It’s probably safe to say that most Makers have experienced bad glue gun days. You know, the kind of day that start off nicely enough, only to be ruined by incessant dripping all over the workbench and basement floor. Some of us have even muttered “I bet this doesn’t happen to Ben Heck” under our collective breaths.
As it turns out, master modder Ben Heck probably hasn’t suffered from a bad glue gun day since designing an innovative device that HackADay’s Brian Benchoff describes as “more like an extruder from a 3D printer” than your typical dispenser.
“By far, the most difficult part of this project was the glue stick extruder. For this, Ben used a DC motor with a two-stage planetary gear system,” Benchoff explained.
“This drives a homemade hobbed bolt, just like the extruder in 99% of 3D printers. The glue stick is wedged up against the hobbed bolt with a few 3D printed parts and a spring making for a very compact glue stick extruder.”
On the electronics side, Ben included an Atmel-based AVR board, a thermistor attached to the hot end of the glue gun, a solid state relay for the heater and analog controls for speed /temperature settings.
“The finished product is actually pretty nice. It lays down consistent beads of hot glue and thanks to a little bit of motor retraction won’t drip,” Benchoff added.
We couldn’t agree more!