IVI 3D Printer | Forum

Progress Update [Late Nov.]

Dear IVIers,

Sincerely sorry for the delay. The testings we conducted in the last two weeks were limited: we decided to adopt the belt from Gates company–a leader in the industry after a series of testings. We were waiting for more progress on the testing to show you, but the testing plan was postponed. So we summarized what we have done in the last two weeks, including the problems we met, the solutions we sorted out, and the achievements we made.

1. Optimization of structural parts

The testing plan was postponed due to the optimization of structural parts. We found some parts cannot meet our requirements on the performance and some parts are difficult to install in the assembly process, thus we optimized the design to reduce the difficulty of the process. The original delivery time of these newly designed parts was 22th, November. Till now, we haven’t received all of the parts, just received some of them. We started the inspection of newly arrived parts, and some of them are not qualified. We are working with the supplier to solve the problem.

After receiving the rest parts and the replacement parts, we will show you the assembled status of those parts, and make a comparison to explain why we do this change. After these parts passed testing, we will apply them on the 4 new prototypes to resume testing, including load testing, extruding testing, power supply testing, heating testing, motor testing, auto-leveling testing, PCB testing, etc.

During the last cooperation with the supplier, the delivery was punctual and qualified. What we learned from this is that we need to optimize our supply chain to be well-prepared for exceptional situations in the future. More options for suppliers will help us come up with more solutions and flexibility. Below are the parts we received so far.

2. Verification and optimization of the machine design

We received dozens of suggestions on the machine design from professionals judging from the structure, appearance, functionality and user experience. And we adopted suggestions relevant to molding and structural design after an overall assessment of efficiency and performance. Till now, the optimization of the structural and molding design is preliminarily finished, but yet to be confirmed. We need to negotiate with the molding factories thoroughly to make sure the final design meets the requirements of performance, appearance, and molding simultaneously. And then we can proceed with the molding, which is a very important sector. Considering the cost of time and money, there is no room for mistakes in the molding sector. Therefore, we have to be very cautious.

Recently, we visited and inspected over 10 molding factories to assess their scales, techniques, and services. Besides, we discussed with these factories the feasibility of our molding parts and potential problems, including shrinkage, impurity, scratch, bubble, etc. We will try our best to avoid these potential problems by choosing the supplier carefully and optimizing the design.

After the verification of structural and molding design, we plan to make a new prototype to verify. Once the molding completed successfully, we can make a big step to trial production. The following are some of the optimizations of the structural design. We will show you pictures or videos visually when ready.

A. Optimized the door design to keep the door from LCD, and strengthened the rigidity of the joint;

B. Strengthened the rigidity of the base & shell by design;

C. Optimized the design of motor to achieve higher precision, lower noise and higher stability based on the professional suggestions from the motor factory;

D. Optimized the installation method of carbon rod and Hiwin guides based on the suggestion from Hiwin official.

3. IVI Cloud Slicer

We finished the development of IVI cloud-slicer. It is still in the internal testing stage. The biggest highlight is that you can save lots of energy on the printing preparation. We intend to build an open and helpful platform to make 3D printing easier for everyone. You can find tested G-code on our platform and start cloud printing directly instead of downloading the STL file from any third-party website, slicing it and then loading it to print. Expect cloud printing, we can achieve cloud slicing. Let’s have a glance at it!

4. IVI OS

The software for the LCD on IVI was basically finished and started testing. Here are some UI pictures to share with you:

Home Page

Status: Showing the status of the printer

Files: Showing the basic information of model files

Control: Control the position of XYZ axis, the temperature and the loading of material

Explore: Showing online files, where you can find G-code to print easily

Setting: Showing the connection of the printer, software update, etc.

5. PCB Development

The first version of IVI’s main PCB is completed and tested. The bugs found during testing will be fixed in the next version before release. The design of affiliated PCBs is finished, and we will start testing soon.

Words in the end

The design & delivery of the newly designed structural parts were more time-consuming than we expected. Also, the suggestions received from professionals are beyond our expectations. These caused the postponement of the whole testing plan. You may ask how this affects the timeframe. We can answer this question after the inspection and testing of newly arrived structural parts. If they work well, we can proceed with functional testing. If they cannot meet the requirement, we might need to redesign again. We will publish the testing result as soon as possible, and the following testing plan.

We have to admit our lack of experience in such project management but we learn from the obstacles & mistakes. We are new but getting stronger day by day with your support. We sincerely hope you can stand by us as always because we will never give up no matter what difficulty we may encounter. Our whole team appreciates your continuous understanding and support deeply.

If you have any product (including IVI Cloud Slicer) suggestions, welcome to write to us: support@ivi3d.com. :heart:

Sincerely,

IVI Team

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Keep doing your best at trying to get us a great working printer. If a redesign is needed then so be it, the constant updates give us assurance that you are working hard and trying in getting the best out. We are here to back you up always.

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I have a question about the cloud service. Is it only for public access models? If I upload a model anyone can download it? Or can I upload “Private” models that I might have purchased for my own printing purposes but do not have a license to distribute? Can I have private models in the cloud printing service?

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Hi @mcenal, yes, you can have private models in cloud printing. It depends on you to share it publicly or not.

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So it seems like you guys are doing a lot of testing and running into bumps that cause you to redesign or create new parts to pass the quality tests. Can you tell us what you have tested to far that has passed and is moving on to the final build? Just so we can get a better understanding of what percent of the printer is finish and what we are still waiting on to be rebuilt. Would you say you have 25% - 50% of the final machine approved to move into the production stage based on quality inspected and tested parts?

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Will there be a alternate slicer for the times the internet is not available?
Like remote locations where there is power but no internet.
Is there a slicer that works with the printer already that is not internet based?
Thanks

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They already stated that they want to create profiles for other slicers as well for e. G. Cura. :slight_smile:

Hi @mike97478, like @Insanion mentioned, yes, we would like to develop a standalone slicer that can work without the internet in the future. The release date will be announced in the future updates, it won’t be too soon, because our focus now is the delivery of IVI 3D printer.

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Hi @aquawaldo321, thanks for your question. We are getting close to finalizing the design and will publish a new update to show you progress this week.

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Love your update on Kickstarter, that’s great that you went with a reliable company to get the parts. So far everything is looking good, keep up the great work.

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Hi @mele_g, thank you for your understanding and support. :heart:

Hi I was looking at this update again, since there weren’t any new ones.

What I noticed in the cloud slicing is that it asks for a bunch of “mandatory” information even if you would keep it private. Is that correct?
Like it asks me to fill in, design title, category and at least a description.
If I’m uploading and slicing models just for myself I do not want having to feel in all this information.
As a title just copy my feel name and let me chose to add/edit a description. Only once I want to make a file publicly available should I have to fill in a proper title, category and description.

It’s not a free 3d modeling service who you have to pay to keep files private, so it would be frustrating in my opinion if you would follow that type of model (with or without paying). The default setting should be private with people then having the option to share their models/files. To promote it you can always give them some motivation (badges/rewards/recognition/etc).

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I’m wondering even if you only want to upload private models, if you have a lot of them then wouldn’t you not want a bit of filtering available in your own models? I have over 200 ones myself and most certainly would want to be able to filter what I uploaded (privately) so I can find and print them. OTOH, I understand that those fields should be mostly optional.

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200+ files is much more than most people have and for me some tags and descriptions are not a good way to go in that case. Then I would make (on my pc) a folder with subfolders, even though that is similar to categories, it’s not the same, with subfolders I can set the exact name, the exact way I want it, I also don’t have to search through a list for what fits best (and this last part takes unnecessary time).
Tags in themselves have other problems due to how most search engines work.

For me private organization is my own task and responsibility, not something that I feel needs to be enforced through a system that is not going to work for me anyway. I get your point for filtering and searching but I think that there are better options, besides I don’t think the servers are meant for cloud storage of “your” files.
Every unnecessary click/field in an UI is an extra hurdle that shouldn’t be there.
As I mentioned, if a name is not filled in, use the filename (for example).
If you make sure that the fields can be edited later you won’t run into problems, just make them mandatory before publishing to public.

Oh I agree that the servers are not for “storage of my files” I’m guessing I’ll just upload what I’m printing at the time and then delete after I’m done. Then same for the next set and so forth, at least until the Cura slicer or other is up and running.