I'm curious if it is possible to upgrade a QU-BD Two Up to self

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(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #1

I’m curious if it is possible to upgrade a QU-BD Two Up to self level and use a low power ceramic head like the new micro3d printer that is so popular on kickstarter.

Anyone know?

Especially the ceramic head. I’m worried about my house’s old wiring, and lowering the power drain is crucial.

(Whosawhatsis) #2

What makes you think the m3d uses a lower-power heater?

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #3

I might have mentioned the wrong one… Let me confirm.

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #4

Nope, I mentioned the right printer.

Head here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/m3d/the-micro-the-first-truly-consumer-3d-printer/description

The list of innovations they mention, number 7 specifically, references a low power ceramic heater. I believe the video also mentions that it uses 1/10th the power. Though I may be wrong on that number.

(John Davis) #5

I’m not sure I’d try to incorporate any innovations/modifications based on an as-yet-to-be-delivered (heck, as yet to be fully demonstrated in this case) Kick Starter printer. Do some experimentation by all means, but don’t be at all surprised if some of the promises prove to be hollow.

That said, no reason any FDM 3d printer can’t be modified for “bed leveling”. Some will just be easier to mod than others.

(Whosawhatsis) #6

It does not say low-power. It does say efficient, but calling an electric heater efficient is kinda like saying that a boat is really fast on land.

Efficiency, in the sense that it is normally used, does not apply to heaters because what they are used for is the opposite of how efficiency is normally defined. That is, an efficient device is one that converts as little of the power going through it into heat as possible. In the case of any resistive heater, the efficiency is (by design) essentially zero in the traditional sense, and even if you make up a special sense for heaters in which efficiency = heat produced / power input, the efficiency of the heating element itself will always be 100%.

Now, some heaters may be able to use less power to produce the same heat, but they would do so by having better insulation (less heat loss) or by having less thermal mass to heat, or some other strategy to keep the heat where you want it without bleeding it off to some colder adjacent space by conduction or convection. The heat produced is still governed by Watt’s law.

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #7

You obviously know what the hell I meant, now you’re just trolling.

The kickstarter video, at the 1 minute mark, says they reduced the power consumption by a factor of 10.

If a heating unit achieves its intended goal with one tenth of the energy expense when compared to the average, then it is by definition, efficient.

(Joe Mosfet) #8

@Whosa_whatsis is correct. Reducing the energy input would reduce the energy output - there is no way around this.

If, somehow, the device is emitting light, or setting up a magnetic field, then one could potentially eliminate these sources of power drain in order to make the whole apparatus more efficient, but when we’re talking about the heater here - converting electrical energy into heat, there is no way to get more energy out of what you put into it. You can use that heat better, contain it better, etc, but in order to get a specific amount of heat, you need a specific amount of energy.

(ThantiK) #9

Nobody is trolling you @Robert_Gorman_GoGoCh , electric heaters are pretty much “100% efficient” because all the electricity used is converted into heat, instead of light. They may have reduced the power requirements by insulating better, etc but you can’t make electricity produce more heat per unit power used.

(Wylie Hilliard) #10

The power supply for the TwoUp is only 100 Watts. That is a very small load. Even adding the heated bed only increases the load to 250W total. Dropping the extruder requirements by a factor of 10 would only save you 36W. If your house cannot handle 100W then you need to rewire or move.

(Matt Miller) #11

“…reduced the power consumption by about a factor of 10 compared to professional 3D printers.”

I can almost guarantee you they are referring to the lack of:
1.) A heated bed
2.) A heated chamber

As for #7 I’d be surprised if it’s not a 12V 40W heater cartridge.

Is it just me, or is $300 a lot of money for a print area of 4"x4"x4"

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #12

You all know what I’m asking, yet seem fixated on defining the word efficiency… The thing uses 1 tenth the power, that’s all I know, I’m not asking for a thermodynamics lesson. lol

From what I can tell by looking at some aggregate sites, the ceramic head heats up faster and and retains the heat longer. That apparently translates to 1 tenth of the power needed to get the same job done.

(Matt Miller) #13

I think you’re missing the point. They are more than likely using a standard ceramic heater cartridge and claiming phantom efficiency gains by comparing apples to pineapples. Perhaps they are using a higher voltage cartridge to reduce current consumption, but I doubt it.

(Wylie Hilliard) #14

Insulation, a better heat break and a lower thermal mass of heated components are the only things that can reduce the required power. The filament will still require the same amount of power to melt. A ceramic heater heats up quicker because it can handle more power, not less.

(ThantiK) #15

None of us are focused on defining the word “efficiency”, but the terms “power”, etc are used a lot in what you’ve requested. The only thing they’ve done here is exactly what others are suggesting. They’re either insulating better, have lower thermal mass to heat up, or something similar. The lower power requirements are simply them containing the heat better.

In laymans terms, there’s nothing special about their claims, and you’re getting hoodwinked.

(Whosawhatsis) #16

The 10:1 figure was probably calculated vs a machine with a heated bed (or maybe even a heated, chamber, though I would consider it an outright lie if the figures were based on comparison to a big metal stratasys machine), which uses more than half the power in the entire machine. They also appear to be using smaller and lighter motors, which will be using less power, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their heater cartridge is a low-thermal-mass design (which I’ve been wanting to switch to for some time) that is in the 20-30W range instead of the 40W heaters we’re all using. Having less mass to heat means you can heat faster with less power.

So assuming they cherrypicked a relatively high-power-draw reprap-like printer for comparison, it’s not hard to see how they could fudge figures to claim a 10:1 reduction, especially if they’re comparing to the maximum rating of the power supply or the peak consumption rather than some kind of average.

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #17

Here is what they have posted in a pdf on their product.

"A large portion of the last two years was spent researching electronics and motion technology. We wanted to find just the right solution to make our system power-efficient; light, yet strong; fast, yet accurate. Here are a couple examples of how we improved The Micro, increasing the overall efficiency of our printer while drastically reducing costs: · · A standard 3D printer’s nozzle heater uses between 30 and 80 watts, but The Micro uses only a tiny fraction of that. How did we do it? The key to an efficient 3D printer heater is a fast transition from hot to cold. Though standard extruders achieve this by using a large heat-sink and fan, this method is very wasteful. The Micro achieves the same quality results simply by isolating the heat to only where it’s needed with a radial ceramic heater. As a result, The Micro uses a fraction of the material and power required by a normal printer nozzle. A standard heated print bed uses between 70 to 100 watts. It is a common belief that a heated bed is required to print ABS, when in fact a combination of auto-leveling and an ABS-based print bed allows printing ABS at sizes that rival a heated print bed. Our bed solution is similar to the way that support material is printed when using a single extruder. This saves a significant amount of power and cost. "

(Wylie Hilliard) #18

@Robert_Gorman_GoGoCh They claim to have a better heat break, saving some power. They are also not using a heated bed (an optional add on for the TwoUp).
Given your original reason for wanting low power, you have ignored the fact that the TwoUp only uses 100W. This is already low power, less than some laptops. A typical outlet can supply 1800W and this only needs 100W.

(Liam Jackson) #19

There’s some details in this thread about power use: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?292,294743
If the power for these other ‘efficient’ printers are max 250W, they’re probably using roughly the same as the Repraps. Its all pretty much the same components…
If you really want to save electricity, don’t use a heated bed and insulate your hot end’s heat block. I’ve run mine off LiPo RC car batteries for about half an hour without the heated bed.

There’s no ‘more efficient’ heater you can just slap in a printer… Some of the smartest and most helpful people in the 3D printing community have already told you this so I don’t know why you cant accept this.

(Thomas Sanladerer) #20

@Liam_Jackson that’s a good thread over there. I have a power meter for my workshop, and when just the printer (Mendel90 with heated bed) is running, it shows just over 100W - which is right in line with what the forum says.

Even on one of the most “wasteful” hotends, the E3D with its super-short heat break, you’re only removing about 3W of power from the heater block with the fan. Now, M3D don’t give any actual numbers for power consumption, and for all i know, a professional 3D printer which they compare it with isn’t one that fits in the RepRap-class. Professional could be anything from a SLA machine or a Zcorp plaster printer up to a kilowatt-sucking SLS machine.

Just a couple posts down, @Brook_Drumm mentions that he’s running the Printrbot from LiPo batteries - using an average of about 25W. I’d be surprised if the Micro consumed significantly less than that.