May 3, 2017 | By David

As the 3D printer market becomes more and more inundated with machines at a range of different price points, and as previously advanced features are now the standard for most 3D printers, it is getting more and more difficult for smaller manufacturers to find a niche. That doesn’t seem to have been the case for Aaron Louis Technology, however. It is soon to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its OP1720 and CL1720 3D printers, the latter of which is one of the first available open-source machines to offer a closed loop motor control system.

Based in Maryland, Aaron Louis Technology was founded by Nicholas Lanham and David Edelen. The entrepreneurial pair have been working for three years on the development of these FDM 3D printers, the OL (open loop) 1720 and CL (closed loop) 1720, with their focus being on the introduction of closed loop motors to the lower end of the market. Closed loop systems for 3D printers hugely increase the reliability of the print job, but they tend to be very expensive additions, and the proprietary software required for them to work is typically not open for any kind of customization or modification by the user. This means that closed loop motor control is not accessible to the amateur 3D printing hobbyists or small-scale manufacturing companies that could really benefit from it.

The CL1720 certainly looks to have successfully rectified this problem. A demonstration of the machine shows that the extruder can be firmly knocked off course without any kind of effects on the final 3D printed object the print head simply corrects itself, returning to the exact point it was supposed to and actively compensating for any missed steps). This self-calibration works with the help of the closed loop motor’s feedback system. The system is very easy to set up too, with the software that makes it function being a simple turn-key, ready-to-use design that is open for the user to change as they see fit. This differs from the existing third-party supplementary closed loop motor kits on the market, most of which require advanced tuning algorithms and extensive testing.

Both the CL1720 and OL1720 machines are built from sturdy, aluminium frames, offering the clean industrial look that most users seek in a 3D printer.  The print heads are powered by NEMA 11 motors and can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius for the high temperature (HT) versions of the machines, which means that high performance filaments like PEEK or PEI can be extruded. As for the print bed, this can reach temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius and it is also easily removable. This means it can be swapped out for another print bed while a job is cooling, which will drastically increase productivity for projects on a larger scale.

The OL1720 standard version will be available for $3,340, with the high temperature version a little more at $3,850. The closed loop CL1720 HT will be on the market at $5,850. These are some of the most competitive prices on the market for industrial 3D printers such as these, and the self-calibrating closed loop motor on the CL is a real bonus that adds a lot of value to an already impressive machine. Aaron Louis Technology’s Kickstarter page for this new line of 3D printers will be going live sometime later this month.



Posted in 3D Printer



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Neville wrote at 5/4/2017 1:46:07 PM:

Open Source or "open source?"

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