Schrödinger’s Shipping

TL;DR: Some backer rewards are shipping. Others are not. Be sure to set a minimum layer time for spherical prints.

Kickstarter update: The first wave of physical backer rewards has been shipped and is happily trundling towards Strongholds backers. This batch is mostly Dice Plinths and a couple of mini-citadels. Eyries and full-sized citadels are (slightly) delayed, for reasons soon to become clear.

But first! We’ve got some photos of backer prints to share, yes we do. Here’s a FlashForge Creator print of the modified Citadel straight outta Pinshape. Some backers had expressed disappointment that their printers couldn’t handle the citadel’s height, so I used Maya’s Multi-Cut tool to split the mesh at a mortar line.

flashforge

Thanks to backer Nagromic Strongbow for this one.

In other, less enthusiastic gnus: we’ve hit our first official backer reward fulfillment snag.

Booooooo.

Hundreds of hours of nonstop printing with abrasive Glow in the Dark filament have worn out our print nozzle. Worn nozzles lead inevitably to failed and/or low-quality prints, up with which the quality control minotaur at Zheng Labs simply will not put.

failed cap

Enjoy the schadenfreude of failed prints? See more at http://3dprinting.fail

The above print failure is hilariously catastrophic, but these holes and blisters in the Eyrie caps are by far more pernicious:

caps

Here one can see the importance of paying attention to your slicing software; a good slice can make the difference between a mediocre and a solid print. What’s happening here is that the hot plastic doesn’t have a chance to cool before the extruder starts laying down the next layer. There’s some inter-layer fricton going on, and the newly extruded layer is dragging the still-gooey previous layer around with it.

Sometimes this process creates a tiny hole in the top of the cap. Smetimes one can’t tell there’s an issue at all. Must have something to do with ambient air temperature and viscosity thresholds or sunspots or something.

Naturally, I didn’t stumble upon the solution until I’d printed a dozen or so faulty caps. All you’ve got to do to fix an error like this is give each layer a chance to cool. In Cura, the setting’s under the Advanced tab– change your Minimal Layer Time to some value other than 0.

I’d rather delay shipping than send out prints of anything less than the highest quality that I can manage, so production’s been suspended until a replacement part arrives. Once it gets here I’ve got maybe 20 caps to reprint at 3 hours a pop.

While this situation is terribly frustrating, Strongholds is still mostly on schedule and, more importantly, shows no signs of devolving into one of those I-took-backers’-money-and-built-myself-a-house-in-rural-Saskatoon Kickstarter fiascoes.

On the subject of fiascoes, I’ll leave you with this deceptively attractive Ultimaker print from backer Michael Zions:

ultimaker

Looks good, right? A thousand quatloos to the Ultimaker team for designing a 3D printer that can do double duty as a diffuse lightbox.

Unfortunately this print crumbled to the touch as soon as Michael removed it from the bed. If you’re having this kind of trouble with your prints, use the citadel_alt STL file instead of the original.

What do you think?