So, some folks have questions about how they can make certain changes in their prints. I will answer the most frequently asked questions below.
The following all apply to all versions of Repetrel.
Why is there mandatory training?
Here at Hyrel, we believe that no training equals a bad printing experience. We are NOT in business to work hard and then have our customers have a bad experience. We include up to five hours of online training (via Skype and TeamViewer) to ensure that you can get reasonable, reliable results out of your printer. All of our models are compatible with this training.
It is our policy to only sell a printer after we have talked to the customer about their application; the reason for this is that 3D printing is still quite new to the world, and many people have inaccurate ideas of what a printer can do and what it takes to make a good part. We have no interest in selling a printer to a person, only to have them find out it will not work for them. Our mission is to create and sell print systems to people that will use them and find great satisfaction in being our customers.
We have had great experiences with those who have taken this training, as it gives them each a better idea of the printer and its capabilities. Likewise, we have had some bad experiences with a couple of customers who refused the training, and then were unhappy with the product. We believe that our printer is perfect for many customers, but not all customers. Until you have some idea of how it operates, you have no actual first-hand information to make a good decision. And we want our printers to go to people who will use them to do things other printers cannot do.
We have two training sessions that we do one-on-one, and during that session we use teamviewer 9 and Skype, and we allow you to go through the entire design to print process; you actually control the printer from your computer during this session (via TeamViewer) and see the results (via Skype).
If you have a strong interest, then please contact us to set up a session.
How do you do the training?
1. You need to have downloaded and installed regular skype ( https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/ ) - not the "for business" version - and registered a free account. You don’t need a camera, but you do need a microphone. Direct link: https://go.skype.com/windows.desktop.download
2. You need to have downloaded and installed teamviewer 9 ( https://community.teamviewer.com/English/kb/articles/78348-download-teamviewer-8-and-9 ), the free client for non-commercial use. Direct link: https://download.teamviewer.com/download/version_9x/TeamViewer_Setup.exe
3. You need to be online with skype and teamviewer 9 running, and be logged in to your skype account.
This works best for you if you have two displays (or two computers), with the teamviewer 9 window on one and the skype window on the other, although it does work with one screen (just not as well). To start, you can skype me (hy.rel, johns creek) or give me your account ID and I’ll skype you. Then I’ll give you my teamviewer 9 number and password, and you will control my computer.
This is a point-to-point lesson; you can have more than one person, but your team should be in the same room together - or some will not be able to see or use TeamViewer.
When can you do the training?
I am generally available Monday through Friday, 8 am through 4 pm US Eastern time. This is UTC-5 from early March to early November, but UTC-4 from early November to early March.
Some other times are possible, please let me know what you need.
What do the printers come with?
All of our currently offered products come with the same:
- Electronics, including Windows TabletPC
- Motion Control components - motors, linear bearings, ball screws, etc.
- Skype/TeamViewer training - STRONGLY ENCOURAGED - SEE NEXT SECTION
- Tramming Kit - Digital Tramming Tool, metric hex drivers, razor blades, spatula, plastic cutters, glass build plate, blue painter's tape, ST-Link programming adapter, tweezers, wire brush, 1 gallon ziplock bag.
Why do you put a full computer in every printer?
We decided to include the embedded PC in our printers because it enables us to:
1. Provide online support in real time; and
2. Expand the printer’s capability in the future.
There is NO question that this is valuable. Every time we walk a customer through a new procedure, or help diagnose what is going on with their printer via Team Viewer, we are absolutely sure that having the embedded PC was one of the best ideas we have had.
Some people see our printer and really like the hardware, but of course the price is not cheap, because the components are world class quality. These people may find it hard to afford to purchase a printer with an embedded PC, but the PC and touchscreen add a mere $350 to the actual cost of the printer (we make NO profit from the PC; we offer it because it makes the printer that much better, and easier to grow with).
For them we offer a Printer without a PC; however, we strongly suggest that this ONLY be done by people that are VERY computer literate. We factored in 5 hours of personal training on each printer, because this is a new technology and we found that everyone really benefited from this training. We did NOT factor in any time to help people that were trying to get modern software running on an old PC from the garage and save $350 on their printer, because our time is valuable and an old PC is a complete unknown.
The embedded PC comes configured and tested. This is by far the best way to get a great 3D printing experience.
We have always tried to operate with the mindset of: we treat the customer the way we want to be treated. We would much rather spend our time helping someone learn how to print than spend it trying to debug some unique and unknown computer installation.
How long will it take to get my printer?
Orders should be shipping 2-4 weeks ARO. Here is the process:
- We'll send you a Quotation.
- We'll do the first skype/teamviewer9 training session (hardware/software overview, leveling the bed, setting the Z height, and printing in plasticine).
- We'll send a new Quotation if needed.
- If everything is as you want it, we'll send an invoice.
- Upon receipt of payment or a PO, we'll send a Sales Order and customize a unit to your order.
- We'll do the second skype/teamviewer9 training session (creating a CAD model, exporting an STL, healing the STL, slicing the STL (creating gcode), loading the head, and printing in plastic).
- We'll ship your unit and send you tracking information.
- We're available to skype with you to help you get set up and answer any questions you have.
- We're here to help you out with anything you need, as best we can.
How do you handle shipping?
For orders to US addresses, we usually ship FedEx.
For international shipping, we use Incoterms EXW because it's best for the customer to take ownership at our address and make their own arrangements with a shipping company. This is because any complications will be with the receiving country, and the customer will be better suited for dealing with the local agencies (including any language issues) than we would remotely from the states.
What Operating Systems are Compatible?
The software which drives the printers works with Windows 10. Our software is not open source. We Program in C#.net, and it is possible to add your own module to our software. We use G-Code to operate our printers. We have over 50 custom codes to allow for the extra features of our printers. The software to run the printers is included with every printer.
What About Upgrades?
3D printing is in its infancy, and we envision the software becoming the most valuable component in the future. As consumers, we get very frustrated with continual software upgrade fees - but it does take labor not only to improve the software and firmware, but also to help customers do upgrades.
When you purchase a Hyrel printer, that software has no expiration date - it should always work as it did when it was shipped. But once our team has released v4, we stop working on improving v3, and our efforts go toward making v4 better.
If you've had your printer less than two years, the updates have no cost - and that update has no expiration date.
However, if your printer is over two years old, there will be a fee to get you a new license for the new version (presently $250 for a v4 license on older printers). This modest fee is not added to generate profit, but rather to offset the cost of helping you get the new version up and running if you should encounter any difficulties.
What is your warranty policy?
- All core Electronics are covered for 1 (one) year. Installing/flashing any third party firmware onto any of electronics and/or tampering with any of the core electronics immediately voids any and all warranty.
- All Mechanical parts are under warranty for 90 (ninety) days. Operating any HYREL 3D Printer in a very dirty environment will void any and all warranty (for example: a saw mill or sand blasting area).
- Heaters, hot ends and hot beds are covered for 90 (ninety) days, but if there is an obvious manufacturing error, we will not charge for repair.
- Our policy for all parts (not just electronics) is depot repair; you (the customer) only pay shipping on warranty repairs.
What is the print resolution?
The resolution game is played by many manufacturers in the 3D market.
Our Actual position resolution is better than than 5 microns in the x and Y, and 0.5 microns in the Z. The repeatability is about 25 microns in the x and y, and about 10 microns in the Z axis.
The real metric that is not properly asked it the Feature size: can you print an artifact that is say 50 microns reliably? This industry needs new standards, until we have them, we deal with this by actually arranging a skype call with a possible customer, where we make a part and let you inspect it, this way you know the whole story, what it takes to make a part, and what kind of quality you can expect from our printer.
We are NOT interested in selling printers that do not satisfy the needs of our customers, there are plenty of people that like what we have, we want you to find the right technology to meet your needs.
Feel free to arrange for a skype session, and one of us will be happy to walk you through the process.
What is the thickness of the layers?
We support layer heights as small as 25 microns, but only certain materials are working at that thickness; and while it yields a very fine finish, it takes A VERY LONG TIME (can be 12+ hours for small prints).
25 microns is the practical lower limit for ABS, with 250-400 microns being the preferred thickness. 250 microns is the practical lower limit for extrudables (Silicone type materials), with 500 microns being the preferred thickness.
What about large builds?
Many people request large build volumes. Regardless of the brand of printer, this is something that must be approached with open eyes.
1. Dimension Tolerance
FDM technology uses melted plastic at 200+ degrees Celsius, and as the build takes place the plastic will shrink as it cools; stiffer plastics often have trouble holding dimension due to this.
2. Build time
Many people do not realize that making a part that is 200mm cubed would take DAYS, not hours. This fits the needs of many potential users; however it is something that should be considered.
Our printers have travel in excess of all stated dimensions; this is necessary to insure that it is actually practical to make parts the advertised size. Adding extra heads reduces the build volume, however 2 head prints will be very close to the 200x200x200mm stated capacity.
What about materials?
We do not offer proprietary materials; - we do recommend vendors, but you may acquire your ABS, HIPS, PC, PEEK, PET, PLA, PVA, Nylon,, Ninjaflex, Plastink Rubber, T-Glase, Laywood, Laybrick, Clays, including Precious Metal Clays (PMC), HA, Porcelain, PCL, Plasticine, Plah-Doh, Resin, Sugru (Rubber), and RTV Silicone and any other materials from any vendor you wish. Please note that the prices will vary greatly based on variables like quality, quantity, and shipping costs. We find ABS and PLA for between $20 and $100 per kg. We are happy to share our recommended suppliers with you.
We must stress that there is a vast difference in the quality of materials available online. Using low quality material will result in a bad printing experience.
Can we print with your material?
Probably. Please tell me:
What form it is in at room temperature (powder, granules, filament, gel, etc)?
Do you need the environment or build surface at a certain temperature?
- For Filaments:
- At what temperature will it be printed?
- Is it 1.75mm or 3mm filament?
- For liquids, gels, granules or powders:
- At what temperature will it be deposited?
- Is it homogeneous or pre-mixed, or do we need to mix it as we dispense?
- If mixed as dispensed, at static or dynamic ratios?
- How does it harden or cure (by cooling, by heating, with humidity, with UV light (specify wavelength))?
- Is it photosensitive? Energetic? Caustic? Any special handling, safety or ventilation requirements?
- What viscosity is it during deposition?
- At what temperature will it be deposited?
Unheated (or Chilled) Reservoir Printing
Unheated (or Chilled) Reservoir Printing (or "Cold Flow") refers to printing with somewhat fluid materials at room temperature. We offer the following Unheated Reservoir Printing heads, with or without UV crosslinking:
- The EMO prints with pastes, gels, clays and emulsifiables.
- The SDS -5, -10, -30, -60, -60XT, or -150XT prints with low viscosity pastes, gels and emulsifiables from sterile, disposable, luer lock compatible plastic syringes at room temperature.
- The RSD-30 prints with low viscosity pastes, gels and emulsifiables from sterile, disposable, luer lock compatible plastic syringes at temperatures ranging from ambient to 20°C below ambient.
- The DSD-50 prints with two separate components, blending them at a 1:1 ratio through a series of static baffles.
- The SMH-2 prints with two separate components, blending them at a user-defined ratio (or varying ratios) through a series of static baffles.
- The DMH-2 prints with two separate components, blending them at a user-defined ratio (or varying ratios) in an active blending chamber with blades spinning at user-defined speeds.
Heated Reservoir Printing
Heated Reservoir Printing (or "Warm Flow") refers to printing with material which becomes somewhat fluid when heated to temperatures of 200°C or less. We offer the following Warm Flow heads, with or without UV crosslinking:
- The HSD-30 (BD) prints with low viscosity pastes, gels and emulsifiables from sterile, disposable, luer lock compatible plastic syringes at temperatures up to 50°C.
- The HSD-10 (Ardes) prints with low viscosity pastes, gels and emulsifiables from a reusable, luer lock compatible polyamide syringes at temperatures up to 75°C.
- The VOL prints with pastes, gels, clays and emulsifiables at up to 90°C.
- The KR2 prints with pastes, gels, clays and emulsifiables at up to 180°C (200°C special orders).
- The TAM prints with pastes, gels, clays and emulsifiables at up to 270°C.
Filament printing (or "Hot Flow") refers to printing with 1.75mm thermoplastic filaments. We offer the following Hot Flow heads:
- The MK1-250 prints with typical 1.75mm filaments at up to 250°C.
- The MK1-450 prints with 1.75mm engineering filaments at between 250°C and 450°C
- The MK2-250 prints with flexible 1.75mm filaments at up to 250°C.
- The HT1-250 prints with typical 1.75mm filaments at up to 250°C with a higher torque, dual-drive setup.
- The HT1-4250 prints with typical 1.75mm filaments at up to 450°C with a higher torque, dual-drive setup.
- The HT3-250 prints with typical 2.85mm filaments at up to 250°C with a higher torque, dual-drive setup.
- The HT3-450 prints with typical 2.85mm filaments at up to 450°C with a higher torque, dual-drive setup.
Note: The MK2-250 is ALREADY a higher torque, dual-drive print head.
Note: The MK1-450 is NOT designed to print with lower temperature filaments like ABS or PLA.
Note: The Feed Chamber Cooling Fan should be used on the MK1-250 for low temperature (sub-225C) filaments like PLA.
Other Heads which do not deposit material, but still perform functions on our printers, include:
- The LA5-808 Laser provides 5A at 808nm. Always use proper Personal Protective Equipment.
- The LA6-450 Laser provides 6A at 450nm. Always use proper Personal Protective Equipment.
- The ST1 Spindle Tool is used for simple through holes and light milling operations on plastic. Always use proper Personal Protective Equipment.
- The Mic200 (200x Microscope) allows for close inspection and live metrologoy of the work being performed.
- The Quiet Storm provides additional directed cooling on the work.
Other Accessories include:
- The SDK Sofware Developer's Kit, for designing your own print heads.
- The LTK Luer Tip Kit for Cold and Warm flow heads.
- The DBK Drill Bit Kit includes a variety of drilling and milling heads for the ST1 Spindle Tool.
How reliable is your printer?
The machine was designed with a 5000 hour MTBF goal, and so far we have no reason to believe that this has not been met. Our parent company has had four axis motion control devices in the field for over 15 years with 100% customer satisfaction. We have been printing on our printers for several months; most of our builds run two to four hours. If the printer is used properly, we recommend a general head cleaning once every 200 hours of printing, (this takes about 5 minutes).