The preparation of trial production is still on track. Here is recent progress to share with you.
Ⅰ. Control Board
We mentioned the chip problem of the CNC board in the last update, and it was solved by replacing the chip. The solution has been verified.
There was a small problem on the mainboard, that was the printer will power off automatically when upgrading the mainboard (Yes, the upgradability of mainboard is achieved.). To solve the problem, we added an MCU on the mainboard, and this caused a slight change in the mainboard design.
To prepare the trial production, we ordered raw materials for the control boards for the trial production. 6 pieces of board were made firstly for the final verification of the mainboard, and the verification is OK. Now the rest of the mainboards and CNC motor boards are being produced in the factory and we expect to receive them by next week.
The problem is that the tool-head boards (FDM&CNC&Laser) haven’t been produced yet due to the modification of the tool-head design. We expect to finalize the tool-head design this week. And the hardware engineer plan to update the board design by next Tuesday. And then we will start production of the tool-head boards. The expected delivery time is the end of October.
Ⅱ. Embedded Firmware
Both printer firmware and the firmware for the closed-loop system are finished.
Ⅲ. LCD & Slicer
Both the development of the LCD app and IVI 3licer are finished. All the necessary functions are achieved. And the testing engineer is running the full tests of the LCD app. We plan to work out the recommended printing parameter for IVI 3licer within this month.
Ⅳ. Mechanical Hardware
Most structural materials are received as planned. In the past few weeks, engineers were busy inspecting material production in the factories to ensure the quality and schedule.
Molding parts cost a longer time than other machining parts and sheet metal parts. And we spent a certain amount of time inspecting the molding process and fixed some problems on site. We expect to receive the first piece of the molded shell by next Monday. If they can fit, 10 days needed to produce rest shells.
Inspecting molding process
Machining parts & Hiwin linear guide
The front panel, build plate & touch screen
Power supply & the cover
The major setback is that we haven’t finalized the tool-head design yet. The test result of the last FDM print head sample we received is not as good as we thought. There are over-extrusion and under-extrusion problems caused by the improper heat-sink structure. The engineer stayed in the company to optimize the print head during the national holidays in early October. Now the over-extrusion and under-extrusion problem are solved on the newest design. Since the design of the print head changed, we need to change the design of the CNC head and laser head accordingly. As mentioned, we expect to finalize the tool-head design this week. And then we will start production of tool-heads. The expected delivery time also is the end of October.
Regarding the package design, we received the sample as scheduled. But we need a printer with the newest design to verify the package design due to design change on the printer. After we received the shell materials next Monday, we plan to assemble 2 units of the printer using the newly received materials to verify the assembly and package design by next week.
Regarding software testing, we are running full tests on the LCD app, and keep using IVI 3licer in house.
Regarding the hardware testing, we were busy with printing tests to verify the different versions of the FDM print head.
Overall, we are still following the schedule of receiving all the production material within October.
The contract with the assembly factory hasn’t been confirmed yet, since we are still negotiating on the quality agreement. The cooperation is expected to be confirmed by next week.
That’s all for recent progress. Thank you for your understanding and support as always. See you in the next update.