Print Quality

By September 8, 2014News

One of the primary concerns for any 3D printing company is being able to produce good quality prints, as ultimately everyone will judge the success of a new printer on the market by the condition of its prints.

With this in mind, we wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of the Robox as it currently stands, as our units are able to produce three different quality prints, in different time frames and using different methods.

The quickest way of producing a print is to select the ‘draft’ quality option; this produces the design with layers 0.4mm high, using just the 0.8mm nozzle. To put this into perspective, the orange robot in the picture has been produced as a ‘draft’, and took 1 hour and 27 minutes to produce.

We selected a 20% fill, which means the inside is only 20% solid.

So the downside of printing something as a ‘draft’ is that the quality isn’t the best – but with a bit of finishing you can polish these models to look better. The upside is that you get to see your print in a really short space of time – great for those of us who are impatient and like immediate results!

Captureorange

The second fastest way of producing a print is to select the ‘normal’ quality option; the difference here is that layer height has been reduced to 0.2mm. For ‘normal’ prints BOTH nozzles are used – the 0.3mm nozzle produces the outer layers, and the 0.8mm nozzle prints the 20% fill. The white robot has been printed with the ‘normal’ option selected, and took 2 hours and 18 minutes to make.

Immediately the change in quality is noticeable; the layers are much less visible and the overall detail is higher. And the print still didn’t take very long to produce, once you’ve pressed go there’s just enough time to make and eat your evening meal before seeing what has emerged on the build platform.

white

Finally, the third option you can select on the Robox is the ‘fine’ option; which allows you to produce excellent quality prints with layers just 0.1mm high, using only the 0.3mm nozzle.

The yellow robot in the picture demonstrates just how brilliant prints are when users select the ‘fine’ option. This robot took 7 hours and 18 minutes to print – which was no problem, as we set it to print at bedtime and woke the next morning to a model where the layers are barely visible, and the surface of which is smooth and virtually perfect. We are working on print profiles that have this level of detail but utilize the dual nozzle system to further reduce print time, all these options are available for advanced users, only on a Robox is this possible.

yellow

With even more time to spare, the Robox is able to print with layers down to 0.02mm, but at this layer height you can imagine you’re tying up the printer for a long time.

As far as we are aware, there is currently no other printers on the market right now which can perform the same range of print qualities – most either have a large nozzle for fast printing, or a fine nozzle for high resolution printing, or a compromise somewhere in-between. We’re really excited to be offering a printer which is unique, and which users can play with at their free will.

And this is just the start for us, in the future differing print qualities will be a small part of what we can offer with the Robox. We’re already planning a multitude of interchangeable heads which means the Robox is both an investment AND the future.

About Emma Elsworthy

CEL Business development director. All things business and media, it's all about the money. Personal motto: fat but fit. Lover of tea, cake, wine and exercise in equal measures.

4 Comments

  • Fprint says:

    Nice post. Do you still plan to offer a 20 microns preset ? These 20 microns has been a prominent feature of your kickstarter.

  • biscuitlad says:

    Are those abs or pla? I’ve not been able to get anything like that quality in abs with my Robox.

  • Pete says:

    PLA for all 3.
    20 micron will come, printer time is still limited even though we have more in the office than ever.
    Ian has been making giant leaps in print quality by slapping Slic3r around with our post processor. This will remove most of the complaints I have had with the 20 micron test prints I’ve tried (35 hours for one print is my record so far)

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