Dimension Elite 3D Printer Overview

    In the last topic about 3d printing, I promised to review the Dimension Elite printer. It's time to keep the promises.


    A series of random events I was lucky to get into some organization, one might even say to participate in its formation. It so happened that we had a designated printer above and a person from the Moscow Dimension unit taught me how to handle it. Now it’s my turn to tell you something about him.

    The main thing

    Like everything, it’s worth starting with the characteristics:
    Build Area Size: L × W × H203 mm × 203 mm × 305 mm
    Layer thickness0.174 mm / 0.254 mm
    Print modescustomizable (layer thickness, model occupancy by material, support alignment algorithm)
    Growing speed15 cm³ / hour
    Dimensions: L × W × H686 mm × 914 mm × 1041 mm
    Device weight (without packaging)136 kg

    As you can see, for such a small working volume you need a very small and heavy box. It turned out, it seems to me, because of two factors: the presence of fairly massive mechanisms for moving the table up / down and moving the print head in two dimensions. Plus, printing technology requires heating the working chamber volume to as much as 75 degrees, which, in general, is not small. All this requires not the weakest power supply. If you believe more than the manufacturer’s documentation, the printer consumes about 1.5 kW / h. Well, like any heater, it heats the space around very well. In the summer it is quite difficult to share the same room with him.

    Attention, inside a large number of images, be careful!

    Take a look at the handsome

    Solid infection. Below you can see 2 cartridges, later you will see them. The printer is equipped with a darkened glass door through which the printing process is clearly visible. Before you open the door and see what's inside, you need to say that the printer is connected to the PC via Ethernet.

    Inside the hole

    It's time to open the door. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to disassemble it completely in order to savor the details of the design, but there is nothing to be done, he dear :)

    So, in the upper right corner we see the print head. The head is tricky and has 2 nozzles: one for supplying support material, the second for supplying basic material. In the standby state, the head is at the “base”, hanging over the metal brushes and the waste box. Plastic spools fall into this box, the head throws them there, gently rubbing itself against a metal brush. But in general, there is not a lot of garbage, never a box is even full of a third. To the left of the drawer, the runners and the mechanism for moving the working table are visible, a removable substrate is fixed to the table. By the way, here it is closer:

    The cap from the lens with a filter diameter of 52 mm, so, to compare the scales. The substrate is divided into sections so that it is more convenient to place parts on it in the printer software. And, although the manufacturer guarantees quality only on new substrates, we use our products until victory, until we scratch them at all. I don’t see anything bad about it.
    Let's talk about cartridges. Yes, you understood correctly, we cannot just put a couple of bays with plastic in the printer and forget about them for a couple of months. The manufacturer came up with cartridges. And not simple ones, inside they have some kind of electronics, which transfers information to the printer about the remaining amount of plastic inside. Take a closer look at them.

    The first cartridge with the main printing material:

    As you can see, we have a delicate milky color, or, as the manufacturer says, ivory. A box, like a box, only the wire sometimes runs inside and I have many, many hemorrhoids to pull it out of there. The design, for my taste, is not very successful.
    The second cartridge with support material: The

    material is rather mysterious, not only is it brown and brittle, it is also soluble in an alkaline solution.

    After loading the cartridges and substrate into the printer, it's time to close the door in it and sit down at the computer to prepare the models for printing.
    The software is proudly called CatalystEX. Honestly, I still don’t understand if it’s free or not. And I didn’t find anything in Google, except for the old version. The interface is simple and intuitive to anyone who has ever seen any 3D editor. In order not to look at the naked editor, I will show you the man in it.

    The General tab allows you to choose the layer thickness, the mode of building the object (monolithic, large or small cells), the algorithm for building supports and scale.
    On the Orientation tab, you can specify which of the surfaces will be bottom / top, and change the viewing mode of the model. By clicking the Process STL button (and the software understands the models ONLY in the STL format), we get a beautiful layer cake that shows how the model will look after printing.

    I can’t help but draw an analogy of the support for the eyes of our little man with this character from the Flattened Cosmos (or Ulitny Trip'a)

    Yes, the printer is so cunning that it can even pause printing in a specific layer. For example, we manufacture a part with a place for the bearing, you can stop printing, put the bearing in its rightful place and bury it tightly in plastic. There is one limitation, it cannot be higher (i.e., not sticking out) of the upper part of the manufactured model.
    After preparing the model, click the Add To Pack button and get into the third tab:

    On it you can place the model on a substrate, see how much material and time the print will spend, and make copies, if necessary. Print! The first time I pressed the treasured button, I waited for the printer to show signs of life. In vain, I waited until you press a button on the printer, nothing will happen. Those. You can’t send RDP from home to print, you need to be near the printer, and this is sad.
    After that, you can go to the Printer Services tab and see all kinds of logs. My favorite is the heating log, the current and desired temperature are indicated there: the

    Printer Status tab is the most uninteresting, it shows a table with models and cartridge volume before and after printing, so there will be no screenshot.

    As you can see from the table above, the printing process is not at all fast, unfortunately. During operation, the printer is noisy, but not very loud. A few photos of the work process:

    And a video. The author is true, took it off and left, and only then realized that it was vertical, for which he apologized.

    Returning in the morning, I pulled out the substrate with the models. The ship, however, did not succeed, which once again confirms the rule: do not take ready-made models from the Internet, nothing good will come of it.

    It's time to flush the backing material. This is done in a separate chamber (for some reason I call it a stove) of such a design.

    There you need to pour a little more than 30 liters of water, fill up 7-8 bags with solvent and turn it on for 2-4 hours. The solvent is this:
    In closed form:

    And in open: Sachets

    resemble something ...
    After soaking the parts, you can observe the result:

    I found several more ready-made models at home, including and a pair of wires, the rounds from which were visible in the photo of the substrate above

    On this, I think, a small review can be considered complete. I am waiting for comments, but I ask you to inform about personal errors and mistakes. See you!

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