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ALIVE AND KICKING

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It has been a while since my latest blog post, and recently, I have been receiving several e-mails to ask wether or not we are dead – but we are alive and kicking =)

PRODUCTION

We have attended TCT, since then, it has been a rollercoaster.

We moved to a new and bigger space to suit the needs of our bigger production demand. We are now based in Antwerp, before it was Brussels. We are looking for even a bigger spot to house more stock. Streamlining this new set-up was a bit a pain in the *ss. We moved our complete order and manufacturing system to Odoo8, formerly called OpenERP. This took about 3 weeks to get it fully implemented and operational. Now we have a better stock system and have more insight in what we have and don’t have in stock, easier to maintain, easier to order new parts.

THE PRODUCT…

At TCT, we brought our latest version of the Tripodmaker, upgraded with the magnetic rods. This means smoother moves and higher accuracy. We will be also presenting the same machine at RapidPro in Veldhoven next week. We will be on the spot of Trideus, on of our resellers here in Belgium.

… AND ITS UPDATES

We are having an upgrade ready for the current users who have bought their single nozzle Tripodmaker in the past. As we are using the quality e3d-hotend, we adjusted our new design to fit their latest creation. We currently estimate to have the dual nozzle option ready begin summer, so keep posted. Allot to come.

Looking forward to see you all at Veldhoven!

Have a nice weekend!

TCT fair

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LIVE FROM TCT SHOW IN BIRMINGHAM

Tripodmaker TCT

As I am writing, I am currently sitting in my hotel room in Birmingham, because we are attending TCT show!

TCT SHOW

Today was the first day (29th), and we had a blast. We brought 3 printers and a blacklight dome ( more on that later! )

On our spot D47, we are together with ICE filaments. It’s a free fare, so don’t hesitate to pass by at any time, we are at hall 3a of NEC. We currently have a promo ongoing and share lots of samples of the ICE filament.

ICE filaments is the new brand when it comes down to quality spools for your TripodMaker or other less appealing printer 😉 The ICE product is developed in Europe and will be soon available in our shop. There are multiple colours in PLA, ABS and ABS+ (less warp with ABS+).

THE DOME

One of the fine products of ICE is fluo filament, which lights up in blacklight. So we made our self’s a tiny blacklight dome to show what the effect is, and it’s quite cool 🙂

Tripodmaker TCT

We are going to take some rest and see you tomorrow on the fair, don’t forget where we are: hall 3a, D47

Good night,
p.

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TRIPODMAKER WINS BIZIDEE

tripodmaker bizidee

Last week, TripodMaker was very pleased to receive the first price of the Bizidee competition! Bizidee is a competition founded by Agentschap Ondernemen, and is in fact a business game. Through this competition, they want to help promising entrepreneurs to get their business started through financial support.

A lot of people asked me the past months: “when are you throwing the celebration party? =p” However, that nice amount doesn’t have that particular purpose. So we will truly spend it on the TripodMaker as we committed to all members of the jury.

And I really have to say ‘we won’ in fact, because, without of the help of Eva, my girlfriend and partner in crime, we would never reached this far in this competition.

 
 
tripodmaker bizidee

WHAT IS THE BIZIDEE COMPETITION?

The Bizidee competition is split into two phases. The first phase requires a 2-pager of your idea, mainly with the focus on the idea itself; originality, coolness, brilliantness, the businessmodel.

In phase one, we made it to the top ten, but never really got on stage. Brilliant ideas like Bella Stoma (nice looking Stoma wearables), iReachm (never miss a phone call technology) and Partheas (Technology for hospital patient-tracking system), went home with a price.

Phase two focusses mainly on how you will tackle your idea itself marketing wise, financially, but also how you will handle cashflow and run your business on the long run. Phase two was in fact a 30 pages business plan. I must admit, it made us think about the future of Tripodmaker, and how we will deal with the changing environment and competition.

In total 96 business plans got submitted to phase two and were read by the jury. Twelve got selected to give a presentation and were still in the game. The 15 minutes presentation was a summary of your business plan, followed by 15 minutes of challenging questions. It was not easy to convince the jury, keeping in mind it was up to 30 degrees C in that room and they were hearing business plans already all day long ( I was the last one to pass along).

On Tuesday evening, May 27th, the finale was mind blowing, we won 25,000 euro!! =) The second-place prize of 7,500 euro went to Inge Gypens en Caroline Braeken and their plan for gluten-free bread distribution and the third prize of 3,000 euro went to Koen Wauters and Nico Staels and their plan for Partheas a hospital patient-tracking system.

WHAT’S NEXT

The money is definitely dedicated to Tripodmaker. So no wild parties, no fast cars, no fancy holidays, etc… but investing it in sales and developments and going “all-in”.

We are still working on automatic calibration, which is running better as before. Next to that, we are moving on to a full metal hot-end to have a better maintenance for the end-users.

Subscribe to our blog-page in order to get all the latest news and developments!

all the best,
p.

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NEWS FLASH

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The last days have been very busy. You might have noticed that our website is updated! Next to that, we have been attending several events.

THE WEBSITE

It took us about 3 nights to get the new lay-out finished. We consolidated all of the content and moved it to the home page. Next to that, we adjusted the blog-post lay-out and updated the look of our store. Hope you like the result =)

Check out the old v.s. new:

YES, WE WERE AT RAPIDPRO!

A lot of people and many 3D printers. It was clear that there were only a few delta printers around. That said, the TripodMaker could really distinguish itself because of its look, building envelope and print quality! We have been printing a special design of a shoe by Katrien Herdewyn. Katrien is a friend of mine from university and in her spare time she designs shoes, next to her Phd!

Additionally, we got even nominated for the RapidPro award! A shame though that half of the 3D prints I brought to the fair got stolen, really amazing. The only positive thing is that I didn’t need to carry them home 😉

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST!

Yesterday and today, we were present at the New Industrial Entrepreneurship (NL: Nieuw Industrieel Ondernemen) fair in Waagnatie, Antwerp. Thanks to the guys from Sirris Belgium, we got into the 3D printing boot with our TripodMaker. A pity we couldn’t swap the prints for some of the Champagne bottles that were left over 😉

TripodMaker at Nieuw Industrieel Ondernemen – Waagnatie; Antwerpen.
Soon, we have more updates ready! Have a nice weekend

p.

tripodmaker-waagnatie
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TRIPODMAKER DELTA 3D PRINTER ACCURACY

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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