Updates on testing

Since we have the prototype up and running, we’ve had a bunch of fun testing it out by making some cool things.

The wood router bits came in so we were able to try doing some engravings with them. The carbide endmills and ballmills just arrived today so keep an eye out for milled metal.

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Milling wood with the rotary tool

So I printed out a mount for our 20 dollar rotary tool and stuck it onto the machine to test. We haven’t gotten any router bits for the Makita spindle yet, but we did have the rotary tool on hand so I thought we might as well try carving stuff out.

 

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We carved out “Hello world” using G-code generated from Makercam and a diamond cone burr bit. Looks pretty good!

We get a new 3D printer

We’ve had our 3D printer, the Tevo Tarantula, for just under two months, and it has served us beautifully. I decided on picking up a new printer due to the fact that it kept breaking down and needing maintenance, and so the plan is to take apart the Tarantula and use the parts to build new machines.

The Tarantula decided to start doing weird things in the z axis and I finally pulled the trigger in purchasing a new printer.

So we purchased a new Wanhao i3 Duplicator on Friday, and Tim brought it back from Richmond Hill last night. It took about 20 minutes to set up and we were printing right away.

Besides a mishap involving the spool falling out in the middle of the night, everything has been working great! Long live the Duplicator!

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Iteration four of our desktop CNC milling machine

We’ve been working hard for the last few weeks to iterate and design our desktop CNC machine design and here’s a rendered CAD image of where we are right now.

Before putting in the electronics, we have just over 160 parts. Compared to other desktop CNC milling machines, this is an incredibly low number (about 280-300 on the Shapeoko BOM and X Carve BOM) but we’re still working on finding ways to do more with less parts, simplifying assembly, and making repairs easy.

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We obtain $3000 in funding from the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre Summer Company Program

We’re excited to be accepted into the Summer Company Program through the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre where we’ll have access to mentors, connections, events, and $3000 in funding.

Here’s a picture of Rob and me when I went in to sign my program contracts and agreements at the Centre, after my meeting with Inksmith at the Communitech Hub.

Today is also the conclusion of Ignition Week for the Enterprise Co-op Program, a one week intensive workshop/one-on-one mentoring/seminar/tour/crash-course to kick off the upcoming summer. It’s been a great week on learning about everything from sales to marketing, UX and UI design, accounting, legal, and more!

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Testing linear motion systems for 3D printing applications

We’ve had some inquiries on building linear motion systems for 3D printers, and so we’ve shrunk down the rails for our CNC machines to use in 3D printers!

These rails are designed to fit into 3D printing machines and be superior to currently available alternatives in strength, stiffness, accuracy, and durability.

Chris and I are working on developing a 3D printer with these rails. Make sure to stay tuned for more details!

More prototyping

We’ve put together a number of rail and gantry prototypes during the past week or so. A bunch have parts have come in for testing, and we’re excited to try them out!

We’ve had interest from a few different places to develop some linear rails for 3D printing applications, so we have created a few designs to address that. This means creating smaller and lighter versions of our current rails and exploring different setups, from belt drives to lead screw drives, angle style rails or flat bar style rails.

 

We recieve $5000 in funding!

We won $5000 from yesterday’s pitch competition! 18 teams presented their pitch to two of our judges, David Rose and Nada Basir, from the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology Center.

Special congratulations to our other pitchers who won an award:

  • Aaron Cote, Polyball Studio Monolith
  • Ashwin Krishnan, WeSmart Technologies
  • Ron Tsang, Thyme
  • Richard Norton, Edible Art Project
  • Susanna Yu, BeautyTime
  • Zain Kevashjee, Soko

This award will be released to us at the conclusion of the Enterprise Co-op Program in August. We’re excited to use these funds to continue developing desktop CNC machines and linear motion systems for rapid prototyping!

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Processed with VSCO

Accepted into the Enterprise Co-op Program!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog but I have some awesome news! I’ve been accepted into the University of Waterloo’s Enterprise Co-op program!

This means that for the next four months, I will be working on this project full time with the support and mentorship from the University, as well as support from accelerators and incubators in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

Tim, Chris, and I will be living together and will be working on this machine until we can get it to be perfect. Stay tuned for more details.

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