Including a subscription-free automation software, gravity-assisted print bed and the STL files needed to print machine ‘tilt’ brackets, the ‘DIY Quinly’ kit provides desktop users with all they need to ramp-up their production. Priced at just $129, the upgrade package is ideal for those seeking to run a 3D printing business on the side, but aren’t necessarily able to stay home and monitor their products’ progress.
“I have had many customers and people in the community asking for a DIY kit so they can save money, print their own parts and personalize their system,” said Mateo Pekic, the kit’s inventor and Co-founder of 3DQue. “The DIY kit comes with everything they need to fully-automate their printer, while giving them the freedom to customize their setup to suit their needs.”
3DQue’s drive for automation
Founded in 2018 by young inventor Mateo Pekic and entrepreneur Stephanie Sharp, 3DQue is a Canadian start-up on a mission to provide makers and entrepreneurs with high-volume 3D printing capabilities. So far, the company has sought to achieve its automation and scalability ambitions via the development and launch of its proprietary QSuite and QPoD product offerings.
First seen at RAPID + TCT 2019, the QPoD is geared towards high-throughput 3D printing, and effectively packs nine systems into a compact 10 sq. foot 3 x 3 array. Powered by the firm’s QSuite technology, the platform has proven capable of operating 24/7 and enabling the mass-production of switch cube frames, at a rate equivalent to 100,000 parts per year.
Following the system’s unveiling, 3DQue announced the QPod’s first installation at the request of Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (MCPP). Working with MCPP, the firm was able to conduct extensive material compatibility testing, and examine the potential of using its machine as an alternative to injection molding.
During the project, 3DQue was able to demonstrate the 3PoD’s high level of scalability, but the pre-production units came with a lofty price tag of $45,000, putting them well out of reach of the hobbyist FDM user. Now, with the launch of DIY Quinly, the firm is aiming to bring the benefits of its automated approach to makers and small businesses, allowing them to accelerate and in-source part production.
Non-stop FDM 3D printing
With its DIY Quinly kit, 3DQue is essentially offering Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro, and Ender 3 V2 users the opportunity to upgrade their machines, improving system throughput while removing the need for close monitoring. The package’s hardware element is based around a slanted ‘VAAPR’ print bed, that’s capable of locking onto prints once heated, and yielding parts with a consistently high level of first-layer adhesion.
Using 3DQue’s gravity-assisted bed also enables adopters to process a wide range of filaments, while achieving continuous model release, and producing up to 90% of parts without the need for adding rafts. Similarly, given that the upgrade allows for continual operation, users no longer need to try to squeeze multiple parts onto the same build plate, reducing the risk of stringing or batch failures.
To demonstrate the efficacy of its DIY Quinly kit, the firm has conducted a ‘1000-hour print challenge,’ in which a customized Ender 3D printer was able to run intervention-free for 997 hours. In effect, 3DQue-customized systems are capable of running continuously thanks to the firm’s print management software, which automatically schedules jobs and stores files digitally to enable on-demand model reproduction.
As an added benefit, the upgrade also includes all the STL files required to allow adopters to 3D print tilt brackets, which eliminate the need for aluminum extrusions altogether, potentially saving them up to $100. The DIY Quinly is now available to order directly via 3DQue’s website, with shipping scheduled to begin on May 19 2021.
Catering for the modding community
Given the tinkering capabilities unlocked by the adoption of desktop 3D printing, it’s only natural that system upgrades are often in high-demand, and many suppliers develop parts specifically with hobbyists in mind. Swedish extruder developer Bondtech, for instance, has developed an upgraded DDS extruder for Creality’s CR-10S 3D printer.
The enhanced printhead combines Bondtech’s Mini Geared (BMG) extruder with E3D’s V6 hotend to provide users with improved print control and reliability. Similarly, open-source 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research has launched an upgrade package for its i3 MK3 Prusa system, which enables it to use five different materials.
In the past, Spanish 3D printer manufacturer BCN3D has also been known to release upgrade kits for older Sigma and Sigmax FDM 3D printers. The company launched its R19 package in October 2018, which enabled owners of the Original Sigmax or R17 Sigma systems to enjoy some of the features included in the firm’s latest machines.
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Featured image shows an Ender 3D printer fitted with 3DQue’s DIY Quinly kit. Image via 3DQue.