It’s a couple of weeks now since BfB released the first alpha version of Axon 3. So, I’ve been doing a bit of printing at home over the half term holiday just to try it out…. I came across a couple of problems and reported them to Andrew (the BfB software developer and an ex student of mine), glad to see the fixes in the second release…. Thanks Andrew!
It must be remembered that this is an alpha release and many features are “missing” such as the ability to change profiles or material/build settings… But even with the standard set up I’m really impressed, and there were a few surprises too!
I was getting towards final part of a print that tapered to a point at the top and I happened to glance up from my PC to see the print head charge off towards the back of the machine…. PANIC!!!… Then it carried on printing…ERRRR?…. Next layer it did the same… And then it dawned on me… AHHHH,…Built in cooling time, like the Skeinforge option/plugin “orbiting” round the object when doing small layers …. NICE! The attached picture show the part straight off the machine,with no cleaning up whatsoever, printing this sort of point in ABS usually results in the point staying a bit jelly like (jello for readers in the US) and the squidgy point gets wobbles around by the hot end and usually ends up distorted. The point on this print is so sharp I’ll have to be careful not to stab myself, certainly worth doing a risk assessment :-)
In the first alpa release there was a small problem that extruder 3 wouldn’t heat up, it is fixed now so my next experiments must be to try 3 colour prints…. Really easy by the looks of it, now you only have to load a stl file for each colour (no need for the extra “combined” parts file), logic says that the stl files must have the parts in the correct x,y,z relationship to each other (and the origin) but that’s simply a matter of exporting the parts correctly from the CAD software.
Even after a couple of weeks I still can’t get over how fast this version of axon is! And the dimensional accuracy is greatly improved too.
Oh and finally… Reporting bugs to software developers… Don’t forget that when a piece of software is in alpha (or even beta) stages of testing you do need to 1. Remember that not all the features may be present yet (a bug report isn’t the place for nagging and moaning) 2. Send as much detail as possible…PC details (operating system, RAM, etc), printer details (RapMan 3.x/BfB3000/3DTouch and firmware version), the exact nature of the error, what you were doing when the error occurred, materials loaded in your machine and settings that you made… Screen shots are always useful (if you are emailing then you can paste in screenshots, remember that “Prt Scr” captures the whole screen or “Alt Gr” and “Prt Scr” together captures the active window)… Sorry if I’m stating the obvious!