Makibox Blog

March 2012

2022-03-24 20:02 by Jonathan Buford

MakiBox A6 - First Looks at the Final XY Table and Other Updates

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It has been too long since the last update, so there is a lot to get caught up on. Things are going well here and coming together to get the first production in the next two weeks or so.

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2022-03-24 18:17 by Michael Tsang

Massively Busy Week

Apologies for the lack of updates and interaction online this week. It has been a bit insane and just haven’t been able to post while keeping everything else on schedule. Here is a short post and video about what has been happening.

Things are on track for starting the production early April, and should have everything out the door around mid April for the first 300 orders. We are making the final modifications to the mechanism and should have that wrapped up and printing by the end of next week. I’ve got two additional engineers now helping with both mechanical and electrical work, so next week will go pretty quickly.

The production space will be available early April, so we will start getting everyone in one place instead of being spread out around Hong Kong.

Next week should be pretty smooth, I’m looking forward to wrapping up the development.

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2022-03-16 20:20 by Michael Tsang

First Peek at MakiLab

Well, I’m in the middle of doing a design iteration, so nothing to show about build progress. But, yesterday we found our new space for our lab.

Actually, that space in the video is a mirror of the one we are taking a few floors down in the same building, but it is the same size and layout.

Aside from office, prototyping, and production space, this will be a quazi Hackerspace and cowork space as well. I like random people around doing cool stuff, so that will give opportunities for all sorts of folk to be a part of what is going on there.

The renovation on our space is a bit further along, so we should be in there the first week of April, just in time to do the bulk of the shipments.

Tomorrow I’m meeting with the new engineers to get them rolling, so things should start smoothing out and running a bit more in parallel.

This has been a good week, and I’m looking forward to the next few as things wrap up and we are able to start shipping and start looking at new projects.

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2022-03-15 20:42 by Jonathan Buford

MakiBox A6 Assembled Prototype Extruder First Looks

Some like it hot.

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But, I prefer something that is just hot enough. This is the first prototype assembly of how the hot end fits together. This isn't the final design by any means, just an iteration on the way to the final design. We will need to do one more iteration of this to the updated design to start getting first prints.

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2022-03-14 20:47 by Michael Tsang

Extrusion Mated and Next Steps

So, we have an extrusion system. A prototype one, but still a very unique extrusion system that is doing some really cool things. I didn’t get video of it in action, but at least have some more details about how it is working and what is next. (I didn’t get the working video because it is pretty late here and the hot end is starting to slip too much and I’m worried it will be pushed out, breaking the heater wires and whatnot.)

Pretty good results. I’ll do a prototype of the production hot end and see if we can get the first prints out very soon. The new engineering help will be coming aboard in the next few days, so we will start working in parallel, probably cutting out close to a week of time between now and when the production would be able to occur and will allow for some more iterating at the same time to improve the final design.

We are going to look at potential new homes for Makible tomorrow, so I’ll try to put up some video of that too.

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2022-03-13 20:56 by Michael Tsang

New Home & Calling in Backup

Getting things ready to ship at the same time as wrapping up the final design is a balancing act that requires a lot of hats, either on different heads or to be worn by the same person.

We’ve got a small team here at Makible, just Nick, Felix, Sarah, and myself, but that is about to change. We are bringing on some more engineers to the team to help get the MakiBox into the market quicker, so these sparse updates will hopefully be a little more frequent soon. This will be good so that we can do a lot of the final work in parallel, and can hit the production as soon as we have the final production PCBs.

It also looks like we might have a new home for out prototyping and production here in Hong Kong. Finding places here usually is a very long process, filled with hoping for lucky breaks. We will be looking at it on Thursday, but a place has come up which may be a great match for us, so that will help speed things up and make the production go more smoothly. Look forward to some pics on Thursday for that.

I’ve still got more work to do for the final integration to get the first prints. Wednesdays are usually a lot more productive for me, so I’ll try to wrap things up tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting the extra hands on board to speed everything up.

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2022-03-10 20:59 by Jonathan Buford

MakiBox A6 - Keeping the Junk in the Trunk

One part of the design for the MakiBox that hadn't been detailed before was exactly how we transported material from the drive to the extruder.

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It was always the thought to use a small Teflon tube to guide the material, but how to keep it within the envelope of the box was something of a question.

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2022-03-09 21:15 by Michael Tsang

Cable Drives, Bum PCBs, and a New Forum

This has been a pretty packed week. The prototype is almost ready to print, now that it has the drive system, including the cable drive, prototyped. I’ll be attempting to get it to printing this weekend. 

We got in PCBs and we found, well, a bit of a snafu. Basically the middle layers had been left out of the exported files, and no one had noticed that it was a four layer design and not a 2 layer design, which is what most of the RepRap related ones are. I’m in the middle of sorting out what this will do to the schedule, but worst case this will take around 4 weeks to get the new production boards back and ready to ship. I’ll confirm the schedule in the next few days.

Our community is growing nicely here, and to facilitate keeping that going, Nils has helped to set up a forum on forum.makibox.com. Thanks Nils!

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2022-03-07 21:21 by Jonathan Buford

MakiBox Extruder Drive - It's Like 4 Wheel Drive for your 3D Printer

3D Printer drive systems can be the bane of the machine many times.

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My experience has been that for such a key part of the system, there were many significant areas of improvement to be looked at. Most are quite large, have slippage, and they get stuffed up with the material they are driving easily.

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2022-03-06 21:36 by Michael Tsang

Extruder Drive and Other Progress

Check out the detailed post on the extruder, but the summary is that it is running really well, especially for a first prototype. 

Everything else is moving along, but there are still a lot of arrangements left to get the production fully sorted. I’ll update everyone this week with more details on what the final schedule looks like and aiming to have all of the different pieces into the final Prototype 0 version of the MakiBox A6.

Thanks everyone for your support and for coming together as an awesome community.

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