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  1. #1
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Voladd - will it be more expensive to run than sla ?

    So I get a lot of adverts for 3d printers crop up on my facebook page.
    Those I don't mind so much - all the bloody adverts for razor blades, are annoying (I'm a very hairy dude lol)

    This one popped up this morning. Voladd - currently on kickstarter.

    Not only does it have propriatary filament cartridges, but the print nozzles are integrated into the cartridges.
    To change nozzle size you need to buy another cartridge.
    The cartridges only have 440gms of pla in them. So you're changing nozzles every 150-200 metres or so.
    Tyhe cartridges are sent back to the company, so what's the odds the nozzles are not new when you get them.
    Can't find any indication of what they are going to charge for the cartridges, but I think we can safely say they won't be cheap.

    The printer looks pretty basic, small build volume - that they seem determined not to mention.They just say it's 3 and a bit litres and that it's larger than most other printers - yeah right lol
    My replicator clones are over 5, so it's not great.

    It has no control panel, looks like everything is done via a network or phone apps.
    So without internet you're stuffed.

    They are also lying through their teeth about it 'being the first 3d printer connected to an online platform that puts thousands of objects at your fingertips.'
    Mod-t ring any bells ?
    This is practically a carbon copy of their setup - but mod-t were sensible enough to not go the locked down cartridge route.
    I think mod-t are still going.
    Yep newmatter launching the mod-t mk2 as I type.

    Apparently these things will retail (if it gets that far) at around the 899 euros mark, approx $899.
    Consider that the monoprice mini select is a quarter that price and not locked into any platform or filament.

    I just can't see this system going anywhere.

    Or will it appeal to the cell phone generation ? Of whom, I am definitely not one lol
    Tumaker also say they are not astartup as they make the Bigfoot 3d printer. Anyone ever heard of or seen one ?
    They do exist, but not outside of spain by the look of it.
    They've certainly never been to the tct show.

    Found some specs:
    Voladd 3D printer specifications:
    • Internal computer – BeagleBone Black based on TI AM335x ARM Cortex A8 processor
    • Connectivity – Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and NFC; MQTT protocol supported
    • Print area – 175 x 125 x 150 mm (xyz)
    • Printing plate – Surface treated, removable, and adjustable with 3 rollers; optional glass platform
    • Print head – 0.2 (coming next year), 0.4 or 0.6 mm
    • Noise attenuated fans
    • Misc – On/off button, switch dial for cartridge, LEDs for connectivity status, general status, server interaction and head heating.
    • Power Supply – 100-240V @ 50/60 Hz
    • Dimensions – 29 x 40 x 29 cm (xyz)
    • Weight – 4.5 kg
    • Certifications – CE, EAC

    Voladd 3D printer will ship with a Cartridge with 420 grams of white filament, the printing base, , a quick start guide and warranty. Voladd Cartridges, made of biodegradable, recyclable, and plant-based PLA bioplastic, come in 7 possible colors (20 colors planned for next year), and it appears you can’t just buy filament from anywhere for a refill. So if I understand correctly, you’ll be tied to the company for both the cloud service and filament. But if it really works as advertised: no assembly, no manual calibration, no jamming, no cleaning, etc…,just select an object to print online, it could be a good option for people that just want something that works…
    From this review:

    So no heated bed, build volume not awful, but nothing to boast about.

    It has absolutely no appeal to me - but then I'm definitely not the target market.
    Are you ?
    Do you know someone who might buy one of these ?
    I'm assuming whoever they are they will own an Iphone :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-25-2017 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Not me. I have already fought the proprietary filament and locked down firmware with my DaVinci Jr. Not doing that again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I think they're appealing to the paperweight market. You know, for those people that desperately need something to weigh down their giant wads of cash.

    Their campaign is full of marketing nonsense and outright lies. If I may share, this particular line was one of many that cracked me up.
    It features an advanced electronic system governed by the prestigious Beagle Bone Black open source minicomputer and the Linux Debian operating system with a real-time kernel. A real tech luxury often found in aerospace technology.

    Yep, "luxury often found in aerospace technology", and virtually everything else that has a micro controller, including every other 3d printer on the market. Except debian isn't usually used in the aerospace industry so I can't even give them that. The campaign is full of nonsense, at one point they even say their filament creates manure while it biodegrades. Odd, I've never seen my spools of filament hanging around on the toilet. It's hard to read more than a sentence or two before spotting something stupid.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    A number of items in the description including the cloud portion, the proprietary filament cartridges, nozzles as part of the cartridge all have similarities to a poorly engineered product known as Cube 3 from the not too distant past. Until the mechanical problems began to appear at the local library's Cube3 printer, I thought it was a wonderful printer. Nope. 300 g of filament for US$50! Who pays US$150 or more for PLA?

    Run away.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    lol so it's not just me then :-)

  6. #6
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    We can do something like 3D printer roasts, or razzie type awards for innovations that will flop.
    We have since Cubify learned that people want anything but proprietary filament.
    Ideally, we would even want to be able to put in not just any filament, but also our own waste bottles and be able to print with them ('s idea some years ago)
    This 3D printer indeed does not look like a 3D printer, but it doesn't mean it should look like a $10 miniature sewing machine either and the plastic ID is terrible.
    They did a great job on generating that kind of crowd backing though.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    they certainly did. Presumably there's a way to specifically target people with iphones.

    Actually when you think about it, it looks like a coffee maker !
    Not like my tassimo coffee maker (propriatary coffee pods - but damn fne coffee lol) but like the coffee maker of someone with an iphone might want.

    Coloured leds to indicate status. Cheap lcd screens are only around £5.

    I just don't see it being all that reliable.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-30-2017 at 06:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I think it'll have jamming issues. Those swap-able hotends that come with the filament cartridges don't look like they have significant cooling measures. If there is something more substantial to do the job on the printer I imagine changing the hotend will be a pain in order to get good thermal contact with the heatsink. Imagine you had to fully swap out your hotend after each half roll. Worse yet, imagine having to swap out your hotend 20 mins into a print because it jammed, and then have to send it back to the manufacturer, with the filament you bought (but probably wont get back) to be un-jammed. Probably for a fee.

    These guys took proprietary to a whole new level, way beyond cartridges and proprietary filament. They've taken every measure to make sure you can only use their filament by tying each roll to the (proprietary) hotend itself. You can't just respool the filament or hack the chip in the cartridge because you still have to dance around the hotend that's tied to the cartridge.

    Come to think of it, if the cartridge just has a bowden tube coming out of it and into the hotend, where's the extruder? Don't tell me it's in the cartridge.... But you guys are right, hats off to marketing for getting it funded.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Ah, well that too was a bit of a con.
    They only asked for $25,000
    currently have $33,000

    So when you don't ask for much it's pretty easy to get it funded very fast - I'd bet much of that was self funded as well. Don't think there's any law against funding your own kickstarter. It's not like anyone is going to check.

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