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TRIPODMAKER REVIEW: BLACK EDITITON

tripodmaker review

Yesterday, the guys from 3D Printing for Beginners did a Tripodmaker Review of our latest Tripodmaker Black Edition. You should definitely check out what they wrote on their blog post. You can read it here.

We have already received many questions based on their blog post that we wanted to clarify to our readers here.  

DOES SHIPPING OF THE PLEXI PANELS OFTEN GO WRONG?

The answer: Not any more

Shipping of the plexi panels has been a pain at the launch a few months ago. Within the regular box, shipping goes terribly wrong. This is why we currently opt to ship the doors separately in a dedicated packaging, separate from the printer.

This package is way lighter and can be handled in a more gentle way, and not with brutal force. As mentioned, our device is rock solid and build to last, this means it is not a box to do a walk in the park with and requires some heavy lifting.

DIMENSIONAL ACCURACY IS IMPROVED

We changed our calibration procedure, creating prints within +/- .15 mm of tolerance. This is something you'll have to take our word for it =)

THE STRINGING AND X-Y-RESONANCE TEST FAILED, BUT WHY?

The answer: The reviewers received a prototype of the machine and there have been several firmware and software updates since then. To get a review out for you as soon as possible, this was the only possible way of working.

At the time of testing, our Prisma software was not up and running. This means slicer settings were not 100% optimized yet when compared to our standard Repetier Host set-up. There the user has a certain freedom to operate regarding temperature and speed settings. 

But let's be honest, the guys from "3D printing for beginners" know what they talk about. So how could this go wrong?

Well, stringing is not an easy thing to tackle, and often requires a combination of settings, like acceleration of the retraction, specific movements before hopping, acceleration and jerk for travels between two spots where material should be deposited, and of course the temperature setting.

Same goes for x-y resonance. Rigidity of the frame is one factor, but speed, jerk and acceleration make or break the final results of every printer.

While the temperature is a setting the user can change to fix the stringing, the other parameters like retraction, acceleration and jerk are not included in the printer menu. We have seen that this only leads to confusion or frustration with our customers.

As tests were performed by 3D Printing for Beginners somewhere October - November 2015, our demo device was still fitted with the old firmware set-up.

The acceleration and jerk during printing was set too aggressive, resulting in x-y resonances. Then again, the acceleration of the printer travels was to slow, allowing the filament to ooze and string heavily.

At the moment, printers running software version 0.92.8i should not be suffering from such sever troubles. 

SOME BIGGER PICTURES

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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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INFOGRAPHIC – HOW 3D PRINTING WORKS

how 3d printing works

This evening, I came across this cool infographic of Naomi Paton. If you are on the verge of explaining to somebody how 3D printing works, you might save yourself some time and forwarding him/her this blog-post. Ok, it features a 3D printer design of an obvious competitor, but hey, it’s about the content =)

Also consider checking their website. I definitely need to view their 10 Amazing TED Talks About science and technology. Something maybe for the weekend

enjoy!

p.

how 3d printing works infographic

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NEWS FLASH

tripodmaker-katrien-herdewyn

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 😉

tripodmaker-rapidpro
tripodmaker-rapidprostand
tripodmaker-rapidpro-award

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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BEST FREE 3D PRINTER SOFTWARE

repetierhoststartpage

Software is the second most importent thing when it comes down to 3D printing. To end, I will tell you what the most importent thing is in 3D printing. But first, my attempt to bundle some info on this best free 3d printer software topic.

FREE 3D PRINTER SOFTWARE – THE BASICS

When it comes down to get started with 3D printing, you first need hardware. This could be tricky, or you could consider a TripodMaker ;-). However, I had the biggest difficulty in finding the right software during the Era when I was playing with my RepRap prusa i1 and i2. There is no such thing as the best software set. I will try to provide you with a brief overview so you can decide what fits you best.

1) 3D PRINTER SLICER SOFTWARE

 

A 3D printer can not cope directly with files from a CAD program. 3D or CAD files need to be processed before they become printable. This process is called slicing. The slicer (software) is the first tool we use when 3D printing.

A slicer uses commonly used .STL files to create .Gcode files. Gcode files contain instructions for the 3D printer on where, when, and how fast to make movements. However, Gcode programming is not very suitable for CAD and 3D design. This is where the slicer and the .STL file comes into use.

The .STL file is a 3D model file that can be exported by all common CAD and 3D modeling software. The slicer software then slices the .STL 3D model into layers and print paths to create a 3D printable .Gcode file.There are several slicer programs out there, but I found these 2 the most suited for my needs:

1) Slic3r
2) Kisslicer
3) Cura

Keep in mind that slicer settings are not always as straightforward as you think. It is always some trial and error before you can get started with printing. With your TripodMaker, predefined settings are available.

SLIC3R

Slic3r is an original project of Alessandro Ranellucci (aka. Sound). The program is under constant refinement from Alessandro and other contributors. By the time of writing, the current version is 1.0.0RC2.

+ Easy setup
+Works Stand-alone
+Compatible with several Hosting programs
+Supports multi-model printing
+Can split and save STL files
+Can handle big STL files
- No integrated tool path viewer after slicing.

KISSLICER

In my opinion this is the best slicer that is out there right now. It might be not as good looking but is performs great. It has a Free version for single printer-head printers. The paid Pro Version has multi printer-head support and multi-model printing.

+ Best surface finish
+ Easy setup
+ Works Stand-alone
+ Compatible with several Hosting programs
+ Integrated tool path viewing
- Supports only multi-model printing in payed version
- Can't split and save STL files
- Can’t handle super big STL files

3D PRINTER HOSTS SOFTWARE

 A host is a software program on your computer that communicates with your 3D printer. It makes sure that you don’t have to type the Gcode “command-line style” to control your printer head around the printer surface and its temperature.

The Gcode is pushed to the printer through a USB connection. For single moves during calibration, this is really handy.

Next to the navigation part,  you can monitor temperature and position of your hot-end during print.

Make sure you install the right drivers to be able to connect your printer to your computer.

Two free available host programs are

1)Printrun (info and download)
2)Repetier Host (info and download).

While Printrun is is only a host program, Repetier Host integrates also Slic3r software and previewing modes.

PRINTRUN

Easy control of the printer with navigation cross
2D representation of status during print
Compatible with all kinds of slicers

REPETIER HOST

Easy control of the printer
Integrated Slic3r functionality (Slic3r and Cura)
3D representation of Slicing result
Compatible with all kinds of slicers
Can be configured for Delta printers like the TripodMaker.

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