Starting the Ninth Week. it is coming down to the wire. i am busy with assembling the units. so probably what i will do is ship them to all backers for the first month of fulfillment then finish up the software the next week so that you have a week or more (should only take 30 minutes to assemble) to assemble and then the software will become available or i will just finish it with the software. however the software will have a lot of betas the first couple months probably a update a week to add better performance. so i will probably do the one week thing i guess we will see. I am just really behind on the software. The hardware i am schedule to get them out by the end of this month or so.
i also finished printing out all of the filament cooling bracket mounts at tech shop as my own 3D Printer Kossel is down until i convert it to a delta.
please see pictures bellow.
this marks the start of the 8th week of fulfillment. I have finally started to put together the units from all the parts I have received. More packages are coming in every couple days.
We are still on track delivery at the end of this month for the 14 early bird backers or late by at most a week or so.
1 out of the 4 main parts that need to be fabricated are finished. The 2" coupler have had the 3/8 mounting nuts welded to them and now the 3/8 all threads can be used to mount the motor mounting plate which will be made next.
check pictures below
this week starts the seventh week of fulfilment. I only have stuff that needs to be ordered after the Chinese holiday left. Those items are the Motor, Arduino, TFT, Stylus, ( and misc stuff). I now have enough components to layout the electronics mounting plate with all the components on them.
A few more things have come in this week and i have also worked on more of the "MOS" System (Multistruder OS). I broke down each large part of the program into a individual h file for easy editing. Those files will be available soon on this site for downloading to your Arduino your Multistruder uses. You will also be able to find ubdates to the "MOS" system here aswell.
Attached are pictures stuff that came in this week.
like i said in my first post the idea is to build a entire 3D printer frame off of the 3 700mm 27" uprights all the extrusion motors and all the other brackets and such (i will have to get another extrusion motor for the x carriage). So the main idea is to use as few additional parts that i have to buy and print as possible.
Look at the drawing attached for a better idea of what im going to do. i know it is messy as i have rewrote the plans a few times.
attached is a picture of my 20x20mm aluminum extrusion huge Kossel into a large format Cartesian. The setup is the 3 uprights are 700mm (27") and i have 9 brace pieces are 300mm (12") it also uses 3 500mm linear rails with carriages for linear travel on the uprights. I am actually going to make 2 Cartesian out of this one Kossel Delta. The main one i am going to focus on is the large format printer which is going to use 90% of the parts off the Kossel while the other 3D printer is going to use parts of another printer (basic upgrading the other printer by "changing" the frame).
This blog will mainly focus on making the larger format 3D printer.
Most parts have been received or on their way. However some of the parts have been held over to be sent after the Chinese new year holiday and that wont be tell 2/15/2016. So the first set of early bird fulfillment will be cut pretty close to the end of the month of February. I will have all pieces that i can build now built and be ready to accept the parts that will be coming next month. Also a final production prototype will be built.
Check out the picture below of some of the parts and samples i have received
I'm now considering what the actual benefit of a pwm controlable fan to keeping the filament diameter consistent. How much will dropping the CFM in half cause the filament to come out with more diameter consistency.
After looking back over the design. I think that the best way to control how quickly the filament solidifies after it is extruded (this controls the stretching and ovality) is to slide the cooling fan mount farther away from the nozzle. This allows the filament to cool after and allow it to stretch more before solidifying.
The pin that would be used to control the pwm fan could be used to control other options.
So for the design I was thinking about doing 1 of two options. Option 1: still have a pwm fan that can be controlled but then use that pin that controls the speed on some other expansion module or feature later on (thus the fan will be 100% speed all the time). Option 2: change the pwm fan in for a quieter non pwm fan to save that one pin.
I am leaning towards doing option 1. I will keep you guys posted on what I decided.
start of the Fifth Week of fulfillment. As of right now all samples of all desired parts that need to be sampled have been ordered. All other products that do not need sampling have been ordered in bulk quantities. So already half the parts have been ordered and all the others are currently being sampled. So we are still looking at being on time even though a impending complication is on the horizon.
A lot of the parts are being sourced from Chinese manufacturing companies. Their is a major holiday festival on the horizon in china. Chinese New Year starts on Feb 8th and will last a total of 23 days were Chinese workers do not work (according to my knowledge) for the duration of the festival this also includes the curriers. This means that all parts will have to be shipped before the 30th of January.
so by the start of the Sixth Week everything should be ordered and manufacturing will begin.
i know that some people that buy the Multistruder want to make their own custom colors that are exactly what they want. So i wanted to add a mixing feature. This feature is pretty simple the Arduino UNO brain running "MOS" will just change the direction of the motors direction and cause the pellets to be pulled upwards instead of pushed downwards. This will cause the two colors (usually clear and a solid color) to be mixed together evenly without you having to manual mix it. All you would need to do is get the desired ratio in two mixing cups and just poor them into the reservoir and click mix on the software and the machine will mix it before starting to extrude.
I have been experimenting with the Dual H Bridge PWM controller. One of the big up sides of these electronics is that if you supply 12v to power the motors that the controller controls the controller has a internal voltage regulator that takes in the 12v and releases a regulated 5v source.
I experimented with this 5v supply and i can actually power the Arduino through the VIN pin. this 5v supply can also power the ssr relay and every other 5v logic electronic which everything is.
Thus the Multistruder no longer requires the buck transformer that takes regulates 12v down to 5-7v (which is exactly what the PWM Controller does)
I am going to be determining the max current output of the PWM Controllers internal regulator
Fourth week of fulfillment has started. Parts have been basically finalized. So number 1 on my list is down. I have now gotten some sample orders shipped. In this week all samples should be shipped. Some batch of parts that i know that can be bought without samples will be shipped.
We appear to still be on track to deliver when promised. Stay tuned for more updates.
I have been busy making sure that all the features and electronics will work on the Arduino Uno platform. The Arduino Uno R3 has 14 Digital pins and 5 Analog pins. I have mapped out all the pins that multistruder take up.
The Break Down (what i have seen as of now):
Multistruder Base Model
5 Analog Pins and 2 Digital Pins for TFT Touchscreen
4 Digital Pins for SD Card
1 Digital Pin for Thermocouple Amp
3 Digital Pin for PWM Motor Control
1 Digital Pin for SSR Relay for Heater
Multistruder Expansion Modules
1 Digital Pin for Spooler PWM Motor Control
1 Analog Pin for Pressure Sensor (FSR)
1 Analog PWM Servo for Correct wrapping on Spooling
After all of this i only have 1 Digital Pin left for anything else however 2 other Digital Pins are optional
All kickstarter funds have been received. Fulfillment has now officially begun. You can now expect more blog posts as stuff will move forward at a quicker pace as we go into the start of the 3rd week of post kickstarter.
Starting the second week of kickstarter fulfillment. The kickstarter funds should be coming in Wednesday the 6th. Then I will be ordering the remaining electronics to finish the prototype. I will also start shipping in the electronics that have already been tested and finalized for the production models.
I am currently still vacationing with family I should be done with vacations this holiday break by this Saturday and will be back on the project full time until I get back into school 1/22/2015. I will also renew my membership at the local San Jose Tech Shop were manufacturing of the production models will talk place.
Talk to you guys again soon enjoy the rest of your holiday break.
Im going to be finishing a production prototype first whenever i am home. Then i am going to order the parts in bulk. This is because i am finding that i nee more items in the Bill of Materials that i didn't foresee. So i want to catch all extra parts that are needed first. However i do not have a lot of time either to get the parts shipped in time to assemble units. I do think that you guys would want to see the Production Prototype rather than just hearing that i had all the parts shipped.
i find that their needs to be a extra 2 items added to the Multistruder base model.
the two new items being a thrust bearing, and a "buck" step down transformer from 12v to 5v.
Thrust Bearing is going to be installed between the coupler and the motor plate. This should take all vertical load (resin resisting being pushed out downward thus pushing upwards on the motor) off the motor thrust bearing and put that stress on a harder external thrust bearing.
Step Down Transformer i found as a need to power the Solid State Relay with 5 volt power in order to allow it to switch on and off properly because the Arduino does not have enough power to power it from its terminals. i now decided that i could have the Arduino be powered off the transformer itself.
I had an idea to make a "checklist" screen as the coarse calibration per every resin you want to extrude. This screen will just give you some basic questions that you answer with yes or no and with these answers the system will change settings in order to get you to the fine calibration process.
bellow is a picture from what I wrote out on my white board for a prototype for this "checklist" screen. Again sorry for the handwriting it really is bad. questions are also written out below
is it extruding?
does it look like filament or is it dripping?
is it really thin?
is it coiling on the floor?
what is the manufactures recommended extrusion temp?
target filament diameter?
Wrote a checklist on what needs to be done for the fulfillment.
Order Part Samples
Source Local Metal Stock
Build Final Production Prototype
Order All Parts (decided to switch order of these two)
Finalize "MOS" Beta
Release "MOS" Updates
Finalize The Spooler and Dimensional Control Modules
Sorry about the atrocious handwriting. Just wondering if next time I could just post the picture of the writing on the white board.
Project was successfully funded at 100% yesterday the 22nd of December funds should arrive in 14 days from now. I am going to be on vacation with family for another 8 days. So I will be working on the software, website, and finalizing the parts (and getting samples of those parts shipped) whenever I have free time in those 8 days. When I get back in town I will be finalizing the prototype and electronics software (beta) and sourcing local metal supplies.
Also HAPPY HOLLIDAYS and enjoy some time off with loved ones and keep track of this fulfillment blog and the Multistruder dev blog as these are the places I will be posting updates.
The "MOS" system is the brain of the Multistruder and this system controls the extruder by talking to the subcontroller boards.
So far i have a couple sub controller boards that will be on the Multistruder.
Dual H Bridge: PWM speed control of the extrusion motor currently up to 2A of power (this might be a problem if i decide to go with stepper motor power). It can also control a second motor which would be the motor for the automatic spooler. If it is a stepper motor it would take up both bridges and would require another board to control the automatic spooler motor.
Solid State Relay Board: Turns on and off the AC power to the heater band that melts the plastic
ThermoCouple Digital Amplifier: Amplifies the signal of the k type thermocouple to allow for the Arduino UNO to be able to read the temperature.
PWM Controlable Filament Cooling Fan: Will accept PWM signal from the Arduino UNO and allow for speed control.
The important thing to distinguish between the Multistruder and other extruders is the "MOS" Multistruder Operating system that allows you to quickly get to your target diameter size and dimensional accuracy.
If you don't have the "MOS" on other extruders you will need to have a piece of paper and pencil to track all the calibration steps. You would need to write down your starting temp, extrusion speed, and cooling fan speed. Then extrude, if you are under/over size you change 1 of the 3 variables and keep the other 2 constant, write down what you changed, then extrude again. You then check how the diameter changed and then write a equation on how much you changed that variable compared to how much the diameter changed. Then you keep calibrating those variables (while keeping in mind that you want to maximize extrusion speed and minimize heater usage) tell you get it right.
"MOS" does this automatically using algorithms that i write from me spending the time doing the process above. so all you have to do using the Multistruder and the "MOS" system is enter the extrusion temp, start the extrusion answer some questions on screen (coarse calibration), then go to precise calibration were you just tell it your current filament diameter and what diameter you want, it will then get your current diameter to your target diameter. It will basically do the Manual process above but all you have to do is tell it your current filament diameter and it will change stuff for you. And if you were to add the expansion modules this would be done automatically without you even needing to tell it the filament diameter.
The system will then save that preset and resin type so you can change types of plastic or change manufactures of resin (ex: pla to abs) extrude the new type of plastic and then switch back to that previous resin and it will have those presets saved so all you have to do is load that preset into system and just hit start. Without "MOS" you would have to go through your notebook and find those settings then enter those into the system.
More on this feature as it develops.
I have been working on adding on a cooling fan. So I modeled and printed a bracket that attaches to the Multistruder steel stand. Then I printed another bracket that slides onto the other 3d printed braked that a 80mm fan attaches to. For the fan I'm thinking about getting a 80mm fan PWM controllable fan with at least 26 CFM. This will be controllable to from the Arduino to control the amount of stretch that the filament undergoes because of its own weight.
I still need to print a fan deflector. The deflector basically is a duct that funnels the cooling air over the filament as well as preventing the cooling air from touching the extrusion cap and cooling the cap.
I also came up with another add on to the Multistruder OS that I now nicknamed "MOS". Its another "page" that allows for quicker coarse calibration when you add on a new plastic type. Its basically a checklist screen that asks you some basic yes or no questions. For example a question could be "does the extruded plastic drip out the nozzle or does it look like filament?". If you say no to that question it will drop the extrusion temp and then prompt you after another couple minutes if the answer is now yes. Another question is "Is the filament extruding?". If the answer to the question is yes then the controller will increase extrusion temp.
I also added on all the "sub controller" code into the MOS system to control all the electronics on the Multistruder. I also changed it back to Manual mode so next week I can have all the controllers controlling the Multistruder and finish the Multistruder Production Prototype.
I should be finished with the Mulitstruder Production Prototype next week stay tuned.
I started to work on the Multistruder OS or the MOS. I will talk about the two main modes as I start to flesh them out this coming weekend. The two modes being automatic mode and manual mode. check out this quick video of me going over and example of an MOS example.
Multistruder OS Example