Kickstarter Highfly: Tiko3D We digged a little bit deeper into and the result is

Kickstarter Highfly: Tiko3D

We digged a little bit deeper into #Tiko3D and the result is our exclusive but inofficial Tiko 3D Printer FAQ! ^tb #3DPrinting

@All3DP you guys really need to get your annoying newsletter popovers sorted out. I mean, seriously, who still wants newsletters in 2015?

I sadly ventured into the guide about the 14 different materials that can apparently be 3D printed. The guide was utter nonsense, to the point of being fractally wrong. Whoever wrote that has no place writing about the 3DP industry.

hi @Sanjay_Mortimer1 thank you for your comment. I’m very sorry that our material guide is not what you had expected. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that our authors are experts in their field. We would really appreciate if you could give us a precise feedback at about what is nonsense and what is wrong. Thank you very much again. Best Regards, Melissa.

I’m trying to understand, by reading their marketing material, if the Tiko’s unibody is injection-molded plastic, or extruded aluminium.

Their wording is this: “In delta printers, this frame is often made from three vertical extruded-aluminum beams. We had a simple thought… what if we extruded all three rails together?”

But the photos show something that looks like a plastic body, not extruded aluminium.

If they have a custom extruded aluminium body, that’s actually quite clever, because aluminium has a very high thermal conductivity and thus their chamber will dump heat through walls of the body itself. That design I will applaud.

But if their unibody is injection-molded plastic, then their fully-enclosed chamber will trap heat and get very hot at the top, with a number of bad consequences.

Not the least of their problems is that injection-molded plastics are unlikely to be dimensionally stable at the temperatures reached inside their unibody. A plastic chamber is likely to distort significantly during the printing, starting from the top of the chamber - the hottest part.

Especially if they use a heated bed to print ABS.

Now I understand what is really going on here.

Tiko is 3 starry-eyed kids with very little real-world experience, who have purchased the services of a huge advertising agency. The marketing is very slick, but there feeling of unreality to it all.

There is a reddit thread where the kids have been confessing some of the truths about what exactly is inside their printer, and it looks pretty horrifying.

The printer has a sealed plastic shell, with tiny little motors to cut costs. The bill-of-materials is super cheap. It will be slow, unreliable and the printed parts will be of very poor quality.

The ad agency will make a profit for sure, but those kids will work for free, and I suppose they will also get some experience in what failure feels like. Maybe they will be better-off for this experience.

And Kickstarter will have another failed low-cost 3D printer.

Plastics can be extruded into complex shapes like aluminum can. It probably would be simpler than an injection mold.

I hope the Tiko pays off, but I wouldn’t throw money at it. And I don’t get the mix of super low buck build in combination with a titanium hot end. A very odd combination, at least in how extreme it is.

I was only thinking of the thermal properties of plastics vs. aluminium, especially since they have sealed chamber and the electronics are up in or near the top.

But they have plenty more problems even before heat gets the printer.

They are using a tiny $1 stepper motor (28BYJ-48) that has an internal plastic gearbox. Those steppers are very slow, and the little plastic gears will wear-out quickly, especially since they claim to be using some proprietary tricks to reach a speed that is above the motor’s rated design limit.

The motor gearbox also adds serious backlash/hysteresis because of its 5 internal plastic gears, so positional accuracy will be poor. It would be impossible to reliably position the extruder to within 50 microns, which they claim is their limit to accuracy.

They say that they are trying to keep the details of their internals a secret to avoid copycats, and they have expressly mentioned using lawyers if anyone tries to copy their design. But they are safe from copying. There is a good reason that no current design uses those positioning motors.

Thanks for the additional insights Paul // Nils