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HOW KUDO3D CAN FIX the BEAN, 8 SOLUTIONS
#1
Wink 
I want to bring some solutions which could help fix the BEAN's issues. I will also try to convince the manufacturer to implement those fixes as they have been receptive to my technical suggestions in the past and have in fact already adopted 1 of them (change of material for the VAT). Take note I am also posting this on the negative video review update at YouTube as I've been unable to post even a very short version at Indiegogo even after trying for days, the post button does not work, when queried Indiegogo didn't help but gave me a line about how projects are not garanteed (when I was actually reporting a technical bug of their website & asking them if they can post my message for me (they didn't). I hope Indigogo won't become a part of the problem but we will see as I emailed them again to fix the unresponsive post button.

How Kudo3D can fix the BEAN :

It is the responsability of the manufacturer to test the longevity of the LCD under the conditions it will be used before finishing the design so it will be fit for use. Kudo seems to have done measurements for temperature (maybe not as sophisticated (?) as in a photo from students who measured it with an IR cam on an unrelated LCD printer). Perhaps they could have asked more questions to the scientific team of the LCD manufacturer & say they will remove the back of the screen & polarizer & shine UV LEDs through the back, in a metal box of size X plus electronics producing X amount of heat, etc, & they would tell them how long it will last for that application.

I understand LCDs have a shorter life when you beam UV through them but only 100 hrs is not acceptable. Aren't there higher quality glass LCDs instead of acrylic which could last longer ? If it's a problem affecting the liquid crystal fluid could it also be that heat from UV rays causes the acrylic cover of the screen to bulge & create internal voids ? Or separation of the chemical components of the LCD ? Maybe Kudo3D chose a type of UV LEDs that emit too much UV radiation ? 405nm UV curables are not true pure UV resins but also absorb wavelengths near UV. Could t those other near UV wavelengths be used in more qty to cure resin rather than use pure UV LEDs that use only UV light ? (a combination of near UV & UV). In combination with a resin formulation with a peak more in the non-UV spectrum ?

*** There are ways to fix the Bean. 5 things need to be fixed. So i want to offer ideas Kudo can use which could fix the Bean & make it last for years. 1- The screen seems to last only 100-400 hours (black spots ruining prints/supports). 2- The VAT leaks. Resin seeped outside 3DMN s printer. Another backer s printer got fried when resin seeped into the electronics. 3- The software/control board seem unable to print more than 2 parts at the same time. 3DMN tried & the system froze. I bought this machine to also make batches (my files average 40-60mb or more), 1 of the reasons to buy a LCD printer is because it gives max res from edge to edge of the built area. There are chips that can be used for the controller/slicing with more power to process batches. The fact that SLAcer & Kudo3D slicer only allow 2600 layers or else it crashes will stop me from printing several of my parts: at 10 microns they require 12000 layers. 

So here are solutions Kudo can use to fix the Bean: 

1- Glass LCD screens instead of acrylic to help survive UV rays. I don't know if the black dots are from degradation of the liquid crystal or voids created by heat expansion of the screen + suction or a combination. Most LCDs have an operating limit of 50 degrees C (some go up to 60 C). Kudo should add a temperature sensor linked to a fan to add more cooling when the LCD nears 50. I have seen low cost temp sensors including an IR sensor board at 18.59$C. Some PC fans come equiped with a temperature sensor cable. If the problem is liquid crystal degradation I see only ONE solution : Kudo should offer a discounted kit to convert the BEAN into a daylight resin printer : Royal blue LEDs instead of UV, & sell resin from Photocentric, ThreeBond, or Bucktown (though I would avoid the later: aliphatic resins are more toxic/allergenic). Doing this could add years of life to the LCD (as i cannot spend 3000$/year to replace LCDs).

2- The living hinges of the VAT are ways too fragile, like on throw-away shampoo bottles. Kudo should use real hinges with pivot to survive frequent cleaning & FEP film changing. Kudo told me that would be for a next version of the VAT. I hope they will do it, very soon.

3- The VAT leaks. Resin leaking into the electronics & a dead printer after 100 hours is unacceptable. The VAT design is poor: ithave a gasket. Kudo must fix the VAT by creating a new version with a neoprene/silicone gasket. I read the VAT is supposed to flex a bit. If it does I can see how resin can seep between the screws & Teflon. They should also make the VAT frame more rigid

4- The Pi &/or software needs more memory/computing power to slice more than 2600 layers & let us print more than 2 models at the same time. Lots of chips can do that. Seen people replace the Pi chip & solder a more powerful one. I am sure a company could make Kudo a short run of upgraded spec Pi boards, it is an open board any manufacturer can make. Offering these upgrades could fix all the issues & make the BEAN a success. If Kudo does not I do not see anyone who would pay over 1K+$ for the FAB as it will have the same problems. So I strongly urge Kudo to apply those fixes or better : go for daylight resin conversion, the only one that may guarantee a long screen life. The Titan 1 had a leaky VAT & they fixed it. Kudo can do the same for the Bean then they will be able to sell many more + the FAB. With a gasket + real hinges the improved VAT will bring new clients rather than demands for reimbursement. That + turning the Bean into a daylight resin printer. 

As for my Bean if ever Kudo does not produce a kit to convert it to daylight resin, I plan to convert it to blue LEDs myself (& hope I will not fry anything while soldering as I am no electronician. Will have to tweek the software too, though it is not my job, Kudo should do it) & I will design my own 3D printed improved VAT with gasket which i will sell to Bean clients to increase their printer's life. I am already working on preliminary designs. My VATs should last at least for a month or more with plastic. If not I will go to a different material which will be more pricey but should last for years. 


UPDATE, after reading Kudo3D s update:

I now understand part of the reason for the short life of 2 of the backers screens maybe due to shocks/pressure during shipment, the screens are probably mounted tightly, I don't know exactly how as I do not have my printer yet but even if they are glued with silicone it is not hard to believe that shocks during shipping mig cause damage. There are 3 other issues that can affect the LCD : heat, UV rays & suction force like Kudo said. There is also another important thing they pointed out: exothermique reaction. Adding 125ml of resin in the VAT to use as heat sink when building thicker parts is a good engineering solution. But adding more resin could lead to leaks/overflow as the VAT tilt ? It doesn't solve everything, just a partial issue. As an aside: LCD mask 3D printers are not a new technology with unknown screen life. The 1st ones started to appear in 2014-2015. The life of the screens Kudo should have tested under the condition it will be used given they had almost a year to test it on several printers. So they should know its longevity by now. They had quoted me a life of 1500 hours for the screen & LEDS several months ago by email. So the discrepancy observed on at least 3 printers screens that lasted only 100-400 hours is huge.

Another suggestion: make the walls of the next VAT higher to allow for that additional resin as heat sink (& also add a real gasket + hinges with pivots).

If the LCD still survives no more than 100-400 hrs my request to convert the Bean into a daylight printer still applies & I still strongly urge Kudo to create a discounted kit to do so, allowing the screen to last months or over a year & it will solve most if not all the screen longevity issues. They are going a bit in the same direction I suggest for the VAT: theys are using a makeshift silicone seal & instructing us to create 1 each time we change the film. So it shows my request to redesign the VAT to include a real gasket plus real hinges is more  essential than ever. Along with a conversion to daylight printer.

Getting a custom liquid crystal able to resist decay by UV created by a big LCD maker might cost cost a lot, so i do not expect that to happen soon. So my suggestion they convert the Bean into a daylight resin printer is the only practical one to ensure a long LCD screen life.

So in recap :

1- New VAT design with gasket to fix leak risks (neoprene, silicone, nitrile, flat laser cut gasket type or o-ring type including single or double o-ring).

2- New VAT design also including real hinges with pivot rather than fragile living hinges.

3- New VAT design including the improvements above plus Teflon coating like cooking pans on top side to prolong life of the plastic in contact with resin/cleaning agents.

4- New glass LCD instead of acrylic (for UV printer version). If that can help to buy time before black spots appear. Maybe use one with an oleophobic coating like the iPhone to diminish suction force on the screen ? If it makes a difference.

5- Temperature sensor coupled to small dedicated fan for the LCD screen to provide active cooling when screen temperature nears 50 - 65 degrees.

6- Chip with more computing power for the Pi board so we can print batches & heavy CAD files without the board/slicer freezing up. Either a custom series of more powerful Pi made for Kudo or a different more powerful board (many out there including many that can handle 4K).

7- Maybe add higher walls to the VAT to avoid spills if we use the additional 125ml of resin in the VAT for heat sink purpose to reduce temperature of the screen.

8- And the most important : Convert the Bean to a daylight resin printer with new royal blue LEDs & use daylight resin to fix most of the LCD screen longevity issues. And of course add all the other improvements which are relevant to a daylight version, this will make the Bean a success with a long life.
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#2
* * * More solutions : If ever KUDO3D can't afford to make an all new injection mold for the new VAT design with neoprene or silicone gasket & real hinges with pivots on the short term, they can temporarily resolve this by 3D printing a new VAT design, or even make the CAD file for a new VAT publicly downloadable under a GNU license so users can 3D print it themselves wherever they want. They would just supply us with the laser cut neoprene gaskets or molded silicone gaskets plus necessary screws & metal inserts for the screws and that's it ! There are always solutions to any problem, even if money is tight.  

The current VATs have a finite life so backers are already expecting they will have to buy replacement VATs regularly as they are made of plastic which have limited life in contact to chemicals. So the backers will no doubt find acceptable to pay for the cost of 3D printing replacement VAT. It may even cost them less than Kudo's current VAT price, or a bit more, depending where they'll 3D print them & with what material. People are already 3D printing DIY VATs for various machines with PLA (polylactic acid) & they say these VATS last for a month or more. I don't have an exact number but they say it was good compared to commercial VATs.

So, with 3D printed VATs & making the CAD file for a new VAT publicly open to the backers to print them they will have no excuse to say no (at least for a redesigned VAT). Backers will be happy & KUDO will get several complaints off their back. That's the cheapest, easiest stop gap measure til they can produce a new injected mold.

Next step : converting the BEAN into a daylight printer. Thankfully for KUDO & for us it may cost much less than making an all new inection mold. It's just buying & soldering blue LEDs & resistors into a new light engine, plus adjusting the software codes for the exposure times. Maybe a new transformer to match the new LED array, no big deal, just parts change. All in all this will not cost much to KUDO as & we/they already expect the LEDs need to be replaced after X amount of hours. So I hope after I propose this this that they will put together a conversion kit with new daylight blue LEDs so that it'll be available soon & make arrangements to procure daylight resin & we will all set ! Problems solved easily. It's just switching parts & a partial redesign of the VAT. Let's keep our fingers crossed as I have no idea if they will adopt even just one or several of my proposals, but it's in their best interests as they will make more money that way rather than lose money.
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#3
The 3D printable NEW VAT for the Bean would be a bit different & will look more like several of the DIY VATs. It will have to have a border all around the outside to be able to put screws there instead of the metal inserts they used on the plastic injected VAT. 

* * * It would be too much trouble to add nests for metallic inserts on the top of that border as when you turn the VAT upside down to replace the FEP film they would never hold in place & all fall down. Better use HEX screws or other type of screws plus nuts to hold the foam gasket plus steel ring in place. On the 3D printable version they would have to increase the vertical wall of the VAT to compensate for the new external border thickness to fasten the screws.

_l'l       l'l_
--------------

*** They will have to calculate the shrinkage for the 3D printed VATs based on type of plastic used (PLA, ABS, glass filled plastic, etc) & will need to obtain the settings used on the FDM printer & if fan cooling was used, heated bed used or not, & so on, because the laser cut neoprene gaskets will have to include laser cut holes too for each of the screws emplacements on the VAT & the holes of the gasket will have to match the position of the holes holes of the VAT.

For the NEW injected plastic version I hope KUDO3D will adopt, one with gasket & hinges with real pivots, KUDO will not need to change the minimum shape of the VAT too much. Except for the new real hinges the other change that I see would be on the underside : it would be better & safer for KUDO3D to add 2 ridges connecting all the holes for metallic inserts instead of the single ridge you currently use. Those 2 ridges will help the gasket to provide a better barrier (a 2nd bartier) against resin leaks. The gasket will be pressed down directly against those 2 ridges. 2 ridges will be better than the single current ridge to provide proper sealing. It will also help to make the VAT a bit more rigid. 

I am including a quick drawing to illustrate one of the 2 changes that is needed for VAT. Those 2 ridges will not only provide a better seal when/if they will (I hope) add a real neoprene gasket on top of them & will also add more rigidity to the VAT, which should reduce or eliminate resin leaks.


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#4
Hi Racoon3D,

There's a lot of information here, thanks for posting Smile.

First, I just wanted to mention Indiegogo - don't get me started. I was profoundly disappointed when Kudo3D opened their campaign there after the kickstarter - if anyone had asked me, I would have told them to avoid Indiegogo like the plague. My experience with them relating to a campaign gone south taught me that I, and anyone I can convince, will never have anything to do with them again.

I am also wondering if you've been able to post your youtube review yet - I just checked, and couldn't see it. What's the name of your channel?

You are attempting to solve a bunch of issues here - have you had all of them? Is it really that bad? I'm still waiting on any word about my printer - I'm trying to hold out hope that all of these are other people's problems Smile.

Stan
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#5
Hi Stan, 

Thank you about the information about Indiegogo, this is my first ever campaign as a backer so I had no idea about any issues about them. I wanted to buy it via Kickstarter but it was too late so I went to Indiegogo which allows for longer periods to back campaigns. I will keep people updatupdate as I am in contact with Indiegogo to fix a bug as I can't post comments there since days, I tried on 2 different operating systems, no luck. That's why I went to YouTube & here instead. 

Actually I didn't post any video I only posted comments & the same solutions I posted here directly on the updated video review of 3DMN abiut the BEAN at YouTube.
* * * You have to click the option arrange comments by NEWEST to see my comments, I vouldn't see them otherwise. 


I have not received my BEAN yet, all the issues I refer to have been reported by video reviewer 3DMN as well as 2 other backers, given the rising number of upset people on both Kickstarter & Indie ( even though it's only 3 printers that are affected with these problems) I want to offer solutions to the manufacturer so that the whole project does not derail (I would really hate that as I love the design and resoluton of the BEAN and I really want it to work for the long haul and to do batches (& I can't afford a Titan). In fact I was also thinking since early on to upgrade my BEAN to 4K screen & add a THK rail (when I'll have money from selling 3D printed parts later in, even before they announced the FAB). So I really want it to work. 

In my opinion all the issues can be fixed, it's not complicated.

By the way now that we know that the 5.5" screen is from Sharp, I looked & found several sources on the web between 44 to 54$ Canadian, from Hong Kong or mainland China dealers. One of them is a big industrial distributor, so if we would order direct from them we might lower the price. No price on their website though, you have to contact them. They're in HK. That would be an option in case Kudo does not convert the printer to daylight resin, it would perhaps reduce our cost to replace screens per year (no idea for how much Kudo sells them), "if" Kudo's price is higher.

The screen seems to be the same as for the D7 & the Photon.

One thing to know : the Titan 1 had a leaky VAT at first. It took 3 more VAT iterations after the campaign to fix this. Then they said after 1 year of running the 4th design there's no more leaks. So I have no doubt they could do the same for the BEAN VAT. They just need to be convinced. 

Yes, me too I hope these 3 people were just unlucky. But for the VAT it is confirmed it can leak, Kudo acknowledge an issue with the mold gate & now asks people to spread silicone under the VAT. It's in one of their latest updates. So I say it needs a permanent fix, spreading silicone by hand is just a temporary fix.

As for the screen they said somewhere it should last 500 hours. If I print 12 hours a day that's nearly a month & a half. That's not extremely bad if it last that long, but if it's only 100 hours I'm in trouble. If it last 500 hours & I can get screens cheaper direct from the industrial distributor, i could afford, that might cost me 625$ a year or more depending on duty fees, practically the cost of the printer in C $. Not ideal when your budget is limited...

I'd still much prefer a screen that last longer (daylight conversion might solve that).
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#6
Some days ago I tried to post a comment on Indigogo on how to fix the Bean's issues when i saw a lot of upset clients & demands for reimbursement &l the responses of Kudo, but i could not get the send button to work no matter what device I use. I tried for days in vain then I reported the bug to Indiegogo. 

Unfortunately not only they didn't fix the bug but they only said that "perks" are not guaranteed so that response really worried me about what's going on.

Here's what happened with Indigogo :

Following their previous response where they avoided to answer my query about the "post comment" button on the Bean campaign page which was not working, and they had they told me that perks are not guaranteed instead of answering my requests (I never told them about any perks, I only bought the basic printer without any extras).

I then sent that customer agent an email response cc to my email address telling them that what I'm reporting is a BUG with their "Post Comment" page webpage function and can they fix it soon ? (And I had also asked them if they could post the comment for me as I'd been trying for days in vain. They didn't). Following my email there was a deafening silence. They never replied. I also answered their service quality survey saying it did not help me at all, plus a copy of the problem & email. No response from them either.

So I think Indiegogo is now part of the problem, if not The problem by setting the wrong example & allowing or inspiring makers to adopt Indiegogo's questionable "rules", basically letting makers think it's ok to ship products which have issues 8ncluding serious issues as long as they deliver them. I did some research about Indiegogo & there are a lot of complaints on various consumer rights websites & complaints about how they handle customer complaints & how they frequently deflect complaints or do nothing. There is no phone number on their website. I had to dig it out from other people who found a number but it's used for DCMA take down complaints & said to have a 47 minutes waiting time or "no one answers that phone"... I was planning on buying a 1000$ item there plus hundred of $ of options but seeing all the complaints of how they "handled" a very simple request to fix a bug for something as essential as backers comments, I decided I will definitely not spend more money at Indigogo until they fix their act.

But I bet they won't, it seems the Silicon Valley mentality & business model for companies like Apple, Google, MS, FB, Indiegogo, is one with lots of catches & abusive terms of use in contracts which care more about grabbing the money and making money by violating our privacy in so many ways or offering no warranty or no reimbursement.. Sorry if I'm upset but I've had plenty of problems with the so called customer service of 2 of the biggest email providers & with one of the biggest online payment companies (they were all a joke & wasted me major time (months in the case of the online payment Co.). Now I am not saying Indiegogo is rotten but based on the type of answer they sent then followed by silence when I started documenting their answers, I say they are going in the same direction I experienced with some other majors as far as bad customer service & questionnable practices go, so this is not reassuring & given that this encouraged the maker of the printer to hide behind Indiegogo & say we should be willing to "share the risks" or else.. (for a printer which they themselves declared on their own campaign page was going to be "reliable" and "only the Teflon needs to be replaced", meaning the resin container was not going to be a consumable.
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