Hello friends! Your buddies at Aha3D are strong-footedly pulling together something worthwhile!
BackgroundClick here to read the feels
Traditionally, engineers don’t get to speak much on what they do (except for on their resumes!); we exist someone like the “tandoori roti” flatbread maker guy working away in the basement of a restaurant, who does a fundamentally important work but somehow nobody knows them 😅
To address this, back then I started writing whatever we were doing into a blog. You can find those pages here. We were young and faltering, but were happy doing it. And happy to share our journey complete with all their good and gray shades. We had nothing to lose, and it was a joyous thing to do!
All through, we kept meeting angels as humans (a post dedicated to them sometime soon) who trusted our young team and kept giving us next challenges. However somewhere along the way, I got tangled up in stuff, and went reticent, and the sharing stopped.
Looking back, I realize it didn’t have to be that way, and there is no reason I can’t start sharing again!
Maybe I stopped sharing because when doing such an effort, we face a lot of challenges and failures. As the brand builds, people start respecting the same, and a new entrepreneur subconsciously starts trying to always “look good”. In reality though, most of the time we are committing failures, blunders and bloopers.
Also, as a matter of fact, you are perpetually cash-starved. And the fact that the “looking good” is directly related to sales doesn’t help matters.
Inadvertently, it leads one against the spirit of creation.
Aha exists to create, share and inspire Aha! Moments on the earth 🙂
In the same spirit, right now we are getting to do this terrifically interesting thing that we have started calling the “MegaPrinter”. Through this post, and others coming up, come walk with us on this journey – the making of the Megaprinter, complete with the joys of small successes, the failures, and the grand blow-ups, and onwards to glory forever 😀
This pic above shows the fundamental components of a 3D printer with 10 x 10 x 10 cubic feet build volume, which is in the making right here at Aha! Vaibhav first called it the Megaprinter in his ppt, and we have ended up unofficially calling it the same 🙂
We are working whole-heartedly to make it with such maturity and quality that it becomes a matter of pride for its owner, and for all who identify with the effort. (A special note of thanks to Mr. Amit, who placed the order of this machine with us, and gave our team this fantastic opportunity. We intend to introduce him and his company to you in due time). There is also a lot to do together with you, our 3D industry peers 🙂 More in next posts, very soon!
Making of the Megaprinter
Officially, it is going to be called the Aha star. (The Aha star series is the customizable build volume 3D printers we make, from 1 cubic meter upwards).
The build volume! The build volume!
A full, sheer, huge 1000 cubic feet of build volume 🙂
This is the table frame of the upcoming guy. (locate it in the exploded view rendering above!)
And these are the casted blocks of the Z motion parts. (the 3D printed pattern is printed on our in-house 1M, and the final, cast iron part). You can appreciate the size of print and casted part with Ayushman’s reference, in the pics below:
And here is the pic of Aha star 1M machine, which printed the pattern above, and many more for the Megaprinter!
These are the Z pillars of the upcoming machine:
And the bushes, casted out of gunmetal and machined to exaction:
The channels which will make the skeleton are also getting their paint; we want to ensure that the surfaces which will be inaccessible after assembly get nice, even, durable coating of the paint.
Needless to say, this machine will not be running off filament spools.
For the pellet extruder, we are starting with the nozzle diameter of 2mm. Let’s see where we end up!
Pellets is the only way to go when we are trying to print something this large. For a sampling, when we (will!) print a 10 ft tall lord Ganesha statue at 10% infill, it will weigh approx 600 kg! Even with pellets, the raw material cost becomes more than the price of a reasonably-good 3D printer!
The build platform
Heated. And why not.
Infact, twenty-five independently heated tiles, each capable of reaching 120 degrees C. Each one shall be independently levelled. Some geeky gymnastics underway in this topic. More soon.
The bed itself can consume as much as 25 Kilowatts of power.
Accuracy and related stats
Minimum layer height: 0.3mm.
Maximum layer height: 80% of the nozzle diameter. 1.6mm that is, to begin with. Will keep you posted. Ideally we want to achieve the maximum flow rate (coming next) at this layer height.
Positional accuracy: +/- 100 microns over the entire build volume.
Again, these are the figures we’ve designed and are manufacturing for. Precision assembly underway. Important information: Real world is a bitch. We will get there, will keep sharing the updates all throughout journey. But expect to see things not going the way they should 😀
Ah. And there’s servos everywhere. I think that is expected anyway.
Well. 10kg per hour. So wants the heart. Also, so say the calculations. Anyway, the moment of truth is not far! Basically, the suspense is, will we get there right away, or murphy’s law will kick in action at the right time.
Creating National milestones together!
This space will be populated with links to soon upcoming posts, about ways to co-create.
Do watch this space!
And please let your love, comments and feedback come. Looking forward! And will keep you posted!