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Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer

Posted by Joshua Dickerson 
Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 18, 2014 10:30AM
Hello everyone,

My wife and I have been 3D printing and reprap enthusiasts for years but we have been tied up in developing a selective laser melting 3D printer, to the exclusion of all else. She's a chemical engineer and I have an engineering background, passionately making things since early childhood. Last year we approached an angel investor and received 60K in seed money, which we used over the course of a year to develop our printer, "The PowdrKeg". The whole process has been a fairly rough and lonely ride, so we are reaching out to the community for support. We are able to print fully dense parts printed in nylon and virtually any other powdered thermoplastic. At the moment, we still need to develop a surface heater over the next two months, in order to combat warping and enable dramatically higher resolution prints without support structures. Please take a look at the following videos on Youtube and give us your feedback:

Printing in PA650 (nylon) [www.youtube.com]
Resulting object: [www.youtube.com]
Here's a link the the source .stl file we used: [www.thingiverse.com]

Additional footage:
First object we made out of Candelilla Wax: [www.youtube.com]
Second object we made out of Candelilla Wax: [www.youtube.com]

We think we have the makings for a low cost SLM printer that overcomes some of the salient limitations of Sintratec's printer (such as only being able to print in black or being sold as a kit.)
Print speed: 1000 mm/s max, 400 mm/s typical.
Prototype build volume: 3600 CC
Production build volume: 8200 CC
Projected price point: $3400

In the printer operation video we're running the laser power a little on the hot side, rastering at only 100 mm/s and making multiple passes to combat warping after the first layer (which is the only layer in direct contact with a heated bed.) Of course, sharing this post with a friend would be greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to hear your general impression of the results, so don't hold back.

Thanks!

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2014 08:06AM by Joshua Dickerson.
Attachments:
open | download - IMG_6339.JPG (59.6 KB)
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 24, 2014 06:25AM
Pleas explained to us more about the printer setup:
- What technology do you use to move the laser beam?
- Do you use a sealed chamber?
- What row material you use (a commercial one or home made)
-What kind of laser you use

I'm in the process of constructing a SLS/SLM 3D Printer as well, here is a link to a forum i'm posting about this printer [www.metalbot.org] + wiki [www.metalbot.org] and a old post on this forum [forums.reprap.org] . I will use a 150W CO2 RF laser equipped with a professional galvo system and a gas tight aluminum chamber. My preliminary tests were very promising, i manage to sinter PVC plastic powder in open air with near perfect result's, only problem was that the white powder turned out lightly brown after sinter, that's the result of material oxidation (but when i will use a gas tight chamber filled with nitrogen the sitered parts will come out perfect white)
I think if you use a oxygen free chamber you don't need a "surface heater" to combat warping (you will use the "surface heater" to bring the temperature near melting point, then you'll need a low power laser for sinter)
The "surface heater" (i'm planning to use halogen lamps and a thermal sensor for feedback) will be a option for me, i will add it after i finis the printer and fully test it.

Good luck!
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 24, 2014 06:49AM
Hello Mecanicu,

Thanks for responding, and for wishing us luck! We built the system completely from the ground up, including the galvo-based scan engine. We are using a 40W chinese CO2 laser tube that has been modified for better power output regulation, but we've never had to run it past 15W. We don't use a sealed chamber at the moment, but feel good enough results can be obtained without an inert atmosphere. We have done countless experiments which show undeniably that oxidation in our process is negligible using modulated DSC and TGA for the PA650 (basically specially engineered powedered nylon.) It does become somewhat noticeable when we run the laser power hot like we're doing at the moment to force a successful print. We also did experiments with a heated bed, which confirm that preheating the nylon powder is essential to prevent warping. The warping we've seen of course is not like the warping seen in typical FDM print processes. The rastered portion of the powder curls up, forming miniature leaf-like structures that protrude enough to be scraped off in the recoating pass. We tried various temps and around 120C, the warping becomes controlled enough that the layer survives, but we think we need to get the temp around 160-170 C to get really good results. I think the difference in our results is that we are fully melting the nylon as opposed to just sintering it. Of course we are fully melting the material makes for a much stronger part. If you plan on full melting for a stronger part, we can certainly say you'll need to implement some kind of preheating system.

If you're curious, we have another print featured on youtube:
[www.youtube.com]

Of course we have to adhere a support raft and use selective laser remelting to combat warping enough to get a print. It's really cool how far you've gotten with your metal SLS machine. We know personally just how hard making these things are and what you have already is quite an accomplishment!

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2014 07:04AM by Joshua Dickerson.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 24, 2014 07:13AM
I just update the metalbot.org forum and wiki with my new controller and software. i think i will have a working system in 2 months.
Regarding your setup i don't understand how is that your model's come out so bad (sorry for my boldness). Pleas tell me what is you focal point diameter?
You can contact the guys from Sintratec on their Facebook page and ask them question's about their setup (but do not tell them you want to competesmiling smiley). I talked to them and they are nice guys, maybe they can help you!
Maybe you better move this topic to metalbot.org forum, there are a lot of peoples that share similar ideas, i think you can get more help there.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 24, 2014 08:24AM
Hello Mecanicu,

The focal spot is 0.4mm at the moment, but the reason the prints are such low resolution is because the warping issue we mentioned already. The warping causes the material to move off from its target position decreasing the effective lateral resolution of the system. Because of the warping, we also have to set the layer size to around 0.5 mm so that there is enough clearance for the recoating pass, which is very low resolution in the Z-axis. The guys at Sintrac are indeed good guys (and smart). We do not feel like we're in competition with them because we are aimed at a slightly different market. We truly admire what they accomplished and would be happy to contribute to their continued success in any way should they ever approach us. I just took a closer look at their indigogo compaign and I can see they actually employ a surface heater already. I am positive that's what they would suggest I do and it's already in progress. With regards to moving this thread to another forum, I think once the reprap community returns from the holiday season we'll see more of a response. I think the only thing that would be off-putting to the community is that we will be commercializing this product. If it means anything, we intend to contribute our findings to the opensource community as time goes on. Thanks again for your feedback and good luck on your project.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2014 08:57AM by Joshua Dickerson.
TTN
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 31, 2014 03:06PM
Quote
Joshua Dickerson
If it means anything, we intend to contribute our findings to the opensource community as time goes on. Thanks again for your feedback and good luck on your project.
That would be great. It would be fantastic to have a opensource SLS machine, or information on sintering, the little tricks what works and what doesn't and such. Right now I think it's a matter of getting more research and development published, documented and tested before more members venture into this area. It's a high bar atm, as it seems there's no one who yet has SLS machine that makes good nylon parts.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
January 04, 2015 10:21AM
Suggestion: Get a fuser unit from an old laser printer, affix it to the leading edge of the powder wiper, and run the fuser unit as you do the powder wipe.

If you get the fuser temp correct, that should 'relax' the rasterized nylon enough so that the edjest curl down before the powder is applied.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
January 06, 2015 09:31AM
Quote
TTN
That would be great. It would be fantastic to have a opensource SLS machine, or information on sintering, the little tricks what works and what doesn't and such. Right now I think it's a matter of getting more research and development published, documented and tested before more members venture into this area. It's a high bar atm, as it seems there's no one who yet has SLS machine that makes good nylon parts.

OK, so the quick path of success to the budding amateur might be as follows:
1. Use a simple heated build bed PCB you can obtain practically anywhere now (like eBay) on your SLM 3D prototype. It's easier than making a heated chamber or making a surface heater. You'll have to come up with a way to level this without the screws protruding in any way so that the recoater arm doesn't snag it on the first layer. We adhered the PCB to a 1/4" thick aluminum plate and of course the set screws were adjusted until they were recessed out of the way. Apply blue, easy release, non-marking type painter's tape to the bed's surface. We tried Kapton, but didn't have much success getting the first layer to adhere. The painters tape does tend to burn and smoke.
2. Modify your printer's firmware to allow for multiple rastering passes of the same layer. This is essential to combat warping and also to get more dense parts. Try starting with 4 passes for each layer.
3. Choose an object than can be built completely without supports.
4. Try starting out with a layer thickness of 0.5 mm. Have your 3D slicing software add a support/adhesion raft. Go extra slow on this layer and the first layer of the actual print. For PA650, run the bed at least 120C. Try 25 mm/s for raft raster velocity, 100 mm/s for normal layers. We run the raft layer with the laser power a little hot (to where you can just start to notice nylon vaporizing and leaving a small smoke trail.) This seems essential for proper adhesion. After the raft and first object layer is down, we manually dial down the laser power back to normal.
5. Align and level the build bed to where the recoater is just barely touching the surface of the heated PCB.
6. Add some code to your resulting gcode file that applies a 2-5 minute delay to allow each new layer of power to come to equilibrium temp after the recoater makes its first pass.
7. Add code to turn off the heated bed after the first 3 layers or so. Nylon is such a good insulator that we haven't seen much difference after a few layers anyway. Of course once the heater is off you do not have to add delay code for the layer to get up to temp.
8. Upload the gcode file, start the print and see how it goes.

Of course we're assuming people have overcome the basic firmware/hardware design challenges facing all SLM 3D printers, like proper kinematics (so that the scan speed is consistent) and precise power regulation on the laser, etc. Also the procedure we mentioned won't apply once we have a proper surface heater up and running. At that point, there shouldn't be any special choice in the object or procedure to follow or any kind of manual intervention. My wife and I came up with the surface heater idea after a brainstorming session 6 months ago on how to heat the powder to combat warping, but be able to reuse the unmelted powder as many times as possible. It was really validating to see Sintratec pull off that technique. The whole development process has been fairly punishing; the majority of our ideas that were conceptually that simple proved unworkable.

Quote
Ezrec
Suggestion: Get a fuser unit from an old laser printer, affix it to the leading edge of the powder wiper, and run the fuser unit as you do the powder wipe.

If you get the fuser temp correct, that should 'relax' the rasterized nylon enough so that the edjest curl down before the powder is applied.

That's a really cool idea! Unfortunately our engineering skills are a little to clumbsy to pull that off at the moment. We really do like it though! The good news is that we're pretty close to trying the surface heater we just made. See attached.

Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2015 10:08AM by Joshua Dickerson.
Attachments:
open | download - IMG_6540.JPG (77.2 KB)
open | download - IMG_6541.JPG (90.8 KB)
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
April 04, 2015 02:10AM
Nice project! I'd love to build my own SLS printer.

About the melting vs sintering and print quality, isn't sintering better to avoid "globs" of molten droplets? I've read about this here.

Does the print need to adhere to the print bed or can they just start in the middle of the powder? I'm asking because I would think that not having to worry about use blue tape or print surface adherence etc would be awesome.

One of the must have features a powder printer would have to have is a "cleanup mode". So after you pulled out your printed object the powder is moved back to the feeder from the build platform smiling smiley

Good luck with your project!
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
April 06, 2015 07:09PM
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Dejay
Nice project! I'd love to build my own SLS printer.

Thank you! Anyone with a bit of tenacity can make one.


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Dejay
About the melting vs sintering and print quality, isn't sintering better to avoid "globs" of molten droplets? I've read about this here.

So far we haven't been able to notice a difference, but we also are just barely getting the surface heater unit up and running. We were delayed by applying to a bunch of startup accelerators. When we start seeing the results from the upgrade, we'll followup with you and let you know.

Quote
Dejay
Does the print need to adhere to the print bed or can they just start in the middle of the powder? I'm asking because I would think that not having to worry about use blue tape or print surface adherence etc would be awesome.

Up until now, the print needed to adhere to the bed to control warping. With the surface heater unit, there shouldn't be a need to adhere the print at all.

Quote
Dejay
One of the must have features a powder printer would have to have is a "cleanup mode". So after you pulled out your printed object the powder is moved back to the feeder from the build platform smiling smiley

That's a brilliant idea and we've definitely plan to feature that in our system.

Quote
Dejay
Good luck with your project!

Thank you! And thanks for your kind response. Let us know if we can be of any help in one of your projects!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2015 07:10PM by Joshua Dickerson.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
April 06, 2015 09:38PM
Quote
Joshua Dickerson
So far we haven't been able to notice a difference, but we also are just barely getting the surface heater unit up and running. We were delayed by applying to a bunch of startup accelerators. When we start seeing the results from the upgrade, we'll followup with you and let you know.

Ah the damn paperwork winking smiley

I'd bet controlling the surface temperature precisely and tuning the laser power so that you don't melt but just sinter without globs is the key to precise prints. The best results by far the in a low cost SLS printer I've seen is from the sintratec printer. They seem to use a 500W surface heater that you can see reacting very quickly to keep the surface just at the right temperature. They also only use 2.3W 445nm laser diode (only dark powder of course). But I'm just curious about this and don't have any experience with lasers.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
May 13, 2015 10:59AM
Quote
Dejay
Quote
Joshua Dickerson
So far we haven't been able to notice a difference, but we also are just barely getting the surface heater unit up and running. We were delayed by applying to a bunch of startup accelerators. When we start seeing the results from the upgrade, we'll followup with you and let you know.

Ah the damn paperwork winking smiley

I'd bet controlling the surface temperature precisely and tuning the laser power so that you don't melt but just sinter without globs is the key to precise prints. The best results by far the in a low cost SLS printer I've seen is from the sintratec printer. They seem to use a 500W surface heater that you can see reacting very quickly to keep the surface just at the right temperature. They also only use 2.3W 445nm laser diode (only dark powder of course). But I'm just curious about this and don't have any experience with lasers.


Sorry again for the delayed response. We got our 1500W surface heater working, but we were rejected by every single startup accelerator we applied to (which is nearly all of them.) Gotta figure out what our smell is.

Yes, you're right. We incorporated all those factors into the printer's kinematics equations which takes the physics of the process into account, so that it all happens automatically. We just plug in the DSC constants, among other things we get from the PA650 datasheet and it just works. Sintratec's pulled off our initial approach, which was to use a visible laser diode on dyed nylon powder (nylon doesn't absorb much in the visible region otherwise.) We quickly decided that we didn't want to limit ourselves to just colors that would absorb the laser's wavelength, so we decided to use a CO2 laser. It's proven to be an order of magnitude harder than we ever imagined.

We also got our printer to support both selective laser sintering and selective laser melting. It appears SLS makes the characteristic airy white prints people are used to from shapeways. We're not getting globs of any kind in selective laser melting mode, but we noticed that the layered structure is more apparent because the contrast between the white powder and the off-white fully melted nylon. The selective laser melting prints are also many times stronger than our SLS prints. By strong we mean we really tried hard to delaminate and break our prints and they all survived. I was even able to stand on top of one of our gyroid prints with one foot. We're doing experiments to see if we can combine the best of SLS and SLM into a single print, but we're not sure if someone's already patented the process.

Here is a picture of our most recent print, fresh out of the powder.
www.flickr.com/photos/131015202@N02/17088141907

This picture shows a comparison of a typical print before the surface heater (on the left) and the print we got with the surface heater (on the right of course).
www.flickr.com/photos/131015202@N02/17088141937
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
May 13, 2015 11:23AM
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Joshua Dickerson
we were rejected by every single startup accelerator we applied to (which is nearly all of them.)

Sorry to hear! Convincing people you are an entrepreneur when you're really more of a tinkerer is always a tough sell. Been there myself. You have to pretend and masquerade with the right kind of costume... e.g. business suit and lingo... Plus they always want to see patents lol.

Maybe you could try a kickstarter / indiegogo. The business presentation and due diligence that you can actually pull of the production is just as important there as well but if your product is good and people want it they don't care about smell winking smiley Making your project open source might help with adding confidence in the project. And also help getting more people involved.

Better quality videos (video quality and audio and storytelling) would definitely help too.

Quote
Joshua Dickerson
Yes, you're right. We incorporated all those factors into the printer's kinematics equations which takes the physics of the process into account, so that it all happens automatically. We just plug in the DSC constants, among other things we get from the PA650 datasheet and it just works. Sintratec's pulled off our initial approach, which was to use a visible laser diode on dyed nylon powder (nylon doesn't absorb much in the visible region otherwise.) We quickly decided that we didn't want to limit ourselves to just colors that would absorb the laser's wavelength, so we decided to use a CO2 laser. It's proven to be an order of magnitude harder than we ever imagined.

For me the color option isn't really that big of a deal, you can always spray paint stuff if you want (and need to for the perfect finish (see a guide) anyway). For me price and low maintenance is much more important. If you could make it more affordable for home use that would be much more worth to me than the color. Maybe you can later upgrade to a new kind of IR diode that allows for more colors etc. Of course some say that powder based 3D printing will never be good for home use and I am a hobbyist so might not be your desired target audience.

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Joshua Dickerson
We also got our printer to support both selective laser sintering and selective laser melting. It appears SLS makes the characteristic airy white prints people are used to from shapeways. We're not getting globs of any kind in selective laser melting mode, but we noticed that the layered structure is more apparent because the contrast between the white powder and the off-white fully melted nylon. The selective laser melting prints are also many times stronger than our SLS prints. By strong we mean we really tried hard to delaminate and break our prints and they all survived. I was even able to stand on top of one of our gyroid prints with one foot. We're doing experiments to see if we can combine the best of SLS and SLM into a single print, but we're not sure if someone's already patented the process.

Interesting. I guess the first solution that comes to mind would be to change the intensity / speed of the laser for the outside surfaces and the inside / infill. "Can't we have both?" smiling smiley

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Joshua Dickerson
Here is a picture of our most recent print, fresh out of the powder.
[www.flickr.com]

This picture shows a comparison of a typical print before the surface heater (on the left) and the print we got with the surface heater (on the right of course).
[www.flickr.com]

Links fixed. The accuracy still seems to be somewhat lacking? Does the gantry have limited repeatability or is this dependent on the heat? Or maybe the powder spreader? I have no experience with SLS I'm just curious smiling smiley

I wish you all the best luck with your project!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2015 11:26AM by Dejay.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
May 13, 2015 03:07PM
Quote
Dejay

Sorry to hear! Convincing people you are an entrepreneur when you're really more of a tinkerer is always a tough sell. Been there myself. You have to pretend and masquerade with the right kind of costume... e.g. business suit and lingo... Plus they always want to see patents lol.

Maybe you could try a kickstarter / indiegogo. The business presentation and due diligence that you can actually pull of the production is just as important there as well but if your product is good and people want it they don't care about smell winking smiley Making your project open source might help with adding confidence in the project. And also help getting more people involved.

Better quality videos (video quality and audio and storytelling) would definitely help too.

Fortunately for us, we are indeed perceived as entrepreneurs by the majority of people we deal with. I think investors want to see a third cofounder, someone who's not an engineer. For most investors, three people seems like a more complete team and having a non-engineer makes the skill set more diverse. We are also out of the primary area of our investor, which is SAAS. The comparatively slower design iteration and higher capital needed of a hardware startup is a source of constant friction.

We would like to go the Kickstarter route as soon as possible, but it seems the environment has changed dramatically. We feel confronted with a massive chicken-egg kind of problem. 3D printer backers on Kickstarter now expect a fully polished, turn-key manufactured product. The community is also feeling pretty burned by campaigns who are not entirely upfront with the delays in order fulfillment. We're looking for manufacturers that will take equity instead of an up-front fee (mid six figures) but we haven't found any takers. Most want to see pre-sales of some kind, but we're not comfortable selling a product that isn't ready to be manufactured once the campaign is closed because of the massive delays it would cause. It almost seems like the only value Kickstarter would have now is to serve as our initial marketing. We're still puzzling over this and I suspect we'll come to an answer once our massive product development effort is complete. We're not aiming for a perfect product, but we do want something functionally robust that will leave the customer with the feeling they got a good value. We're nearly there.

We're constantly kicking around the open source idea. I agree on the points you mentioned, we just need to figure out the exact way to pull that off. We would definitely welcome the community's involvement and vise-versa.

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Dejay

For me the color option isn't really that big of a deal, you can always spray paint stuff if you want (and need to for the perfect finish (see a guide) anyway). For me price and low maintenance is much more important. If you could make it more affordable for home use that would be much more worth to me than the color. Maybe you can later upgrade to a new kind of IR diode that allows for more colors etc. Of course some say that powder based 3D printing will never be good for home use and I am a hobbyist so might not be your desired target audience.

Actually we anticipate a lot of hobbyists will want our printer-we're just having a difficult time keeping the final cost under $4K. It's starting to look more like nearly $5K. Unfortunately, nylon appears to be nearly transparent in all the wavelengths available by semiconductor diode lasers (even the IR ones). We also went the CO2 route because we found a way to do full colored prints. By full color, we mean each individual voxel of an object can be a different color. So you could make a Mario figurine for instance without having to paint on his eyes or mustache, or anything else for that matter. It will be our subsequent product release if we even make it to market with this one.

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Dejay
Interesting. I guess the first solution that comes to mind would be to change the intensity / speed of the laser for the outside surfaces and the inside / infill. "Can't we have both?" smiling smiley

Yeah that would be our first approach, too. We just have to make sure we're not accidentally infringing on patents lurking somewhere. The guys at Formlabs got hit with that kind of problem.

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Dejay

Links fixed. The accuracy still seems to be somewhat lacking? Does the gantry have limited repeatability or is this dependent on the heat? Or maybe the powder spreader? I have no experience with SLS I'm just curious smiling smiley

I wish you all the best luck with your project!

Thanks! Great eye! There are a few things you're seeing. One is the fact that we made the new print in medium/low resolution so that it would be a fair comparison to the baseline object we printed without the surface heater. Another is long term drift of the scanner galvos, which is a problem with the type of feedback sensor they use. Another is the fact that we had to enlarge the mirrors to accommodate the needs of the scanner topology we're using and the driver boards that were shipped with them weren't designed for that. If we tune the galvo amps aggressively enough to improve repeatability, it oscillates on the next power up destroying the mirror/galvo -so we have to detune the control loops a bit. All of these compound to reduce accuracy and precision. The most obvious solution is to use a high-inertia galvo amp board, which we'll be incorporating soon. We have a few ideas for combating long term drift too, so we'll let you know how that pans out over the next 3 weeks.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
May 13, 2015 03:39PM
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Joshua Dickerson
Actually we anticipate a lot of hobbyists will want our printer-we're just having a difficult time keeping the final cost under $4K. It's starting to look more like nearly $5K. Unfortunately, nylon appears to be nearly transparent in all the wavelengths available by semiconductor diode lasers (even the IR ones). We also went the CO2 route because we found a way to do full colored prints. By full color, we mean each individual voxel of an object can be a different color. So you could make a Mario figurine for instance without having to paint on his eyes or mustache, or anything else for that matter. It will be our subsequent product release if we even make it to market with this one.

That's awesome and would be a big thing! I guess simply adding a standard print head might work like the 3DP (http://ytec3d.com/plan-b/) is aiming at. And then sinter it. This would be an advantage of a XY gantry to move the laser instead of galvos, because you can use the same gantry to move a print head. I hope 3DP makes some advances hacking a print head!

Hmm. Maybe there is a color additive you could add that is white in visible spectrum, but opaque in near IR? There must be something like that! Then you could use a cheaper IR diode.

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Joshua Dickerson
Thanks! Great eye! There are a few things you're seeing. One is the fact that we made the new print in medium/low resolution so that it would be a fair comparison to the baseline object we printed without the surface heater. Another is long term drift of the scanner galvos, which is a problem with the type of feedback sensor they use. Another is the fact that we had to enlarge the mirrors to accommodate the needs of the scanner topology we're using and the driver boards that were shipped with them weren't designed for that. If we tune the galvo amps aggressively enough to improve repeatability, it oscillates on the next power up destroying the mirror/galvo -so we have to detune the control loops a bit. All of these compound to reduce accuracy and precision. The most obvious solution is to use a high-inertia galvo amp board, which we'll be incorporating soon. We have a few ideas for combating long term drift too, so we'll let you know how that pans out over the next 3 weeks.

Hehe you could also just have said that it's part of the model winking smiley

This sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing some insight.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
May 13, 2015 09:53PM
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Dejay


Hehe you could also just have said that it's part of the model winking smiley

This sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing some insight.

Whoops! Sorry if I got carried away there. I figured you really did spot some of the high frequency artifacts we've been struggling with lately.


I thought you might want to see what the low resolution SLS prints look like, so I took some pictures.
SLS_experiment1
SLS_experiment2
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
July 13, 2015 10:22AM
Hey everyone,

We're completely out of money and options at this point, please support our Indiegogo campaign in any way you can. It feels like a dream is dying. We don't want to give up on this- this is our SOS!

[igg.me]

Even if you can't contribute, please share our link with anyone you can. If we can't pull this off, part of our campaign is to post all material we have on our working prototype to date and opensourcing the project.

Thanks everyone!

Best Regards,
Joshua Dickerson
CTO/COO
Dickerson Engineering Innovations, LLC.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2015 10:22AM by Joshua Dickerson.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
August 09, 2015 07:53AM
So, from your IndieGoGo update, it seems that you now have a commercial backer - congratulations!
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
August 09, 2015 12:27PM
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Ezrec
So, from your IndieGoGo update, it seems that you now have a commercial backer - congratulations!

Thanks, Ezrec! Sorry I haven't updated you guys here yet.

Yeah we totally weren't expecting that. Our Indiegogo only raised around $600, but was an astounding success in that a bigger 3D printer company noticed us and offered us a partnership. We appreciated everyone's contribution but we decided it would be best to end the campaign at that point and issue a refund. To reward our backer's vision and generosity, we intend to honor the perks anyway when we catch our breath. I think we'll be in good shape now as long as we don't drop the ball on these guys. Not sure what I can reveal at the moment until we finalize all the details, but I can say that the people here on the forum would likely approve. We were approached by a few bigger 3D printer companies and we chose this company because we liked how open, direct and warm they are. Even so, it feels a bit like we stepped outside our spaceship and into space- scary but exciting.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2015 12:31PM by Joshua Dickerson.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
August 09, 2015 12:32PM
Congratulations! Really great news for SLS printing.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
August 09, 2015 05:06PM
Quote
Dejay
Congratulations! Really great news for SLS printing.

Thanks, Dejay! I agree- so far as we can tell we're being encouraged to continue our development track to an extremely low cost SLS/SLM 3D printer. They're even sharing some of their proprietary info to speed us along.
TTN
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 17, 2016 11:37PM
Hi Joshua, Do you still tinker on the machine? How have things turned out? I've loved reading about your journey so far and the attempts at making this into a startup.
Re: Feedback Wanted on Working SLS/SLM 3D Printer
December 17, 2016 11:52PM
Aww, thank you! We almost made it, but in the end it didn't work out. We dismantled the machine, but I would love to find the time one day to rebuild it and start tinkering with it again. We certainly learned a lot about business, making physical products and engineering along the way. If you have any questions about the design or need advice for your own, I would be happy to tell you all I know!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2016 11:54PM by Joshua Dickerson.
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