A 3D printer for everyone. Affordable, easy to use, and elegant.
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Thanks for the 200$ coupon, it's a great idea. Also thanks for the T-shirt, that's nice.
For those who can't wait until the Pandabot comes out, you should check out the L5 3D Printer, right here on ks. Currently a kit can be had for just under 500$. Well worth checking out.
@Joe - my sister is the photographer in the family. :-) I used a decently-spec'ed point and shoot rather than my iPhone, but I can't guarantee the settings I used were ideal for macro shots. I know there were a few shots that were not so great when zoomed in....though you can generally get pretty good clarity with the non-zoomed. However, if you check them all you should find plenty of good, zoom-friendly shots....particularly the ones in the last batch (the candy grape filament)....I had a flourescent table lamp to augment the room lighting and I'm sure that didn't help. I hope at least a few of the shots were helpful. Although the point is probably moot at this point given the change of direction with PR, I can probably print a Yoda this weekend to provide direct model-to-model comparison.
I agree with Keely. I don't want to spend hours and/or days finnicking with hardware to get 3d printing to work. The posted photos look more than acceptable for something that's plug and play.
Craig, I clicked on a few of your photos and when I zoom in as you describe they are all blurry. Hard to tell if it's better quality or just I can't see the imperfections because of the blur.
I agree with Jan de Vries. Craig Dunn, thanks for posting your photos.
PR, you can certainly come back for another KS campaign once you have your beta machine and the software completed and tested, to fund the first production units. We just need some confidence that at least 90% of the engineering is done, and the remaining work is primarily related to manufacture and tweaking.
Ok......a $200 coupon. Maybe not all bad. How much is the "Production" version going to cost?
Canceling now with a possibility to come back like a "Phoenix" is better then going down at short notice.
I fully agree with the cancellation.
Considering I am no hobbyist, and considering PandaBot aims to be "plug and play", I'm pretty pleased with the quality of the posted samples. I really hope you guys meet your goal. *fingers crossed*
With regards to recent comments about the posted samples being on par or "far better than" what a Makerbot can do, I tend to see this differently. I have uploaded high-resolution pictures (4608 x 3456 pixels) of objects I have printed on a Makerbot in the last month. When you click on the link or save it locally, remember to zoom in to see all the detail. Your browser cursor will likely have a (+) icon if you are allowed to zoom further. Some of these items had specks of dust on them, so the high-resolution camera and flash tends to highlight those, but I think you can CLEARLY see the distinction on the quality of these objects. Most of these were printed at either the default .27 layer height, but many are also at either .2 or even .1 layer height... and you can REALLY see how good that looks.
Assorted containers/art pieces using white ABS
Assorted mechanical and structural pieces using black ABS
Front and rear of the remote control Botmobile printed at .1 in Candy Grape ABS
Hope this helps provide some points of reference to compare to when using Makerbot as the standard.
Thanks for the recent pictures. I really like the one of the factory that you have put up. Since I am a bit of a novice when it comes to 3D printing & all the related specs, seeing the factory restores my faith in this project. What a better way for me to then to learn than with a friendly & affordable 3D printer.
Hi Mark. Yes, that is something we can show. We'll have some video of it up soon.
is there any way to show the self-calibrating function in action? This is probably the feature of the PandaBot I'm most interested in. I'm not asking you to give out the recipe to the secret sauce, just a little taste :)
I'm very satisfied with the print quality as of Update 7, they are far better than anything I've seen come out of a makerbot. If that is the print quality people can expect out of the box, then I think that anyone who gets this printer will be extremely happy. While I was a little critical of very minor flaws in the pictures, the prints are very good, and the flaws are magnified greatly by the macro lens.
Hi Jon. An LCD is definitely in our development path, as well as some more interesting methods for interacting with the printer. An LCD *might* make it into the first production run, but it's definitely not something we can promise at this point, as we are focusing on the base product.
Glad to see more backers! Quick question: Will there be an LCD panel to display status and progress? If not, will there be any plans to implement one?
User-friendly, self-calibrating and less than a grand? Deal!
Despite the misstep of posting the prototype-printed freakish spaghetti hoodie man, i think that's more a question of ill-advised PR than bad engineering - i believe there's a worthy product here. Good luck to you and all the backers!
Oh, and it's nice to see things back on a positive swing. :)
I'll re-post my comment to update #7 here as it seems to be in discussion here and not there.
"I have no issue with simple objects like this... In fact I would encourage it! While they may be simple, they are the hardest to do perfect, as they easily show any flaws. Show a perfect cube, and cylinder, with a caliper showing the accuracy of the result vs the specified dimension in the design. Having said that it is equally important to show complex objects to show off the capabilities of the machine."
Hi Rhodri. There is a completed squirrel in the very recent CBC video and we'll be posting some more prints tomorrow. We're a very small outfit trying to get a complex project off the ground.
I really would like to know what the limitation is with the Pandabot that's leading you to be so furtive. You have still not addressed people's requests or concerns where they've asked you to print some more example prints - NOT just simple letters involving only straight lines and some angles. That's simply not good enough and ignoring people's requests makes it seem you're trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Some influential backers have already appealed to you to provide broader examples of its capabilities. So far we have only seen one squirrel and half a Yoda head. Are we supposed to believe that you don't have the time to just pick a few other models from Thingiverse and let it print them out unattended? What is there to hide exactly? This is just getting ridiculous. Obviously you have a device with limited capabilities and you'd be a lot better off sayin "look, it's not the best, but it's cheap. Here's the print quality you can expect" Instead, I'm sure it appears to the vast majorty that you're being deliberately deceptive by omitting further examples for no reason other than that it might damage people's incorrect perception of its versatility.
Kevin, we'd be happy to try the coral lamp, however we mostly use slic3r in the office for gcode generation. That is definitely a model that would strongly benefit from having Z lifts enabled (Z lift causes the printer to rise vertically a small amount after printing a region, before moving on to a disconnected region -- this helps with management of stringing, particularly with prints that have many small, disconnected regions)
There is a know issue with slic3r that causes problems with z lift ( https://github.com/alexrj/Slic3r/issues/search… ) I believe the issue may have been closed in one of the newer versions of slic3r, however the versions that we have had the best success with in the office (0.7.2b and 0.8.4) do not seem to have the function working correctly. We will take a look at v0.9.3 soon and try the coral vase if z is working well and everything else is working well.
Hi Daniel. As we've said, the PandaBot is designed to be a versatile, robust printer. We are currently in the design for manufacturing stage and haven't finalized the spec for the z axis threaded rods. I'm not 100% sure of the spec we are using in the current prototype -- it may either be stainless or zinc plated, however I can very confidently say that the z axis has been extremely reliable up to now, as are many many Mendel and Prusa RepRaps which also use Z axis lead screws.
I mentioned a few days ago that I'd like to see pictures of some of the parts that are used to build the PandaBot since all you see in videos or pictures is the skin. I didn't get a reply about that....or any of the comments I've made since I put up my $800. I guess it's time to be blunt.
I need to hear SOMETHING about the Z axis. I don't want a printer that uses cheap threaded stock for the lift mechanism. I've heard nothing but bad things about inaccuracy, binding, etc. associated with cheap Z axis solutions. I'm going to need some assurance on the Z axis before the project deadline or there will be one less PandaBot sale.
I too would like to know the answer to Kevin's question, and perhaps an example to back it up. I still have my $800 pledge with you guys, but I am starting to get a little worried about your responsiveness. I'm sure you guys are all busy with getting your product finished and production set up, but you are alienating your funding source by not actively answering peoples questions. I was excited about this project and am eager to see it get done, but the fact that the last comment from Panda was three days ago really surprises me. There are 10 days left, and the funding is going backwards -- I would think someone could take a few minutes a couple times a day to let us all know something is going on with this project. I look at the other 3d printer projects that are currently active, and they have many updates a day about what is going on. There are many good questions that have been asked here that I would like to know the answer to, and yet have gone ignored for days. I'd much rather see a "it can't do that" or "we haven't had time to do that" or "we are working on that" response than dead air.
Just re-posting my comment from Update #7 from Friday. Maybe I'll get a response.
Kevin Schumacher 4 days ago
Forgot to mention that I'm not sure if the PandaBot has the bridging capability to print the one listed below. What can it handle? I'm new to the whole 3d printing thing so any information would be excellent. Can it print that object?
Kevin Schumacher 4 days ago
I would like to see something like this printed.
It would show a 3d print that isn't a continuous feed.
Did anyone not watch the BNN video on the front page? There's a fully printed squirrel there.
Craig Dunn is right. In layman's terms, the object that they printed in the most recent update might not be a real world use of the printer. Typically, you would download something off the internet and the software would have to work really hard to figure out how to print something accurately such as this: http://www.thingiverse.com/image:184008 (alexander the great's head). However, this printed object is just the result of telling the printer head to make very simple movements (go forward, turn 90 degrees, go forward, turn 45 degrees, repeat, etc.) which is not really a good test of the printer's capabilities. Typically, 3d printers of this type, unless the software is very clever, will make a big blob of plastic at the top of the heads of stuff such as Yoda's head and the squirrel head that they failed to finish printing. I don't think that it is harmful to show this blob, after all, this is a kickstarter project, so I assume it is a work in progress, BUT being deceitful or cavalier and just not feel like finishing is kinda uncool. I hope I am wrong and it is just a simple oversight. I think they should just print some stuff like the Yoda, for an example, to completion and if there is a blob at the top of his head, just explain that they are working on a software solution and by the time everything ships, it'll be fixed. I think that would be fine. In other words, it 's not a big deal to be unfinished, just be transparent about it and it will be O.K. For example, the printrbot project received almost a million bucks but it only had 2 prints to show. However, he was very honest and basically said, hey, it's not the best or fastest. this is what it could do. Both prints, though were to completion. He also showed a real world use of the printer with the prints. In other words, just reprint the Yoda head to completion and I think everyone will be happy snappy. Thanks ;0)
P.S. Andreas Ludwig, Craig gave them 2 weeks to respond to his request for a video of the bot at max speed, but still no vid. The original video showed the bot printing at a very slow speed (20-30 mm/s?). Software can be improved later, but what is it mechanically capable of? This is a valid request since the movement mechanics are enclosed and not visible by us nerdy engineering types.
This looks like a good printer, and for the price, fantastic.
Also, Canadian! With free shipping in Canada!
Come on guys, let's rally and get this project funded.
@craig. Hyrel is interesting fo sure. Curiously they met and exceeded their goal exclusively through machine sales, they have virtually zero backers at the lower levels. I agree that the high level of updates showing off their capabilities, the machine, and their progress have certainly helped. I also agree that the period of the campaign you select is one of no time off, constantly promoting and answering questions of backers and potential backers.
@andreas - not offended at all nor do I mean to offend anyone either...though I disagree with your premise. The campaigns that succeed are very proactive during the entire duration of their campaign....30 days, 45 days, 60 days, whatever they select.... Picking crowdfunding as a model to gain financing for development and production runs requires a serious, full-time commitment and engagement with both existing and prospective backers. Short of emergency situations, there really are no weekends or vacations during funding pleas. And, since a lot of backers ONLY have time to explore Kickstarter at night or on weekends, that is a prime time to be available to respond and earn additional backers (or keep existing ones). For example, there is another 3D printer project currently running (actually several concurrently right now) and these guys are doing late night and weekend live video streams from their engineering facility....showing product....answering questions....demonstrating current progress and future upgrades in the works. This is great stuff and, as a result, a printer that costs 3-6 times as much as this one has doubled, if not tripled its goal already....the same goal as this project, IIRC. So, that's the difference in funding campaign strategies. 120+ projects under my belt, all I can do is base my judgements on prior experiences of what works, what doesn't, what project is headed down the right path, what project lacked communication and transparency to its own detriment, and so forth.
There is still time to turn things around if things become very active around here and I reserve the option to increase my backing again....as I was one of the earliest people to believe in and lend support to Panda. Recent events have simply made me skittish for the moment.
@Craig (without wanting to offend you): of course it's your very own decision to cancel your pledge - but are you aware of, that since your advising post 3 days ago there has been a weekend? Some people could have family and non-business life in spare time.
Of course Panda Robotics has little time to react.
Having a very small layer height is NOT a software choice....you run into a physical limitation driven by the z-axis resolution, the extruder characteristics, filament size and type, and nozzle. While you can make the layers thicker through software to some degree, you do not get indefinite layer resolution enhancements through software. This has a GREAT deal to do with the hardware.
Anyway, if you can live without transparency or effective project communication, go for it. I, and others, have already mentioned our concerns and there has been a lack of acceptable response, IMO....even days later.... Which is why I have dropped my original Special Edition pledge. Sorry.
This may be of interest to some people that were asking about noise levels. I found this video on youtube, it shows the PandaBot prototype printing, and during the last few seconds, you can hear the noise it makes while printing. Not sure how loud it is, but doesn't seem bad.
(apologies if that was already mentioned somewhere on here.. I didn't see it)
I've been watching this project for a couple of weeks now, and decided to toss my hat into the ring, so to speak. I have faith in this team, even if communication hasn't always been 100% on point.
I'd say more, but I'd end up echoing a lot of William's points, he's bang on, particularily on points 2, 3, and 4, for me, personally.
Thanks to a lot of the other backers for asking such detailed questions, and I'm happy with the answers. I'm als delighted that the 0.1mm or 100micron Z-resolution seems to be more of a software limitation/choice than a hardware limitation. If I can do ~50micron layers, I will be a very happy camper.
Also, a confirmation that PLA (and other materials) can be used as well would be great.
I, for one, am really exciting about this project. I've been dreaming of getting a 3D printer for over a year now, trying to save up the money and find the right printer. Here's what I'm excited about:
1. 0.1mm print layers. This seems to be as good as anything else I've come across. I'm exciting to think the sort of stuff I can make with 100 layers per centimeter!
2. The price is great. I lot of printers (Kickstarter and web stores) I've seen are 2-3x this expensive, and not always for a more capable machine. As Mark pointed out, buying the parts to build your own can cost almost this much.
3. Included shipping to Canada! On other projects, this can be an additional $100-400.
4. Huge build volume at 11"x11"x11". So much easier to make stuff that actually usable.
5. ABS. Cheap compared to the resin an SLS printer would take. Lots of options of places to buy. Lots of colours available.
6. Beautiful design. The printer with its casing looks really nice, in my opinion.
Anyway, that's my two bits. I'm excited to think I'll have a 3D printer come February :)
Not sure I'm ready to buy a PandaBot yet... but saw you were Toronto-based, and definitely want to support hometown robotics! Good luck :)
I'm not sure what you can do, but you need to do something to turn the trend around. While you seem to be still picking up backers, you are losing in total dollars still. Perhaps being a little more active in answering questions, and perhaps getting some more updates out showing good clean prints like the last set. It would be a shame to have gotten as close as you did, only to end up as far away as you are now. 12 days is plenty of time to get things back on track, you just need to do some legwork, if you let it sit, it will just whither and die.
Hi Mark. You're certainly right about the cost of putting together a single Prusa or other printer. However, once you start ordering in bulk, the price/component starts dropping quickly.
Okay. I have being watching this debate go on for a while now. I would like to put some facts on the table. The price of the electronics, nuts, threaded rod and motors for the Prusa Mendal from a supplier in Canada is around $700.00 without shipping. Now add ~$100 to get the the printed parts from somewhere else. Or buy, with a healthy lead time, a Prusa Mendel already put together and tuned for ~$1500 on line. When you get it hope the Z axis has not moved or else spend hours calibrating it.
Personally, I have yet to get my Prusa Mendel to work properly after spending significantly more( and counting) then $800.00(with shipping).
Now my issues might be ignorance on settings or adjusting the tension on the Wade's gear screws, or one of ten different things I have yet to find some obscure blog on the net that explains what I need to do to get it working.
Here is a group asking $800.00 with shipping for something that has a better chance of working then what I have already bought and some out there are jumping on and off the band wagon based on a few poorly chosen examples.
That said, Pandabot, give your heads a shake. Any programmer or engineer knows that there will be someone out there that will call you on the font you use, so for God's sake think about what you put on the net.
I will continue to back this project. Hell, it is what I wanted to do myself, only better(capacitive print bed) and at a lower price then I envisioned. If they can pull it off, awesome.
Right. Rant over.
Personally, I'd love to see pictures of what's INSIDE the nondescript white housing. I'm hoping the versions WE get use something more sophisticated than a standard threaded rod from Home Depot. One of the other 3D printers gathering funds now has a massive Z axis screw such as you would see in a full sized milling machine. THAT sucker is going to last forever.
I suppose the verbage is open to interpretation, but the main reason I funded THIS printer was because it is supposed to be built to professional standards, not with hobby grade parts that we 'll have to tinker with constantly. I expect to be PRINTING, not WHINING. ;-)
Answers for questions:
Video of the printer in action will be up next week. In the meantime,
you can get a sense of the general stability and noise level from the
BNN spot we did on live TV -- the 'bot was quiet enough that we could
print on set and were not picked up on mic. (BNN video: http://www.youtube.com/watch…)
Our design is a rigid, machined product, so leveling isn't really
something that needs to be done -- the printer ships level and should
stay in alignment with normal use. What we have developed is a control
system that allows the head to detect the build bed -- this eliminates
the calibration step where the user is required to set the correct
height of the head over the bed.
Final manufacturing details are still being nailed down -- that is
part of the reason for the kickstarter, as it allows us to determine
an order size. Some 3rd party parts will certainly be from China. If
possible, we'd like to manufacture at least partly in Northern
Ontario, but China may be involved in primary manufacturing.
Our extruder design does not use a delrin plunger or hobbed bolt. We
can't really release more details about it at the moment.
As Mark L has noted, we are at the moment a single material/single
colour printer. We are working on what we think is a very interesting
solution to the full colour problem, but that is still very early in
The new pictures in update 7 are much better. Let me start by saying that the layer to layer consistency looks to be some of the best I've ever seen, you certainly have the extruder dialed in with no sputtering which is common with Bowden style extruders.
Your mechanics seem to have a bit of oscillation as can be seen the the wavering along the walls. As it is fairly consistent from layer to layer I would say you're using a screw drive system, and the pitch of the screw you are using has the wavering in it. I'll hazard to say you're using threaded rod and not a precision ground Acme [or similar] screw.
Hopefully these latest pictures will restore the faith and get you back on track to getting funded. I think you picked up enough new backers in the downturn that if all those that backed off restored their pledge you'll be funded. [though there is no way to be sure]
P.S. Bring the prototype by Hacklab sometime, I'd love to see it, as I'm sure the rest of the members would as well. Who knows, we may all pitch in and get one for the lab in support of some of our former members. ;)
@Panda Robotics - Thank-you for responding and posting some more pics. You have restored my confidence in your product. I'm back at my $800 pledge. Don't let me down :) I have faith in you guys.
@Craig - I didn't mean to put the pressure on you.
@Panda Robotics - It seems like the overhangs were a huge problem in that "HoodieGate" print. It is also disturbing that some others are "stopped prints" I did not change my pledge yet because I see the potential for good prints and a good, clean machine.
At this point, the funding is going backwards and won't meet the goal unless the faith is restored. I do want this if it can perform well, but the funding trend will prevent that. That doesn't leave much time to stop the arterial bleed of backers and $$ and try to gain fresh funds in time to make this happen.
281 backed projects and this is the first time I saw one shoot itself in the foot.
So....hit me with your best print.
@Jonathan It is single colour printing in the colour of the filament being used [there are several filament colours available] You can (of course) paint the object after the fact if you desire.
check out up date #6 on this site :) :D
Everybody else has said it. Pls release more good 3d printouts you've lost the net equivalent of 11 of the$800 pre-sales !!! More cancellations in total because you've had some new pledges! :( :( :(
Ok just backed you guys at $800. Looking to get the answer to this question that I've yet to recieve an answer for. Is it possible to print objects in full colour? Or how can the materials be coloured? Thanks.
I'm back in at $800, but I'm still hoping to see a larger print. I personally think the shot glass print is one of the best prints you have posted, and that's why I'm back in.
Thanks, Thomas, for reiterating my original questions.
I'm disappointed in the turn this project has taken of late. This project will live and die by virtue of support from backers. By not providing full transparency with respect to our questions and then awkwardly handling the very simple request of "show us your best print"....effectively turning it into a debacle.... I think we need to see a very pro-active turnaround with DAILY informative updates providing facts, data, and proof rather than headless squirrel excuses. As others have mentioned, the funding has taken a nosedive since HoodieGate....in two years and 120+ projects, I have NEVER seen such a reversal. I am still holding my position for the moment and leaving my pledge intact, but I hope to see Panda take this effort more seriously....or at least demonstrate that seriousness. Without exactly intending to achieve such a role, it seems there are a number of folks on here that follow my pledges and consider my opinions on projects to be of some value....so, I'm trying to be careful in what I say at this point and allow Panda an opportunity for course correction before I take more drastic action and trigger a further downward spiral. I see a small window where you can demonstrate both the true current capabilities as well as the realistically achievable potential espousing the technological differentiation from other offerings.
On October 4, Craig Dunn asked you to show a video of the PandaBot in action, presumably at maximum recommended speed to show off the stability and noise level of the bot plus, most importantly, how the "self leveling" feature works. I am also curious how you could make your bot "self level" so I don't have to level the build platform before every print. I asked if the Pandabot is made in China and if you use a reliable spring loaded ball bearing to move the plastic filament forward or an inferior design such as a delrin plunger or a hobbed bolt? We have waited patiently for 2 weeks but, still no reply. Please reply.
I'd be REALLY disappointed if this printer doesn't get funded just because you couldn't post a few more examples of the prototype's output. If the thing has run for for hundreds of hours there has to be SOMETHING you can take a picture of to keep more people from backing out. Please ?????