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A high performance 3D printer of exceptional quality, to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding makers & designers.
50 backers pledged £19,350 to help bring this project to life.

Vacuum forming setup completed

Posted by Richard Tegelbeckers (Creator)

We have completed our vacuum forming setup and we are now able to form our own door panels. Since the last update we made up a heater for pre-heating the pattern, which prevents the panels from cooling down too fast.

Door panel being vacuum formed. Notice the minimal amount of material waste as a result of optimising our setup for the required size.
Door panel being vacuum formed. Notice the minimal amount of material waste as a result of optimising our setup for the required size.

Again we have been experiencing issues with the rod ends. The latest batch seemed better, but was still giving too many problems. We handpicked the best bearings for the Northern Ireland machine, but even so they proved not to be good enough. This is very frustrating to say the least.

We now have sourced new bearings, from a non-Chinese source. They are different in construction from previous bearings, a little bit larger in size (requiring a small modification to the end effector), and made to the high standards we require. The price for the new bearings was higher than all previous batches put together and this really messed up our budget, but we just could not go around it. We are looking at receiving the new rod ends by week 8, after which the shipments of kits will finally start.

austin j. curtis and Henrik Simán like this update.


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    1. Henrik Simán on

      Hello Richard!

      My regards to you for keeping up on quality! Having a 3D printer that can reliably print parts for other planned projects is well worth waiting for. I am glad to have you as project leader.

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      Julien on

      I also appreciate you not cutting corners to ensure the quality of the end product, thanks for this !

    3. Richard Tegelbeckers 2-time creator on

      @Tony: There will be an opportunity in the future to get hold of a door panel set. As we are now able to produce these fully by ourselves, the price will not be too bad. Instead of receiving donations, I would be happy to receive good feedback after you and the other backers will be using the machines.

      @Henrik: Some of the rod ends on the initial printers were purchased in small quantities and all of these were fine. The rod ends from larger batches were causing intermittent issues, with plenty of printing parts having been discarded. From all the rods made with rod ends from larger batches, only one acceptable set remains.

    4. Henrik Vesterlund on

      Sorry for my poor understanding, but are we talking about some balljoints (rodends) or some ballbearings here? With what bearings have the inhouse printers been working on parts?

    5. Tony Pilborg on

      Great Richard - thanks a bunch for the update..

      Just a thought: How big a difference in pricing are you facing with regards to these new rod ned bearings?? I can easily see that it is "on you" that you have "wasted" money ordering of parts not up to your standards - but we all benefit from you deciding not to cut corners, and I am 100% sure we would all have noticed the poor quality that could have been the result of using "non-smotth" bearings..

      So instead of receiving af printer with a side note "to replace those dodgy bearing asap" (which nobody would have killed you for - but perhaps would have left us slightly disappointed), you taking the fall for this should be rewarded.. Consider sharing your PayPal address for anybody volunteering to donate some of this difference to you....

      Or - should you decide to make a "Panel only" option in the next campaign, I would perhaps just pledge a bit more for those to compensate for your losses on this campaign - and hope others would follow???
      (since I now regret not ordering the panels - I think... But I am not really willing to delay/jeopardize delaying the DT printer itself..)