IVI: The Closed-Loop 3D Printer

Created by IVI 3D Printer

Easily achieve high-res 3D printing, laser engraving, CNC carving with IVI, the 10 microns’ repeatability, closed-loop 3D printer. Check project updates here: https://forum.ivi3d.com/c/general/kickstarter-updates

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Status Update [Early February]
25 days ago – Sun, Feb 07, 2021 at 01:36:20 AM

Dear IVIers,


The spring festival is getting close, we will be on holiday from 7th-17th February. Thus we share the latest news with you before we start the holiday.


Ⅰ. Shipping of the trial-produced printers

The printers were loaded to the shipping company two weeks ago. We confirmed the beta test program and shipping information with the first 21 beta adopters on 27th January and shipment departed from the original port on 3rd February. We look forward to receiving more user feedback from beta adopters in March.

Loading to the shipping company

Ⅱ. Mass production preparation

Cost optimization: we plan to start cost optimization based on the raw material and production after we get back to work from the holiday. Currently, the cost of each printer is excessive.

Molding up-gradation: Some molds we made are soft molds, which means we need to upgrade them to the final hard molds for mass production.

We will try our best to finish cost optimization and molding up-gradation in March.


Ⅲ. Financial Status

The negotiation with the investor is continuing. We will share the final result once we finished the negotiation.


Sincerely,

IVI Team

Progress Update [Mid January]
about 1 month ago – Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 05:37:00 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Progress Update [Mid December]
3 months ago – Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 08:24:30 PM

Dear IVIers,


It has been almost one month since our last update. Thank you all for trusting and supporting us when we are not so responsive. Here is the latest progress to share with you.


Ⅰ. Production

We’ve finished the trial production in early December. 23 units are finished, and the rest 2 units are not completed due to lacking some raw materials. We will complete these 2 units after we finish the testing.

Two engineers stayed in the factory to follow up the whole process of assembly. And Elvis came to factories several times to inspect the assembly and push the progress. Here are some photos of the assembly process.

Assembly line
Assembling
The inner look of the printer
Pre-assembled parts
Printer frames

Ⅱ. Testing

Currently, we are testing those trial produced printers in the factory. FDM printing test and laser function test are finished. Now we are working on the CNC test. The below video was shot when we are testing FDM printing.

Kindly note that the max quantity of printers being tested simultaneously is 10 units due to the limitation of the voltage.


Ⅲ. Shipping Time

Regarding the shipping time, we plan to start shipping by late December. And shipping sequence will be based on the order sequence. 

After the shipment of trail printers, we will keep in touch with the beta adopters for feedback and start to prepare mass production. The shipping time of the next batch depends on the production scale and production time.


Ⅳ. Financing Status

Regarding the financing, we’ve been communicating and negotiating with potential investors closely these days to advance the cooperation. One of the potential investors will come to the factory to check our trial printers this week. Besides, one of our incredible backers contacted us to offer help. He shared his professional insights with us when we met a problem with the safety of the power supply a couple of months ago. Next, we will keep in touch with him to seek the possibilities of financing.


We are incredibly grateful for having you as our backers. We are ashamed of not having started shipping yet. Even if we started shipping, we know that there is still a long long way to go to fulfill all the pledges, to give back your support in action. Thank you for your support as always.


Sincerely,

IVI Team

Progress Update [Mid November]
3 months ago – Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 10:08:36 PM

Dear IVIers,


Sorry that the trial-production is postponed to the end of November due to the delay & rework of some parts.

We assembled the first printer with trial-production materials 2 weeks ago. However, the performance was not good initially. To find out the problem and verify the final mechanical design and packaging design, we decided to assemble 4 units more in our office. After debugging, the problem goes to the material of the heated bed and we solved it already.

Here is recent progress to share with you.


Ⅰ. Control Board

All the control boards for trial production were received and examined.


Ⅱ. LCD & Slicer

The full testing of the LCD app was finished.

We expect to finish the verification of the recommended printing parameter on the newest printer within this month.


Ⅲ. Mechanical Hardware

We have 262 types of raw materials for production in total, and we need to make sure all the materials get ready both in quantity and quality. All the production materials were received, except for the following materials:

1. Due to the change of tool-head design, the number of screws increased, and we expect to receive the supplementary screws by 19th November;

2. Heated beds were returned to the factory last week due to the appearance problem and we received the improved heated beds yesterday;

3. Print heads and CNC heads were received. And we expect to receive the laser heads by 19th November;

4. CNC motors were returned to the factory due to quality problem last week and we expect to receive the qualified motors by 22nd November;

5. We haven’t purchase packaging materials yet due to the design hasn’t been confirmed yet. We will confirm the design after we finish the packaging test.

Newest printer and packaging

*Please note that the packaging sample doesn't include appearance design so that we can receive it earlier.

Inner packaging
The appearance design of the packaging

Ⅳ. Testing

We are testing the newly assembled printers, and the performances are good so far.

Today we started the packaging test in the assembly factory and we expect to get the test report on 19th November.

Ⅴ. Production

We assembled 5 units of printers in the office for testing. And the assembly factory will assemble 25 units of printers. The plan is as below:

1. Ship all the materials to the assembly factory on 18th November (Already done);

2. The assembly factory will check the number and the quality before production, and it will cost several days;

3. Start production by 25th November and finish production by 5th December.


Ⅵ. Financial Status

Some backers asked questions about financial status. Given the production status and the budget, we worry that we may encounter a shortage of funds during the period of fulfillment if we meet a big setback again. To avoid it happen, we are taking some measures:

1. We are connecting with VC regarding venture investment to secure the fund chain;

2. We narrowed down the team scale to decrease labor cost;

3. Try our best to avoid more delay.


On the one hand, the performances of the new printers give us confidence that the journey from 1 to 100 paid off. There is a high probability that the trail-produced printers will have the same performances. On the other hand, we are sorry for the delay again.

That’s all for recent progress. Thank you for your understanding and support as always.


Sincerely,

IVI Team

Progress Update [Mid October]
5 months ago – Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 01:08:32 AM

Dear IVIers,


The preparation of trial production is still on track. Here is recent progress to share with you.


Ⅰ. Control Board

We mentioned the chip problem of the CNC board in the last update, and it was solved by replacing the chip. The solution has been verified.

There was a small problem on the mainboard, that was the printer will power off automatically when upgrading the mainboard (Yes, the upgradability of mainboard is achieved.). To solve the problem, we added an MCU on the mainboard, and this caused a slight change in the mainboard design.

To prepare the trial production, we ordered raw materials for the control boards for the trial production. 6 pieces of board were made firstly for the final verification of the mainboard, and the verification is OK. Now the rest of the mainboards and CNC motor boards are being produced in the factory and we expect to receive them by next week.

The problem is that the tool-head boards (FDM&CNC&Laser) haven’t been produced yet due to the modification of the tool-head design. We expect to finalize the tool-head design this week. And the hardware engineer plan to update the board design by next Tuesday. And then we will start production of the tool-head boards. The expected delivery time is the end of October.


Ⅱ. Embedded Firmware

Both printer firmware and the firmware for the closed-loop system are finished.


Ⅲ. LCD & Slicer

Both the development of the LCD app and IVI 3licer are finished. All the necessary functions are achieved. And the testing engineer is running the full tests of the LCD app. We plan to work out the recommended printing parameter for IVI 3licer within this month.


Ⅳ. Mechanical Hardware

Most structural materials are received as planned. In the past few weeks, engineers were busy inspecting material production in the factories to ensure the quality and schedule.

Molding parts cost a longer time than other machining parts and sheet metal parts. And we spent a certain amount of time inspecting the molding process and fixed some problems on site. We expect to receive the first piece of the molded shell by next Monday. If they can fit, 10 days needed to produce rest shells.

Inspecting molding process
Machining parts & Hiwin linear guide
The front panel, build plate & touch screen
Direct-purchasing parts
Electronics
Power supply & the cover

The major setback is that we haven’t finalized the tool-head design yet. The test result of the last FDM print head sample we received is not as good as we thought. There are over-extrusion and under-extrusion problems caused by the improper heat-sink structure. The engineer stayed in the company to optimize the print head during the national holidays in early October. Now the over-extrusion and under-extrusion problem are solved on the newest design. Since the design of the print head changed, we need to change the design of the CNC head and laser head accordingly. As mentioned, we expect to finalize the tool-head design this week. And then we will start production of tool-heads. The expected delivery time also is the end of October.

Regarding the package design, we received the sample as scheduled. But we need a printer with the newest design to verify the package design due to design change on the printer. After we received the shell materials next Monday, we plan to assemble 2 units of the printer using the newly received materials to verify the assembly and package design by next week.


Ⅴ. Testing

Regarding software testing, we are running full tests on the LCD app, and keep using IVI 3licer in house.

Regarding the hardware testing, we were busy with printing tests to verify the different versions of the FDM print head.


Ⅵ. Production

Overall, we are still following the schedule of receiving all the production material within October.

The contract with the assembly factory hasn’t been confirmed yet, since we are still negotiating on the quality agreement. The cooperation is expected to be confirmed by next week.


That’s all for recent progress. Thank you for your understanding and support as always. See you in the next update.