Feedback on N2 plus dual

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colbylippincott
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:21 pm

Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby colbylippincott » Mon May 22, 2017 7:20 pm

Hello,
I have had many issues come up with the N2 plus at my work, and I just wanted to make a list so people are aware before they buy the printer, and so that Raise3D can improve things. Just to be clear, I have had experience with many, many 3d printers including 3 of my own. These problems are not just user error.

1. The extruder gets very hot and softens the filament, causing the filament to either grind, or bend and get jammed, halfway through the print. This didn't affect the stock PLA that came with it most of the time, but it did affect the PETG from eSUN that it states it works with. I tried turning down the motor driver voltage to 0.8, and the same thing happens. The issue is the enclosed space that doesn't let the heat from the extruder motor escape. I installed a heat sink on the motors, and opened the top up, and it now prints successfully with PETG. However, this defeats the purpose of having a heated enclosure.
- one way to redesign this is to use a bowden system instead of direct drive, so the extruder is outside the heated area. I do like direct drive systems because of their accuracy, but bowden is getting better and better, especially with firmware changes such as linear advance.

2. The extruder gear teeth are too fine, so they grind the filament easier. I switched to a coarser tooth gear, and it works much better. It can actually take advantage of the full torque of the stepper motor. As far as I can tell, there is no downside to a coarser tooth gear so this is a no brainer.

3. The extruder can't be set above 270 C, even though it is advertised to go up to 300 C. I found this out when trying to print with polycarbonate, which is part of the reason we bought this printer. I don't know if there is just some setting I need to change or what, but I don't see any reason why it should be set like that from the factory.

4. At higher temps, the extruder heater stops heating when it gets to 10C below the setpoint. This is obviously a PID tuning issue, which unfortunately is very hard to fix for the user, but very easy to fix for the manufacturer. Again, this is a no brainer that needs to be fixed immediately.

5. The position of the extruder motors is only controlled by the mounting screws. This means if you loosen the screws and put the motor back, it could be in a different position which completely makes the extruder not grip the filament anymore, or it could be in a position that grips too much and takes too much extruder torque. I am not a fan of fixing the distance between the idler wheel and the extruder gear, but if you are going to do that, you need to make sure to locate the motor in the same spot every time so it is consistent, probably by using the boss in the extruder motor, which is its intended purpose. It would be much better to have a spring loaded extruder like every other printer on the market, which would also allow you to unload filament much quicker than the current system.

6. The guide for the filament does not fully constrain the filament path. Right underneath the idler wheel is a gap where filament can easily buckle and jam the extruder. This is part of the problem with the PETG jamming above. I had to design a new cap to replace the acrylic cap, which has a section that fits into the groove on the idler and fully constrains the filament path. I tried printing this in PLA at first, but it warped due to the heat problem above. So I had to print it using PETG, which of course jammed a few times until I got lucky enough to print it. Here is the file in case anyone wants to print it: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2337467

7. The motion system had a few places where the carriage binds, which caused shifted layers halfway through a 24 hour print. Not a fun thing to find when you get back to work. When I adjusted the carriages by loosening the screws per the instructions, I found that one of the sides the holds the cross rails allows the rail to slide back and forth. This is on the right track, because it means that one end of the rod can slide back and forth to allow for the difference in distance between the rails. However, I realized that the reason the carriage was actually binding was probably the difference in Z height between the two rails, which this doesn't account for. So really all that is needed to fix the binding problem is changing that block to allow for z movement as well, by changing to a slot instead of a hole. See the attached picture.

8. The default routine for homing and purging can make the head run into the binder clips that hold the bed on. There should at least be a marking showing where not to put the binder clips, but a better solution would be to change the default start Gcode to first move in the Y-direction (away from the binder clips) and then go to the start of the print. Again, very easy to fix for the manufacturer, but harder to fix for users especially if they aren't familiar with Gcode.

9. The filament guide tube couplers failed within the first few months of using the printer. This doesn't actually affect print quality, but they should really be upgraded to nicer ones that don't break.

10. The cooling method for the N2 plus dual is not great. Even the cheapest printers on the market have a controllable cooling fan. This is a must.

11. The filament guide tubes rub up against the lid, making big ugly marks. Not really a concern for me, but still it makes the printer look cheaper to my boss and other people who evaluate it. Changing to PTFE tubes might fix this. Same with the binder clips. My boss actually came by and commented that they were cheesy.

12. The filament guide tubes should be installed by default. You really don't want the filament getting bent when the carriage moves to the left side and pulls the filament with it. This can snap brittle filament, or cause the bent filament to jam the extruder.

13. The advertised print speed of 150mm/s just plain doesn't work with this printer. The extruder cannot keep up, and even if it does the filament will just grind away. The funny thing is that my original printrbot with a crappy printed greg's wade extruder could do this just fine. So clearly it would be a vast improvement to gear the stepper motors down and improve the grip of the extruder teeth. Maybe by using bondtech extruders, but that isn't completely necessary. Getting this print speed up would be absolutely awesome, so you could take full advantage of the precise motion system while printing large items in a reasonable time.

14. The endstop switches are cheesy and are getting bent over time. These need to be mounted better, and probably enclosed so they are nicer looking.

15. An out of filament sensor is practically necessary on this big of a printer, especially when you are printing massive stuff.

16. There could be a removable tray in the bottom of the printer, to catch all the strings that fall down.

17. The extruder gear rubs up against the acrylic extruder cap, which makes squeaking noises. This might be due to the issue with the motor position stated above.

If Raise3d fixes these issues (all of which are not expensive to fix), I am confident that this machine could be the best large format printer out there.

Now some compliments on the printer:

1. The motion system is super precise. The print quality is awesome due to this (when I can get it to print).

2. The touchscreen is super nice. I love the remaining time feature more than anything else.

3. The bed was nice and level when I got it, and it was very easy to adjust the z-height using the knob.

4. The Z motion is super solid, and I have never had a problem with it.

5. The printing surface is nice, and makes printing with different materials a breeze.

6. The ideamaker software is suprisingly awesome. I use it on my other printers because it is so nice.

7. In general the machine looks very nice, besides the few comments I had above.
Attachments
binding.jpg

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Tue May 23, 2017 8:43 am

Thanks so much for your feedback! All above I have taken well notes.

For the No.3, do you mean on screen or in ideaMaker you cannot set temperature higher than 270C or due to hardware? If software, we have increase the limit in both latest versions of ideaMaker and Raise Touch fimware.

For the No.4, if PID does no help, please make contact with us. On our side, we find that may due to bad heating rods. If your nozzle with new heating rod cannot reach around 300, we'd love to provide replacement for you.

For the No.8, do you mean let the Y direction back for a few mm to make it far away from the clips then homing before the print starts? If so, it may not suitable for us. Because on our machine, we don't know the real position of nozzle. If we add this into start code, for nozzle which is at the front side, it does help. But for nozzle which at the back side, already at the max position of Y direction, still let it move a few mm back will be dangerous.

For the No.9, which couplers do you mean? The two at the right side of the printer above filament spools or the two on printed filament guiding tube mount.

For the No.13, have you tried with higher temperature for it? If you want to increase the temperature the default PLA temperature may not enough for such amount of extrusion in short time.

colbylippincott
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:21 pm

Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby colbylippincott » Tue May 23, 2017 4:26 pm

3. Yes on the touchscreen. I haven't tried using IdeaMaker to set it higher yet.

4. Is there any way to change the PID parameters without going into firmware? I would prefer not to touch it. If there isn't, you might want to build that into your next updated for the touchscreen. That would be really cool to have an autotune feature directly from the touchscreen.

8. The start g code should be as follows to avoid any collisions:
Home x
Home y
Home z
Z up to 5 mm (or whatever you use)
Purge extruder
Move y to 15mm - add this part to avoid the binder clips
Start printing

9. The one that broke for me was the one on the extruder end (attached to the printed piece that fits on top)

13. Yes, I tried increasing the temperature, but the extruder still can't hit those speeds without grinding, skipping, or buckling the filament and jamming. This may be solved if you can handle the motor heat problem, because I think the extruder teeth get hot enough to cause a lot of these problems (except the skipping). Of course this is using the "speed" setting, which I realize uses 0.25 layers and requires more extrusion, but obviously if you are going for speed you won't want to use lower layer heights.

Another big advantage of using a geared down extruder is to isolate the motor heat from the filament. Right now, the heat from the motor goes straight into the shaft and extruder gear. If you gear it down, the heat has to travel from the motor to the shaft, through the gearing system, and into the extruder teeth. That is going to have much less heat transfer, especially if you use an insulating material for the gears, like nylon.

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Wed May 24, 2017 5:47 am

For the No.3, please try the latest the touchscreen firmware.

For the No.4, we are currently developing simple PID autotune program. May not be in next. But will release soon.

For the No.13, have you tried very high temperature for this? Like 250, 260 for PLA?

colbylippincott
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby colbylippincott » Wed May 24, 2017 11:02 pm

I haven't tried super high temperatures, but if you do that, I know it will start degrading the print quality very quickly due to the oozing when you slow the extruder down for corners, or when you retract. But I will run a few tests when I get a chance and post the pictures.
What temperature do you recommend running at for speeds of 150mm/s?

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Thu May 25, 2017 8:03 am

Based on my experience, with our PLA, 0.1 layer thickness, the nozzle temperature may need around 270C to afford such lot extruder in very short time.

3dtech
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby 3dtech » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:34 pm

I haven't tried super high temperatures, but if you do that, I know it will start degrading the print quality very quickly due to the oozing when you slow the extruder down for corners, or when you retract. But I will run a few tests when I get a chance and post the pictures.

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:09 am

I have tried one today, 300% feedrate with standard PLA template, nozzle temperature 265C.
Although the surface quality is not the same as the default settings, but at least it can complete the print.
300%
1.jpg

Default
2.jpg

maleger
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby maleger » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:33 am

Thank you for this post, it reflects the problems I have been having as well. When it works well, I love this printer, but many times I find it frustrating. I would think a redesign of the printhead is needed. I will not be buing another until they fix the issues you mentionned. I just got 3 Prusa i3 MK2S and an Ultimaker (I modified it to use 1.75mm filament) to handle the extra work. They are not as nice, but for the price difference, I can live with some frustration.

maleger
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby maleger » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:34 am

Can you tell us where you purchased the new linear drive gear. I would like to try to replace them as you did to help with one of the major issues I have been having.

BigAlKY
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Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:40 pm

Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby BigAlKY » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:53 pm

Yes, there are many valid points here. My question is do I purchase one today or do I wait till the N3 arrives? I realize this 3D has been around for awhile and I would like simple things like a automated leveler to start with.

Since the 3D printer is the Cadillac of them, I would like options that are common in 3d printers.

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:17 am

I don't have a clear plan of next generation launch time. But might not be released in this year, or at lest very end of this year.

BigAlKY
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby BigAlKY » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:12 pm

I see that the price has dropped by 200.00 today. Hmmm, Labor Day sale or the N3 is coming will be my Xmas gift to myself? For time being, I will stick with present 3D printer which is Sindoh DP201. Great machine, but I need a larger build plate which Raise 3D has:)

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:38 am

Thanks for your watching! We are still on discussing the final date internal.
If we got any clear schedule, will share with all the Raisers.

BigAlKY
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby BigAlKY » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:06 am

Quick question.... Can most of the requests asked in an earlier post here by colbylippinscott be done by software upgrade such a automatic leveling of the bed and I have read that the end of the filament roll module is being developed by Raise3D which is needed for projects that require more 1 roll to complete a design

If all of the items can be handled by software updates, I would probably buy a N2Plus now.
Please let me know.

Thanks

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Vicky@Raise3D
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby Vicky@Raise3D » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:36 am

Filament monitor is on developing, but as I known, it should not only can work with next generation but also the current generate after releasing.
For bed leveling, we will have some upgrades in next generation, and also can be purchased and replaced to the current generation.

maleger
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Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby maleger » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:29 pm

I installed the Bondtech printhead system on my N2. So far so good: it looks like all my printer problems are solved and my printer now works will all kinds of filaments without any problems. Raise3D should offer this as an option when you purchase a new printer !

maleger wrote:Thank you for this post, it reflects the problems I have been having as well. When it works well, I love this printer, but many times I find it frustrating. I would think a redesign of the printhead is needed. I will not be buing another until they fix the issues you mentionned. I just got 3 Prusa i3 MK2S and an Ultimaker (I modified it to use 1.75mm filament) to handle the extra work. They are not as nice, but for the price difference, I can live with some frustration.

zemlin
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: Feedback on N2 plus dual

Postby zemlin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:22 pm

maleger wrote:I installed the Bondtech printhead system on my N2. So far so good

Thanks for the tip. I just ordered an N2+ dual as my second printer. Was a little leery of the extruder design. The Bondtech setup looks solid and seems to be a popular upgrade. I went ahead and ordered one - I'll swap it out as soon as the printer shows up.


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