It has been a very exciting week. The first five printers deliverd last week have been beta testers. They have been assigned to assemble the kit based off of our Instruction manual and start printing. They are starting to complete their kits and print parts. Two of the five beta testers have the dual extruder option and one has started to print parts in two colors. Way cool!
For a less formal - more often update on the RigidBot - please follow us on instagram @rigidbot
Tons of pictures! - from beta testers -
Here is a video of the RigidBot printing with dual extruder. We will continue to post more videos of the Rigidbot in action.
Questions and Answers:
Technical and Production:
1. Some who are new to 3D printing (aren’t we all, really?) would like to know what slicer and host software you use on the RigidBots at Invent-A-Part. I seem to recall at the beginning that you were using Slic3r and Repetier Host; any change?
We have used a lot of different programs to test the RigidBot. We originally starting using Slic3r in connection with pronterface. It is a great open source software, however recently we have been using Cura. The Cura software is very easy to use to generate gcode and you can easily manipulate your part by rotating and scaling. We then import the gcode into pronterface to actually interface and use the printer.
Could you share some recommended settings sometime prior to shipping?
Yes of course we will! The most common settings are the print speed (75mm/s) however we will provide a recommended settings for the RigidBot and RigidBot Big. Also after we ship RigidBots we would love feedback from everyone if they find even better settings.
2. An astute backer just pointed out that the RigidBot extruder has no object cooling fan (i.e. a fan to cool PLA as it is printed). I see that the extruder breakout board has a “Fan2” connector (J4). Is “Fan2” PWM-controlled so that we could add an object cooling fan?
Yes, that is exactly what the Fan2 connector is for. It is PWM-controlled through the slicer settings and can be completely controlled by the software.
3. Some, including myself, are interested in printing with nylon. Can you tell us what, specifically, the "polymer sleeve" is made from (PEEK, PTFE, other?) in order to determine the max temperature for the hot end?
The polymer sleeve is currently made from PTFE. We recommend not exceeding 250 degrees celsius for this extruder design.
1. Has the packaging for the assembled printers been finalized/shipped to you? You had written that it was still in the works some time ago.
We are almost done with the assembled printer packaging. We have decided to use styrofoam corners placed on the bottom and top of the RigidBot. These corners utilize the solid frame design of the RigidBot and protect the printer very well. The packaging company sent the corners however we feel they are too small. (See attached picture) We have ordered larger corners however it has changed the size of the box, so we have ordered new boxes to accommodate the larger corners.
We have not shipped the kits yet…. We keep getting pushed back from the cable company, so the kitting factory doesn't want to kit until they receive the missing cables. It is very annoying!!!!!!! We have rescheduled for Thursday and hope to receive those missing parts. If not we are going to kit and air ship the cables so we can get the printers on the water.
Delivery to Backers:
1. Have you decided about sending an email with tracking numbers once an assembled printer leaves Invent-A-Part?
Yes we will provide the tracking number of your shipment :-) (Some areas may not have a tracking number, however most will). We will email the tracking number as well as post it on the online tracking system.
1. Any work on the online store? We’re hoping to have access to parts and accessories after this madness is all over and, quite frankly, your current online order system is not well designed.
You are completely correct on our online store… it sucks! We will build an easy to use online store once things slow down a little. We have focused all of our time and energy on RigidBot manufacturing, however once the shipment of kits is on the water we will be able to focus more time on the website and store. We will offer all of the parts on our online store including, bearings, belts, motors, plastics, metal bar upgrades, heated build plates, dual extruders, RigidBoard, cables, extra tips, our awesome thermistor, head kits, and so much more.
2. Some of the international backers are planning build parties, but lack the advertising reach to contact backers who have not joined our G+ community. Would you be willing to list these initiatives and contact info for the organizers in your Monday update(s)?
No problem, we can also post them on the Invent-A-Part website. Contact Kae firstname.lastname@example.org with any announcements.
3. Is there a chance to get some technical details, such as smooth rod diameter and structural tubing size?
Yes, we designed the RigidBot to be easy to modify (hack). The smooth rods are 8mm in diameter and use lm8uu bearings. The structural steel tubing is a standard .75inch / 19mm bar stock. It is available at any HomeDepot or hardware store in steel or aluminum.
Thank you for all of your support!
Michael and Team.