Development, testing and the like :)

Hello Friends,

First, to answer the most common question – “are you guys still there?” : we’re very much here, have been spending hectic days testing the commercial version in and out from electronics, mechanical and ease-of-use point of view, keeping the printer busy for long hours everyday to make sure it keeps performing. And (the most critical one) moving from “enthu electronics guys” mode to a responsible product company mode 🙂

A comment from Anuj made me realise that we’ve been postponing updating the blog for too long. Thanks Anuj for this.

There are a few realizations dawning at this end, which made us work very seriously at what we’re doing. Realization that the printer needs to work with you the way it works with us. We have been taking the printer around for demos, and understood the expectations of a non-reprapper from a 3D printer. This has also clarified for us the india vs. US/Europe scenario to some extent, and also why its not catching up here the way it should be 🙂

Then, there are unexpected delays when we move from prototyping to production. For those who plan to walk the entrepreneurship path –

1. all suppliers will make mistakes in the sillymost ways, and make you do atleast two respins more than you planned for.

2. They will not ship the material when they said they will. Infact, it won’t even be two weeks after that. And you’ll have to spend time following them up instead of what you really want to be doing.

3. Dollar prices will go up just when you’re building up your inventories.

In brief, all of the Murphy’s laws will come into effect without fail.

Anyway, those are regular cribbings, let’s discuss what we’re here for.

Looks

These are some views of the current printer. Again, these are bloggy pics, not professional ones 🙂 The one we’re shipping have a few very minor modifications (like the power supply – it has turned up in the front in an unprecedented oops moment! And the no. of LEDs/indicators. And some artwork will be different – both on the HBP and the face. And our website sticker will go away from the machines meant for customers 😛  )

Testing

The longest the printer has worked continuously is 20 hours 30 minutes:

However the print didn’t come out very encouraging: the slicing somehow caused every layer to be filled solid, which resulted in a _lot_ of warpage.

Begin of print:

Midway:

And the 20+hour result:

Which is not encouraging at all, with the layers cracking, and the incomplete print. We stopped it because of the warpage, and it had plans to go another 14 hours (which practically would have been another day)!

To fix this, we have heated bed now, and also we’ve found the setting in skeinforge to not slice such complex objects with 100% infill (it is fill -> Infill interior density over exterior density: set it to a low fraction, and enable widen plugin). Will print it again soon and share new results!

Nonetheless, the printer didn’t fume out, and we’re happy with that one part!

Then, the printer has been running mostly 6+ hours everyday,  and managing some better prints than the old version:

The staircase print from thingiverse (this one’s on a heated bed):

Some lettering (total block height is approx 35 mm):

…and the like.

p.s.:

* If you’ll like us to visit your location with our printer in your institute/organization/hacker group/anything else, do call up or drop an email, and we’ll be glad to come down carrying this box, and some filament in our hands. We’ll see together what this can do for you!

* If you’ll like a printed sample for evaluation, we’ll be glad to ship it! If you can send us your design to be printed, it’ll be even better!

Until next time!

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