tripodmaker delta accuracy

In the past few days, I was frequently asked about the TripodMaker’s delta 3D printing Accuracy. In short, it is great and precise. In reality, it’s not as straightforward as you might think to quantify it with a number.

When talking about the TripodMaker 3D printing Accuracy, this is related to two things when it comes down to a delta 3D printer. A first obvious one is the hardware and extrusion process with its tolerances. A second, but less obvious one, is the software, so let’s start here.

SOFTWARE RELATED TO 3D DELTA PRINTING ACCURACY 

Software has a big impact on how the TripodMaker moves. The adapted Marlin Firmware includes the TripodMaker dimensions. Based on known dimensions, the Tripodmaker can calculate where the nozzle is for a certain motor position. If the dimensions in the software however don’t fit with the dimensions of the physical TripodMaker, the movement might be inaccurate.

Bad built Delta printers might suffer from inaccurate x-y dimensions or un-flat moves. For flat and accurate movement, it is therefore critical to teach the TripodMaker the correct frame distances. For an assembled TripodMaker, these will be fine-tuned for you. A DIY kit might need some fine tuning once assembled. Based on our manual, this is piece of cake.

HARDWARE AND FILLAMENT EXTRUSION RELATED TO DELTA 3D PRINTING ACCURACY

Every part that interacts with the 3D printing process, has its own tolerances. The final precision of the nozzle position is a combination of those tolerances on the machine.  Also the extrusion process has its variances. Plastic expands after extrusion and shrinks after cooling down, and this is related to print speed, temperatures and other factors.

There is indeed a quantifiable amount of error related to some of the parts. For example a stepper motor has a certain deviation on its angles. Harder to quantify is for example slack on the timing belts, misalignments and plastic deformation. On top of that, the way of how a delta robot moves, complicates the insight in resolution.

For a delta robot, the middle of the printer bed has the lowest x-y-resolution. This is because a small motion of the motor results in big movement of the printer head. Away from the centre, the x-y-resolution is the highest. This is because two of the three beams are nearly horizontal, and a big movement of the vertical slides, results in very small movement.

I created to small hand drawn animations, just to give you a physical view of what I just tried to describe =) Left the central movement, right the edge movement.

The layer height accuracy only differs slightly over the print area as this is related to the most vertical beam. Layer height itself is mainly related to nozzle diameter and is typically 30% to 80% of the nozzle diameter.

 CONCLUSION

 Claiming that a printer can keep a 0.05 mm 3Dprinting accuracy in all directions, based on motor specs only (what is mostly done), is not correct and misleading for a delta 3D printer like the TripodMaker. The resulting accuracy is a combination of hardware, software and extrusion.

The TripodMaker has a rigid high quality designed structure. With fine-tuned software, it can deliver accuracies below 0.1mm, but that is just kind of experimentally based.

Some pics added at the bottom, just to show you some performances.

That’s it for today,

p.

The Pink Panter Woman (with the shaved armpit) 

tripodmaker woman

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