Team Vision for System-Level Design PhaseFor the systems design phase, our team planned to finish our benchmarking for printer selection, research and benchmark sensors and microcontrollers, decide on a print material, create an initial budget, and finalize our printer, sensor and microcontroller choices. This was an overeager goal for the team, but did pave the way for a very detailed research plan. During the systems design phase, our team completed the following:
- Functional Decomposition of the printing process, with validation of quality part
- Deep dive benchmarking for printer selection
- Finalized printer recommendation
- Concept development and selection
- Feasibility analysis of data collection and print properties
- Systems architecture for information flow
- Updated Risk Assessment
The full benchmarking document can be found here.
Printer Selection Criteria
- The printer is within our printer budget of about $2500.
- The printer has a large community to help with any issues that may arise.
- The printer is relatively easy to use.
- The printer is open source with its hardware and software.
- The benchmarking shows printer is reliable.
- The printer has a good print resolution to print high quality parts.
- Purchasing the printer is easy and will be delivered in no more than 7 business days.
- The printer is safe if used intelligently.
Team's Recommendation: BCN3D Sigma
- Hypothesis of test: Through the accumulation of various parameters, we can interpret what the line between a quality, working part is and one that is not acceptable for further product construction. Not only do we believe this, we also agree as a team that the hardware and software inside the BCN3D can be used to further our needs farther than what could be done with the other printers listed due to the sheer volume of information that is provided by the manufacturer.
- Decision broken down into 4 major comparison points
- Second largest of the three, arguably largest due to the fact that Taz is not enclosed. Enclosure could be a positive compared to the non-enclosed due to the fact that walls add more attachment points. We will also be able to generate critical experiments with an enclosure such as modifying temperature and other ambient parameters.
- The Sigma's original design and manufacturing files are open to public. BCN3D technologies doubled down on it’s open source premise, everything from firmware to hardware documentation was released to the public in May. While the Taz 6 has source documentation, it is not as well organized as the Sigma and it is harder to access. The Ultimaker also has source documentation but the files have not been updated in recent years and are from a previous iteration of the printer which leads us to question the files' accuracy and value towards this project.
Ease of Acquisition
- BCN3D Sigma is available for purchase on Amazon, Matterhackers, Designbox 3D, as well as various other 3D printing websites. These are American distributors so shipping time ranges from 2 weeks to 3-4 days. The Ultimaker 2+ and the LulzBot Taz 6 have similar delivery times with the Taz 6 being slightly faster than the rest as it can be ordered with Amazon Prime.
Additional Pros Compared to Competitors
- The IDEX (Independent Dual Extruder) can act as both a single and a dual extruder working arguably better than the Ultimaker 2+ and the Taz 6 in both fields. While more of a superficial note, the BCN3D has rated higher than the Ultimaker 2+ and the Taz 6 on major 3D printing sites like Amazon and all3dp.
These comparisons as well as discussion points internalizing what we want to modify, control, and enhance can be found in the complete deep dive document here.
Morphological Table & Concept Development
System Selection Criteria
- The system will be within the $7500 budget.
- The team is familiar with the software and hardware or are confident in their ability to learn and use the software and hardware.
- The hardware and software have the ability to be interfaced together.
- The printer hardware and software is open source and the other programs are accessible through RIT or a provided for free for students.
- The entire system will be reliable and be able to reproduce similar results with the same inputs.
- The collected data is accurate and will be helpful in analyzing prints.
- The project will be able to be completed by the end of MSD II.
- All necessary technology is accessible.
- The finished product will be safe and environmentally friendly.
Feasibility: Prototyping, Analysis, Simulation
Simplified System Schematics
Plans for next phase
Team 3-Week Plan
- The main goal for the next three weeks is to purchase and test the BCN3D Printer. Once we have the printer we will familiarize ourselves with the device's hardware and software. We will be deciding and implementing the additional sensors that need to be added to get the data we need. As we are doing this we will be testing the printer in all sorts of ways to get a base control for what a print looks like. This will give us an idea of what to look for when we try to improve it. Part of the testing will also be for us to figure out the parameters of the print, how they can be changed, and how these factors will affect the print.
- The following link details the part we will use to begin testing of the printer and its capabilities. Consistently printing this part will allow us to control as many variables as possible and perform the most accurate tests.
Individual 3-Week Plans
- Jon's three week plan is here.
- Maseo's three week plan is here.
- Mike's three week plan is here.
- Ryan's three week plan is here.
- Jacob's three week plan is here.
- Justin's three week plan is here.