We are deeply sorry for keeping you waiting. As time goes on, we feel stressed and apologetic more than ever. The expectations, the delays, the obstacles, the mistakes, the risks, all of these are the must-do we have to go through along this journey. Our faith won’t change, that is no matter what, our team will keep working hard on delivering IVI to backers. We won’t stop till we make it.
The first round testing of final prototypes was finished at the end of July. We will introduce the details in the Testing sector below. Let’s start from the control board to see what we’ve done in the past weeks.
Ⅰ. Control Board
Except for motor boards and tool-head boards, we had another 3 boards in our previous PCB design: the mainboard for controlling the printer, A33 control board for controlling LCD, and CAN board for controlling tool-head. To save cost and simplify assembly, we integrated the mainboard, A33 board, and CAN board into 1 PCB during the process of optimization. We contacted @Josh, @Robin, and @Ian for design review as soon as we finished the new design. Proofing was started after we got positive feedback from them. The new PCB was received two days ago. We’ve tested the power supply on the board, and the board can boot up. Now, the embedded software engineer is debugging.
Besides, we expect to receive the optimized tool-head boards by the middle of August.
Ⅱ. Embedded Firmware
After the development of the basic version of printer firmware, we are mainly working on debugging and optimize the firmware for 3D printing, laser, and CNC. The achievement includes:
Enable the closed-loop motor reacts more correctly when crashing something unexpectedly. And so the safety performance enhanced;
Improved the precision and the speed of laser engraving;
Optimized the communication protocol between the mainboard and CAN board;
Optimized the working speed of CNC to support low-speed mode;
Optimized the effect of printer calibration and PAUSE function;
Enabled the mainboard upgrade function by adding BootLoader on the mainboard.
Ⅲ. LCD & Slicer
LCD is under debugging. We plan to develop the upgrade function after debugging. Users will be able to upgrade the printer system after they received printers with the upgradability.
IVI slicer is in the optimization phase. So far, most of the prototypes were operated with IVI slicer. We’ve updated 5 editions. The engineer will keep optimizing slicer before shipping.
Ⅳ. Mechanical Hardware
We found the smoke may adhere to the focus lens and cause weaken power when using laser function. And the fan on carbon rob may cause the heated bed cannot reach the highest temperature. So we upgraded the heat-sink design of print & CNC & laser heads based on the testing result. We plan to start proofing new design by next Monday;
Regarding the metal plate base cover we mentioned in the last update, we found that plastic cover has better heat-insulating performance, thus we plan to use plastic base cover;
Debug the problems related to structural design and export part drawing for trial production;
Confirm the suppliers for molding, and discuss DFM with them. We plan to confirm all molding cooperation by the end of August.
The testing engineer finished the functional testing of 2 final prototypes. Since the printing test is time-consuming, we arranged 24 *7 testing to make sure the prototypes are always under testing. The testing result is as below:
1. 39 test items were tested on each prototype:
There are 16 FDM 3D printing function test items, including heating-up, printing precision, auto-leveling function, boundary-value, filament loading & unloading, filament longtime extruding & extracting, print head recognition, PAUSE function, printing tests, and etc.
There are 11 laser function items, including max circle cutting, stop function, PAUSE function, different modes of engraving/cutting, and etc.
There are 12 CNC function items, including max circle carving, carving precision, stop function, PAUSE function, different modes of engraving/cutting, and etc.
2. Till now, 35 bugs were exposed to the current prototypes.
28 bugs were exposed during the first round of testing, including 19 3D printing-related bugs, 3 laser function-related bugs, 4 CNC function-related bug, and 2 general bugs. Later, 7 new bugs were found after the first ground of functional testing.
3. Till now, 18 bugs were solved.
Till now, 18 bugs were solved. 5 bugs are under testing after the replacement of faulty parts. Regarding the rest 12 bugs, we are still looking for the causes.
Below are some of the tested models to share with you:
3D Printing: Layer precision, XY length
3D Printing: Auto-leveling, Z height
3D printing: Printing precision test collection
3D Printing: Printing precision
3D Printing: Before debugging V.S. After debugging
3D Printing: Assembly precision
3D Printing: Nylon(PA) & PETG & ABS
Laser: Max circle cutting, vector cutting, text cutting, text engraving
Laser: Black&white engraving, greyscale engraving, pause and resume
Laser: Greyscale engraving
Laser: Black&white engraving and greyscale engraving on fabric, black&white engraving on acrylic
CNC: Carving precision, max circle carving, vector carving
CNC: Relief carving
CNC: Relief carving on epoxy tooling board & acrylic
Currently, the testing engineer is verifying solutions on the bugs. Next, we plan to use 3 final prototypes to conduct aging tests to test the stability of the printer, including 3D printing, CNC carving, and laser engraving functions.
Reviewed and confirmed the manufacture specification of new PCB design and prepare the raw materials for the trial production;
Updated BOM list and SOP based on the design change;
Contacted assembly plants for cooperation conditions and details.
We should be able to share the revised timeline with you after we confirmed the die molding cooperation with suppliers by the end of August. Thank you again for your support. See you in the next update.