Peachy Printer has posted an “uncut video” to prove to the world that they actually have a working prototype. It is not terribly surprising to see it function, as the technology is basically all there and cheap. Still, backers have never seen a start to finish print video like this and it has made a lot of people feel better right as they were starting to think the whole crowdfunding campaign and product development was a scam.
There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that development did happen. The prototype shown in the video does have a USB connection rather than the original audio output (for starters). I have been pushed and pulled throughout this process, wanting to believe Rylan Grayston, and understand what could be a true story about his plight, while still feeling fairly well ripped off.
Two problems here. One, this is not the video we have all been waiting for. It is only satisfying under the circumstances. With the camera and print both moving, under inadequate light, with the focus constantly shifting, and then the video ends, it hardly gives a clear enough shot of the print to judge quality.
The most telling thing to me (besides the revelation of seeing the thing work), was the model chosen to print. It was not a true dimensional form, instead being an extrusion of a 2D profile. That’s right, it was a text stamp.
Fourteen years ago I was making photopolymer stamps with nothing more than two pieces of glass, a bit of foam weather stripping, resin, blacklight, and inkjet transparency paper. It gave excellent sharp results. It can be done using either liquid resin or metal backed plate. Discovering this is part of what lead me to 3D printing allowed me to understand and be willing to back a project like Peachy Printer.
So I’m not surprised to see the printer make a stamp. But as far as I can tell, I did a better job with my photopolymer flexographic printing plates.
No doubt many people are relieved to be able to show this video to their friends and family to prove they were not insane or stupid to back a project like this. (I’m glad I can show my family and friends.) However, until I see this printer create true three dimensional forms, I won’t believe that it prints with the quality claimed.
The biggest problem with this specific print, beyond the fact that it is simply a shallow extrusion, is that it can be created by programming the laser to trace the same profile over and over. It doesn’t demonstrate any ability of the printer to regulate the layer height, or know where it is in the print. It also does not demonstrate that the code driving the laser comes from slices of a 3D model. Peachy claims development of a slicer to transform models into layers and translate that into output that drives the laser in sync with the rising layer height. That in fact is necessary for this to be a 3D printer. This print could have been created without a 3D model at all, because every layer of an extrusion is the same. This could have been created by the laser simply tracing the same profile repetitively without any consideration for layer layer height–as long as the layer continued to raise.
It may be that we will see actual 3D printing from this Peachy device. I hope we do. Backers are buoyed by this video and many are clearly ready to give more money to the project to see it to completion. I’d like to see it work. I’d like to see Rylan Grayston out of the hole he is in and to see the backers duly rewarded after their long wait. I’m not going to risk throwing good money after bad though. I’m liquidating my investment in Peachy Printer. The ebay auction on my Peachy Printer Beta Kit closes at 1:13pm Pacific time today.
Standard benchmark print models are freely available in the 3D printing community. They exist to test all of the necessary capabilities of the printer at one time, with one model. Let’s see one of those Peachy Printer. How about this:
The difference here is plain to see. Peachy’s demonstration print tests only a single quality when what we look for in a 3D test print will define the limits of a printer on the following terms.
- size: the object is 2x50x30mm (baseplate)
- hole size: 3 holes (3/4/5mm)
- Nut size: M4 Nut should fit perfectly
- fine details: pyramide, cone, all numbers
- rounded print: wave, half sphere
- minimum distance & walls: 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6/0.7mm
- overhang: 25°/30°/35°/40°/45°
- bridge print: 2/4/8/16/mm
- surface: all the flat parts
Come on Peachy Printer. Live up.