status generally: Mk9 is writing fine with non-pigmented inks. In generally better leak prevention due to the ink reservoir taking up excess ink. Downside compared to the original feed is ink flow, it's a drier writer which might cause issues with dry inks. Shaking not solved yet. Hard starts are almost non existent, it only takes a few seconds until full flex can be achieved, slight to medium flex is available instantly even when the nib was up for a few hours/overnight.
Mk10+ currently considered failures, maybe material issues but I'm currently not planning to waste any time in experimenting with these before trying out the possibilities with printing hard rubber.
Edited by bardiir, 15 May 2015 - 11:50.
My Pens/Nibs (inked/active): Lamy Studio/Vista/Joy (XXF slight-flex custom | 14k EF | EF | F | 14k M | M | B | 14k 1.1 custom | 1.1 | 1.5 | 1.9), TWSBI Diamond 580 (F | Pendleton BadBoy | Zebra G | F.P.R. semi-flex), Pilot Falcon EF, Penkala Vintage 14k semi-flex, Pilot Parallel (2.4 | 3.8 | 6.0)
I'm still looking for help/data/supporters/sponsors for my Ink Database - It already contains over 900 Inks but is still low on data about the inks except on the Inks I got myself or where I found nice data sheets. So Im looking for these: InkSamples mailed to me, Permissions to use InkReviews - preferable by people who have a lot of InkReviews online, InkReviews mailed to me so I can scan them, Sponsors that will help me to finance InkSamples, People willing to trade InkSamples (list of available Inks from me is available via PM request - please include available Inks)