3D Industries

                                          List of Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  Who is 3D Industries?
Q2.  What printers do you sell?
Q3.  What filament can you  print with ?
Q4.  Why is your Aluhotend better?
Q5.  Why are your printers better than say other cheap imports or kits?
Q6.  Are your printers Open Source and if not why not?
Q7.  What is the nozzle size?
Q8.  Why don't you use a Bowden drive?
Q9.  Can we source our consumables from anywhere?
Q10. What support do you give?
Q11. What Warranty is provided?
Q12. Can we print in different colours?
Q13. What software do you use? 
Q14. What is your printer availability?
Q15. Do you sell a kit version of your printers?
Q16. Could I have a printer for a limited time frame for special developments?
Q17. Why is your printer so cheap?
Q18. Why is your printer so expensive?
Q19. What colour is the printer?
Q20. What if I want a different size?
Q21. What do you recommend in regard to dust control?
Q22. What power supplies do you use?
Q23. Does  the printer have a cabinet / cover?
Q24. Do you provide consumables and accessories?
Q25. What beds can be used for printing?
Q26. How do you measure and set the Z-gap?
Q27. Do you use support material?
Q28. What do you deliver with the printer?
Q29. What documentation do you provide?

 

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Q1. Who is 3D Industries?

 

Answer:  

3D Industries was formally established in 2012.
It is a family business based in Warwick, Queensland Australia.
As we are an Australian company we can provide very good local support.
We design and manufacture 3D printers accessories and components.
Our Aluhotend (a critical component) has been sold all over the world.
Our current printers are the Series 6 printers. These are scale-able, three examples of this are available Model J (standard), Model W (larger) Model P the demo version  and  bespoke versions.

 

Q2. What printers do you sell?

Answer:
Our 3D printers currently Series 6, Feature:
  • Solid construction using a  steel frame,
  • A CoreXY mechanism for the X and Y axis
  • A heavy duty Australian Certified power supply.
  • Integrated spool holder, two can be fitted one on either side. Any size spool can be used
  • 3DI unique filament cleaner
  • Electronics box with LCD controller
  • Automatic X and Y axis home sensing using induction sensors
  • Automatic Z-gap setting using the induction sensor
  • Unique adjustable extruder to permit any type of filament to be handled

The robust construction and the use of the CoreXY mechanism whereby the object being printed is not moved in the X and Y Axis but remains still, enables great accuracy and strength to be achieved.

It also enables objects to be produced without support material that other printers would need to use.
The printers are upgrade-able so there is no loss of investment as new features are introduced.
The printers are scale-able - as an example we have:

The Model J  500 mm by 500 mm by 500 mm high
The Model W 700 mm by 500 mm by 500 mm high
The model P (demo\) 390 mm by 39 mm by 390 mm high
The bespoke option - additional sized printers can be produced to requirements, for example model WT W 70 mm by 500 mm by 1000 mm high - true scale ability.

 

Q3.. What filament can you  print with?

Answer:
The Series 6 printers  can print with most filaments subject to setting of the correct parameters.

3D Industries  along with many other parties suggest the use of PLA as against ABS wherever possible. The reason for this is:

  • PLA is safer, ABS gives of noxious fumes
  • ABS required higher temperatures and different handling
  • ABS suffers from  shrinkage and practically there are size limitations of the object.
  • ABS requires more care and supervision than PLA
Because  the printers have an adjustable extruder the printers can print with any plastic filament including flexi-filament types.
     . Q4.  Why is your Aluhotend better?
      Answer:
      Basically it is a better build and combines the required materials and parts to product the Hot end that we use ourselves in our production printers that run 24 by 7, often for many months at a time. This is far greater use than a normal user.
      When a printer is sold a spare hotend is provided. Should a problem occur the entire hot end is swapped. 3DI is advised and a new spare is dispatched. the faulty unit is returned to 3DI. there is no disassembly, cleaning of nozzles required.

       

         Q5. Why are your printers better than say other cheap imports or kits?

        Answer:
        They are different.
         We have been developing our printers for a several years.  The methodology of other printers and open source development was studied, the results were considered and the areas that needed to be addressed in order to produce a very robust reliable and accurate printer were identified.
        From those aspects identified, the previous  printers were   designed. The main features why our printers do so well in performance are:
        • The use of the solid steel frame
        • The use of the CoreXY mechanism with the slowly descending bed
        • The use of accurate inductive sensors
        • The use of the 3D Industries  developed extruder with the Aluhotend
        • The use of an efficient filament cleaner
        • The use of a heavy duty power supply and our own designed very efficient 24 Volt bed heater
        • The overall build quality
        • The exhaustive testing that the printers have undergone
        • The scale-ability of the printers
        • The support we provide
        So in summary as to why are printers are better than some  others,  it is a combination of the features we provide, the deign and build the  testing and support and the output that the printer produces.

         Q6.. Are your printers Open Source and if not why not?

        Answer:
        Our printers are not open source, although we are working on a kit for build yourself scenarios, it will still not be open source.
         Customers can make a choice between Open Source and proprietary products. In the case of 3D printers Open Source normally refers to printers that can be built by the user, very often the ability to build other printers because the design details source files and so forth are made readily available.
        Proprietary printers on the other hand are generally subject to more intense initial design, development and testing under strict guidelines and control of the released product.
         3D Industries can make parts for Open source printers, we specialized in producing parts  that were better, stronger than the current items.

         Q7.  What is the nozzle size?

        Answer:
        Generally we find people use 0.5 nozzle for production work and 0.4 for other work.
        • With 0.4 nozzle we go to a layer height of 0.1 mm 0.2 mm 0.3 mm etc
        • With a 0.3 nozzle we can go to a layer height of only 0.1 mm or 2 mm.

        Experience and a great deal of testing have shown that good quality objects can be printed with 0.4 nozzle holes.   A lot of the output quality is a result not of the nozzle size but also the layer size and accuracy of the printer itself. The accuracy of the printer depends on how it is built and our design ensures that.

        Other aspects to take into consideration are:

        • The fact that with the smaller 0.3 nozzle hole the greater the chance of contaminants in the plastic causing a blockage that stops the object build.
        • The smaller 0.3 nozzle hole also means a layer height of 0.2 or less and a resulting much longer time to print.

         Q8.  Why don't you use a Bowden drive?

        Answer:
        Actually we sell Bowden drive versions of our Aluhotends.

        However currently we sell the Series 6 printers with the direct drive at the moment because this is more reliable.
        Our printers are subject  to continuous testing and results have shown so far that the direct drive mechanism has a very high reliability and experiences virtually no filament transport problems, while the Bowden drive does not yet have the same performance as the Direct drive. We are however working on this.

         Q9. Can we source our consumables from anywhere?

        Answer:
        Yes.

          However we caution against using anything but the quality filament. The reason for this is that  filament from some sources (not necessarily just the cheapest sources)  can contain impurities within the filament and can also have issues such as cut filament and filament that varies in thickness past the published tolerances. 

          The nozzle that extrudes the plastic when building an object is typically 0.3 to 0.4 mm in diameter. As can be  appreciated even small contaminants in the plastic especially greater than the diameter of the nozzle hole, when it is melted can block the hole in the nozzle and prevent plastic being extruded .  In these situations building of the object stops and there is a waste of time, of the plastic already used and probably of the remaining plastic that could cause problems  with the next printed objects.  If this is because plastic filament was bought by price then in reality the cost of the cheaper filament may be greater than using quality filament.

          3D Industries can supply filament or indicate other sources that we know provide quality filament.

           Q10.  What support do you give?

           Answer:
          Support starts from the Sale.

          When a sale is confirmed documentation is sent to the customer even before the Printer is delivered.

          If possible the printer is delivered by 3D Industries and a day can be spent with the customer  training the staff on site for the operation and maintenance.

          If the printer is sent by courier we have excellent documentation and a phone link that can be used.

          Spares are provided with essential tools with the printer. The critical item is the hot end which can fail due to factors beyond our control (dust or impurities). A spare hot end is  provided that the user can change.

          For several printers operating continuously and also in start-stop mode of periods of several months, no other component failure as been encountered.

          However should a failure occur, then within the 3D Industries delivery area we have on-site attendance to resolve the problem.

          Outside of this area, depending on the model the printer can be or a replacement printer sent and the faulty unit sent back, or a user return to base option.

          Q11. What Warranty is provided?

          Answer:
          24 months from date of delivery.
          Within the main service area warranty type Is on site, otherwise it is return to base unless this is within our service partners’ area. (We are in discussion with parties who can provide on site support). Most items can be changed by the user as they are connected via plugs. This includes:

          • Hotend
          • All fans
          • Power supply
          • Electronics

           

          Q12.  Can we print in different colours?

           Answer:
          Yes but one at a time.

            For the next series of printers it is planned  for it to  be possible to print more than one colour at the same time.
             
            Q13.  What software do you use?

            Answer:
            We need to put this into context. The software used by the printer is the firmware in the Rumba electronics board. that (controlled by the LCD controller) reads the gcode files representing the object to be printed and according to those selected files, prints the object.

              We do not recommend or promote any design software.

              We do recommend the use of the Slic3r utility software to convert the design files to the gcode format for printing. The Slic3r is open source and free of charge. 3D Industries advises and recommends the versions that it has exhaustively checked, but users are free to use any other software.

               Q14. What is your printer availability?

              Answer:
               We can have printers available for delivery sometimes immediately but certainly within three weeks. This depends on the model purchased, the current stock situation and so forth.

              Printers are all checked  thoroughly before delivery. This includes printing of the calibration objects and various samples designed  to check the accuracy of the printer and quality of the output.
               
              Q15. Do you sell a kit version of your printers?

                Answer:
                Currently No. We are considering this and in discussion with parties in other countries.

                  This does not indicate an open source product, the parts in the kit to build the printer, will be provided by 3D Industries

                  Q16.  Could I have a printer for a limited time frame for special developments?
                   
                  Answer:
                  It depends. Contact us to discuss.

                  We can offer a rental, the cost would depend on the location and length of time, but would include delivery, return shipping, Insurance and so forth.
                  We need to quote for each requirement, but as a general rule the charges would be $200 per month plus the delivery, return and insurance costs with a minimum 3 months period.

                   

                  Q17. Why is your printer so cheap?

                   Answer:
                  It does not matter what the printer is sold as. Some people will say it is too expensive and others will consider it cheap.

                  We believe that our printer is superior in terms of functions and performance that other printers at around the same price and / or costing more. It therefore offers better value and together with the fact that we are a local company with local support.  We are not competing with Open Source printers where people can buy their own parts and build their own printers.  That scenario is interesting and often appeals to people more and on a lower budget or with a special interest in self building.

                   

                  Q18. Why is your printer so expensive?
                    Answer: 
                    It does not matter what the printer is sold as. Some people will say it is too expensive and others will consider it cheap.

                      We do not believe it is expensive.  The printer is built solidly and is reliable . It produces output and performance  commonly associated with more expensive printers.

                       

                       Q19.  What colour is the printer?

                        Answer:
                        Standard frame colour is black.

                        Other colours could be considered but there could be a delay as the frames are powder coated not painted and a position in the queue for processing has to be secured.

                         

                        Q20.  What if I want a different size?
                          Answer:
                          The design is scale-able but within limits.

                            From the model J size we have shown the scaleability to smaller sizes footprints with the same vertical height and extended sizes (model W)
                            Special requirements may mean the  need to increase the height length or depth.

                            Let us know your requirements and we can advise.

                             

                            Q21.  What do you recommend in regard to dust control ?
                              Answer:
                              Dust is the enemy of 3D printing as it is for all machines. Various aspects to consider:
                                • Filament quality. Dust should be prevented from getting on the outside and or cleaning the outside of the filament.
                                • Quality filament recommended by users should be used to avoid contaminants on and in the filament itself.
                                • Unused filament storage conditions - keep wrapped in original plastic in a cool dry place
                                • Used filament storage conditions keep wrapped in plastic and keep in a cool dry space
                                • Use of an efficient filament cleaner as is fitted to all 3D Industries printers. 3DI is developing several filament handling options with Philips in the Netherlands.
                                • Compete printer protection - when not in use and in particularly in a dusty environment a cover should be used.. 3D Industries sell 3D printer covers in sizes for the Series 5 (Wombat Joey ad Possum) and the Series 6 Model W and Model J on the web site.

                                 

                                Q22.  What power supplies do you use.?
                                  Answer;
                                  The power supplies we use (low voltage,  solid state, automatic cut out, isolated from the grid supply) is ideal for use and has proved extremely reliable with demonstrated ability to run continuously for months on end.

                                    The second power supply is included where there is a bigger bed and / or higher temperatures required to enable operating temperatures to be quickly reached and maintained to avoid waiting and so forth

                                     Q23.  Does  the printer have a cabinet / Cover

                                      Answer; 
                                      Firstly the printer does not need a cabinet to provide the structure, rigidity and accuracy; the solid steel frame does that very well.
                                        Experience has shown that used in a closed room environment even with air conditioning or fans, printing is working well

                                        The frame construction allows access to the printer parts.

                                        Going forward however a cabinet ( a true cabinet - not a structure replacing the frame)  is under investigation. The printer frame as it is now will be the internal engine that can slide out for maintenance and the space below can be used for storage of tools and spares and consumables. There can be several reasons for cabinets or enclosures

                                        • Access limitation - Security
                                        • Safety (some hot and moving parts) and (small children)
                                        • Environment control
                                        • Emissions control

                                         

                                         

                                        Q24. Do you provide consumables and accessories?

                                        Answer: 
                                        From our website can be purchased;
                                        • Plastic filament
                                        • Glass
                                        • Dust cover

                                         There will be other consumables and accessories appearing soon.

                                         Q25. What beds can be used for printing?

                                        Answer:
                                        The heated bed is aluminum with the 3DI 24 vol high efficient bed and thermstor bonded to it.

                                        We recommend 4 mm glass (certified flat float glass) with:

                                        • Hair spay adhesive for PLA and flexi  filament.
                                        • Flash forge tape for ABS and PLA


                                         

                                        Q26.  How do you measure and set the Z-gap?
                                          Answer:
                                          Among the 3D printers available there are different ways used to set the Z gap, this aspect should be considered side by side with the bed leveling.


                                          To get the best accuracy in the object build the bed must be level. Any system that compromises the level by adjusting the vertical position during the printing, is just that - a compromise.

                                          In the 3D Industries printers the bed level is easily set by adjusting the three screws holding the aluminum base. This is initially done by checking the clearance manually moving the carriage across the build footprint. Bed leveling is not expected to be required  once this has been set up.

                                          We use an inductive sensing to detect the bed position. Fine adjustment of this is made by the knob provided.

                                          After setting the level end the Z-gap a calibration object (provided) is printed . This shows if the bed is not absolutely level and if (and where) any adjustment is made.

                                          The bed leveling and Z-gap adjustment is performed before printer delivery and calibration and other objects printed to test the printer.  Adjustments are not expected to be required following delivery however the use of different material could indicate a change in the gap is required and this involves just the turning of a knob.

                                           

                                          Q27. Do you use support material?

                                          Answer:
                                          The printer itself does not dictate whether support material is used directly. This is normally dependent on the settings used in the generation of the gcode file that the printer is driven by. (For example Slic3r).

                                          Support material is generally used where the higher print levels cover more area that the preceding levels (I.E where there is an overhang.)  Typically this could be where there is a vertical hole in the object or where the object itself such as the sample Owl has a tummy (and ears) are comprised of layers that extend beyond the  lower layers.  Because of the accuracy and robustness of the 3D Industry  printers and the way in which the object is printed (it is not moved laterally during printing), it is possible to print quite dramatic overhangs accurately and consistently.

                                          This means in the case of 3D Industries printers  that most objects can be printed and removed from the bed with no clean up / support material removal required.  This saves time and plastic.

                                           

                                          Q28. What do you deliver with the printer?

                                          Answer:
                                          The delivery includes:
                                          • A Printer
                                          • Filament Spool (charged)
                                          • SD card with:
                                            • Calibration and
                                            • Sample objects
                                          • USB stick containing:
                                            • Calibration sample objects stl and gcode files
                                            • Slicer latest certified version and config.ini files
                                            • Documentation PDF
                                            • Presentation power points
                                          • Hard copy documentation
                                          • Tool set containing essential tools and spares


                                          If purchased as an option we also deliver a tailored printer cover.

                                           

                                          Q29.  What documentation do you provide ?

                                          Answer:
                                          We provide:
                                          • A marketing brochures and flyers 
                                          • Printer information 
                                          • Site preparation guide 
                                          • User Guide 
                                          • Maintenance guide

                                          For training purposes:

                                          • Training and instructor notes 
                                          • Additive printing 
                                          • 3D printer details 
                                          • Slicer operation 
                                          • Printer "hands on" guide
                                          The documentation is currently being promoted to the cloud base Prezi.
                                          The links for these will be communicated to all users.