New official (pre-release) heavy duty Z-axis

#1

I had the pleasure to install an official Peopoly heavy duty Z-axis. I’m going to give you some first impressions. Bear in mind that I very likely got a pre-release and the final version might be more polished.

So, first things first. This is how it looks:

Peopoly went for a weird setup here. They are using bearings on rails. The z-axis is indeed very sturdy. You can lift the whole printer from the arm and it wouldn’t move by 1mm. So it’s definitely an improvement over the standard z-axis but still, it’s not something I would expect to see on a high definition printer.

I would have expected a couple of rails and good quality carriages. With peopoly implementation you have incredibly little margin of error assembling the bearings (at the factory) and the user has to take very good care of those rails. They must be dry and clean.

Installation was very easy. The Z-axis is a drop in replacement, you can even reuse the same screws. The problem here is that the end stop is about 20mm lower than before, so we lose about 2cm in height and be sure to reset the build plate zero (mine was at about 1650 with an easy to level buildplate).

Another hiccup is that the arm is too thick and hits the vat when it reaches the bottom, so you have to remember to not push the vat all the way in.

IMG_20190430_163940

Okay then… How does it print?

If you already have a good-printing Moai, it doesn’t really change much (if at all). If you are experiencing notable wobbling or you often print very big model, then yeah, this update might help. Of course it’s all down to pricing… which I don’t know.

IMG_20190426_181913

Like I said… there’s little to no difference from the previous axis (left new, right old).

If you have any question don’t hesitate to ask here or on Discord.

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#2

This is indeed a surprising design, working in mechanical engineering I can only see this choice as a price-based decision. Which is fine, especially since we don’t know the price of the printer yet… but this better be cheaper than the Tripod mod because I THINK the mods is a better more durable design.

If this is the final design I now know I don’t need to wait on this to buy a Moai, I prefer to have a current Moai 130 and tweak the design myself.

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#3

Yeah…this is kindof disappointing…

I’ve been waiting for a while to post about this…and I think I’m going to do a more in-depth post later on if people are interested, but I’ve been working on a dual rail upgrade for the current axis of the moai 130 for a while.

While my axis is now much more sturdy (even with a 3d printed arm), with basically no side to side movement, I can’t say that I saw a drastic improvement in print quality after upgrading. I’m sad to say it’s basically the same.

It seems to me that the people with excessive wobble in their prints are experiencing other issues:

  • A really out of whack lead screw.
  • Very bad tollerance rails/carriages.
  • Power supply issues.
    And in this case…a new axis won’t be at all helpful.

With that said, I’m not sure who exactly this is marketed for. We’ve seen fantastic prints with the default axis set up, which would clearly indicate that machines with properly spec’d components are more than capable of not having wobble. It seems to me that this is almost a way to sell people into a false fix as opposed to replace the faulty parts with stuff that’s properly QC’d and to spec.

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#4

I’ll be curious to see their production parts. I’m still waiting on parts for my tripod (misumi said a month for the rods). I guess even if this were released, it still has to ship from China.

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#5

A month for the rods? I got mine from ooznest, but I’m in the UK. Got it shipped next day. Took longer to print the parts than have the rails delivered. I had mine all installed for a few days now and it’s a massive improvement and pretty cheap too!

BR

KS

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#6

Yeah all my printable parts are printed. I have the Amazon parts. The parts from openbuildpartsstore and banggood should be here any day now.

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#7

It is a holiday in China this week (5/1 to 5/4), so sorry about the late replies.

The premise of the heavy duty z-axis is that ALL moai users can easily install with no structural modification to original Moai. The goal is to further minimize any potential left-right movement that some have. If this part does its job and does it cost effectively, then we accomplished what we set out to do. We will have this module ready in 2 weeks. It also extends the print height slightly. As mentioned above, the original Moai z-axis is already quite good even though it is a single rail. This heavy duty z-axis is not going to be default in Moai 130 / Moai kit because not everyone needs it. @Oberon

We have been working on pinpointing the source of banding, and we learned it is not one single source:

some z-axis have more pronounced left and right
poorly secured vat
bent lead screw
The brackets that lock in the metal rods under the plate form is not well secured. This happens a lot of more than we originally thought. this is in the check up list now
poorly secured installed pm motor is another one
poorly secured vat
interference (generally from power to galvo leading to change of scanning area)
vat carriage rubbing against the frame (there is a screw there that kind of sticking out)

the best question to ask is, does any part that is moving during peel that is not supposed to; those are usually the spot where leads to where layer shifts happen

Btw power supply is not a source issue for Moai. Some of the power board in the early batches is not as reliable as we like and we replace them when it is not working. For some heater user, it broke, and we have been replacing them when needed.

We are not stopping or giving up on Moai projects and still working to improve the printer. some of you have outstanding emails and we will follow up.

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#8

how much is this gonna cost?

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