Increase build size?

Any chance the build size can be increased any from what you list?


  • skaadskaad Member, Backers
    Guess I was wondering if instead of making the Draken smaller, as in your new pictures (thank you), would it be possible to increase the build size slightly? .5-1" or so?
  • Andrew_3DfactureAndrew_3Dfacture Member, Moderator, Backers
    Change the design to adapt larger build size is not hard but not very practical for two reasons:
    1. Larger print size need stronger light to cure.  It will take very long time to cure with such a big exposure area, unless modification is done with the projector light source.
    2. Larger build size will reduce resolution. 100 micron xy resolution print will not look very nice and might be close to that from a high end FDM machine.
  • skaadskaad Member, Backers
    I am one of your projectorless backers. I bought the Kudo3d machine for our College Sculpture and 3d Design department. This made me want a dlp printer of my own.

    I have nearly a decade of experience with powder based printers and over 25 years of experience with large scale bronze and iron casting (worked on sculptures that weigh 20 tons, poured about 32,000 pounds of iron out of a furnace of my own design over the years). I have used a wide variety of 3d printing techniques in combination with metal casting that range from lost pattern (ie lost wax but with a fdm pattern or powder pattern) to direct mold prints. I actually taught a mechanical engineering course at UW that focused on the use of additive manufacturing in metal casting a few years ago. Great fun - they even built the furnaces they used.

    Anyway long story not exactly short, it was my initial success in the least couple of weeks with the Kudo3d machine that inspired me to back the Draken. There are a number of things that lead me to this machine over the other printer - one of which is the actually the lid design and promise of a quiet printer, as this will be run in my home. The cover for the lens of the projector is a nice feature. Of course the cost is a big advantage as well as higher print speeds, basically you have really thought things out and come up with a well thought out solid design. The only thing I don't know is how well it will take a physical beating and hold up over time - I can't exactly give out a good shake through the computer screen. I did like the idea of a steel chassis. However it looks as if it will probably hold up tho the 5-10 years I hope to be using the Draken.

    It was your work with metal casting and the promise of a lower cost casting casting resin that really pushed me to the Draken. I usually use ceramic shell which is burned out at 1500°F, so the ash is not as big of a factor, but expansion can be. By the way, if you want to send me a print to run through ceramic shell in bronze, I would be glad to. :)

    My one "wish" would be the ability to print just a little bit larger, with wider being more important than higher. Ideally 7"x7"x9" build space would be preferable, but an 1/2" increase in scale in each direction would be satisfactory. I do understand the trade off of reduction in resolution in size, but it might be worth it to have the option to be able to recalibrate the machine occasionally to get a bigger build. Some patterns look decent printed at 100 microns (I have occasionally adjusted my layer thickness up on purpose for aesthetic reasons) and other designs need the higher level of detail. Also I am guessing that if the machine has room for a larger print that when a better dlp projector came along, the printer could be upgraded??
  • sabotagesabotage Member, Moderator, Backers, Ultimate Backer
    @skaad brings up some interesting questions. For me the build size is not an issue, but it makes me wonder...

    Change the design to adapt larger build size is not hard but not very practical for two reasons:
    1. Larger print size need stronger light to cure.  It will take very long time to cure with such a big exposure area, unless modification is done with the projector light source.

    What feature of a DLP projector would need to change in order for it to produce "stronger light"? Is it just the lumens output or is it more than that? If it is, then what lumens output level would be required?

    2. Larger build size will reduce resolution. 100 micron xy resolution print will not look very nice and might be close to that from a high end FDM machine.

    As @Skaad mentions, allowing some degree of control over the layer resolution could be a selling point for some, even if it was not an officially supported capability...

    Again, I'm not trying to change your design, nor do I have a concern about the size for my level of experience and intended use. Yet if the design were not to limit the possibility for future "growth", seems worth considering.
    imageBacker(Ultimate Package - delivered on July 1, 2015)
  • skaadskaad Member, Backers
    "Close to the resolution of a high end FDM machine" would be more than acceptable for many forms - it would be about having the versatility of being able to print larger when needed, even at a sacrifice of detail that would be attractive to me.

    Although my personal forms often do have a high level of detail and I ultimately would like to be able to reproduce the fingerprints left on my originals eventually, there are many forms where 100 microns is more than enough. Granted, one could say well just use an fdm machine then, but I don't have a fdm machine and fdm prints will burn out of mold for metal casting, but not as cleanly, causing loss of detail. So for my purposes as a metal caster and sculptor, a 100 micron dlp print will produce better final results than a 100 micron fdm print.

    So there would be two ways to look at it. Yes of course you want to produce the best user friendly product with the best quality build you can. However if I am a buyer that is trying to decide between a large build fdm machine vs. an equally priced dlp machine that also has the option of producing amazingly detailed smaller articles. . . I believe in the dlp/sls approach. I think that as the resin comes down in cost, that we will see consumers be drawn away from fdm. As a company that is getting into this just as the waves for both 3d printing and dlp printers are starting to appear on the horizon, you will be uniquely positioned for profit.

    I am assuming that when you go to full production, the cost of the Draken will be similar to the other two USA based machines on the market. They both offer larger build spaces, both at a sacrifice of resolution. As I am investing in your machine, for reasons mentioned in my earlier post, I want too see 3dfacture succeed into the future. The size of the build space is the only advantage your competitors have on the Draken. Why not consider at a minimum leaving room in the case for an upgrade kit to be sold and installed at a later date? Or immediately crushing the competition and giving the user the ability to go in and create a slightly larger build. I believe you would only have to add 1/2" to each of the xyz axis to equal your closest competitor. Even if you just added enough height to the vertical axis to equal the cubic inches of your nearest competitor, that could give you an edge in a printer shoot out. It is only a suggestion and what is hopefully taken as constructive criticism. You guys are the engineers and designers. I will be happy to have a printer in my hands that lives up to its current promise. Even a little bump in scale, on the other hand, would tickle me pink and send me shooting to the moon!

    I do want it to be absolutely clear that I backed this project because I believe in the product you have created. This is the first printer I have sunk my own personal funds into (I have a number of machines under my control at the college). I did not make the investment lightly our without research. I only am putting this out there because I am so impressed with what you have done so far. It also occurred to me that if there was room in the old case, there might be room for a tiny bit bigger build. I also want 3dfacture to be around for a long, long time. I will need replacement parts for my new baby when the stork delivers her at some point.
  • I agree with the above statements for the most part but would prefer to see them as future upgrades and have your time spent on delivering the product as specified.
    Don't get me wrong as I to would like bigger but do not want a delay in getting my hands on your machine.....
    Besides your next version, or follow-up upgrades, will be take all of these comments into account.
    But if it is a minor tweak that will not delay things, I like and could use bigger.
  • Andrew_3DfactureAndrew_3Dfacture Member, Moderator, Backers
    edited March 2015
    Upgrade with larger build size is definitely something in our list to do.   We do have R&D plan for the second generation of Draken to have size competitive to current FDM machines, but way faster.

    We also tried to modify the light source of the projector.  The key thing is to have enough light intensity at 400-430nm range.  There are two challenges:
    1. The Ti DMD chip can not sustain high UV light and the glue on the micro-mirror might melt in long time.  The new Ti UV DMD might be needed, but that's quite expensive.
    2. The current UV LED diode normally only has a 1W power, which is not enough..  While the high power LED array/lamp would need a new design of lamp that fit with current projector.  The optical pathway might need to be re-designed too - that means designing a new DLP projector.

    Maybe some optical experts on board can comment more on this.
  • skaadskaad Member, Backers
    So would you have a trade in program for Gen 2? Would the first gen machine be upgradable perhaps? :D Or would you allow those that prefer to be an alpha tester on Gen 2 to wait for it to be ready? The size is the only hold back for me, so I would probably be willing to wait or be an alpha tester, unless you were going to make the frame upgradable - which would be totally cool.
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