I've been idly searching for this level of info for a while.

(Electra Flarefire) #1

I’ve been idly searching for this level of info for a while. Takerbot’s ‘smart extruder’.
And while nothing here justifies the hot-end being a ‘consumable part’, the device actually IS somewhat ‘smart’.
Hall effect based Z probe sensor… filament ‘ran out’ sensor.(microswitch) filament jam sensor(encoder wheel).

And all the parts of the hotend that can go wrong in one unit. It’s a shame the end result and corporate mess behind it sucks. On paper it actually looks not bad.

I have been looking for a way to ‘jam’ sensor for my RepRap based on this idea but haven’t found any printable parts yet.

(Whosawhatsis) #2

Half of those “smart” features, like the encoder wheel, are disabled in firmware because they get false positives that make the prints fail more often, not less.

(Electra Flarefire) #3

@Whosa_whatsis I did not know this.
I still believe a combination filament width + encoder wheel will be a good add-on for home machines where they can be feed all sorts of things.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised makerbot couldn’t get even this simple idea to work.

(Wolfmanjm) #4

@Steve_Graber has a printable filament out detector which uses a cheap encoder wheel and a microswitch for blob detections. I implemented the module for it in Smoothie.

(Bracken Dawson) #5

The trick is having an extruder that doesn’t jam.


(Mike Miller) #6

I was impressed with the features of the extruder when it first launched. It had a LOT of ideas that could separate it from the rest of the crowd, things that only a well-funded large-scale manufacturer could sponsor.

That said, they couldn’t POSSIBLY have launched this an not known how poorly it was going to perform doing the only feature anyone cared about: extruding plastic.

The whole ‘you cannot unclog your extruder, but here’s how you can spend more money with us to receive a replacement that’s not truly fixed’ was recipe for career suicide.

Sure, you can do well with the Gillette model of making money on the consumables…if you sell the handle at a loss (they didn’t), and the blades actually give you a good shave (they didn’t.)

I suspect the floating retract nozzle feature kept them from marketing the extruder as field-clog-clearable. Pulling the thing apart, getting it hot, and cold pulling it while having hot part move may have been a legal liability issue they didn’t want to tackle.

Which is wierd as lots of people get pretty awesome results without a nozzle that moves on retract.

This is a business that ought to be talked about in Business Colleges for years. How much smarm can a company have and stay in business? Less than Makerbot had.

(Electra Flarefire) #7

@Wolfmanjm any further information about this?
I’m sure getting it working with Marlin won’t be too hard, but it would also be good on the big green delta as it runs a smoothie board.
(Your comment was removed as spam… I wonder why…))

(Wolfmanjm) #8

Last I heard @Steve_Graber was putting the files on thingiverse (or similar place) https://plus.google.com/+SteveGraber/posts/N69C58EVbDY
In order for it to work in Smoothie I had to add the ability to suspend and resume a print, this is similar to the Marlin M600, but it also has to be able to tell the host to pause the print, which has been added to Octoprint and Pronterface, but no other host supports that yet. Also Marlin does not currently know how to tell the host to pause. It is documented however and would need to be added to Marlin. Best thing is to use Smoothie for everything :slight_smile:

(dstevens lv) #9

My understanding is that there are now Stratasys engineers involved in fixing the extruder. It’s been a big point of contention internally as it’s cost them a lot of time, money and grief. The concept is nice, the implementation was not so good. The goal is to be able once it’s fully operational to be able to change extruders to use more exotic materials that have extruders specifically designed for that material.