You've got questions and we've got answers. Below are some of the most common questions that we get about the eForge and how it works.
What software will you be able to use?
Initially we are partnering with Autodesk to use their Tinkercad product. We will develop with more sophisticated tools such as Fusion 360. In addition, any CAD tool that can create STL, OBJ files and the like will work. The printer is driven by gcode. Ultimately we will release our own CAD tool and slicer.
How hard/how much time does it take to align heads?
The heads on our current prototype are fixed and the prints have worked well. Our commercial release will have retractable nozzles as well as an auto-leveling feature.
Will there be a library of standard parts?
Yes. We are developing a library of standard parts, and we will invite our growing community to participate and share.
How does 8 nozzles impact print speeds?
It depends upon the sophistication and size of the device being printed. A large device using all of the nozzles will take longer.
How do you overcome the oozing problem?
We have developed a proprietary retractable nozzle bank which only makes the active nozzle available, and seals inactive nozzles. This reduces oozing, contamination, and interference.
Can this be used for multicolor prints?
Yes. Just as the extruders can hold different material filaments, they can hold different color filaments. Temperature and speed can be adjusted in the gcode to allow optimal printing.
What type of electronic components can be printed?
You will conceivably be able to print individual resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors as well as in combination to create a multitude of macroscopic circuits/devices. By the time we release we will have produced a library of devices, but we hope that users like you take the creativity to a whole new level.
Will this be able to print magnetic materials?
We are exploring the printing of magnetic materials. We’ve done it once but we hadn’t developed a process to align the magnetic domains. We will come back around to that. We will have other materials that will come out sequentially.
What is the scale for the prints?
Macroscopic electronic devices can be printed. As we work to reduce the resolution and increase accuracy, microcircuitry will become realistic.
Can we utilize more than one nozzle simultaneously?
Currently one nozzle is active at a time but all eight nozzles can print on a single level. To print with multiple nozzles simultaneously is a matter of a more sophisticated control system and a smart slicer that would accommodate the algorithm.
Does it have automatic calibration and leveling?
Auto-leveling will be a feature. Calibration will be manual.
What slicing software does this use?
Currently we use the open source Slic3r, however, by the time of our commercial release we will have our own slicer.
Got more questions? please shoot us an email, and we'll be happy to answer.