Hi everyone! Here are the GBX R&D updates from the past month:
First Terabot X (TBX) Built And Tested
A few months ago we sold our first Terabot X, and in the past month we wrapped up building and testing it. Terabot X is essentially our Terabot filament printer build frame, but outfitted with a Gigabot X pellet extruder. The Terabot build frame comes with a few upgrades over the other build frames, namely a larger build volume in all dimensions (892 x 908 x 830) and closed loop X and Y motors.
To adapt a GBX extruder to the Terabot build frame, a variety of modifications and ancillary resources were developed:
- Hopper Gantry: As detailed in last month’s forum post, the hopper gantry assemblies for GBX Regular and XLT was adapted for Terabot X’s larger frame
- Firmware: Firmware was developed by merging GBX and Terabot firmware to create Terabot X firmware, and by updating the build dimensions set in the firmware. Firmware is hosted on re:3D’s github.
- Test prints: A variety of test prints were developed to test out the larger Terabot X build volume.
- Simplify3D profiles: Profiles were created for Terabot X for 0.4mm, 0.8mm, 1.75mm, and 2.85mm nozzle sizes. All profiles are hosted on re:3D’s github.
- Terabot X Quick Start Guide: A TBX quick start guide was adapted from the GBX and Terabot guides and is available on re:3D’s website.
Updated Feed Throat and Hopper Hose Attachment
As a result of running 100 hours of test prints on Terabot X and two GBX Regulars in house, the feed throat and hopper hose attachment printed parts underwent some design improvements. A common issue during overnight test prints was the feed hose slipping out of either feed tube or the hopper hose attachment, disconnecting the flow of pellets and spilling pellets all over the printed part. To improve the fastening of the feed hose at both ends, the feed throat and hopper hose attachment received the following improvements:
- Increased clamping distances
- Internal ridges to better grip the hose
- Perpendicular screws to tighten sideways into the feed tube to hold it in place
- The hopper hose attachment was updated from a single split clamping mechanism to a double split.
Updated Hopper Gantry Parts
Another result of inhouse test printing was a few updates to hopper gantry parts:
- The hopper gantry endtruck and trolley printed parts for both GBX Regular and Terabot X were adjusted to provide more tolerance between the parts and the channels they move within. This is because the channels were often slightly bent, or the weight of the hopper full of pellets caused fluctuations in assembly positioning, or both, and it caused interference between these printed parts and other parts of the hopper gantry due to tolerances that were too low.
- The hopper gantry endtrucks were outfitted with two rollers instead of one to improve stability of the hopper gantry bridge