Before we introduce the latest progress, we want to thank @Josh, @Robin, and @Ian officially for the kind help they offered to advance this project by reviewing the PCB design from their professional perspectives. Every one of them devoted time and effort to review and feedback. We are thrilled with their professionalism and grateful for their kindness. Their valuable suggestions made the design better. We never expected this kind of help from our backers. Especially when they were still busy with their own business, they sacrificed leisure time by staying up late or getting up early to review the design in detail.
With the understanding, support, and help from you, we feel “Together, we are a team!” so strongly!
Below is some of the progress.
1. Control Board
So far, plan A (in-house design) is advancing faster than plan B (outsource design).
We received the redesigned control board on 28th May. The hardware was verified. The next is to test the functionality with the printer. Except for the control board, we have several affiliated boards for controlling stepper motors and tool heads. The design of those boards was completed on 26th May and we expect to receive those boards in early June.
Regarding outsourced PCB, some minor problems were found on the hardware. The outsource team is working on it and developing the firmware of stepper motors.
2. Embedded Firmware
We developed a basic version of the printer firmware. To test the firmware as soon as possible, we bought a development board with the same chip as the control board and embedded the firmware on it. We have been testing the printer with the firmware-embedded for 1 week.
Next, we will implant the firmware into the redesigned control board to test. If it works well as the development board did, we will continue developing the firmware by adding sensor recognition and information processing.
The first beta version of LCD was completed as scheduled. After the firmware is ready, we will start joint debugging on the printer.
The first beta version of the slicer was completed as scheduled too. We’ve finished the first round of testing and fixed the bugs. Currently, we are testing the printing parameters with the slicer to optimize the recommended printing parameters. Please check the latest test result below.
5. Mechanical Hardware
A. The optimized design of the print head was completed a few days ago and we expect to receive the sample next week.
B. The metal parts we mentioned in the last update, including metal plate base, metal plate base cover, and metal plate top front door were received one week ago and tested. The plate base and the metal plate top front door passed testing. There are two overheated spots (over 50℃) on the metal plate base cover. Our plan is to add insulating materials to solve the problem and the solution is under testing currently.
6. Testing & Production
After the comprehensive analysis, the risk of certification based on the current prototypes is mainly about electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), thus we took this into consideration when we design the control board. We should be able to start applying for certification after comprehensive testing of the printer.
The NPI engineer already finished the forecasting of production and assembly cost based on the quotation of assembly factories and assembly SOP. Yes, the assembly SOP was finished as well.
These are what we achieved in the past 3 weeks. We didn’t prepare more photos/videos in this update, because the content team is busy with the User Manual, Quick Guide, and other necessary documents for you to experience IVI better. Happy weekend and see you in the next update.