My 3d Scanner arrived! And it’s officially the most awesome one because I had an extra Lulzbot sticker and mine has one now and the others theoretically don’t! (unless they do?)
So this thread is going to be a review / thoughts / things I would change piece, and is going to evolve over time. I am thankful I get a chance to review this unit, so please take any criticism I post here of the unit as constructive to try and improve the end user process going forward.
First off, this thing is awesome. it feels solid, it goes together quickly, and it seems to work just fine so far. I just got it all put together so I’m not really far into the process of taking my first 3d scans with it yet. I’m hoping to scan my little crystal ball there (what, no one says it has to be a translucent crystal, pyrite still counts!) .
So starting with packaging, the unit is very well packaged. The only two things I would probably change on the packaging, is the steel threaded rod clanks alarmingly when you pick up the package. wrapping them in some sort of inexpensive noise dampening packaging would probably calm fears of the unit being delivered broken. The other change I would make is the multi language assembly guides are probably not needed for scanners primarily shipped to a U.S. market. There was enough paper there between them all that you are probably looking at an extra 0.5lb per unit shipping weight. There were a couple minor issues with the manual that I would probably change, some word choices, calling out some of the assembly notes in larger font, etc. They aren’t quite as polished as the usual Lulzbot manual yet, which stands to reason since BQ made them and they were translated into English. A revised lulzbot branded manual might be nice though.
From an assembly standpoint, everything goes together well. The larger threaded rods and the nuts and washers for them do have a bit of a residue on them, oxidation in the case of the nuts, and remnants of the black coating I think on the threaded rods. Purely cosmetic and nothing that affects the function, but also something that someone putting together a precision optical scanning instrument might not expect.
The threaded rods themselves might be worth the time to design out. They are very, very heavy. I believe 20mm x 20mm mitsumi extrusions could be adapted pretty easily to all the places the threaded rod is in use and save at least 3-4 lb per unit on shipping weight. The extrusion costs should be comparable. I plan on creating that very modification here over the next couple weeks to see how it goes. The large steel bearing could also easily be replaced with a lighter unit that would still bear more weight than the crush strength of the PLA baseplate. The design will work just fine as it is, but one modification I am toying with that might be worthwhile is a folding portable unit. With T slot extrusion you would only need 1 extrusion per laser arm, and could make them smaller in width so they would fold down against the main frame, which in turn would fold down towards the rotation plate. A couple latches, maybe some Velcro and a carrying case and you have a scanner you could bring to the customer, for example taking the unit to a museum.
The power supply that comes with the unit as is really isn’t going to work. with the required adaptor for U.S. use its just too tall. Otherwise it’s a standard 12v 1.5a power supply with a standard barrel plug, so it should be pretty easy to get a more compact unit that works. It might be worth opening the packages before they go out from Lulzbot HQ, swapping the power supply out and removing the unnecessary user manuals before they go out
The electronics chamber is the other area I have some concerns about. The pins to mount the main circuit board look really really fragile. A couple of strategically placed heat set inserts and nylon retention screws would probably make me feel a whole lot better about that particular assembly. It would also be nice if the power plug was accessible without taking the device apart, and if there was a power switch. I plan on making a bottom frame piece to cover some of the wires , provide a strain relief point for the two USB cables, and integrating a separate power barrel and switch. Possibly with an inline fuse as well.
The Calibration target was the only piece of the whole thing that gave me any trouble on assembly. The holes in the acrylic plate on mine are off slightly. It’s not an issue though because the friction fit of the base holds the unit in place with quite a bit of force. I would like to see 2 additional holes in the black round baseplate that would line up with 2 posts (maybe M3 screws?) so you could place the calibration screen in the same exact spot repeatably as needed. That or some sort of edge guide
Anyone who read all that, please again, take that in the context of providing asked for feedback. Yes I am being nitpicky here. The unit is solid, is going to work great as a 3d scanner based off other samples I have seen in action, and many of the issues I bring up here are either easily solvable, or can be remedied by modifications after the fact. So don’t let any of this dissuade anyone from getting one of these. But if you put a sticker on it you totally have to put it in a different spot because I called dibs on the front spot!