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FDM + SLA – Testing 3D Printers for FIRE !!! Safety in 2021





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today we’ll be looking at a collection of machines that I currently own and explore some of the safety issues that they may have. Today we’ll be checking the machines for Thermal Runaway Protection as well tinned wires on the terminals. I’ll be evaluating not only my FDM machines, but also my SLA printers at the same time. As always the information you see represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands. Try this at your own risk.

After having watched the 3D printing Nerds video on the CR30 along with the Thomas Sanladerer’s video on thermal runaway, I felt that expanding on this topic might be of use to some of you. You see, I’ve been using quite a few FDM and SLA printers non-stop and decided to show you guys just how many of my personal machines have issues out of the box.

To start things off, I’ll be looking at 3 of my FDM as well as 3 of my SLA printers, for a total of 6 machines. These machines include the CR10 V3, Ender 3 V2, CR30, Anycubic Photon, Voxelab Polaris and the Elegoo Saturn. Unfortunately, at the time of recording this video, my two Anycubic Machines required maintenance, so I will not be including these in this video. It should also be noted that I had modded those two machines so extensively over the years that most of these issues have already been addressed.

Let's begin with the machine that started this whole inquiry, which in this case is the CR30 by Creality. For the most part this machine is very well though out, however I have had to do several adjustments after extensive use, and I’ll be covering those issues in a future video. For today however, I did check the machine for tinned wires. When I opened up the machine, I did indeed discover that most of the wires connections to the terminals were all tinned. I therefore replaced those with ferrules.

The next machine was the Ender 3 and in this case we once again have tinned wires at the terminals connections. After replacing those, I then started working on the testing the thermal runaway on this machine. All 3 tests were successful and indeed this machine did have a properly implemented thermal runaway protection. Although error messages weren’t always generated, the machine did on each occasion turn off the hot end. If you're testing out your own machine, you’ll want to keep in mind that the test for removing the connection wire to the heater cartridge does take a while to trigger, depending on the machine.

Let’s take a look at the modified CR10 V3, which does have an updated firmware, which was created with the source code that Creality had on its website. When I recently went to check for those files I did find them harder to located, however they are still available after doing some digging. Now similar to the Ender 3 and CR30 the wires were tinned at the terminals and had to be updated to included ferrules. To do this, I used a Ferrule crimping tool and automatic wires strippers, although you can just use a pair of pliers to do the same thing. Now the wiring for the hot end is a little more complicated since it uses a hub to provide power to most of the hot end components. Therefore, testing will most likely more difficult if you are attempting this at home. This machine passed all the thermal runaway tests with flying colours and had the appropriate warnings pop up on each occasion. As mentioned previously, I was using my own modified stock firmware, which can be found on my website.

Now, all these FDM printers did have mosfets to help cool the motherboard, which is a very important feature to have. Since so much power is being drawn to the hot end and the build plate, having those will help cool those connections and keep them from burning out. On my I3 Mega and Mega S these were not present, and I had to add them to it separately. The Creality machines all have these built into the motherboard and so long as they’ve been properly installed, they will keep cooling the motherboard and prevent the wires from overheating. You can see that on my Anycubic, although the connection did overheat, the damaged was contained to the mosfet. In this case the damage was caused because of the tinned wires which were still present at the time.

The SLA printers were all pretty surprising in themselves, with the Elegoo Saturn being the most complicated. Out of all these machines, all of them had tinned wires at their terminals. Thermal runaway isn’t an issue in this regard since we aren’t dealing with a hot end or heated build plate. Out of all the machines, the most difficult one to check and repair is the Anycubic Photon, since it required the most awkward of dissembles. While the Elegoo Saturn did take time to do disassemble, all parts are fairly easily accessible, although you’ll have multiple connections which are tinned. It’s for this reason that I’ll be releasing an additional video going over this in more detail for the Elegoo Saturn. In the end, the easiest printer to access all the components was the Voxelab Polaris. Voxelab opted to create a more open design, which should make upgrades or repairs easier in the future.

So with all of this information taking into account how did all of these machines do in the end? Well, none of these 3d printers had proper ferrule terminal connections, which is disappointing to say the least and should be the very first thing a user should check upon receiving their machine. Out of the FMD printers by Creality all of them did have thermal runaway protection. The CR30 is still to be tested as we speak, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for that video when it comes out. Out of all machines, only the Anycubic Photon was extremely difficult to access the internal components and is something that I would like to see them solve in the future. By far the easiest to disassemble, was the Polaris, which clearly had a focus on repairability because of the open design. While the Ender 3 is still easy to open up, you do have to be careful when putting back on the panel. Since the CR10V3 has a separate case for the electronics, repairs are easier since you can simply remove this portion. I hope this video illustrations how important it is to check your machine when you get it, since you never know how seriously a company has taken safety into account. As someone who was once bought a device which didn’t have thermal runaway enabled, I say just how serious of an issue this could be and just how thankful I am when it’s properly implemented. In future however, I would like to see companies stop using tinned wires in their terminal connections since this does represent a significant safety issue and is definitely something I will be watching for in the future.

Grim Evolution – 2D to 3D Printed and Back – Grim Reaper Design





From 2d to 3d design, the grim reaper is transformed from a simple painting to a full 3d-printed model.  Each step represents the different stages that an artist can go through in the creation process.  Each part of the process can take several weeks to complete before they are ready for the next stage.

3D printer Hub Design – Octoprint App Alternative ????





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at Octoprint and see what it might take to produce a product which might be comparable in value while simplifying the entire process. Now, as some of you may know, I was sent the Creality Wifi box a while a go and was very disappointed in the results. And while I didn’t like the resulting product, I do believe that there’s room for something different in this space. So if you’re a company looking to do something which is similar now’s the time to take notes because I will be looking for these features when doing another review. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands.

So to start things off, let's discuss what Octoprint is and what people are actually using it for. Since Octoprint has a very creative user base, there’s actually quite a few plugins which can add additional functionality to it’s core mechanism. Its primary use is to be able to remotely control your 3d printer while providing important information on the print's progress. It’s an open source community which I’ve found extremely supportive to newcomers while continuously innovating. Being open source, everything is very transparent, from the source code to the plugins. It is important to note that Octoprint does use Linux, so getting used to using typed in commands will make the transition easier. So people obviously use Octoprint to start, monitor and stop their printers, however people also use this to create times lapses, intergrade with 3d design collections and much more.

The main question is whether a company wishes to compete or work with Octoprint itself. If they want to compete, then they’ll need to create something which is fundamentally better for mass consumption while enabling the user maximum control. Creating a walled garden isn’t the proper approach in this case. Alternatively, they could simply pre-install Octoprint on something which is similar to the Raspberry Pi, while providing resources to help new time users. Both are valid approaches, but require completely different implementations.

For the remainder of this video, I will be focusing on what would be needed to create a competitive product, since both Octoprint and competing products would benefit the most from this information. As mentioned previously, transparency and giving the customer as much control as possible is paramount. A user should always be able to view the source code of a product, since this makes creating plugins easier for developers and has the added benefits of increasing functionality with a limited amount of resources. This also allows the community to submit information regarding vulnerabilities, further simplifying how a company can address issues as they arise.

Community style plugins should definitely be an option, with verified plugins being clearly marked. G-code slicing should be done on the user’s computer, since they’ll be able to better leverage the resources that they have on that machine, in turn freeing up resources on the printing device. For certain devices, a printing Queue option should be enabled, since these machines are designed to work in a production setting. In those cases, having the option to pause once a print is completed or move onto the next print would help expand the devices' functionality.

A feature which is currently missing in the Octoprint Raspberry Pi is the ability to connect multiple printer’s simultaneously and control them within the same interface. While the Raspberry Pi does have the potential to do so, it isn’t currently a feature which is supported officially. This would make the product more targeted towards small business or printing farms and could be a more affordable option for these companies.

I would consider an offline mode to be essential to any implementation since this helps prevent security issues from arising and would also increase the user base further. Companies who are using machines in a professional setting would most likely find this to be a requirement for security reason. The ability to disable the Wi-Fi connection if it’s implemented with a physical button would also be preferred. Additionally, a secured SSH connection should be integrated by default, requiring a custom password by the user. In order to prevent future issues, I would also recommend providing the user upon purchase with a USB key that has the default installer and password information. Doing this will allow the user to return everything to its default settings should an issue arise. Proper documentation on how to connect to the devices, updating, installing plugins and making changes to the password settings will be essential to a positive user experience.

If a company decided to undertake this project, I would recommend that they work with camera manufacturers, since there are issues with compatibility within the Octoprint ecosystem. I would like to see software updates from camera companies to enable time-lapse options via connection through USB. I can confirm that Sony does have a limitation which causes a timeout after the 30-min mark, and this is often an issue for longer prints.

Now that we’ve gotten the firmware and software out of the way, let's begin discussing some hardware requirements. As mentioning previously, I would have a monitor connection available along with multiple USB ports. Two of these should be used for the keyboard and mouse for diagnostic purposes, but additional one’s for multiple printers would also be a necessity. Having the option to attach a camera and a USB stick for file transfers or firmware updates is always an asset. A unique feature would be to enable the connection of multiple printers together. So in this a case a minimum of 6 USB ports would be needed, however the manufacturer could instead implement support for a USB hub, which in turn would reduce manufacturing costs further. Let’s not forget the Wi-Fi connection if it’s implemented. This feature could be an attachment which could be added as an add-on product or have a physical switch which would turn this feature on and off. I personally prefer a physical switch on Wi-Fi connections because I’m then certain that it’s been deactivated.

So with all of this information, I do hope to see a similar product in the future. If some of these features are implemented within Octoprint or whether a company creates a custom physical device, only time will tell. My main hope with this video is to provide companies with a better understanding of what people may like to see in the future. If you have your own recommendations, I would encourage you to post a comment below so that companies can take this into consideration in the future.

CR10-V3 Unboxing Impressions



In this video I will be unboxing the CR10-V3 3D printer by Creality to see just how easy it was get up and running.  I will also give some tips and tricks on the assembly to make it easier for other's to do as well.  I purchased this video for my production process since it's a direct extruder design and is more suitable for flexible filaments.  The build format is also quite a bit larger than my existing machines which is why I found this to be a suitable addition to my prototyping studio.  I will be doing a full review of the machine in the future so please keep an eye for this.

Transcript

 Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s video I will be taking a first look at a new 3D printer which I haven’t as of yet heard much about. I am planning on making a follow up which will be the full review however today I’ll go over the assembly and first impressions that I have with the machine. I bought this machine online soon after it was available and have been taking a closer look at it’s capabilities. This video was in no way sponsored, I purchased this machine in order to fit the requirements for some of my client work and decided on this model.

  The packaging was extremely well done which was a relief given the shipping company which was used to deliver my printer. One thing that is important to note is that the support bars are hidden in a compartment in the foam so you’ll want to make sure to find those pieces otherwise you won’t benefit from the rigid frame design. If you pick up the foam pieces you’ll notice that one is heavier than the other’s and this is where the compartment is located.

  Once opened, you should have all the materials that you need to assemble this machine however at the time of this recording the BLT touch was back-order therefore I will be including this in the follow up video instead. The user manual is very well designed with a parts breakdown list and diagram in color which is always a good sign. The company has also been very good in providing instructional tutorial within their website in order to help with problem solving.

  Before you begin assembly always take all of the components and place them out so that you can make sure you have all of the required parts. This is simple but important step before you begin working on putting any machine together. Lay the frame on top after you’ve turned the couplings upwards to give yourself some more room. When attaching the main bolts for the frame, I would recommend moving the machine to the side of the table so that you can see underneath without damaging any of the components. I loosely tighten these screws until I have them all placed at which point I tighten them fully. If you over tighten then you could risk bending or stripping the threads so they should be tight enough that they won’t come lose but not so tight that you see your tool bending with the force.

  For the pull rod, you’ll first need to join two of the poles together using the provided double ended screw. You’ll want to partially turn in one portion of the component. For the second bar you’ll want to hold it with you thumb to prevent it from spinning while you attach the second pole. You’ll then attach the live bolt to either ends of the joined pole. Make sure to add the bolt onto the live bolt since this will help lock the bar into place. In my initial assembly I overlooked this portion and had to fix this latter on. Make sure to use the Wrench to tighten the bolt afterwards. Take one of the screws and place this through the live bolt hole while placing the washer on the other opposing side. Screw this first into the bottom hole. In my case this hole was covered with plastic caps to help protect them so you’ll need to remove these before completing the assembly.

  Next I pre-threaded the L connector for the top of the frame making sure to keep these a lose as possible. These turn around in the grove to lock themselves into place if put in correctly. Double check to make sure that they’re turned the right way after you’ve put these into place. I then attached the Live bolt into the frame in the same manner as the bottom of the rod.

  Z end stop goes on the side where the two screw holes are and with the switch facing upwards. The company also provide a replacement switch in case it’s needed in the future so make sure that you store this in a safe location.

  I made sure to change the correct input voltage to my areas requirements which for me is 115.

  The next part was to attach the filament run out detector. This portion has an arrow so that you know the proper orientation for this part. I mounted it with the arrow facing to the front so that the light is visible when turned on. As the for the filament spool, I mounted it differently from what was shown in the diagram. From personal experience I’ve had some spool which could get caught on edges so choose the smoother side as the contact area. The filament run out sensor seems to have quite a bit of friction and may cause issues during printing. I made sure to mount it as close as possible while still having enough room for a full sized spool of filament. If this is your first printer and you don’t have a full spool keep in mind you will need to adjust this latter since the provided one is extremely small in comparison.

  With the basic assembly completed, I then connected the power cable and build plate connector to the power box. Following the labeling of the cables, I connected the two Z axis connector and the Z stop sensor. Afterwards I proceed to connect the Y axis motor, XE Transfer Interface, YZ Transfer Interface, filament run out sensor, Extruder Motor and the cable guide by following the instructions and labels provided. When I received my shipment the cable guide was attached to the frame however this came off during the unboxing so make sure to check carefully to ensure that it’s installed before finishing. Also it’s very important to give the cable enough slack in order to move completely to the back to prevent any undo strain. This guide is important in preventing the premature wear of the cables which is a common issue with printers.

  With the machine put together I it was now time to print the model that was provided with the printer. It’s always a good idea to print the test model before doing anything else since this can help diagnose issues more quickly. In my case the print came out almost flawless however because of the choice of filament it was difficult to see the imperfections along the surface. Once this print was completed, I then swapped out the nozzle to check how it printed with a larger nozzle size. I must point out that changing the nozzle is somewhat awkward if you don’t know how to do it properly. This is something which I will discuss in the full review of the machine afterwards. With the nozzle changed out, I then began tweaking my settings until I had something which worked fairly well. I’ll be doing quite a bit more tweaks before I finish this piece off but for now this is how the print came out.