Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Wait is over!!! The Un-boxing and Setup of The Flux Delta 3D Printer

After a slight delay (original ship date of July 2015), my second Kickstarter based 3D printer actually arrived, on a day with a massive snow storm (March 2016). I rushed to get home; it only took twice the amount of time with an average HR of over 120!

After all this time, what did I get???

The package was covered with a dusting of snow, and only had one small dent in the lower corner of the outer box.

Upon opening the box, I found a drawing module and roll of filament nicely placed at the top of the package.

After removing the drawing module and filament, I was able to use the yellow straps and lift the printer box out of its outer shell. No damage seen on this box! Quite an impressive feat traveling from Taiwan to Michigan! 

After cutting off the yellow straps and opening the box, I found this impressive looking packaging holding the ~1/8" aluminum printing bed perfectly cradled by copious amounts of foam.

Take out the build platform and grab the handle to remove the foam. Companies that spend time creating designing quality packaging like this must also spend a ton of time on the product itself. Only time will tell...

There it is! My beautiful Flux Delta 3D Printer!

Here it is after I removed it from the box. Not even a scratch on the thing. What is that cardboard that seems to have encased the bottom of the print? Keep reading...

In the box strategically placed within the bottom of the printer frame was the manual, the magnetic rods to attach your 'printing' tool...

Let's Get Thing Working!

On a side note, I really like the magnetic rods used on this Delta printer. They 'snap' right in place and held rigid in the position they were attached, while allowing rotation at the joints as required by the Delta mechanism. 

... the printer module. Is it just me, or is this packaging spectacular?

Add the cables! (a micro usb cable, a power cable, and a printer module control cable - maybe USB-C?)

Also included in a package near the filament was some lovely Japanese Scotch Glue stick and a scraper (to assist with parts sticking to the build platform) 

Here is the printer fully assembled. The Bowen tube (filament from the roll to the extrusion head) was in the top of the printer (with an extra!) and was really easy to install. [i.e. screw the end with the screw into the printer module and press the open tube end into the top of the printer at the other connection.] 
Add the printer control cable to the top of the module and then plug that in to the top of the printer (close to the Bowen tube location - kind of hard to see). Make sure you press this connection in all the way or you will not be able to print anything!

Next, I followed these instructions on setup from the Flux Forum.

Things to note during setup:
  • Lubricate balls at end of rods. I did this by touching the ball to the lube, then spreading evenly with finger.
  • Install build platform with UNPRINTED side up.
  • Apply two layers of glue for better adhesion.

After some (user) issues installing the software and upgrading the firmware (see below for tips), I applied some glue to the base plate and clicked print... 


Drum roll please... Well after 1.5 hours of printing (why start small?)... Wait for it... 

No seriously, my next post will be about first impressions of the printer.

Slight Software and Firmware Issues

After connecting my printer to my computer and setting it up via the software, I was informed I must upgrade my firmware. With the firmware that was installed on my printer prior to shipping (arrived 3/1/16), you must use a USB drive to update the firmware. After this update, it looks like the firmware will be updated via wifi and the Flux Studio.

To update your firmware, follow these steps.

After several attempts to update the firmware (restarting after waiting 10-30 minutes), I found this forum post. After reading through it, I re-formatted my USB drive as FAT32, and then retried the updating firmware "Through USB drive"

It was like magic! The lights behaved as they said in the instructions (~3 minutes), then the machine homed itself (to the top) and I was ready to begin printing!


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