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  • Writer's pictureRobert Eckersley

The New Production Line

The new production line !

So our current production process has limitation, mainly due to the fact the line was made purely for PLA or at least it evolved that way. You could almost say a mad science experiment that became so focused making a single product that it progressed pass the point of being versatile. This was why we started with the 2nd line, but in reality the 2nd line became a copy in principle of the first line. It had to work with the equipment we already had in place and with methods that our team was familiar with. This meant we still had to produce our master spools at the end of the line which as per the post on Saturday was a limiting factor for us.

So roll on the new production line, as we progress so does the drive for new features and an ever increasing demand from our customer base for a better more competitive product. I would often look at the products from Fillamentum, Proto Pasta and Prusa as guide to what the ultimate filament should look like. At the same time looking at brands from the East that have a powerful impact in our space due to the price point that they strike. For us we always wanted to hit a balance between cost and performance and that is still true today. This strategy has got us to this point and the required investment needed to move to the next stage in 3DQF filament production.

The New Line

Tolerance The new production line should hold 0.02+ /- while outputting at our current volume. This is so important as any slow down in output would have a direct impact on pricing. We will more than likely quote 0.03 +/ - but even so this is an important step forward for us.

Neat & Tidy Filament Winding So without wanting to open up a hornet’s nest LOL it’s generally just a confidence thing. If the spool looks neat and tidy then should any issue arise it’s easy to spot them before there is an actually issue resulting in a failed print.

Data Logged Runs with print out. Yes we will be doing a printout with the roll data, It will evolve overtime but you will have a good amount of information pertaining to your roll of filament.

Online colour monitoring We will have a live feed so we can finally move away from matching master colour sample by eye. We will use a specialist optical sensor to monitor the output and maintain the desired colour.

Multiple Material setup The whole production line will now be able to switch from PLA to ABS to PETG with minimal restructuring. This will be a vast improvement over our current set up.

Multiple Spool Sizes. From .250 through to 3kg will be possible with the new production line.

2.85mm Something that we just couldn’t do was 2.85mm although this will change with the new production line and the modified spool design with the larger centre bore

So that’s about it, new exciting materials and additives will also be released too, so the close of this year will be interesting. We are going to come up with a structured approach to adding the new feature and product as we start to see the year out. We expect that by the end of September to be using the new production line for filament production. Needless to say we will keep you all updated none the less

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