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$35,218 pledged of $100,000 goal
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By Javad R. Gatabi
$35,218 pledged of $100,000 goal
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About

  

 

alignG Software- Click to see the full video

(Click to see the full video)
(Click to see the full video)

 

 alignG for the machinists and CNC users

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(Click to see the full video) alignG in High Speed Mode, Monitoring the Speed & Cross Section of a Rotating Part
(Click to see the full video) alignG in High Speed Mode, Monitoring the Speed & Cross Section of a Rotating Part

  

Introducing alignG

alignG is a wireless, portable, non-contact measurement instrument that utilizes an innovative ultrasonic measurement technology. This innovation enables the use of alignG to be the fastest, easiest, and most cost effective way to monitor and maintain 3D printers and CNCs. alignG can be installed using the provided magnet tape or using the provided extension rod connected to its tapped M3 hole.

In 3D printer, alignG can be used for:   

  • Monitoring the position of Z-stage and zeroing the Z-stage  
  • Rapid and accurate bed leveling  
  • Filament life estimation through an adaptive humidity monitoring algorithm
alignG installed on a 3D printer
alignG installed on a 3D printer

In CNC Machines, alignG can be used for:  

  • Monitoring the position of Z-stage and zeroing the Z-stage
  • Rapid and accurate auto bed leveling and G-Code modification  
  • Spindle alignment, without the hassle of using a dial indicator
  • Spindle speed monitoring to increase the lifetime of your tools
alignG installed on a CNC spindle
alignG installed on a CNC spindle

3D Printer; Monitoring the position of Z-stage and zeroing the Z-stage

If you have used a 3D printer, you have probably faced the challenge of nozzle-bed gap. What is the best gap distance between the nozzle tip and the surface of the bed? What is the best way to adjust it?  

The nozzle-bed gap is an important parameter affecting the printing quality. If the gap is too large, the print will not properly stick to the bed. If it is too small, the extruder can produce an inaccurate print or damage the bottom layer. Conventional methods to determine the gap distance such as using a piece of paper or a feeler gauge, lack the necessary accuracy for high quality applications, because they do not consider the Z-stage backlash. AlignG allows you to precisely determine the gap distance.

alingG is a high precision, non-contact, distance measurement sensor that can measure the displacement of the Z-stage of your 3D printer. Install alignG on the extruder or somewhere on your Z-Stage. calibrate it one time or experimentally find the best gap. Then, alignG gives you an accurate, quick, repeatable reading of the gap distance.

3D Printer; Rapid and accurate bed leveling  

Every time you remove a printed part from the bed, there is a chance to bump it out of alignment. Regular inspection can significantly improve the quality and accuracy of your printed parts, and alignG offers the fastest and the most accurate way to make sure your bed is level. In the case of an out-of-alignment printer bed, alignG diagnoses which corner needs adjustment and how much you should increase or decrease its height. A perfectly leveled bed, results a perfectly uniform thickness printed part. If you care about the precision, alignG is the best solution for you. 

3D Printer; Filament life estimation 

Filament life estimation through an adaptive humidity monitoring algorithm is one of the most innovative features offered by alignG. The water absorption of ABS and PLA filaments is a known problem for 3D printer in professional environments. PLA, for example, can absorb up to 6% water from the humidity of the environment.

The amount of water absorbed by a 1 Kg filament
The amount of water absorbed by a 1 Kg filament

The filament swells after water absorption, and feeding a swollen filament into the extruder can cause the hot end to jam, resulting in damage to the extruder. On the other hand, when the filament is heated in the extruder, the absorbed water turns into the steam, affecting the adhesion of the melted plastic and creating small bubbles in the printed layer. This is why old filaments result in poor quality printed parts.

AlignG measures the humidity and temperature of the environment, then estimates the amount of water absorbed by the filament using an adaptive algorithm. The result is an accurate estimate the remained lifetime of the filament. Simply drop the alignG in your filament storage container (or anywhere that you keep the filament). Set alignG to go into battery power saving mode, where it will to last for months, waking up at scheduled times to measure the humidity and temperature, then returning to sleep mode. Next time that you connect it to a computer, it estimates the absorbed water and shows you the results.

CNC; Monitoring the position of Z-stage and zeroing the Z-stage  

Precision zeroing of the CNC’s z-stage is the first application of the alignG for professional CNC users. In addition, alignG can precisely measure the thickness of your stock material before start cutting.

CNC; Rapid and accurate auto bed leveling with G-Code modification

alignG is not only employed to align the CNC bed, it also measures the alignment of the bed and automatically corrects the G-Code for precise machining applications. Our innovative hardware-software interface allows to use auto leveling function on any CNC controller. Independent from what CNC controller software (Mach3, Linux CNC, etc.) you have.

For example, first home your x-y coordinates, then press "0, 0" button in alignG software. Then move your x-y stage to "1Cm, 0Cm" coordinates and press "1,0" button and so on. If your CNC does not like metric unit, simply change to inch units in our software. if you need auto-leveling in many points, you can simply prepare a G-code to move your stage to desired points and stop in each point for 1 second; when running that program, you only press the relevant button in alignG software.

Conventional auto-leveling mechanisms are very slow because they need to move the probe in all 3-axis. But, align G needs only moving in x and y axis. The conventional probes (including contact metals or switches) have backlash and Hysteresis problem and lack the necessary accuracy for precision applications.

If you are proud of your current auto-leveling mechanism, try to engrave a circuit on a 200-micron thickness board and compare with the results obtained using alignG.

Circuit engraved on a 0.2 mm copper PC-Board, using one of the cheapest CNC’s sold in the market
Circuit engraved on a 0.2 mm copper PC-Board, using one of the cheapest CNC’s sold in the market

When cutting 100-micron depth on a 200-micron thickness board, you may simply cut through the board or have some area not engraved if the bed is not perfectly leveled. Here are examples for the miss-leveling, look for the difference from top left to bottom right corner of the parts.

Circuits engraved on non-leveled 0.2mm-copper PC-Board, showing non-uniform cut from top left to Bottom right.
Circuits engraved on non-leveled 0.2mm-copper PC-Board, showing non-uniform cut from top left to Bottom right.

CNC; Spindle alignment  

There is no need to have a precision dial indicator to align the CNC spindle anymore, now you have alignG. Our software simply guides you how to align the spindle after few seconds of measurements.

 CNC; Spindle speed monitoring to increase the life time of tools

Spindle speed monitoring allows for a real time health monitoring of your cutting tools and CNC machine. Unusual decrease in the speed of CNC spindle is an alarm to correct the cutting feed rate, using cutting fluid, or using a proper cutting tool. Many CNC machines do not have a built in spindle speed measurement sensor. Because of the dimensions and geometry limitations, it is so difficult or even impossible to install an encoder on the spindle.

Spindle speed monitoring is the most advanced and the most scientifically complicated functionality of the alignG. alignG measures the surface topography function of a rotating part at operational speed. Then, calculated the period of that function and finds the rotational speed (RPM). There are often some noticeable roughness details on the surface of the chuck, such as a flat side or set screw. So, there is no need to install any extra mechanical or optical part on the rotating part. Simply install the alignG in proximity of the rotating part. Start the software and monitor the spindle speed.

Hardware

A sub-millimeter precision ultrasonic instrument requires the highest quality materials and premium components to ensure about its long term durability and performance. alignG has an ABS enclosure with a special conductive coating layer for electrical shielding and preventing the effect of external noises on its sensitive analog circuits. While we partner with well-known manufactures to supply the main components, we keep critical assembly, calibration, and quality control steps in-house to make sure that alignG meets the highest quality and durability standards.

Software

We already have an android app tested for several months and recently finalized the windows software , currently in the debugging status. Our Linux software and iOS app will also be ready for early 2017. We also will release drivers and documents for the developers to integrate alignG into their custom designed machines.

Our Team

We have an experienced and diverse team consisting of entrepreneurs with backgrounds in engineering, science, marketing, and business.

 

 

Risks and challenges

Engineering
alignG, a cost-effective high precision ultrasonic instrument, is a combination of Physics, Electronics, Mechanics, Material Science, and Software. During past few years we faced many challenges in bringing our novel measurement technology into a fully functional and marketable product. However, through hard work and the collaboration of our experience and diverse team of experts in engineering, science, marketing, and business, we were able to overcome these obstacles and bring AlignG to the world.

Supply Chain & Manufacturing,
Mass production is the key parameter to offer an affordable price for a sub-millimeter precision ultrasonic measurement instrument. We designed a flexible manufacturing plan to meet demand, and on-time delivery of a high quality product and after great customer support is our team’s top priority.

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    CNC engraved thank you card

    Engraved thank you card including your name.
    We use alignG-leveled CNCs to make this special reward for our backers!

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    Super Early Bird alignG-II

    For this limited quantity reward, we are asking our backers to help us spread the word about alignG by sharing it on their social media networks (Minimum 1 post).
    Limited to 1 reward per person.
    You will receive 1 alignG-II.
    We estimated to retail alignG-II for $180.

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    Super Early Bird alignG-III

    For this limited quantity reward, we are asking our backers to help us spread the word about alignG by sharing it on their social media networks (Minimum 1 post).
    Limited to 1 reward per person.
    You will receive 1 alignG-III.
    We estimated to retail alignG-III for $375.

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Funding period

- (39 days)