Immediately we’re celebrating a primary right here on the weblog: whereas we have now reviewed a number of 3D printers earlier than, the Tripomaker assessment is our very first delta 3D printer assessment. Ever since I began visiting 3D printing gala’s a couple of years in the past, I’ve been intrigued by delta 3D printers. Their structure seems to be unique they usually clearly nonetheless represent a minority within the desktop 3D printing market.

Extra…

That being mentioned, deltas have been gaining in reputation over the previous couple of years as may be witnessed by the Kossel 3D printer that has established itself within the high 10 of 3D Hubs’ printer rating. Therefore I used to be very happy to oblige when approached by Tripodmaker to check their newest machine – the Tripodmaker Black Version.

Delta 3D Printers

What the heck are delta 3D printers anyway? Delta 3D printers (additionally known as deltabots) use a radically completely different structure for his or her 3D positioning system in comparison with Cartesian printers. A delta 3D printer makes use of three management rods, linked to the print head, to regulate the positioning of the print head. It’s essential to see a deltabot in motion to completely comprehend how this works and that’s why I included this video (skip to minute 4:04 if you wish to get straight to the half the place the machine is printing):

The benefit of the delta kind design is that it permits for large construct volumes, particularly within the Z course. Additional, deltabots are usually quicker than their Cartesian counterparts and the truth that the print mattress doesn’t transfer helps with printing heavier and taller elements. Final however not least, these printers are unbelievable to look at in motion.

On the draw back, deltabots endure from an elevated complexity within the driver because the positioning of the print head just isn’t a linear set of steps as a result of non-linearity of the movement. The printers are additionally harder to setup and troubleshoot as it’s harder to isolate issues since all three axes are at all times moved concurrently.

The Firm – Tripodmaker

Tripodmaker is a Brussels, Belgium primarily based firm that was based in January 2013 by engineer Pieter-Jan Vandendriessche with the intention of creating a delta 3D printer for professionals who wanted a machine for his or her on a regular basis prototyping wants.

Tripodmaker first began getting some press im Could 2014 when the corporate gained the primary prize of the Bizidee marketing strategy competitors. The 25.000 Euro prize cash allowed Vandendriessche to commercialize the primary model of the Tripodmaker (at the moment generally known as the Tripodmaker Traditional).

However, growth didn’t cease there and in October 2015, Tripodmaker already launched ​their subsequent era printer – the Tripodmaker Black Version. This new and improved printer sports activities an automated bed-leveling system, a bespoke software program and an total extra polished design.

Pieter-Jan Vandendriessche - Creator of the Tripodmaker

Pieter-Jan Vandendriessche – Creator of the Tripodmaker. Picture © zdnet.be

Tripodmaker Black Version – Specs

The Tripodmaker Black Version is an FDM delta 3D printer with a full aluminium body and tremendous mild transferring elements geared in direction of elevated printing pace. The delta kind design makes for an enormous construct quantity of 32 liters and regardless of its many light-weight elements, the Tripodmaker weighs a whopping 20.Three kgs.

The printer can optionally be totally enclosed however the three plexi-glass doorways may be opened from either side, permitting for straightforward entry to the construct platform. The Tripodmaker’s inside is lit by white LED lighting.

The heated print mattress comes with totally automated leveling and reaches temperatures of as much as 95°C permitting the printer to course of varied materials sorts. The bowden-type extruder feeds 1.75mm filament into the full-metal scorching finish which is cooled by three cooling followers.

Tripodmaker Black Edition

Tripodmaker Black Version 3D Printer. Picture © Tripodmaker.

An LCD show offers you entry to the on-board controls whereas the built-in SD card slot permits for untethered printing.

The Tripodmaker Black Version retails for €2.640, a transparent indication that this isn’t your common client 3D printer. Quite the opposite, the Tripodmaker is clearly positioned as a machine geared in direction of skilled customers.

Right here is an outline of the whole Tripodmaker Black Version specs:

Worth as examined:

Dimensions:

Weight:

Construct Quantity:

Layer Thickness:

Print Untethered:

Filament Diameter:

Nozzle Diameter:

Nozzle – Working Temperature:

Heated Mattress – Working Temperature:

Print Supplies:

Host Software program:

Slicing Software program:

OS Supported:

€2.640
$~2970

​490 x 490 x 1010 mm
19.Three x 19.Three x 39.7 in

20.Three Kg (as examined)
44.75 lbs

Ø 300 mm x 450 mm
Ø 11.eight x 17.7 in

75 – 250 microns

​Sure

1.75 mm

0.Four mm

180°C – 285°C

50°C – 90°C

ABS, PLA, PETG, HIPS, Polycarbonate

RepetierHost

PRISMA, Cura

Home windows, Mac OS X

Unboxing & Setup

The TripodMaker ships totally assembled, minus the effector and diagonal rods, in a strong double wall corrugated cardboard field with additional thick cardboard padding on the base and high of the printer.

Tripodmaker - shipping box

The Tripodmaker in its transport carton – this factor is huge!

Sadly the field arrived with some minor harm to one of many corners. The printer confirmed no indicators of injury from the nook affect to the field however the three plexi doorways that have been shipped already put in every had cracked below pressure. This was principally beauty however it required some packing tape to get the doorways again collectively.

Tripodmaker - broken doors

The plexi-glass door have been broken throughout transport.

Included within the field is the ability provide, a roll of blue painters tape, a microSD card with adapter, two rollers for the filament feed system and a reel of “ICE” filament.

Tripodmaker - unboxing

The equipment that include the Tripodmaker.

As soon as unboxed, I put in the filament spool holder inside the highest body and linked the filament steerage tube. As a subsequent step I fitted the magnetic rods that join the print head to the sliding carts. All that remained to be executed was to attach the ability provide and the Tripodmaker was prepared for motion.

Getting the Tripodmaker up and operating wasn’t tough however it actually helps if in case you have somebody to help you since dealing with the heavy and unwieldy machine all by your self generally is a bit making an attempt. On the time of testing, the consumer guide was nonetheless being finalized however the model offered by Tripodmaker was simple to observe and had me up and printing shortly.

Construct Platform Leveling

After making use of the offered blue painters tape to the mattress I discovered the auto-leveling possibility on the management panel. It shortly houses the three towers after which sends the hotend to round 6mm above the construct plate. There it pauses and permits you to modify and high-quality tune the specified zero top with the knob management. It makes use of the ultimate top that you simply set to probe the mattress in no less than a dozen locations making a top map the printer will use till you run the method once more.

Tripodmaker - bed leveling

The print head through the mattress leveling course of.

As soon as leveled, the printer has no issues making good first layers. Adhesion for PLA was not an issue in any respect and I received no less than a dozen prints from the primary utility of blue tape. A nicely calibrated first layer actually takes away loads of the complications of print adhesion and the Tripodmaker helps you to get printing with out having to babysit each single print.

I did discover a excessive space close to the perimeter of the mattress on a few of the bigger prints I attempted. The prints nonetheless got here out high-quality however they might most likely add a couple of extra probe factors to the leveling routine. One good factor I observed from this although, was that the extruder recovers fairly shortly from stripped filament. As quickly because the nozzle was again to its correct print top the filament stored proper on flowing.

Loading the Filament

As most delta 3D printers, the Tripodmaker works with a bowden-type extruder. Which means the extruder stepper motor sits on high of the machine slightly below the highest panel, away from the print head. You must feed the filament right into a silicon tube which guides it in direction of the hot-end.

The spool holder is definitely built-in into the printer’s body: the filament spool rests in a slot within the high panel. The on-board controls stroll you thru the loading or altering process. After following the on-screen directions you’re left with a properly purged and primed hotend. The change filament routine was clear and easy however there have been no particular person load/unload choices which may be helpful at occasions.

As I used to be to find in a while, the position of the filament spool just isn’t unimportant; extra on that under.​

Filament spool fitted on Tripodmaker

Filament spool put in on the Tripodmaker.

Host Software program & Slicer – RepetierHost or Prisma

The personalized RepetierHost was simple to put in on my host pc and comes with a number of optimized Cura print setups. Simply be sure that to uncheck the “overwrite existing configurations” possibility throughout set up if you have already got one other printer operating by means of RepetierHost, although on my pc it put in a second occasion of RepetierHost so it’s simple to launch the model in keeping with which printer you’re utilizing. It is going to set up the mandatory drivers after which you’ll be able to hook up with the printer by means of MiniUSB.

RepetierHost - preview

The RepetierHost interface – Click on to enlarge

The USB cable is elective because the Tripodmaker works simply high-quality in stand-alone mode from an SD card by way of the management panel. The menus are fairly simple however I missed having a ‘cooldown’ possibility as a substitute of getting to manually set all the temperatures to zero after a cancelled print.

Tripodmaker are additionally engaged on their very own bespoke software program known as Prisma. Whereas most of this assessment was executed with the above talked about RepetierHost, I received an early glimpse at Prisma.

Prisma is a browser-based slicer that’s configured for the Tripodmaker. In different phrases, it comes pre-set with the precise dimensions of the Tripodmaker’s print mattress and it consists of Tripodmaker specifc settings which let you point out whether or not you’re printing with or with out the plexi-covers for instance.

Tripodmaker - Prisma slicer

The Prisma homepage – Click on to enlarge

The slicer settings of Prisma are stored fairly easy. For instance, by way of printing pace, you’ll be able to solely select between regular and excessive. Infill setting are restricted to hole, regular, robust and strong.

An fascinating and helpful function is discovered within the Library tab. Right here the software program shops all of your beforehand used 3D fashions and shows them with a small preview picture. This can be a lot extra sensible than shopping tens of cryptically named *.stl information in your hard-drive.

Tripodmaker - Prisma library

The Library tab in Prisma – Click on to enlarge

Total, Prisma seems to be to carry some promise. The one drawbacks I might determine to this point are that gcode can’t be streamed on to the printer (requires saving to SD card) and that the slicer just isn’t as quick as some desktop alternate options. That being mentioned, Prisma is actually extra user-friendly than RepetierHost, particularly for somebody new to slicing and 3D printing.

Tripodmaker – First Impressions

The very first thing that one notices about this printer is that it’s large. It’s actually a monster of a printer standing at a full meter tall with 51cm construct top and boasting a 30cm diameter construct plate giving a theoretical construct quantity of 36,000 cm3! (the geometry of delta printers can solely attain the max construct top on the heart of the platform and looses as much as a centimeter of top on the circumference).

It isn’t solely huge, it is rather solidly constructed. The bottom and high are produced from 2mm thick metal fashioned to provide rigidity and to include all the electronics very cleanly. MakerSlides (extruded aluminium rails) join the bottom and high firmly whereas additionally offering the linear motion making for a easy and environment friendly design.

The elements of the Tripodmaker will not be simply nicely made but in addition nicely completed. From the show and management knob constructed into the bottom to the black anodized aluminum {hardware} and the customized dual-ready hotend. The Tripodmaker staff additionally incorporates some reasonably helpful and intelligent options.

Tripodmaker - LCD screen

Prime quality end – black anodized aluminium surrounds the LCD display screen.

Ranging from the highest; the filament spooling mechanism is constructed into the body and feeds the filament very easily into the extruder(s) which can be additionally constructed into the body. It permits two spools to take a seat aspect by aspect and feed into their respective direct drive extruders.

The one small disadvantage to this technique is that when you have been arrange with twin extruders, the non-active spool will get spun together with the energetic spool and will shortly make fairly a multitude of unfastened filament. Additionally, I discovered that because the spool will get lighter and the filament is extra tightly sprung nearer to the middle of the spool, the pull of the extruder would truly carry the reel off the rollers and pull it proper on high of the extruder until it jammed.

This occurred even faster with my cardboard spools as there was much more rolling friction concerned. If left unattended this may finish a print so I took a little bit time to attempt to preserve it feeding reliably. After a couple of lower than profitable concepts I spotted I might simply flip the reel over so it pulled the filament from the underside of the spool and the reel would rotate away from the extruder and this labored like a appeal. I couldn’t discover any documentation on the meant setup so I don’t know if that is what they already do at their store, however for me this was not an intuitive or apparent resolution.

Tripodmaker with filament spool

Greatest apply: place the spool such that the filament is pulled from the underside.

The carriages are every crafted from a strong piece of aluminum after which anodized a pleasant matte black. They use three delrin V-bearings to couple with the MakerSlide, two are fastened and one is cammed to offer adjustable pressure. When manually transferring the effector (hotend/printhead) it felt reasonably stiff and heavy however in operation the printer was fast and nimble. Personally, I feel they might have made the carriages taller permitting the V-bearings to be unfold out extra, reaching the identical rigidity whereas utilizing much less pressure.

Tripodmaker - carriages

The carriages sitting on the MakerSlide.

The diagonal rods on the Black Version are upgraded from magnets on the Tripodmaker Traditional to an aluminum ball and socket system held below spring pressure that’s simple to assemble/disassemble but nonetheless supplies a really optimistic connection. This supplies superb vary of movement and is buttery easy in operation.

The effector carries a compact heatsink with a pair of bowden fittings making it easy so as to add a second extruder and hotend, three ducted energetic cooling followers and the mattress leveling probe. The nozzle has a pleasant excessive angle which ought to enable for some clear bridging however the followers, whereas quiet, are fairly sluggish and don’t present very a lot cooling in apply. The stainless-steel fan ducting doubles as warmth shielding to maintain the warmth of the hotend(s) away from the print. This shielding isn’t very consumer serviceable although. To entry the heating block one must fold again the ducting to get to the screws holding every little thing collectively.

Tripodmaker - print head seen from above

Tripodmaker - Print head seen from below

Throughout my preliminary prints, an issue began to look: as of a sure top, all prints began to be severely skewed in direction of one aspect. Because it turned out, the printer I obtained had a unfastened connector for the Z stepper motor which prompted it to unfastened steps often in operation. This made some very fascinating prints however goes to point out that high quality management on 3D printers must be very diligent. It turned out to be a really minor flaw and a very simple repair, however discovering the problem was fairly difficult. TripodMaker BVBA have been fast to assist and able to get us again printing. Fortunately, we weren’t out of service for too lengthy.

Tripodmaker - failed Z probe

A unfastened connector on the Z stepper motor result in some complications.

Tripodmaker – Printing Efficiency

To gauge the Tripodmaker’s 3D printing efficiency, I used the take a look at protocol from the Make 3D Printer Shootout. Printing the identical probes on completely different printers permits me to check efficiency between completely different machines.

All assessments have been run utilizing PLA, at a print pace of 50mm/sec (they outline 40mm/sec as sluggish and 60mm/sec as quick of their Cura config) and at a layer decision of 0.2mm. The probes are then evaluated on a scale of 1 to five with 5 being the utmost rating.

Right here is how the Tripodmaker carried out on these fashions:

Dimensional Accuracy
The dimensional accuracy probe measures how a lot backlash a printer produces. The probe consists of six super-imposed discs, every with a lowering diameter. As soon as the print is accomplished, the diameter of the second disc from the underside is measured. This has a goal diameter of 20 mm, the the Tripod Maker printed the probe on the small aspect with a median deviation of 0.Four mm. Rating: 2/5.

Dimensional accuracy probe

Bridging Efficiency
The bridging efficiency take a look at is designed to probe a 3D printer’s means to surmount distances with out help materials. The probe has 5 distances to be bridged, starting from 20 mm to 60 mm.

The Tripodmaker carried out very nicely on this take a look at, it managed to bridge all of the gaps with virtually no filament dropping. Rating: 4/5.

Bridging probe

Overhang Efficiency
The overhang efficiency take a look at merely measures the angle at which the printer begins battling finishing overhangs. The probe has 4 angles at 30°, 45°, 60° and 70°. The Tripodmaker managed to print the entire probe with out drooping any loops. Rating: 4/5.

Overhang probe - front

Overhang probe - back

Unfavorable House Tolerances
The unfavorable area tolerance take a look at is a measure of a printer’s means to create high-quality unfavorable (or empty) areas ensuring that two separate elements of a mannequin don’t fuse collectively the place they aren’t purported to. The probe is a block with 5 pins, every with a lowering unfavorable area round it starting from 0.6 mm to 0.2 mm. The variety of pins that may be eliminated on the finish of the print determines the rating.
The Tripodmaker carried out very nicely, 5 out of the 5 pins may very well be eliminated. Rating: 5/5.

Negative space probe

High-quality Optimistic House Options Efficiency
The high-quality optimistic area options take a look at basically gauges a 3D printer’s retraction efficiency. The probe is a plate with 6 conical spires that skinny out in direction of the highest.
The Tripodmaker managed to finish the spires however with some connecting filament strands. The guidelines of the spires suffered a little bit as a result of firmware possibility that has the hotend pause off to the aspect of the print if any layer takes lower than 5 seconds earlier than persevering with to the subsequent layer. Rating: 3/5.

Retraction performance probe

Mechanical Resonance Take a look at
Two of the take a look at probes measure the mechanical resonance within the XY gantry and the Z axis respectively. As resonance is tough to measure quantitatively, this can be a binary take a look at which signifies that the take a look at probe is both assigned a „go“ or „fail“.

Mechanical Resonance in XY
The XY- resonance probe confirmed indicators of resonance: there may be noticeable rippling at every of the corners. Rating: 0/fail.

XY resonance probe

Mechanical Resonance in Z
The Tripodmaker mastered the Z-resonance probe fantastically. The consequence reveals a uniform layer sample that doesn’t change wherever alongside your entire top of the probe. Rating: 2/go.

Z resonance probe

Articulated Makey Robotic
The articulated Makey is an especially difficult print that mixes many parts of the above efficiency assessments right into a single probe. The articulated limbs have a niche of simply over 0.3mm whereas the arms have overhangs of 65°, a difficult print for any 3D printer.

The robotic produced by the Tripodmaker turned out fairly nicely: the arms and head may very well be moved as quickly because the print was faraway from the print mattress, the legs, knees and ft took a little bit work to get to articulate.
The floor of the robotic turned out principally high-quality however it reveals resonance points across the eyes and as a ripple impact across the “M” on the chest.

Curved head floor: Rating: 3/5.
Physique floor: Rating: 4/5.

Makibot

Clearly, I printed much more than simply the Make take a look at probes on the Tripodmaker. I attempted to print a mixture of sensible and ornamental prints to study extra in regards to the strengths and weaknesses of the machine.

Click on by means of the under gallery to see a few of the outcomes:

Utilizing Supplies aside from PLA

Printing with ABS

The heated mattress had no issues getting as much as 90°C in a comparatively fast 12 minutes and mattress adhesion was fairly good even on easy blue tape. Sadly a few of the extra cumbersome gadgets I attempted printing stored pulling up no matter what I used on the construct platform. The electronics are separated from the heating ingredient by a good layer of froth however with out with the ability to monitor the temperature on the management board I made a decision to not exceed the 90° max temperature that’s specified for the Black Version so I by no means received nice adhesion with ABS.

ABS print

Despicable Me Minion – printed in ABS.

The inventory hotend setting for ABS of 230°C was giving me layer splitting on the taller objects I printed however the all-metal hotend let me bump that as much as 245°C with no worries and the end got here out notably smoother and the splitting disappeared.

Paper bag printed in ABS

Paper Bag Vase – printed in ABS.

Conclusion

Working with the Tripodmaker was fairly an expertise. By no means having used a delta 3D printer earlier than, it was fascinating to see how the delta design operates and what respect it’s superior or inferior to cartesian 3D printers. Nonetheless, on the finish of the day, all of it boils all the way down to the identical previous query: is that this an excellent 3D printer or not?

  • Auto leveling print mattress: I actually appreciated the dependable first layers this printer gave me. The process to stage the mattress was fast and easy and the outcomes spoke for themselves. The printer shops the settings till you determine to run the process once more when you have been to maneuver the printer, change the construct floor or discover flatness points together with your prints.
  • Extraordinarily sturdy construct: That is actually a tank of a printer. It’s sturdy, inflexible and it seems to be nice.
  • Print quantity: If you wish to actually print huge, this printer can deal with it. When you’ll be able to print objects over a half meter tall the query turns into, how massive of a reel of filament have you ever received prepared? It will possibly deal with prints that might simply take 48 hours to complete and it has the software program options to mean you can pause and resume them!
  • Bespoke hotend: The enterprise finish of the TM is prepared for motion. All steel building permits for temps as much as 285° which is able to deal with a wide variety of filaments. Warmth shielding helps shield the print from extra warmth and in addition retains retains the extrusion temperature extra steady. The cooling block is totally prepared for a second hotend and the body comes inventory with mounting for a second extruder.
  • Noise ranges: opposite to many different 3D printers, the Tripodmaker operates comparatively silently. One might comfortably watch TV in the identical room because the printer. The machine has little or no vibration although the lengthy cables that run to the effector do considerably slap in opposition to the MakerSlide.
  • Person serviceability: The extruder being tucked away within the construction on the high of the Tripodmaker helps preserve it trying good and clear however it additionally makes upkeep a bit extra concerned. One should first take away 4 screws and disconnect the wiring to have the ability to pull the extruder out. Then one should disassemble the tensioning mechanism to lastly entry the knurled hob for cleansing each time stripped filament clogs it up. Moreover, on the effector, the screws holding the energetic cooling followers are fully hidden below the ducting/warmth protect. This stainless-steel piece must be bent out of the best way for every of the three followers to entry the screws and later bent again into place.
  • Energetic cooling: The three cooling followers actually didn’t transfer a lot air in any respect and I really feel that the bridging talents of the Tripodmaker would actually profit from increased airflow followers.
  • Plexi doorways: The plexiglass doorways assist to control the temperature of the print space however the best way that they’re applied on the Tripodmaker causes you to unfastened printing quantity if the doorways are closed (from 30cm diameter all the way down to 24cm) as a result of the effector would collide with the doorways on bigger prints. Additional, the magnets that have been meant to carry the doorways closed didn’t final by means of transport. The adhesive didn’t stick nicely sufficient to the plexi such that the magnets have been all caught collectively on the body.
  • Resonance: On the carriages, the vertical distance between the V-bearings may be very brief and this implies it’s a must to apply additional pressure on the eccentric bearing to maintain the carriages inflexible on the MakerSlide. The strain within the linear system makes it very exhausting to keep away from resonance in your prints. Making the carriages taller and spacing out the V-bearings would let the carriages stay good and inflexible with minimal pressure on the eccentric bearing. I feel the Tripodmaker looses a few of the benefit of a Delta kind machine with this additional resistance within the system.

Our Advice

Doubtless, the Tripodmaker Black Version is a really strong 3D printer. And whereas the machine in its 2nd era is kind of mature, it’s the bundle that goes with it (slicer, consumer guide and many others) that also wants some perfecting. However, figuring out the individuals behind the Tripodmaker, I’m assured that it gained’t be lengthy earlier than they get their geese in a row.

Who’s it for? The Tripodmaker is clearly positioned as an expert 3D printer and I’d additionally not advocate this printer to the typical hobbyist. Aside from the value tag, this printer is solely not made for somebody that simply needs to dabble in 3D printing. The common consumer is unlikely to make the most of the machine and its construct quantity to its full potential.

Do you have to nevertheless be a technically-minded architect, designer or engineer in search of a prototyping machine then I like to recommend that you simply take a look at the Tripodmaker. You’ll get a dependable, quick and durable delta 3D printer with an enormous construct quantity permitting to do life-sized prototypes. As an expert you’ll additionally recognize the number of supplies the Tripodmaker can deal with simply as a lot as the truth that you’ll be able to run the printer in your workplace with out main noise disturbance.

If you happen to personal a delta 3D printer, I’d love to listen to your suggestions. Why did you determine to go along with a deltabot and also you happy with the efficiency? Be at liberty to depart a remark under!

EDIT: after our assessment was revealed, Tripodmaker received again to us on a few of the points that have been raised throughout our testing. Extra particularly, they’ve now sorted the problem of the plexi panels being broken throughout transport. Additional, the machine’s firmware has been improved and the Tripodmaker now seems to be to carry out significantly better by way of dimensional accuracy, resonance and stringing. Whereas we have now not examined this ourselves, the photographs taken by Tripodmaker present some severe enhancements.

Try the total article over on their weblog: http://www.tripodmaker.com/blog/our-news-1/post/tripodmaker-review-by-3d-printing-for-beginners-22

Tripodmaker improvements