New stuff in the pipeline and some general news......
Hey guys, just a quick update so you know where we stand. We are still waiting for the laser cutter but it should only be a week or so longer I hope. It has arrived at the Port of Newark on Friday and neds to be "decontainerized", then a full inspection by customs and then delivery. That machine opens a lot of things up for us. We'll be able to get the cases cut and that'll be great but thats not all. I just heard from the motor supplier and those should be here shortly since the custom order was received on friday and they shipped them out on Monday, so they will be here shortly. While we sit and work on printing all the plastics which is a major time consumer I've been working on a few interesting things.
One of the things I'm working on is adapting the 3D printing framework to a laser cut design. Essentially I'm working on a way to translate the design to a laser cuttable design. This accomplishes 2 things. It'll allow us to keep all the existing geometries and parts the same with a few exceptions. This will still allow the building of a custom sized printer and it'll cut down time it takes to produce the parts. The time taken to produce the parts would drop drasticlly, from over a day or more to print a single kit, to under an hour to have a full set that includes assembly. As it is, a few printed parts are going to get replaced with laser cut equivalents in the shipping kits. Mainly the electronics carrier, the bearing covers, and the filament feed drive large gear.
We are also working on a complete laser cut printer design. This will make it nice and fast to produce a complete machine. The caveat though is this printer isn't based on the framework pieces, it'll use the same geometries and drive mechanisms but will be a ground up redesign incorporating all the lessons learned through out the course of the framework development. Thought the majority of this machine will be laser cut there will be several items that can't easily translate to a laser cut design like the print head rod ends, filament feed drive, and the belt drive gears.
This will open us up to a few printer designs. The standard printed kit with laser cut walls, A nearly identical kit includeing mostly laser cut 3D framework parts instead, and a ground up redesigned laser cuttable printer with a few printed parts.The ground up printer design is an XL sized printer. The XL printer is a big machine as the last update can attest. But we are working on yet another shop printer that is a full sized XL and it makes the previous printer seem much smaller by comparison and the prototype printer positively tiny. It looks much more like the final product you will recieve if you ordered a XL.
Here's what I want to know from you. I'm working on the 2 different designs concurrently (laser cut framework and ground up redesign laser cut printer) and would like to know which you guys think I should focus on. I'm of the mind that thinks the build volume is priority over the scalability aspect of the design since most of you ordered XL kits. I would like to substitue the Lasercut framework pieces for the printed parts (they will come assembled so the building of the machine is almost exactly the same). If anyone does not want laser cut pieces, or is more interested in the XL build volume as opposed to the scaleability of the design and wants the ground up redesigned printer instead of a 3d framework based machine please let me know in the comments or better in an email to me here.
Please be aware though that the lasercut framework parts, will allow us to get the kits out sooner and into your hands that much faster.
As always you guys are great and here are some pretty pictures for you.