Beta Testers Wanted! October 14 2015, 3 Comments

Hi Everyone!

It’s been 2 years since we launched the Kossel Clear on Kickstarter. Since then, we’ve had enough time to rest and recoup. We've been busy working on a newer version of our printer, and will be launching it soon on Kickstarter. We put a great amount of effort into it, and after many various iterations, this is where we are. It was designed to be one of the better delta printers out there in terms of ease of build, quality, and flexibility:

Metal Frame:

We're using 20X20 openbuilds extrusions which will allow taller prints than your current KCs (315mm height x 200mm dia). The thicker extrusions make it more rigid, and allow the rollers to slide directly on the channels rather than the edges of the extrusions. 

For the Top and Base plates, we used 3mm hot rolled sheet metal: laser cut, precision CNC bent, powder coated, and then tapped. It's ready to accept M5 and M3 size screws. This design solves many problems: motors can now be mounted directly to the base, eliminating the need for multiple joins, unnecessary screws. The idlers are screwed on directly to the top plate, and since it's metal (instead of plastic), it's much harder to strip the threads. We also positioned multiple screw holes on the frame to allow for future expansion, in case some of you would want to mount a camera, or a spool holder, or add more extruders.

Metal Extruders:

The extruder design allows the bowden tube to thread directly on to the part, allowing it to come as close as possible to the extruder gears. The new design uses springs with adjustable tension instead of the binder clips that we're all used to. Threading the extruder hinge also allows you the option of installing a push to fit, if preferred.

Metal Carriages and Effector:

They are bent at an angle that will allow the full 180 degree range of movement for the ball joints, but we also put a small acrylic shield on the back side in case any of your kids stick their finger the rail while printing.

Multi filament (Dual Extrusion):

We designed a y-connector that will allow the easy swapping of filament and would mate easily with an E3D. here's a similar concept: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:301982

Magnetic Ball Joints:

These ball joints will be sourced from our current supplier (some of you may have purchased from us in the previous months), with a few changes: magnetic force has been reduced to a holding force of 0.5kg each. (The old 1kg ones was overkill and there were some complaints that the force was too strong causing some undesired movements on the carriages). 

To ensure that the lengths are precise, we installed nylon nuts in between the aluminum rods and the ball joints. This allows the builder to adjust every single arm to the desired length. Making it adjustable will allow the user to control the precision on each arm using regular 1ft calipers. They also have the option to seal it permanently with epoxy if desired. The arms in the photos have been adjusted to be within 15 microns of each other.

 

Launching a new product is difficult, and even if we are a 2 year old startup, we’re still pretty lean. We will need your help with testing the printer and helping us see potential issues with it. We need feedback to help us decide just how ready this printer is for Kickstarter. Right now we only have one prototype (in the photos). Any type of feedback is crucial, but we went ahead and listed a few specific things that we were hoping beta testers would be able to help us with.

1. Calibration Notes - how did you calibrate? what difficulties did you encounter? What is the best way to instruct a noobie on how to calibrate?

2. Dual Filament - what are the most common issues you've encountered? what are your preferred speeds and temperatures? What are your preferred gcode switching routines?

3. Arduino Due Feedback - We are also currently talking to the repetiere folks to produce an all in 1 software solution for us for the standard ramps setup, and also for the Arduino Due (which will be offered as an upgrade). 

4. General User Experience - how did you feel building it? how did it fee when you finished your 1st print? how do you feel about it after a month? or 2 months? 

We are looking for 20 beta testers that:

a) know how to manually calibrate deltas

b) know their way around repetiere and marlin firmware or smoothieware

c) can research solutions and troubleshoot on their own.

d) are fairly confident that they can build this printer just from the pictures below.

If you fit the description, and/or you think you can help, we would be glad to offer this kit to you at cost. Please contact us directly at blueeaglelabs@gmail.com :) 

Thanks again everyone for your continued support! If you have any questions, please email us directly at blueeaglelabs@gmail.com or just post them here.

P.S. Please note that the printer in the pics are PLA only, but we will have an ABS version (still in the works).