Moai project update - Fall 2019

Hi Moai Community,

This is Mark from Peopoly. I would like to share with you what happens next for the Moai / 200, especially with the announcement of new LCD-SLA / MSLA based printer. Both Moai and Moai 200 continue to be our core printers. Their 67um laser spot size and 15um galvo step produce stunningly-smooth results. The laser source, with thousands of hours of life, can run for years – so there are no LCDs to periodically replace. We have many users who have been running Moai almost daily over 2 years. Evan Morgan has one of the earliest Moai ever shipped and it is still running on original laser / galvo.

One of the best benefits of laser-based SLA printers is that they allow for resins that, while they may need more energy to activate, have more interesting material properties. For example, we have developed a new resin for fast printing on the Moai at an impressive 200um layer height, while still having a smooth surface and good resolution. Even at 200um, the X-Y resolution of a Moai is still the same as it is printing at 40um layer height. This is possible because the laser beam does not diverge and the energy is delivered in much higher density. This resin will be released on Oct 2019, and we are working to reduce all resin prices, and for them to be more available locally.

Moai’s laser light source runs efficiently, and being far away from the vat means that it can print resin that requires a higher temperature. This allows a heated vat that can go above 40C and opens possibilities for stronger, more advanced materials. We are working on both the hardware and the chemistry to make this happen.

The Moai beta firmware that we previewed back in April will be released this year. In addition to bug fixes, the custom gcode function allows users to change laser power, pause, etc. via gcode - even during mid-print. This sets the stage for even more optimized printing such as path-dependent laser power/speed (different curing for walls, infills, support, and base layers). Also along the software front, we will continue to add functions and fix bugs to Asura, especially with the new firmware commands.

It has been over two years since we launched the Moai project, and we could only make it this far with the community’s support and impressive contributions. We have added three people to our team this year that you might already have met in the group or via pm/email. We are growing and will continue to push forward with even more Moai enhancements that we can’t wait to share with you later.

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Hi Mark,
it is very interesting what happens with the Moai130 and for me, especially with the Moai 200. You´re writing, the Moai and Moai 200 continue to be your core printer. At the moment I´m confused, because there is no Moai 200 any more in your shop / Moai collection? What is going on with it?
A few days before it was still in the shop with the mark “sold out”?

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Hello @framecrack I will get him on here to answer your question, apologies for the delay.

Hello Support_2,

I think Mark is so so busy with introducing his new baby, so he has no time for all his abandoned Moai 200 customers. So feel free to answer my questions yourself.
At the moment I can´t find anything of the Moai 200 on your homepage. Surprise, surprise.

“There are more people who surrender, than those who fail.” Henry Ford

I hope @peopoly is not one of the first.

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As I have said, I will get the correct person to answer you so I do not spread misinformation, If I had the answer for this I would have answered myself. I do know though, that the Moai customers are not abandoned and will not be. I will get to the bottom of the 200 for you and get you the answers.

We have been selling Moai 200 since beginning of the year but only via reseller. This is due to the fact that Moai 200 is very heavy and difficult to ship. If you want to order directly, you can always contact us via email and we will find the best way for you to purchase the 200.

Hi Mark,
thanks for your answer, but I´m not planning to purchase a second one. I bought one begin of this year. I bought the Moai200 with the Intention, to print parts for model builder purposes. But I realized, that there are many issues on that printer, they are not solved or need to be improved. The Moai200 has the potential to get a real good printer. I realized, that you´ve stopped mechandising the Moai200 on your homepage. I asked myself, why are you doing that, so short after serial production? Now you are on start with your new baby Phenom. I´m not sure, if you are planning enogh ressources to support and improve the Moai200?
So I want to ask you, what and when are the next steps for important improvements: layer lines, reducing the peel forces on the vat, correction of the distortion, complicated levelling, update the firmware in many little, but important details to get the Moai200 on the way to become a good and reliable printer? You got and get many suggestions from other users, but I don´t see at the moment the necessary steps into future with the Moai200.
Read your lines of your post. Stopping the proactive sales activites is not the right signal for me as customer to believe that the Moai200 is continuing to be your core printer.

Hi Mark,
one week ago and no answer?

Hi Mark,
second week ago and no answer?

Hi Mark,
third week ago and no answer?

hi Framecrack,

rregarding your Moai 200, you said you got it earlier this year. Have you got the advanced PDMS plate with pdms? That was a significant development for Moai 200 in Mid May. That along with new leveling instruction reduces peel force and increases print success rate further. It s still best to print high hardness resin for Moai 200.

I think the important upgrade for Moai 200 is a firmware upgrade that allows an up movement during peel to reduce peel force. This is contingent on the Moai 130 extended firmware code Moai Beta Firmware - extended gcode commands - updated 4/27/2019 With some dev resources freeing up, we like to get back to this soon and take the codebase to Moai 200 when it is proved on Moai 130. Have you had a chance to use that on 130?

The Deft resin developed for Phenom is also intended for Moai 200. The 200um test is quite positive and we can get much faster print speed and a smoother finish. We still need more testing data for deft before sharing the data but it is very promising.

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Dear Mark,

nice to hear from you, I´m very happy about this. My Moai has no PMDS plate, only FEP on glas with none vent holes.
The upgrade for the Moai200 firmware ist really important, and it will be a good signal for all of us 200 users. Please look forward to get your resources free very soon:

  • We need to have the fully extended gcode commands included the M1001 to M1008.
  • It would be also very helpful if we could adjust the laserpower in the gcode, so we can make easy tests with different laser power steps to explore the optimum settings for the resin with one print instead of several prints.
  • An other advantage would be a menu in the interface, that allows to move the z-axis up and down manually for several works or adjustments with the printer.
  • Would it be possible, to correct the distortions directly in the Firmware instead of Asura?
  • One last point: Think about opening the firmware. You and all the users could benefiting from several developments of well experienced users and specialists.

I believe, there is a lot of potential in the Moai200 and with some improvements and further developments it could get a great and succesful printer.

Please do not disappoint us. Thanks in advance.

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One aditional point:

  • after finishing the last print layer, the menu in the interface jumps to the start menu. It should stay in the menu for the last layer, so we can see how long the printing time was. After confirming, the menu could go to start menu.
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In addition to the above essential points, I would like to ask urgently for realization of this function:

At the beginning of printing, the building board moves at full speed into the resin and against the FEP glass plate, to the position of the first layer. The resin can not be displaced so quickly, so the VAT is forcibly and suddenly pushed down. Only after lowering the tilting mechanism is initiated.

It would be much better if the VAT is pivoted to the lower position at the beginning of the printing process. Only when the Z-axis has reached 0 on the position of the layer should the VAT be slowly swiveled upwards.

Positive effects from this:

  • Lower mechanical load on the building board
  • Reduction of the risk of misalignment of VAT leveling
  • less air bubbles in the first layer
  • Improvement of the layer 0 quality
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That´s an interesting point. Good idea :clap:

This! This was one of my concerns. I posted recently if there is a way to slow down the build plate on the way down into the vat and it did not really get anywhere. I’m also a little concerned that with the release of the Phenom the support in for the SLA based printers will dwindle with time. It would be nice to see Moai demonstrate with actions that this is not the case.

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@gill_za to clear things better for you, changing the z motor speed is globally, you can see the descriptions for each settings here :https://wiki.peopoly.net/doku.php?id=moai:moai

I changed it as per suggestions in that thread. It was already pretty “slow” according to settings and had no observable difference on the speed at which the platform crashes into the vat at the beginning of the print. I changed it from 2 to 1. there is a video in that link as well.

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2 to 1 is really hard to observe, if you really want to see how the speed changes with the settings, decrease the z reset to 1700 for example and compare z speed 10 to 1