As 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous in our lives and work, the demand for superior print quality is racing ahead of what ordinary 3D printers can provide. Smoother surface quality, higher stability, and higher print efficiency have become basic expectations.
Other common complaints include:
- Hours of debugging for marginal improvements
- Faults during printing like print heads jamming and layer shifting
- Complex workflow and inaccessible operating software
After more than 3 years of development and testing, we believe that our printer has solved all the above problems. We hope that through our efforts, IVI will become a milestone for desktop printers.
IVI achieves a staggering 15-micron/0.015 mm XYZ accuracy. Even when the print head is traveling at 300 mm/s, its repeatability is kept within 10 microns/0.01 mm. Along with phenomenal accuracy, IVI utilizes a closed-loop control system. This exclusive technology ensures unparalleled repeatability and reliability. Even projects requiring extended print times (our famous Superman print was over 118 hours) are completed flawlessly.
IVI is an ideal low-cost solution for model making and painting. Its high-resolution printed models can be painted without the need for any polishing and grinding. Not only does this save time, it retains all the fine details that bring your models to life.
Super high repeatability means IVI can print with unmatched quality. Check out the test video below.
As you can see, even at 300mm/s, IVI’s repeatability is within 10 microns through complex movements. So how is it achieved?
Instead of a standard 1.8° stepper motor, IVI uses a 0.9° motor with twice the precision. Ordinary 3D printers stick to 1.8°. The 100 rotor teeth in the 0.9° motor is double the 50 of a standard 1.8° motor. As a result, the smallest step rotation becomes 0.9°, which is half that of the 1.8° motor. This significantly improves fineness and accuracy.
We also invented a mechanically improved ball-joint to be installed between the print arm and the print head and linear guides, eliminating gaps between moving parts to ensure high precision. It works flawlessly with no degredation, even after thousands of hours printing.
IVI does away with common smooth rods or rollers. Instead, we chose Hiwin’s industrial-grade guides and bearings. We may do whatever we can to save the cost, but never in components that will affect the print quality. This improvement offers dramatic enhancements to both precision and reliability.
All of IVI’s structural and moving parts are made with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology and tested with Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines to confirm that they are installed and operating at the highest possible standard.
Below is a video of us testing one of IVI’s parts with Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines.
A quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and a 32-bit 100MHz ARM chip work in tandem to ensure IVI is 10 times more powerful than typical 3D printers. This extra intelligence delivers superior curve movement and XYZ resolution (15 microns/0.015 mm accuracy). Proof that two heads really are better than one.
“Modular 3D printing, laser engraving, CNC machine” is a bit of a mouthful, so we went with IVI. But the short name is no indication of a short skillset. IVI’s modular print head design means that it effortlessly and instantly switches between any of its 3 functions. No wires, no configuration; just plug and play. IVI’s system can automatically identify the print head type through a chip in the print head’s PCB.
This design means IVI single-handedly shrinks the jump between your ideas and reality. Moreover, the modular design saves on costs and improves efficiency in after-sales service and repairs.
IVI offers 6 FDM print heads with various nozzle sizes (0.15, 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.35 and 0.4 mm). Whether you’re prioritizing greater detail or faster print speed, there is a head for every project. The 0.4 mm print head can be used to print parts with increased strength, while the 0.15 - 0.25 mm print heads are perfect for producing the detail required for artwork, toys, or miniatures.
The video for the DnD miniatures.
IVI’s laser module outputs 2500 mW to create images, designs, or … well, anything on wood, bamboo, fabric, leather, plastic, paper, acrylic, black anodized aluminum surfaces, and almost any material imaginable.
IVI’s CNC module uses a brushless motor. Despite the higher cost and requirement of a complex and expensive controller, this motor has a longer lifespan, provides a larger speed range, generates lower electric noise, and requires less maintenance.
The CNC spindle spins up to 8000 RPM and is capable of carving wood, bamboo, acrylic, and PCB. You can use SVG, STEP, IGES, IGS, DWG, DXF, and other files.
And when you receive IVI, it doesn’t mean our journey together has to come to an end. You may own it, but we can still help it grow. We’re currently working on SLA printing and 3D scanning modules that will be fully compatible with your IVI. You only need to buy the modules to simultaneously expand its talents and your own creativity.
Imagine trying to print documents on an ink printer. Out of every 5 pages you print, at least one has a printing error. Instead of your newsletter, you’ve got a sheet of waste paper soaked in expensive ink. And what’s worse, pinpointing the cause of the failure is like finding a needle in a haystack. That is the reality of 3D printing. Fortunately, IVI’s unique and exclusive closed loop system makes ‘fingers crossed’ printing a thing of the past; it eliminates failures caused by layer shifting.
Each of IVI's motors is installed with an in-house developed closed-loop motor controller and a magnetic position sensor. The magnetic position sensor feedbacks the movement information to the controller so that the controller can monitor the working status of the motor and automatically recover missing steps and correct other deviations as they happen.
Let's test the closed-loop system's repeatability.
Here is the final report. As you can see, even with missing steps, IVI can still achieve 50 microns' repeatability.
In order to regulate its own printing status and progress, IVI is equipped with a plethora of intelligent sensors. Weight, position, acceleration, pressure, angle, level, visual, and jam sensors give constant feedback to the central processor to detect even the tiniest deviations.
We all know that a print head jam is annoying, that's why IVI's print heads use ceramic tubing. Compared with PTFE and metal tubing that other 3D printers use, ceramic tubing is smoother and high-temperature resistant, making it the perfect material for a high-quality print head.
This combination of advanced hardware and intelligent software has already performed over 4000 hours of flawless print tests.
Watching your ideas materialize is one of the most exciting aspects of 3D printing. And It’s a good thing that you’re close by, because most 3D printers are going to need you to intervene at least once during the process. But because a watched pot never boils, IVI gives you the option of leaving it completely alone as you go away and do anything else. Thanks to its sensors and processor, even people with zero 3D printing experience can get up and printing in no time, without ever having to worry about debugging.
It’s not just when IVI is printing that it makes your life easier either. It can call on reinforcements from the Cloud to help with design analysis and preparation. It totally removes the tedious task of slicing, which is a necessity when using other printers.
The icing on the oh-so-easy to eat cake, is that IVI has app integration. Not only can it be controlled via your smartphone or tablet, it has a powerful workflow tool in the form of a ‘Project Manager’. This puts real time project feedback and priority organization right at your fingertips.
It sounds counterintuitive, but it is partly thanks to a superior manufacturing process.
Typically, the costs for mold production are high and a large output quantity is needed to ensure manufacturing is financially viable. IVI’s straightforward design offered the perfect solution.
We developed a manufacturing plan in which the most costly and critical parts of the machine are completed with only two simple molds (far fewer than would normally be required for such a complex machine.) Not only can these two molds produce the lion’s share of the frame, they do it all with exceptional precision and reliability.
This is a video showing one of IVI's parts is extruding/manufacturing.
Here is the mold for one of IVI's frame parts.
After a lot of processing, the mold turns the aluminum block into the shape of IVI's part. Like the photo below.
Compared with other injection molding method, the extrusion is more efficient and produces more parts within the same amount of time.
The parts are tested to ensure IVI's quality and a QC record is keep per batch of production.
A few days before we launch on Kickstarter, two of the initial molds for extruding the aluminum profile was already finished. On the 18th April, the extruded aluminum profile was tested and extruded. Elvis supervised the whole process.
500 KG of aluminum alloy ingot was used to be extruded using the two initial molds. (To control the cost, we randomly choose some of the extruded parts for testing and processing and the rest is melt down to use again). The extruded parts’ length is 10 meters long to test the stability and 9 of them are for the frame of IVI and 12 of them are for the stand column of IVI. Elvis randomly chooses one from each and cut one meter each from the front, middle and end sections of the entire extruded aluminum part.
The video of cutting one of the frame part into pieces ( Turn down the volume to watch the video ) .
Cutting another part.
The cut section is re-segmented with a length of 40mm and 450mm. The purpose is to measure the dimensional deviation of the profile extruded by the mould at different extrusion stages, verify the conformity of the extruded profile, and confirm whether the mold can meet our requirements, determine whether the mold needs to be modified and when to take the mold for hard coating to enhance the strength and stability of the extrusion mold.
Elvis then sent the 40mm and 450mm sections to the supplier of the machining process. This is to allow the machining supplier to confirm the machining plan based on the actual extruded material and determine the positioning and clamping plan that meets our production requirements and prepare for subsequent mass production. Elvis will speed up the pace for IVI's mass production and continue to supervise the whole production process for the small batch of trial production of IVI’s frame.
We will also share more updates about mass production information, progress, and cooperation with suppliers soon.
The mechanical assembly and exploded view of the small batch trial production will be shared as well and hopefully we will share the final assembled frame to you very soon and we believe Elvis will be able to do that.
More photos from the factory.
No, really. At least, not right now. As a team, we have countless 3D printing ideas and designs. Some of them have been realized in IVI, some have not. From the beginning of this journey, we didn’t see IVI as a one-off project, but as the start of a long-term journey. Crowdfunding IVI is only the first step. Our main goal is to get started and build brand awareness through crowdfunding. Once we have built momentum, we can concentrate not only on continuing IVI’s development, but on implementing our other ideas into future products.
While you might know it as the mysterious "Silicon Valley of Asia", or "The world’s electronics factory", to us it’s just home. We live not only in the city itself, but deep within the supply chains, the production lines, and the tech hubs. Together with a very good understanding of the local industrial ecosystem and help from experts with years of hands on experience in supply chain management, we have immediate and low-cost access to almost any component or product imaginable.
Product development is a balancing act of product quality, budget, and lead time. Our designers, engineers, and experienced project managers will work closely with our supply chains, from the industrial design, electrical and mechanical engineering, prototyping, pilot production, to mass production; making a detailed schedule for each stage. We can avoid traps in product development from the beginning to save time and money.
We see crowdfunding as the perfect chance to verify our product and idea. With early support we can not only receive pre-orders but also precious feedback regarding product improvement.
It is our hope that every backer has the chance to engage with us directly and offer suggestions, ideas, and criticism. That's why we have set up a Facebook group. We have been, and we will continue, answering all questions while remaining completely transparent throughout and after the entire campaign. Together we are a team, and our combined effort will nurture IVI towards its full potential.
Of course, nothing in life is free. Production, manufacturing, and supply all require significant investment. Which your pledges will cover.
IVI is a young company from Shenzhen originally comprising of three people: Andy, Elvis, and Helen.
Like many people excited about the possibilities of 3D printing, engineers Elvis and Andy were frustrated with their initial experiences. Fortunately, this disappointment sparked an idea in both of them: a 3D printer that just worked (and worked well).
When Elvis and Andy finally met in 2015, IVI was born. Soon after, they recruited a marketer, Helen, to help them propel IVI into existence and hopefully into homes and workshops around the world.
Elvis - Mechanical R&D
The King of mechanical engineering. Designer and producer of 5 different 3D printers with extensive experience in design, production, and manufacturing.
Andy - Electronics and Firmware Development
Andy has developed circuitry which has been used in thousands of 3D printers around the world. He transplanted the well-known open source firmware Marlin to the STM32 platform.
Helen - Marketing and Community
Responsible for spreading the word.
Andrea - Graphic Design
Although she only works in two dimensions, she’s still part of the team.
Den - Supply Chain
Brings all of IVI’s parts to the right place, at the right time.
Jork - Manufacturing
Together with Elvis and Den, Jork is our manufacturing project manager.
Xianglin Meng - Software Development
Together with Andy, Xianglin develops IVI’s slicer software and cloud-based system.
Peter - 3D Printing Technology Consultant
For when we need a 2nd opinion on IVI.
Credit for the Files of Printed Models
- Sine Cube Vase 1 (Thingiverse)
- His and Her Owls (Thingiverse)
- Medieval Castle (Thingiverse)
- Bold Machines: Margo's Dog named Eddie By boldmachines (Thingiverse)
- Nefertiti - Real 3D SCAN (By Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles) By Viiiktor (Thingiverse)
- OpenRC F1 car - 1:10 RC Car By barspin (Thingiverse)
- Hairy Lion By _primoz_ (Thingiverse)
- Zombie Hunter Head By Sculptor (Thingiverse)
- OpenRC F1 2017 updates By barspin (Thingiverse)
- Stormtrooper Astronaut By Charlie1982 (Thingiverse)
- Death Trooper (AWT Trooper) Full Scale Helmet (Rogue One) By Geoffro (Thingiverse)
- bear By kallabow (Thingiverse)
- deer hunting trophy By KID1412 (Thingiverse)
- Scripted vases By hakalan (Thingiverse)
- Chess - Classic Set By SteedMaker (Thingiverse)
- Bird in Cage Pendant By katharos (Thingiverse)
- Tree Stump Pencil Holder By DanielStein (Thingiverse)
- Penguin by the Anchor By amaochan (Thingiverse)
- Moon Lamp By moononournation (Thingiverse)
- Hollow Draudi By BCN3D (Thingiverse)
- BCN3D MOVEO - A fully OpenSource 3D printed Robot Arm By BCN3D (Thingiverse)
- Left Hand robot InMoov By Gael_Langevin (Thingiverse)
- Poppy the Robot By don3sch (Thingiverse)
- DnD Dwarf By mrhers2 (Thingiverse)
- Fantasy Mini Collection (multiple poses) By stockto (Thingiverse)
- The Orc Horde By Valandar (Thingiverse)
- Anime style 1/3 BJD 55cm Doll By Solomon262 (fabbaloo)
- Dragon Door Knocker By Shira (Thingiverse)
- Albert Einstein Bust By LSMiniatures (Thingiverse)
- Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens) By bchan (pinshape)
- MatterHackers' Mascot Phil A Ment By MatterHackers (Thingiverse)
- Aquaman King of Atlantis 3D Printing Figurine | Assembly By Diego Collins
- Superman By techunit
Risks and challenges
Currently, we see an optimized and efficient supply chain as our biggest challenge. Supply must be balanced with increasing production while simultaneously optimizing stability. With that said, we are literally next door to a lot of our suppliers (with whom we already have contracts). Problems will be reported immediately and fixed soon after. By the time the funding period of our Kickstarter campaign is over, we will already have completed small batch trial production and testing. The plan is to then send samples and test-printers out to users ASAP.
All mass production will inevitably encounter obstacles and stumbling blocks. What is important is having the knowledge, experience, and drive to overcome them. We are confident that everyone in the IVI team has all of this in spades.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)