Moved into our new space in San Leandro – much more room to grow. Nylon prototype printer software updates to improve accuracy, speed & resolution. Metal printer waiting for laser upgrade to 130w, 100u spot – 4X energy density. Nice venting system added for both printers. 700w laser cutter for fabricating cases. New gas delivery system added for instant start metal printing – should be a game changer in metal printing.
Test on ceramic powder. White line is IR laser beam heating to 1000C.
Production unit finished assembly! Sneek peek. Knob on cartridge door is combination pull & lock. Twist 1/4 turn to unlock/lock. With snap on sides/top for easy access & maintenance.
Modified a version of Tiny-Slicer to output files for the Pearl Printer. Fast output, thanks to using the GPU for slicing.
Running some production parts tests, ziptie clips. 40 in a batch, 2 hours fab time.
Running some production parts tests. Made 12 parts in an hour.
New unique heating system for polymers, now working, after many months of development, and rebuilding of internal components. Second production unit nearing completion. Systems now running with 3 rPis, and include thermal camera vision system.
Tests on ceramic powders. Works surprisingly well, and yields glossy surface.
Running full power at 100w, testing many new materials – mold sand, borosilicate glass, stainless steel. Running many test polymer parts. All metal revised Beta printer with metal cartridges started fabrication. Generating documentation for mass production takes much more time than actual design. Many new software changes to improve speed and resolution.
Up to 50w power on the laser, and newly optimized printing algorithms running today. Set records for scan/print speeds, first hitting 750mm/s a week ago, then in rapid succession 1500 then 3000 mm/sec. World’s fastest?
Big excitement – the 100w laser is printing parts! Actually only running it at 15w, as it’s freakishly powerful. Still some hardware issues, but way cool to see it finally blasting away!
Optical issues corrected – new version works exactly as modeled in ZEMAX. New custom mirrors working well, and alignment system greatly assists in setup. The move to integrating the 100w laser into the prototype started yesterday – platform installed. Initial test software ready to go.
Found issues with optical design of 100w laser – poor spot size at target distance. ZEMAX simulation of new version, tested design concept, rebuild in progress, parts ordered. New cabinet design tested.
Completed integration of 100w laser with collimator & focusing optics. Wrote & tested interface code. Safety watchdog hardware tested that cuts out laser in 1ms if computer failure. Performing beam shape measurements at focused spot. Pulsed beam timing tests with high speed cameras to monitor laser performance with pulse control hardware. Using brick for beam dump – even at 10w, brick gets white hot!
Did first test run up of 100w laser with collimator on end of fiber. At 1/20 full power 3mm dia mark on IR test paper. At 1/10 full power the 3mm spot got red hot & vaporized target. After focusing this will be an impressive amount of power.
100w lasers (3) are here! Some of the remaining components have also arrived, waiting on mount components to finish assembly.
Implementing super quiet recirculating water cooling system – no fans.
We keep getting comments on how quiet the machine is.
Moved printer to Type A Machines – printer fired up & printing 24/7.
The 100w fiber laser is on its way. After rebuilding, tests to begin early December.
Testing new powder designed for fiber laser – very nice detail!
Connected with the BAAM Hub, Type A Machines, Mind-2-Matter, PhaseSpace. Great people, great businesses! We’re negotiating for a space next to M2M to set up mfg.
Working with metal fab to produce cartridges.
The prototype Pearl Model A printer is functioning with a low power test laser, and without the removable cartridges. We are running material tests on a variety of materials, currently nylon 12 with carbon fiber.
The Model A version with cartridges has been designed, and we are negotiating with laser vendors for the high power fiber lasers. Our goal is to have the Beta version with 100w laser ready by the end of November, 2014. Beta systems ready for shipment to customers by end of January, 2015.