MakiBox Update - The Last 10 Percent

2013-05-17 22:19 by Jonathan Buford (comments: 25)

It doesn't matter how close you get to the finish, if you don't finish.

We've been working on that last 10 percent here, preparing for our production start in June. In any project, the first 90 percent takes up a lot of time, but it is the last 10 percent that winds up being very time consuming, since it tends to be a lot of little details.

Aside from production, we continue with beta testing, and are seeing printing speeds heading towards our target of 60mm/s after adding a little lubrication to the system. 

We are doing the final design and ordering of smaller parts, such as the hot end heating element and the hot end nozzles, and just lining up everything to get things cranking mid June when the tooling is wrapping up.  

Yes, this is 24 minutes of going over each little detail of the final production design. 

OK, so, that is what is going on for now, hopefully you will see more from the beta testers starting next week as they receive the upgrades we are putting together. 

Just so everyone has an outline here of the schedule we are working towards:

Production Start Mid June,

First Shipments Before End of June,

Existing Orders Out By End of July.

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Comment by Eric Schendel | 2013-05-18

As one of the beta testers with the previous design I am thoroughly impressed with this update! These changes will significantly simplify the assembly and improve the reliability of the printer.

Comment by William Worley | 2013-05-18

Awesome update, looking forward to more updates like this one.

Comment by camerin hahn | 2013-05-18

That looks wonderful. I am really excited. By the way your delay made my girl friends day, as it moved receiving my Makibox to a few days after she leaves for India a the earliest.

One quick question, do you have an approximate "hours logged" on one unit. Just so I can understand what the current life has been (I know you have been abusing it, but just curious)

Comment by Jon Buford | 2013-05-18

@Camerin - the Alpha had somewhere in the hundreds of hours of use range, and is still working as a testbed. The two Betas 00 and 02 each have in the low to mid hundreds. So far the only part that we don't know the final outcome on is the hot end, but a lot of the problems we had resulted from frequent changes and very thin Kapton covering. We are working through how we are going to do the final hot end assembly for production to help give them the best chance of a very long life. Worst case, I would expect at least a few hundred hours, but I think we will get them to have longer life over time.

Comment by Felix G. (Fprint) | 2013-05-18

Great update, the molded Makibox is very cool indeed.
What kind of plastic will be used for the molded parts ?

Comment by MakiBox Member | 2013-05-18

Hi Jon great update, thank you,
What's the main limiter of print speed?
Do you have ambitions for higher speeds in the future?

Comment by Jon Buford | 2013-05-18

@Felix - ABS for the chassis and other components that do not act as bearing surfaces. POM for the other parts.

@Torlief - I think with this design, around 60mm/s is a reasonable top speed, more than that will cause excessive flex in the motion platform. For faster speeds, we would not optimize so much on cost.

Comment by camerin hahn | 2013-05-19

@jon sounds great, Not too side track you, would you be able to swap out the hot end for a pursa nozzle, a B3 nozzle, or some other all metal nozzle? I am assuming once the models are out it wouldn't be too difficult to change the mounting mechanism .

Comment by Jon Buford | 2013-05-19

@camerin - I think most of the existing hot ends will be too heavy and run too hot. We've spent a lot of time sorting out how to make it heat just the plastic you print with, which allows us to use low temperature POM as the hot end platform. Also, I would suspect they will be pretty long, so it would tend to be a project to sort out how to fit them onto a working motion platform.

Any particular upside you are thinking about?

Comment by Jon Buford | 2013-05-19

@Camerin - Also, a little confused when you say all metal nozzle, as ours is only Aluminum and Stainless aside from the heating element and the supportive platform.