Prototypes inspired by biomass briquette compound lever presses.
While the compound presses were effective in multiplying the input force, they did not spread the force uniformly across a wide surface. It was important for the force to be distributed evenly across the printing plate for the impressions to be consistent. I began to look at bench-top presses that use a long lever and a toggle to generate a large amount of press force. Several different designs were prototyped in MDF to understand the constraints of building a toggle press out of sheet material.
The final design uses 5mm MDF or aluminum, three turned parts, and standard hardware.
There is a huge difference in tolerance when changing manufacturing processes.
To keep prototyping time and costs low, everything was made in MDF using a laser cutter. This process is vastly different from cutting parts with a waterjet. The cutting beam size is very small in a laser with relatively minimal taper as the part gets cut. The opposite for an older water jet. None of the parts fit smoothly together due to a large taper created by the water jet as the beam slowed down through the material. This quick lesson was solved with a bit of filing and sanding.