So many great questions
After a bit of sleep and massive amounts of turkey, our team was glad to see so many detailed questions. We wanted to get you some more details on the project in a bit more detail than would work in comments or as FAQs
Our extrusion technology is standard fused deposition modeling. We're working with solid thermal polymer filaments, moving them into a heated brass melting chamber, and then passing them through a nozzle.
Our automatic calibration system measures the capacitive effect of the substantial amount of metal in the brass melting tube to determine its height above the build bed. This gives great accuracy in software and allows for compensation for any deviations in the build bed. By using reliable, non-contact sensors, we improve the reliability and safety of the system. The capacitive sensors are also useful for sensing when hands or cats are on the bed.
We're looking at getting legal clearance, but we're not currently releasing mechanical renderings of our Cartesian system.
We've uploaded some photos and linked some HD video of the printer in action and will have more photos soon.
Our build platform ships level. The capacitive sensing system allows us to measure the platform automatically and then allow for deviations and deformations. This takes out tedious tuning and re-tuning steps that are common with current 3D printers.
We're looking at a coated sticker or a coating applied directly to the safety glass cover of the build platform. Our entire focus is on making printing simple and less labor intensive.
Since we're using solid filament, there's no powder to be concerned with. That said, the drive system will be accessible for cleaning.
The extruder assembly is extremely durable and made of PTFE and solid brass.
The build platform is designed to be solid and handle the temperatures involved without warping. The platform will be mounted on a metal support structure and will have a thermally stable, impact resistant boro-silicate top plate.
The printer is an assembled product whose electronics are integral to the device. The heated bed helps with thermal changes of models. The device should not be placed in a heated chamber as its hardware, firmware, and software are designed to operate at room temperature for both performance and safety reasons.
Softtware will provide a easy and clean user interface for processing
STL files. Inputs should be well-formed and can be produced by any of
the multitude of free or commercial CAD packages.
We're looking to release our printer queue as an open source project to make all 3D printers easier to use. Releasing CAD and design files is to be determined
Why Panda? They're cute. Why not?
Panda Robotics is excited about the possibilities of 3D printing and of generalized robotics solutions and we hope to have many more projects in the future.