The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

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Nylocke
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Nylocke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:29 pm

Are there any concerns with the short tube that goes into the hotend breaking from bending forces? It looks pretty rigid (all the photos show it straight), and you said it has PEEK and various forms of carbon in it so it seems like it might be potentially breakable if you knock into it?

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:38 pm

@Nylocke

The advantage of using KETRON HPV PEEK plastic is that it is incredibly strong. I have not had it ever bend or break and there have been times when I was adjusting something and my hand slipped and knocked into it. It is very sturdy so that shouldn't be an issue :)
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Nylocke » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:53 pm

Whats the distance between the top of the Y to the bottom of your extruders? I'm using a flying extruder suspended from the carriages, vs yours is suspended from the frame so I want to know if theres a significant difference in tube length to determine if its drop in compatible with my setup.

Also, when are you planning having all this stuff available to buy on your site? I would love to try it out but I don't have the cash to spare for the whole system.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Glacian22 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:03 pm

So I saw that you have to have the V2 heatsink to connect it up correctly...the machine I'd be putting this in still has a V1, could I add the price of a V2 heatsink to my pledge so I don't have to order and pay shipping separately through your regular shop?

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby bvandiepenbos » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:12 pm

I have sample prints that Eric sent me, they look good.
No mixing of colors, nice crisp color changes.
Well done Eric.
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:05 am

@Nylocke

In testing, we used a 600mm bowden tube length from the top of the ProFeeder to the output from the extruders. Of course, the shorter the bowden tube the better!

I can't say for certain when these components will be available on our site. I do not want to offer the components individually if I am not sure whether or not they will work with other extruders/hot ends. At this point, I want to be able to constrain as many variables as possible to ensure that my backers will get a product that has been tested to work. It makes troubleshooting MUCH easier and allows me to give all of my supporters the customer service that they deserve :)

@Glacian22

Sure! You can add the cost of the heat sink to your pledge and I will ship it together with your upgrade kit!

@bvandiepenbos

Thanks, Brian! A lot of work has gone into this product :)

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby mhackney » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:16 pm

Some questions if I may...
What is the switching volume for a color change? By this I mean, how much (volume) filament needs to be purged to begin the new color. This has an influence on how large a priming tower needs to be (diameter) to do the change.

Given the 150mm retract, what is an average time to do a color change? Is this the correct way to think about it: at 50mm/s retract, it would take 3 seconds to retract one filament and 3 seconds to advance the other. Even at the blazing speed of 100mm/s it would take 3 seconds for the retract phase plus whatever it takes to purge. Although switching hotends like the Diamond and Cyclops have other challenges, the switching volume is very low and even with that it takes quite a bit of extrusion to purge to the new color. When you retract 150mm there is still going to be molten filament in the nozzle and perhaps the transition zone. What is that volume approximately?

Of all the dual extrusion setups I've tried (and there have been lots of them including Kraken, Cyclops, Diamond, two E3Ds, two SeeMeCNC hot ends, etc) the Cyclops gives the best results in reasonable time but support for color change pillars in S3D and KISSlicer is suboptimal and any system that has a larger switching volume is going to be tricky to purge with these slicers. Even Cura doesn't really provide an optimal solution.

thans,
Michael

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:45 pm

@mhackney
I would be happy to answer your questions :)

The switching volume for a color change is about 70mm^3 if you want perfectly clean transitions (no traces whatsoever of the other color). Keep in mind that this is an estimate and depends on the materials/colors you are printing.

As for the filament switching time, we currently retract and feed filament at 60mm/s. That means a total of about 5 seconds is required for switching between filaments. We are now upgrading to steppers with higher torque so we may increase that up to 100mm/s.

I definitely agree that the prime towers are not the optimal solution. Ideally, a dump zone would be used which would allow you to purge the hot end much faster. However, this can be difficult to implement on some printers.

Cheers,
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby mhackney » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:58 pm

Thanks for the answers. That calculates out to a 25mm length of 1.75 mm filament for each color change. This then would be 111mm extrusion through a .4mm nozzle. That's one trip around a 35mm diameter prime tower. Thats a big tower and a lot of filament and time.

I agree and in addition to more control of prime pillars, an advanced slicer would allow you to specify doing the color change in the infill or an inner perimeter of a multi perimeter inside-out print. But, alas, such a slicer does not exist! Coupled with a dump zone (and slicer support for it) would go a long way to improve multi color extrusion.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:04 pm

We use CURA slicer to generate our prime towers and they are about 19mm squares when printing with 0.2mm layer height (equivalent to about 70mm^3).

I agree that the color change on infill and inner perimeter would be a big win as it saves both the filament that is wasted with prime towers and also the time required to print the prime tower. I just hope that the slicer software developers will catch on as we work to develop the hardware for multi-filament printing!

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby mhackney » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:34 am

Thanks for the reply Eric.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby TwoTone » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:20 pm

Eric- can you give us the total distance from the top of the heat sink to the bottom of the Y piece please.

I'm trying to figure out if using 713's mount with the new lock ring for the accelerometer board with clear the kit when it comes in.

Thanks

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:22 pm

@TwoTone

The distance is about 15.5mm. Let me know if you need any more info!

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby PannDemic » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:09 am

Does anyone know if it is "easy" to have the hot-end change temperatures based on the filament being extruded? I.E. can I have a temperature for extruder 0 and a different temperature for extruder 1, and the hot-end adjusts as needed?
I am thinking about this upgrade, but not all of the second filaments I want to use melt at the same temperature.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby bubbasnow » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:38 am

PannDemic wrote:Does anyone know if it is "easy" to have the hot-end change temperatures based on the filament being extruded? I.E. can I have a temperature for extruder 0 and a different temperature for extruder 1, and the hot-end adjusts as needed?
I am thinking about this upgrade, but not all of the second filaments I want to use melt at the same temperature.


yes this should be standard

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Polygonhell » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:13 pm

PannDemic wrote:Does anyone know if it is "easy" to have the hot-end change temperatures based on the filament being extruded? I.E. can I have a temperature for extruder 0 and a different temperature for extruder 1, and the hot-end adjusts as needed?
I am thinking about this upgrade, but not all of the second filaments I want to use melt at the same temperature.


As an aside you should be aware that not all combinations of filament stick to each other, in fact most don't, so in many cases you can't mix and match them.
Also if the temperature difference can cause issues because when the hotter filament is laid over the cooler filament it causes distortion.
In my experiments with dual extrusion the only disparate filaments that worked well were the accepted "support" materials ABS/HIPS or PLA/PVA which didn't have greatly different extrusion temperatures to begin with.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby IMBoring25 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:54 pm

Not only that, but some of the lower-temp filaments can burn and clog nozzles when heated to higher temperatures, so you may be asking for trouble.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby PannDemic » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:16 pm

I pulled the trigger on this, as support printing with HIPS is something I really want to move forward with. Seems like a fairly simple, yet effective solution.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Tincho85 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:08 am

Hello Eric, I don't know if it has been asked before, but have you tested the extruders for long periods of printing?
How is holding the PMMA? I know it doesn't require much temperature to bend. Or those planetary motors don't get hot at all?

Thanks, Martin
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:27 pm

@Tincho85

Hi Martin,

We have tested them over long periods of printing with no issues!

We have done several hundreds of hours of testing on a single set of extruders. The PMMA (acrylic) extruder body is designed to handle all of the stresses involved in extrusion. In addition, the geared extruder motors don't get very hot. We also have fans blowing over the motors to ensure consistent performance (fans will ship with the Kickstarter kits). However, even without the cooling fans on the motors the PMMA does not get hot enough to warp.

Cheers,
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby Tincho85 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:42 pm

Good to know Eric. Thanks for the quick reply.
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:46 am

It’s been a while since the last update. We have been working hard over the past few months since fulfilling the remaining Kickstarter rewards in March, and we have some exciting news!

We are proud to announce the release of the Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade)!

You can view the promo video by clicking the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnYIkwxHvZA

This upgrade kit allows E3D V6 Hot End users to create multi-color and multi-material objects. The Prometheus System solution simplifies the multi-extrusion process and expands the capabilities of 3D printers using the E3D V6.

Image

The original Prometheus System was specifically designed to work with our Prometheus V2 Hot End. However, with the success of the Kickstarter campaign and hundreds of active users around the world, many people have requested system compatibility with the E3D V6 Hot End.

To enable reliable multi-filament 3D printing using the Prometheus System with the E3D V6, we had to develop the "Prometheus Heat Break". This is a precision machined and polished component that replaces the standard E3D V6 heat break to facilitate reliable filament switching with the Prometheus System.

Image

The Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade) solves all of the issues associated with conventional methods of dual extrusion. We believe that this new product will be a popular upgrade for E3D V6 users who want to print multi-color and multi-material objects.

The Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade) is available for order and ships immediately. The upgrade kit can be purchased by following the link below:

https://www.distechautomation.com/products/prometheus-system-e3d-v6-upgrade

In addition to the release of the E3D V6 Upgrade kit, we wanted to provide a quick update on Simplify3D software compatibility with the Prometheus System. This is something that many people have been asking about, and unfortunately, it has been delayed for a long time due to ongoing bugs in the Simplify3D software.

However, one of our Kickstarter backers named Pekka, (aka. “spegelius” on our forum) recently began working on a post-processing script called “FilaSwitch” to allow Simplify3D to work with the Prometheus System. We are supporting his efforts and he has made a lot of progress! You can view his development thread on our forum by clicking on the link below. Feel free to post in that thread to offer him encouragement or suggestions for his script.

http://distechforum.com/showthread.php?tid=127

We will be sure to post an update as soon as the S3D post-processing script is ready for beta-testing :) It’s almost ready!

Stay tuned!
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby joe » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:33 pm

@ Eric. Would have been nice if your system worked with S3D from the beginning as advertised. Still not sure how you could promise compatibility with S3d on the Kickstarter campaign. I guess the campaign would have failed had you told the truth.

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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:13 pm

@joe - I am sure you can understand that some things were out of our control... At the time, we expected the Simplify3D development team to make the few small necessary fixes by the time the Early Bird rewards shipped. This was totally reasonable at the time since these changes did not involve a lot of work on their part, but the S3D developers began to push back the few small fixes that were necessary, and those changes never ended up happening. We have been in touch with S3D for a long time, and unfortunately, they did not get things done in time. We are sorry about this, but it was out of our hands.

I am sure that our Kickstarter campaign would have been a success regardless. Our backers have been very supportive along the way and none of them have asked for refunds (and if they had we would have refunded them!). You need to understand that there are always delays when a new product is being developed. If you have been following the Prusa Multi-Material Upgrade release then you will know exactly what I mean. Even a multi-million dollar company like Prusa Research has difficulties meeting their timelines despite the resources they have at hand. Thanks for your understanding.
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Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Postby RP Iron Man » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:28 am

After a few weeks of beta testing, the Prometheus System is now officially compatible with Simplify3D!

"FilaSwitch": Simplify3D G-Code Post-Processor

We would like to give special thanks to our Kickstarter backer named Pekka (aka. “spegelius” on our forum) for developing the "FilaSwitch" post-processor! (https://github.com/spegelius/filaswitch) Pekka has worked very hard on this script and he deserves full credit. You can follow his FilaSwitch development thread here on our forum:

http://distechforum.com/showthread.php?tid=127

FilaSwitch is a Python script that processes the S3D G-code output and adds a smart purge tower to enable compatibility with the Prometheus System. This smart purge tower has some very neat features to optimize the filament switching process.

As seen in the preview below, FilaSwitch eliminates unnecessary filament switches on single color layers by printing a support structure on the tower. This saves a lot of time and filament.

Image

FilaSwitch also generates a perimeter around the tower to keep the purge lines clean and contained and stops printing the purge tower when there are no more filament switches required for the print.

By incorporating the above features with the wipe setting and carefully controlled purging, FilaSwitch is truly a work of art. This is a Benchy boat that we printed using S3D and FilaSwitch:

Image

Image

Once again, a huge thank you to Pekka, our Kickstarter backer, for developing FilaSwitch. Based on our testing, we think that there are no more bugs remaining in the script. However, if you do happen to find a bug, please post it in the GitHub issue tracker:

https://github.com/spegelius/filaswitch/issues

You can find instructions for using S3D and FilaSwitch in our User Guide:

https://www.distechautomation.com/pages/pro-sys-guide

Happy printing!
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