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Not another 3D printer company?!?!

Posted by Chelsea - QU-BD 
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 09, 2012 05:17PM
This extruder design is derivative of Makerbot's, which I believe is also derivative of the UP!. The spur gear idea we got from Makergear, although theirs does not have a groove machined into it. Isn't open-source wonderful!?

The original block design was made to be injection molded. It had tapered sides and was in two pieces. The original plunger design of the Makerbot necessitated the 2-piece design otherwise there was no way to get it in or out. Our block is one piece since we don't need to remove a plunger. Ours is quite a bit more slippery than the cast piece...that may be due to the inherent texture on the surface of the injection molded part vs the machined surface of ours, but nonetheless it is a difference.

The dissipation of heat from the heatsink prevents 'heat-creep' from going up from the hotend to the motor and from softening the filament before its in the 'hotzone'. Is it a huge difference vs. the Makerbot heatsink, no, however it is noticeable.

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 09, 2012 07:10PM
Chelsea - QU-BD Wrote:
> Is it a huge difference vs. the
> Makerbot heatsink, no, however it is noticeable.

What differences are noticeable?
Anonymous User
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 09, 2012 07:18PM
I was referring to the heater block. The picture you posted doesnt look the same as the one on the more recent picture of the hotend.
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 10, 2012 04:22AM
really nice !

With the Up!, eMaker/Reprappro, MK7, Arcol v4, now this hotend, with a sort of steel barrel to make a junction between a cooling block to the heaterblock on which is the nozzle... that made me think we are closer to a good (universal?) structure for an hotends smiling smiley
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 14, 2012 12:45AM
Both pictures of the hotend show the same block, it could just be the lighting or angle.

Apparently video editing is not our strong suit, this is taking longer than expected...
Anonymous User
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 14, 2012 09:03AM
Why the change from the block further up the page. Have you decided to change the design to be like makerbots?
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 14, 2012 11:38AM
The block that is mounted on the X-axis? That is what the extruder itself mounts to.

On a side note, final weight with the build platform is 53lbs.
With the Bosch Colt and billet aluminum mount 55lbs.
With the 1HP Spindle and billet aluminum mount 61lbs.
Listed weights to not include the optional steel drill plate.

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 14, 2012 03:19PM
Looking forward to the kickstarter!

If I could get a CNC and a dual extruder that would be real nice. thumbs up

Is it possible to ship as a kit, or does it require skilled assembly?
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 15, 2012 01:30AM
TC - sorry didn't see your post in there. The amount of heat creep up to the motor is about 4 degrees celcius less, as measured on our infrared thermometer.

We have been steadfastly working on easing assembly. As of right now it does take a little skill and an extremely flat work surface but we are working on it... it will be offered assembled at least initially.

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 16, 2012 12:02AM
Whoops...we went to ship it off yesterday for the Makerfaire and the shipping weight is 62lbs for the printer WITHOUT the basalt heated build platform...apparently our cheap scale is not the most accurate!

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 17, 2012 02:15AM
This looks very promising.

Keep up the good work!
Festival in Little Rock
May 17, 2012 02:51PM

I work at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas. I found out about your work from one of my colleagues. I think your work is absolutely incredible and relates perfectly to an upcoming maker event that I am helping to organize at the museum. The event is going to be on Saturday, August 4th from 12-4. It’s modeled after the Open MAKEs at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and a much smaller version of the Maker Faire that you will be attending in California. We would love to have you here for this event to show your work. If you are not familiar with the Museum of Discovery, we recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. We had a grand re-opening in January, and there has been tons of hype and community support for the museum. We except great turnout for this event. I'm sorry for this awkward method of approaching you, but this was the easiest way that I have found to reach you until you website is active. Let me know if you would be interested in participating; you can reach me directly at klawson@museumofdiscovery.org

Hope to hear from you!

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 12:58AM
When is the Extruder coming out?!!!! I Can't wait! Will it all be opensource?
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 01:11PM
Courtney and Nathan are still recovering from the Makerfaire and will be back in Little Rock this Saturday. They said the community was AWESOME with tons of support! Everything is open source and we will be releasing all the dimensioned drawiings in PDF format.

I'll be back soon with an update!

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 01:45PM
Everybody was there except you :-( ... Makerfaire NY?

The 3D printer is more awesome in person(HUGE!). Nice job on the extruders. Cant wait to get them.

Anonymous User
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 01:59PM
Any makerfaire pictures?
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 05:49PM
I saw this printer at the MaerFaire. Pretty dang impressive.

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Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 23, 2012 10:27PM
So much cooler than... EEEEHHHH (cube) That lady was so mean. I don't want any body to smash me right now but I have a makerbot (Don't worry it was to get me into 3D printing and am l=planning to build a mendel max) she was just do rude she said Nobody wants a makerbot in their house... maybe in their garage but not in their house. I was like but I have one in my house then she touched my arm and said well your a geek.? I think she meant it in a good way? Anyways cant wait for the QU-BD. I honestly think the CUbe is going to be a flop
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
May 31, 2012 08:34PM
Nathan and Courtney had a ton of fun at the Maker Faire and were thrilled to meet such an awesome bunch of people!


Our crowdfunding video is complete, the website is almost ready and we are about ready to launch pre-sales of the extruder. Production is already under way of some of the parts!

'3D Printer / Mill":
I wanted to fill in the people that didn't have a chance to come to our booth at the Maker Faire. We are calling our 'device' the R.P.M. or Rapid Prototyping Mill. We are currently implementing some changes to the design to improve rigidity, reduce the number of parts and speed assembly time. We didn't want to rush the project and then a month down the road come out with v2.0. Here are a list of the for sure changes:

- the z-axis will have two 3/4" diameter ACME screws (instead of (1) 5/8" dia.)
- the z-axis smooth rods are increasing to 3/4" in diameter
- the y-axis will be incorporating two 5/8" ID linear bearings and a 3/4" diameter lead screw
- the x-axis lead screw diameter is increasing to 3/4"
- the exterior panels are increasing in thickness to 1/4" from 1/8"
- the build area will be increasing to ~13x13x13.

Despite the changes adding a bit to material cost, because we are able to assemble it much faster the overall cost is going to stay the same at $1699.00 delivered.

We are in talks with the organizers of the Little Rock Maker Faire and will be there in full force!


Just curious.....what is your background?

Also, what is the capability of this machine in terms of materials able to be milled? Is this machine limited to plastics and soft metals?

I think this is great if you guys can pull it off. When do you expect to post on kickstarter? I will definitely be following your progress.

Best of luck!
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 03, 2012 03:34AM
I'm actually majoring in communications; some of the more technical questions that I have been asked I have to double check with the 'experts'... (see below)
David has been a machinist/industrial engineer for 35 years.
Nathan has been an independent product designer for about a 15 years.
Courtney's schooling is in interior design.

The machine is not just limited to soft metals and plastics; it has the ability to cut stainless steel, however it is certainly A LOT slower than aluminum milling.

We are just waiting on Amazon.com payment approval to move forward with the Kickstarter for the extruder. As soon as we finalize the design for the Rapid Prototyping Mill we will be moving forward with it also.

Another change that just got greenlit for production... NEMA 23 motors on all each axis.

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 04, 2012 06:46AM
Has the ability to mill SS? I'd be extremely impressed if you can demonstrate that.
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 04, 2012 07:56PM
I wish you guys all the best luck, and if you get there, I'll be a client. But, I'm really dubious about this for a couple specific reasons.

First, those custom ballscrews (or ball-style?) can't be cheap to manufacture. Even Chinese-made screw and nut sets quickly hit $100+ per axis, and that's for mass production in a low-cost environment. I've watched a lot of guys building hobby-sized CNC mills spend $1700 just for the linear motion components, forget the rest of a machine. Is your screw hardened, ground, milled and vibratory-finished, or what? It looks like a piece of top-dollar kit.

Second, with the screws having such a steep pitch, backdriving would seem to be a HUGE issue for milling operations. You can strap bigger motors on to fight it, but bigger motors are more expensive and in the case of steppers, usually much slower.

I could easily see this machine handling a router to cut plywood and plastics. Aluminum, maybe. A lot of people use router tables to do work with sheet metal or thinner plate. These are usually machines with heavy steel frames, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Stainless is another matter. My benchtop CNC mill can chew through aluminum easily, mild steel about half as easily, and stainless only very slowly. But not too slow or light, or else it work hardens. To take any kind of cut with a high-speed spindle you're going to have massive amounts of vibration, which traditional machines handle with lots and lots of cast iron. I have a hard time seeing how the QU-BD won't turn into a tuning fork in this case.

Even when you take two relatively similar tools (a mill and lathe) and try to mate them together (like the 3-in-1 machines) you typically end up with something that's more expensive than a comparable mill and lathe purchased separately and not nearly as capable as either. The general opinion is that they only make sense where you can't make room for two separate machines.

A 3D printer and a mill are almost completely opposed to each other in fundamental terms--the only thing they share is XYZ motion. So without seeing a lot more proof, I find it hard to believe you can get all of these things working together at a very low price.

OTOH, laser-cutting and 3D printing are a lot more similar--both are zero-force applications benefiting from very high traverse speeds--and we do see multiple people successfully building multi-purpose machines for that. If I was starting my shop over, I'd be tempted to forget the milling machine and just do a laser/printer combo. Still need a lathe though smiling smiley

Anyway, good luck, I'll look forward to seeing the videos proving me wrong to be skeptical.
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 05, 2012 12:38AM
We don't really think of 3D printers and millings machines being opposites. For example our Mori Seiki mill with a plastic extruder strapped to the end of it is a fantastically accurate printer (fairly fast too). Our mill also weighs 25,000lbs and has HUGE ballscrews and massive ways so its not really an apples to apples comparison. The trick is getting a desktop machine that can cut metal to also be fast, which we have accomplished. While we have not pushed the upper limits of the design in 'printer mode', 300mm/sec moves are stable, consistent and repeatable. It will go faster but before we throw out an official max speed we want to make sure that everyone can hit it 100% of the time. The limiting factor on our printing speed is the extruder itself.

We have production CNC equipment and tooling in our shop and so the cost is a lessened because not only are the parts not purchased through retail or even wholesale channels, they are produced in house. It also helps that our warehouse is ugly and the rent is cheap!

The prototype screw was machined from ground and hardened rod stock and then polished. The screws that we are using for production are not the same as the prototype screw for that exact reason that you stated. Those were the 'printer mode' screws. We were originally intending the screws to be swappable when you want to change from milling to printing but we figured out a way around that, with variable gearing. The production screws are hardened, ground and polished.

While I can't do a direct comparison of rigidity to a CNC Taig or Sherline mill as I don't have access to one at our shop, because our frame is boxed in instead of being a 'c' frame, it does lend itself to being very rigid. Also the weight of our RPM that was posted earlier in the thread is the weight without any of the mill accessories attached, it was in 'printer mode'. Adding the spindle, table and the associated other parts shoves the weight past the 100lb mark so it does have some mass to it or at the very least more than the above mentioned desktop mills.

We designed the RPM as a desktop mill and then we figured out how to make it fast enough to 3D print, not the other way around.

When we finally get some videos up I think you will be pleasently surprised!

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 05, 2012 09:11PM
Yep, a Mori Seiki is pretty much the Ferrari of VMCs, except it's a lot more reliable. Nothing like seeing a thousand pounds of iron moving at 1000IPM with .0002" repeatability. Especially when it's swinging a 500lb workpiece around on a 5-axis trunnion table. The Ferrari is probably cheaper!

If you can do it, I'll be ordering one. I have my doubts, but unless you're promising an over-unity power generator, I'll never say it's impossible.
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 07, 2012 06:04PM
We have just launched our Kickstarter campaign for the extruder at $34 for the basic kit!


Would it be appropriate to post another thread to keep the extruder conversation and Rapid Prototyping Mill separate? I don't want to spam the forum though.

You guys (and gals) can finally put a face with the name...I'm the one in the Kickstarter video!

where are the videos of it working. did it work at the makerfaire
Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 07, 2012 11:22PM
We will take some videos of it an add it to our project!

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 08, 2012 01:56AM

Good luck with this. I see you have already gotten quite a few backers.

Quick question tough. You only currently supply 1.75mm extruders. Are you able to support 3mm filament at all? I know it needs more torque, so perhaps this extruder design won't support it.

Re: Not another 3D printer company?!?!
June 08, 2012 02:13AM
We are extensively testing the extruder/hot end with a larger motor than normal attached to the back. Torque is not an issue with a larger motor (5kg.cm) for the 3mm filament at least at any 'normal' printing speeds, its just a matter of having to make a production run of the components that have to be slightly different dimensions. If enough people got together we could do a run.

Additionally a couple of the components could be modifed to make it work with a 3mm filament, although I would have to check with David or Nathan to see exactly what would have to be done.

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