We're keeping it brief this week as almost everyone seems to be out shopping for Black Friday / Cyber Monday, or enjoying family time for (American) Thanksgiving! That being said, we do have a few quick updates -
1) Production is moving along smoothly, though we are still waiting on our gears and sheet metal to arrive. Supposedly, the gears will ship out on Monday, and the sheet metal will be here ASAP - we'll keep everyone posted. We are continuing to produce everything in house so we can catch up for any lost time as soon as everything gets here. Jen's been particularly busy with our wiring harnesses, and Siraj has been making a ton of extruder hot sections...and producing a lot of waste chips in the process! We are, of course, recycling all of our waste metal from in house fabrication using a local scrap metal recycler :)
2) More parts are in! We got more bearings, steppers, servos, power cables, and boxes for the unit...things are really piling up. Of particular note was the recent arrival of all of our gearboxes...they weigh 850 lbs together! These are used to power the grinder, to make sure you can shred things quickly and easily.
Thank god for pallet jacks...we definitely needed one to bring in all of our grinder gearboxes. A HUGE shout out to Bane Bots for getting all of them done so quickly!
3) Speaking of the grinder...we now have video up of the grinder wheels' final machining step: cutting the teeth. This takes the "wheel of discs" you've already seen that our lathe spits out, and cuts precision teeth into each one at exactly the right profile. While grinding is definitely pretty trivial compared to extrusion, balancing speed with effort is still really difficult, and we've gone through over 40 iterations of the grinder wheel profile before settling on our final choice...which makes it easy to grind, without being too slow. Check out the video of our Tormach 4th axis machine cutting out the grinder wheels here, or below:
4) Last but not least, an update on pellets. We're still negotiating with our fulfillment partners to get shipping costs down, as we think the shipping should cost less than the pellets, and right now that's not the case. That being said, we have finalized the following: 1) We'll be packaging in reinforced Mylar due to it's fantastic ability to block moisture, and protect your pellets. No other retailer does this! 2) We'll be selling our pellets in quarter kilo (250g / ~0.5 lb) increments. This makes it very easy to produce as little or as much as you need at a time, and is particularly useful for those wanting to make lots of different colors without having to make a full spool of each. The only other supplier we know of that does this is ColorFabb...but they charge way more than we're planning to. Our pellets will be competitively priced on a per kilo basis, but available in smaller amounts to make your life easier. 3) As mentioned, we're going to offer quite a few varieties of pellets, and will continue to increase the offerings as we can confirm more variations that work automatically with ProtoCycler. As time goes by, you'll be able to extrude more and more polymers, each with different strengths for 3D printing, and all through free firmware updates. We're pretty excited to see just how many different plastics we can do!
That's it for this week - happy thanksgiving to our neighbors down south, and we'll have more news next week!
-The ReDeTec team