Polymer Numeric Control

Wikipedia describes human scale as the set of physical qualities, and quantities of information, characterizing the human body, its motor, sensory, or mental capabilities, and human social institutions. In terms of distance it is between one to two meters.

From the onset, the cost of printing objects in human scale has been out of the reach of most humans. For 3D printing to become the revolution that so many claim, printers need to build objects that are useful in every day life; human scale as it called.

This is the realm of large format 3D printers.

3D printing architectural models is fine for visualization, but there needs to be more 3D printing in architecture and construction. Ultimately, the cost has to come down and the capabilities need to go up for the technology to become common place.

The objective is to present mechanisms and designs that have scalability as their primary goal. To take 3D printers from the cubic foot to the cubic meter and beyond!

Design Ethos

The PolyNC project was started with the following considerations in mind. It is believed that, ultimately, 3D printers will need to be able to create human scale objects if their use is to become common place.

Large Format 3D Printing

The cube on the left is a visualization of the size of one meter cube. 3D Printers having at least one axis (i.e. x, y or z) being one meter or more, is considered to be a large format 3D printer. Their costs are usually more than most family vehicles. PolyNC’s aim is to provide the ability to do such printing at a much more attainable cost.

An Open, Accessable Frame

The frame design should allow the machine to turn any surface into a build surface. Machines that move the build area (be it 3D printer or CNC mill) limit their end use to things that can fit on the bed. With PolyNC the bottom of the machine is open allowing for possibilities that cannot be done any other way.

Palet Shuttle

A common CNC operation in which the “bed” area can be switched out easily. With the current frame design, implementing such features is trivial, as compared to the complexities that would befall most other printer designs.

PolyNC is a Robotics Platform – A Cartesian Robot

Above all else, PolyNC is meant to be a General Purpose Cartesian Robot. This means that it can be converted from CNC Milling to 3D printer by the end user.

Some of the uses for such a robot include:

  • CNC Milling
  • Pen Plotter
  • Vinyl Cutting, Stenciling cutting, Paper cutting, Cloth cutting, Cardboard cutting)
  • 3D Printing
  • Pick and Place
  • Embroidery
  • Laser Etching


Z Axis Worm Drive

After some thought, it was determined that a previously infeasible Z axis drive solution, is now not only practical, but essential. Originally, this method would require several expensive mechanical pieces to get working; driving up the cost and complexity of the solution. It was then determined that a simple electromagnetic brake would suffice; since these …