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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.

Elegoo Saturn Review – Is it worth the Money?





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today well be taking a look at the Elegoo Saturn, and we’ll also discuss some new issues which you might want to keep in mind when making your next purchase. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands. I purchased this machine with my own money in order to do this review.

So to start things off, what is this machine and what are the benefits. Well, this machine in particular has as 4K monochrome screen and was one of the very first at a budget friendly price. The monochrome screen allows the machine to print faster, with the added benefit of the screen lasting much longer. It was so popular for Pre-Order, that the machines sold out within the first couple of seconds and a second round was created with the same issue. Afterwards, it took nearly a year to finally find it back in stock online. This machine boasts a print size of 192x120x200 mm, however it is important to note that there’s actually a couple of different alliterations of this machine which come in slightly different sizes. Mine for instance was the V2, which actually had a slightly larger build plate than some of the more recent one’s. As an SLA printer, it uses liquid photosensitive resin to cure prints layer by layer which makes it ideally suited for detailed prints, however it does require proper ventilation and safety precautions since the resins are toxic.

When I first received my machine, the lead screw weren’t lubricated, and I would highly recommend that you add some lubricant to prevent issues along the Z axis. You’ll also want to double-check to make sure there’s no obvious particles or debris, even though this shouldn’t be an issue. Because of the larger print size, I did find it necessary to coat the FEP sheet with some PTFE lubricant. So long as you have a properly levelled the bed, this should allow the prints to come off the FEP sheet without issue.

When you first get your machine, you’ll need to level the print bed and to do this you’re first going to take out the vat and put a piece of paper on the build plate to protect it. You’ll then need to go to “Settings” + “Manual” + “Home”. Once this is set, you can then loosen the two bolts with the provided Allen Key while holding the build plate flat as you re-tighten them. You can then go “Back” one menu and choose “Set Z-=0” Which will set the Z offset for you. Go Back to “Manual” and re-home the plate and bring it up just slightly by 0.10 increments to make sure you have even distribution pressure when you move the paper. As a side note, if your print isn’t sticking, 90% percent of the time it’s that the build plate that isn’t levelled correctly. You can find issues in the first couple of layers at two key points by listening for the suction sound that’s made when the plate makes contact or lifts away.

For some reason, every so often, I ran into an issue while using the Pause print function. In certain cases the build plate would be slightly off when it returned to the print and this would cause a print failure. In my case, I believe the main issue was a possible a symptom of the LCD screen, which brings up another interesting point. If you notice artifacts in your prints and these artifacts are in the same area and get worse and worse, don’t assume that the screen is broken. You can save yourself a lot of problems and money if you first re-seeding the LCD screen. In my case I had to do this after just 3 prints, however once I did this the issue was resolved. When you reseed the screen make sure to put back the tape that’s holding it in place since this will help prevent it from coming out again. My Anycubic Photon also had a similar issue, so this does seem to be a more widespread issue that’s not always discussed.

I would like to see future alliterations have handles of some sort added to the sides of the build plate to make is easier to grab onto as well, keeping it at a more comfortable angle for removing prints. It’s more stable to hold the bed with the attachment, and this can often lead to levelling issues if you put too much pressure. I’ve since installed a flex build plate to help prevent those issues from arising, but it is something to keep in mind.

The vat has a great design feature which includes 4 bolts that can act as feet when sitting on a table or help lock into the correct position when preparing for a print. Another great feature of their vat design are the handles which they’ve placed on the sides. Both are great features that I which more companies could have, since it really does add quite a lot to the user experience. One thing I’m not so found of, is how the bolts holding the vat to the base can come out completely. I, like I’m sure many other’s, have had these bolt fall straight into the vat when my gloves were covered in resin.

As of recording this video, it’s important to note that the manufacturer which produces the motherboards for this machine and other’s has made an important update which locks the user into using Chitubox. Now you can use either the free version or the pro version and you do need to import these files and slice them into their Software for the time being. While it is possible that they may unlock this in the future or provide other companies with the format to save the files, it isn’t currently the case. Also, important to note is that certain machines are not yet supported, so make sure to find out which version you have of your machine before you make any firmware updates. Now I also found Default Lift distance way too height and that was one of the first settings I changed within the Chitubox slicing software.

The menus are very simple but effective and the screen is easy to read, which is always a great feature to have. They’ve gone ahead and added a clean features which helps expose the full print area. This makes cleaning up after a failed print a lot easier to manage, since you don’t necessarily have to remove the entire vat to clean it. Instead, you go to “Tools” + “Tank Clean” + “Next” and simply pull out and discard the exposed layer.

I have to say that I’m not found on the lid design, however I’m fairly certain that this was to keep the cost lower on the machine. I would love to see a future alliteration which has a door that opens in the front, since it takes up a lot less room currently. Here’s a couple of ideas on what that could look like, all with their own pros and cons. IF the company could have an aftermarket lid option, that would great since It would be an easy upgrade path for me as a consumer. To be clear the lid is currently perfectly functional at the moment, however in a production setting where space is at a premium, most machines would be stacked on top of each other and this does become more of an issue.

So how was the print quality and does it make a difference when printing with a 4K monochrome screen? Using some files that I purchased from Titan-Forge I printed these on two different machines. Here’s the same file printed with the following settings on both the Elegoo Saturn(7h12m44s) and the Anycubic Photon (took7h13m56s). The Anycubic Photon has a regular LCD screen and isn’t 4K. Here’s the print results with Anti-Aliasing turn on as well as Image blur. For testing purposes, I’ve also matched each of their settings for the print height as well as the Anti-Aliasing and blur. Since I don’t currently have another 4k SLA printer at my disposal, I’m not currently able to compare it to something similar.

So what is the Verdict on this machine? Well, honestly it’s a very good machine in general, and it gets a solid 8/10 from me. It produces great prints, and it comes at a very affordable price. Most of the issues that I encountered while using it were minor. Since the connection for the LCD screen will sometimes only appear after a couple of prints, it's something which can be difficult to check in quality control. It’s most likely the reason why I’ve experienced this same issue from multiple manufacturers. If you have some suggestions of your own, please leave them in the comments below. I hope you guys enjoyed this video and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you, can take care.

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 – All Metal Upgrade + CR Touch





Link to download files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4910392 (Please check the youtube video comments since most questions have already been addressed in that area)

Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be upgrading the machine to use an all metal hot end thanks to a couple of mods that I designed myself as well as installing the new CR Touch which is crealities BLTouch alternative. Full disclaimer, this is not a paid sponsorship, I was sent the CR Touch free of charge for testing purposes and the opinions that you will see here are my own. Furthermore, undertake this at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if damages may occur as a result.

Before starting to design anything, I first needed to see how the hot end was mounted to the machine. So this meant dissembling the unit and seeing which portions could be reused and which one needed to be changed. For the components that I’m building today, I did find it easier to do the test prints with PLA, so long as I monitored the temperatures. I then used my SLA printer to print with engineering materials.

I went with the E3D V6 direct kit since even with the exchange rates it came to almost the same amount as a knockoff and I knew the quality that I was getting. Another benefit was the online resources that they provided to the user. They had diagrams which included important measurements and even had the steps for modifying the firmware. So I knew I was going to have the proper thermistor settings enabled without having to do additional research.

With all of this information, I began designing the adapter for the hot end itself. Now in the stock version, the main cooling fan was attached to an outer case which made nozzle changes more difficult because of the lack of access. So I knew ahead of time that I would need to keep this area as clear as possible. What I ended up modelling was an adapter which fit into the stock gear section of the filament feed and used a Zip tie to help ensure that it remained in place. Although the zip tie wasn’t necessary, it was an additional precaution to make sure that everything held together.

While the finished part was printing on the machine, I began making the changes to the firmware. I changed the thermistor type to number 5 which was the 100k thermistor -ATC Semitec 104GT-2. With that portion changed, it was now time to set the maximum Temperatures for the hot end. Because this was a higher temperature hot end, it was important to take into account how the firmware worked. For safety reason, the firmware automatically reduces the max temperature reading by 15 degrees on the LCD screen. So to fully tighten the nozzle, we’ll first have to increase the max temperature by this amount and lower it back down. With this hot end, the maximum temperature is 285 degrees Celsius. So if you do this, you’ll want to make sure that you turn back down the maximum to 285 degrees after properly tightening the nozzle. I made a previous video showing how to do nozzle changes on this machine, which I’ll include a link in the description below.

By this point I had already decided that I would mount the cooling fan to the same screws as the CR Touch, therefore I modelled and began testing this portion together as soon as possible. With the mount for the CR Touch, there’s a little of play involved, therefore it’s important to keep this in mind when installing your part. In my first design I created only one cooling fan however the parts weren’t cooling properly in overhanging areas, so I redesigned this to a secondary output that ran onto the other side of the nozzle and although the designs don’t necessarily match they do however allow for minimal material use and a more streamlined path for the air to flow.

At this point, I began installing the finalized parts that I had 3d printed and replacing the BLTouch with the CR Touch. One thing I noticed was that in my case, I had to use trial and error to manually set the Z-Offset for the machine. To do this, I’m going to level the bed by going to “Prepare” + “Bed Levelling”. Afterwards, I went to “Prepare” + “Move Axis” and lowered the nozzle to the zero mark. Next, I went to “Control” + “Motion” + “Z-Offset” and began tweaking the value until I got a perfect first layer. Just make sure to save your settings otherwise it won’t be stored, so go back one menu after setting the Z-offset and choose “Store Settings”. This meant quite a few failed test prints, but was the best solution I found given the issues I encountered. For some reason, the nozzle would hit the bed whenever I used the proper method of calibration. The only difference was that I had compiled by own version of the firmware by using the source code which had been provided by Creality. In future, I would like to see them update this source code to reflect the changes which may have occurred as well as updating Marlin to one of it’s more recent releases. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems with the CR Touch, so I’m hoping that they’ve addressed the quality control issues which were present with the aftermarket BLTouch.

Now, to make things easier for any of you who may wish to try it out for yourselves, I’m making both the files and the firmware available for download on my ThingIverse Page. So would I say that the CR Touch and Hot End Upgrade was worth it in the end. I would say that yes, depending on how you intend to use this machine. I’m personally swapping out materials fairly constantly, so not having to worry about the bed levelling because of the temperatures changes makes the CR Touch Worth it in my case. As for the hot end upgrade, well that depends on the materials you intend to use. I do want to use some of my higher temperature materials, and I’ve been unable to utilize because of the limitations of the hot end, so once again in my case this does become relevant.

Also, for those of you who actually want to use this video as a guide, keep in mind that I will be posting the transcript on my main website to make it easier to follow along. Alternatively, please feel free to slow down the video by hitting the gear icon on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and to changing the speed settings.

If you want to support this channel, please feel free to check out some merch on my website. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.