Proforge 3d Printer-Kickstarter

PROFORGE 3D PRINTER PRESS PACK

Introduction The PROFORGE is a thoughtfully designed, Large, Metal Frame OPEN-SOURCE 3D Printer Kit.

 

It can be FULLY ENCLOSED and is set for OCTOPRINT (a wifi/web-cam control system that uses the raspberry pi). AUTO-LEVELING, an LCD SCREEN and a HEATED BED are STANDARD FEATURES.

There is also a MAXIMUM OF 150 being made for this project, this is to ensure that people who do pledge receive their Printer in the described shipping time and that the project does not get “clogged” by over subscription.

Proforge 3D Printer FEATURE SPECIFICATION Build Volume 200 X 200 X 240mm Aluminium Surface Heated Bed RepRap MK2 Heated PCB Bed – Up to 110˚ Celsius Extruder E3D V6 Clone – Up to 250˚ Celsius Printable Materials PLA, ABS, HIPS, PETG & Other exotics… Min. Layer Height 0.05mm Electronics RAMPS 1.4 / Arduino Combo Power 12v 360W Dedicated PSU Standard Features Heated Bed, Auto-levelling, LCD Screen, SD Card Support Upgradable Options Octoprint (+£60), Full Enclosure (+£75) OPENSOURCE AND HACKABLE The Proforge is a completely opensource and hackable machine from the ground up. It uses entirely off the shelf components. The only “specialized” parts are the cnc machined HDPE panels, .dxf drawings for which will be made available on our website along with all other source files once printers start shipping. The proforge also makes use of 3D printed parts making modifying and/or replacing parts super easy. All this is built around a 2020 aluminium extrusion frame held together with cast aluminium brackets. EXTRUDER The hotend is an E3D V6 Clone, an all metal hotend capable of delivering up to 250 degrees Celsius, making it super easy to print a wide range or materials from PLA to ABS and other exotics. Compatible filament diameter is 1.75mm. The extruder is mounted onto an “extruder mount” which mounts onto a “tool carriage”, this allows for an effortless swapping of tool heads (only undoing two screws). Also on the extruder mount is a 50mm blower fan with a snap fitting fan shroud that blows a cool stream of air onto the print and an inductive probe sensor for auto levelling. The extruder Feeder is both Powerful and Precise, it uses a NEMA 17 Motor and a 3:1 herringbone gear setup. This drives an MK8 feeder gear,. The Idler arm is tensioned with a simple spring mechanism (holding the nut and tightening the M5 screw increases the pressure on the filament). The filament is then pushed up through the PTFE tubing and into the hotend. EXTRUDER FEEDER AUTO BED LEVELLING The Proforge uses an inductive sensor to probe the bed at 9 points to create a curved surface mesh. The extruder then follows this curved surface for the perfect first layer. Z-AXIS The platform is a sheet of CNC machined HDPE with aluminium extrusions on the underneath for support. The Print Bed is a 220 x 220 mm, 1.5mm thick aluminium sheet on top of a PCB heated bed that sits on top of four brass 12mm stand offs, the print volume is 200x200x235mm. The platform rides on long format linear bearings and is driven by a T8 Lead screw coupled to a NEMA 17 Motor, the coupler is a spring type that clamps onto the shaft rather than using grub screws which shift and misalign the shaft only contributing to dreaded “z-wobble”. The kit also includes some PTFE grease for the lead screw. SMOOTH MOTION The Proforge has a H-style gantry powered by NEMA 17 motors; the x-motor carriage, Idler and tool carriage are 3d printed. The gantry rides on self lubricating bronze bushings and 8mm stainless steel rods. The Bushings slot into the 3d printed parts and are held down using cable ties. The Y-axis is also geared to provide greater resolution in the axis. The X-axis pulley is central through the tool carriage and the Y-axis pulleys attach onto the outer sides of the x motor carriage and Idler creating a balanced system. This configuration is smooth and incredibly effective not only for maintenance purposes but also a considerable amount quieter when printing as opposed to using ball linear bearings. Also linear ball bearings over time scratch into the rods leaving grooves, the bronze bushings instead ride on a thin layer of grease. The frame is made from 2020 aluminium extrusions held together by die cast aluminium corner brackets. Attached to the frame are CNC machined HDPE panels. HDPE is a a dense material with a very high tensile strength. Unlike acrylic it does not crack or shatter and is attached to the frame with a bolt, t-nut and spring washer. The HDPE panels create a housing at the bottom of the printer for the electronics and power supply. On the top corners of the machine these brackets hold up the motion system and extruder feeder. FRAME ELECTRONICS The Proforge is powered by a RAMPS 1.4/Arduino Mega combo, an incredibly common and reliable electronics solution for 3D printing. Motors are controlled with pololu a4988 micro-controller boards which result in 1/16 micro-stepping of the NEMA 17’s. The Proforge also uses the latest version of Marlin (RC-8 at time of writing), a very common and opensource firmware. The machine is powered by a dedicated 12v 360W Power supply. The electronics compartment also has space for a Raspberry Pi for running Octoprint. The Proforge also has an LCD screen and SD card reader making it easy to monitor the machine, preheat heaters and move motors. The SD card also lets you print directly of it and have the printer run with out it being connected to a computer. LCD SCREEN & SD CARD READER CLEAN & TIDY The Proforge uses braided cable sleeving for routing wires which gives the entire machine a sleek finish. USB and power ports are all mounted onto the back of the machine making everything easy and accessible. OCTOPRINT Octoprint lets you control and monitor your prints over your homes Wi-Fi network. Take full control of the Proforge, start and stop prints, preheat heaters and send .gcode commands. Octoprint also allows you to make awesome time-lapses of your prints too with the included on-board camera! ENCLOSURE The enclosure is made of laser cut 3mm clear Perspex panels that go around all four sided of the printer. The roof is held together using t slots and swings up and can rest vertical. The door also swings open 180 degrees. The enclosure is incredibly useful for printing ABS and other exotic materials where print quality is enhanced by having a warm printing chamber. The enclosure also improves quality by preventing unwanted drafts from blowing across the print that may cause it to warp and crack. PROFORGE 3D PRINTER KIT – All parts to build the Proforge. – A small tool kit. – Kapton tape. – SD Card. – 10m sample roll of PLA. – Country dependent power cord.

AILABLE EARLY BIRD £279/$349 50 STANDARD £319/$399 100 SHIPPING & VAT TO BE COLLECTED LATER ABOUT THE CREATOR My name’s Adeel Ali, I’m an undergraduate Engineering student at the University of Bristol in the UK, I have currently taken some time out from my studies to pursue this project. I’ve been immersed in the world of 3D Printing for that last 4 years as a hobbyist, and have taken it seriously in the past year and a half to create the Proforge. I’m absolutely committed to bringing the Proforge to life and have little to no other commitments outside of Makertech 3D. In the future I plan on making more machines and innovations that help other makers make better things more easily and for a more affordable price. FAQ’S How long would the proforge take to get up and running? If the Proforge is your very first 3D Printer then I’d recommend clearing out a weekend for getting it up and running. One day for the physical build and second day for wiring, software and calibration. If however your familiar with RepRap style 3D Printers then you should be able to have the Proforge up and running with in a day. The physical build taking up most of the time. How have you managed to keep the price so competitive? If the Proforge is designed almost entirely from off the shelf parts, when bought in bulk the price comes down and sourcing is relatively easy too because the components are so common place on the market. The major advantage to this is not just a great price but also that if a part were to fail over time the user can easily find a replacement from Ebay or AliExpress. Why have only a maximum of 150 Proforge’s been offered on Kickstarter? 150 is the number I am confident I can provide in the timeline outlined and is also the upper limit of the number of people I’m willing to cater for at the moment to give the best possible experience of Makertech 3D. Limiting the campaign like this also prevents any chance of it becoming over subscribed and everyone’s experience of the project being a negative…a problem that has plagued many other large projects. Can I pledge for a Plotter/Laser/CNC Expansion mod? Unfortunately not, there are links in the campaign to what I used and can be sourced from Ebay or Aliexpress. The reason for this is to reduce project complexity. The expansion mods are there to Show what else the Proforge is capable of. I will however be providing instruction on how to do them, they will be made available on our website. What are shipping and VAT costs going to be? Firstly VAT is only applicable to UK and EU countries and will come to 20% of your pledge. However if you are purchasing as a company and can provide A VAT number then you do not have to pay this tax. Shipping is calculated using parcel2go.com with these parameters: shipping from the UK, 25KG Parcel weight and 60 x 50 x 30 cm Parcel dimensions. These are maximum estimates and may vary when it comes time to ship. Shipping estimates for some countries (cheapest options): USA – £68.39 UK – £9.78 (inc VAT) Germany – £12.71 (inc VAT) Canada – £68.72

 

We are rather impressed by the design and the printer and would love to get one to test and review. We also do educational events and a dual extruder printer would be cool.

 

see–>

Now  that is pretty awesome!

About the Author

David Berkowitz, Editor in Chief.
I am the aspie dad of 3 with autism, in industrial sales by day, and a run tech and autism news media organization as well. I am trying to be like Engadget.com and help autism too via the arts and tech. I am also on twitter, itechnewszone, facebook/technewszone, youtube/technewszone, linkedin.com too.

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