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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.