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Hi,

Ever since the UM2 Extended was introduced, I've had this idea stuck in my head about a modular UM2 design. This is a quick (and inaccurate) sketch:

mod_um2.thumb.png.c9d5acae76a34e5b0fa2b071b21a8de2.png

What if instead of a bigger UM2, there would be an UM2X which can be eXtended with those modules stacked one over the other. Sure there is a limit to it and the z-screw, z-stage-rods, bowden, connecting cables would need to be replaced too. But I think the appeal of this design is the relatively easy upgrade and a gain of another 10cm build height. The connecting interface would need to be adjusted too but with clever design, cables for example could have connector plugs from the get go where a new module would just latch its cables in place (instead of replacing _all_ cables).

What do you think?

mod_um2.thumb.png.c9d5acae76a34e5b0fa2b071b21a8de2.png

Edited by Guest
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That's quite nice. To go from normal to extended the user would need new z shafts and z motor. I wonder why would someone might need a smaller size and then extend it. The shafts and motor ain't much expensive with just a module. Somehow I love the idea but also don't know...

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Nice idea! Don't you think it would become less rigid if it was made up of separate parts? If it would be less rigid the surface quality could suffer / couldn't print as fast. And above a certain hight, when your prints become taller you need to compensate it with a rigid Zstage to keep everything still and steady.

And the cables might be avoided if you could connect them together with some connectors, right? The rods etc would need to be replaced.

I think what @Neotko is asking.. why would you want to be modular and face these challenges. What do you think?

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Think it's a nice idea for the fun of it, make the hole thing fold-able, replace the z rod with belts etc...

But for real, it will probably always have a negative impact on quality and/or price, the thing will just be over complicated. By comparison have a look at the latest felix printer, this thing is designed to be compact, the bed folds 90 degrees when not in use, to improve portability (and reduce shipping cost). I personally much prefer simplicity.

http://www.felixprinters.com/pro-one-439

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Yes as I said, there is a limit to it (height, rigidity), yet these are technical problems that can be tackled to an extent. Rods and screws are relatively cheap so replacing them with every extension wouldn't be a problem.

But I think the main reason is simply because the user does not know better what he will need later. Say you start with a regular sized UM2. Then you realize you'd need something bigger. Instead of buying an UM2 Extended, you could buy another "stack" (or "module" or "blade") and extend the print height. This upgrade won't be as expensive as a new printer, and might appeal to a broader user range. And going beyond that, such an extended printer might achieve a pretty insane build height (something to rival Delta printers for example).

The fact that the UM hardware designers kept the frame very simple and moved the rods and electronics to the top/bottom, begs for this thing to be cut up in the middle in order to be extended :)

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That makes perfect sense and I would love that. Also the base model could have longer cables to a max, to make it less problematic in the upgrades. Nice one

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I think the best thing would be to have heaps of different top section options. So normal plastic extruder

Laser engraver

Paste extruder and other cool ones.

If the cables are hard fixed and plug in when you change the top it you make it super easy to swap over.

You can then have different gantry types depending on what is required by the application.

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Nice idea! So swapping not only middle parts, but entire tops. I dig that! Even for filament only printing, fiddeling with the print head to swap parts that would survive long ABS prints is not fun (and I say this as the only human on earth who has disassembled his printhead more than 100 times...) :)

Although I think that swapping an entire top would be a bit too much for filament changes only. But I'd love to be able to convert my UM2 to a paste extruder in a matter of minutes and not days.

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If you can build one within a month and print some of the parts I'm pretty sure you will win the UM2+ upgrade kit :p

 

haha! Can't wait to see the entry.

@Labern, you must also have an idea boiling, don't you?

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For that reason we made it a month instead of a week!

Well, hopefully you won't get buried at work and ideally find some time to come up with an amazing idea :)

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Well, we could start here and report what features are missing here.

Then.. when we actually start to build it we can include those suggestions.

 

Yep, just did. Connect this platform idea with recurring contests and you'd have a lot of feedback in a very short time :)

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Maybe the platform could be raised using something like this (sketchfab is doing something weird with the animation, but you get the idea), and two or more could be linked together as units.

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Hi Nicolinux,

I liked this idea, actually very smart -and don't worry about the wiring as it can be long enough for the ext. version, so when you go to the standard version the wire bundles is just clamped behind the side covers. Even the Z axis could be the long one, going through the roof into a cylinder cover in short version configuration.

Great idea...

Regards

Torgeir

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