Monday, February 27, 2012

In Preparation for the Cube's Arrival

I have not abandoned this site.

I have been building a RapMan 3.2 Extreme in preparation for being able to best help other new owners of the Cube when it arrives.  I will be using the RapMan to test designs and material handling.

We will need some benchmarks to be able to adequately know that we are getting the best out of our Cubes.  From looking at the samples, it isn't all that clear what is a Cube glitch or a design glitch.  Having a second 3D printer will help us sort out those answers.

Now.  Remember, these images are of objects that have been printed by pre-production models of the Cube.  And, unless the imperfections that I am going to point out are due to either design issues or conversion issues, hopefully, we will see something entirely different from the production models we receive.

Even so, it is useful to talk about how we will test and evaluate production printers with what we see in objects printed with pre-production units.  So, here goes.

Take a look at this shoe...

While, for the most part, this is a remarkable print, there seems to be an obvious imperfection along the top-front of the shoe.

Here is another view...

It's even more obvious in the above view.  In fact, we can now see several less-than-perfect print areas,  So, what might be causing this?  

One possible cause would be a design flaw or a conversion flaw.  In order to print, the design must be converted to slices.  It may be that the slicing software needs to be tweaked.  Another potential problem could be that the changes in the slope of the shoe.  The most obvious errors seem to be located just above a radical angle change in the shoe shape.

Until we try to print objects like this, we really don't have the tools to fully analyze what is going on.  And, that is why buying and building a RapMan will, hopefully, give us some clues if we see the same kinds of behaviors.  And, that is why I am taking the time to build one.

I'm hoping that I can obtain the original STL files to test so that we can make some comparisons when the big day that the Cube arrives.  If you would like to follow along with my "Build Experience" go to my original 3DPrinterUsers Blog.

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