Posts filed under 3D Printing

Aluminatus is here

Aluminatus Package
Aluminatus Package

It's here. Hopefully I'll have time this week to play with it and get it assembled... but not looking likely! I need some tinkering off time. Just to note, There was one ripped open bag of hardware, but all parts were still inside. The aluminum dogbone holes are definitely not centered, not sure if this matters yet. And the Magma hotend has a loose unseated pin and an almost unsheathed resistor (?). Some of the printed parts are pretty shoddy... there's boogers on the extruder head in a number of the holes. Haven't unpackaged it other than that. Updates soon.

Posted on May 3, 2013 and filed under 3D Printing.

Aluminatus Update

My Aluminatus 3D printer isn't here yet. First delivery date was Feb. 20th... that didn't happen. I've been avidly following the threads on the Trinity Labs Google Group. Lets just say I'm not chomping at the bit to get it here given all the issues the first batch of users are having. The first 50 were very much beta kits and it's been interesting to watch them figure out the bugs. Poorly printed bed holders and other parts, Extruders wired to move backwards, EMI problems from the steppers tripping end stops, damaged kapton heaters, blown MOSFETs, misaligned frames and Y-stages, poorly placed cooling fans, missing parts... etc. The last promised delivery date was the first week of April... so we'll see how that goes. TL has been assuring that all the bugs will be worked out for the next batch and that the retail price will now be much higher than we paid. No worries as I'm having too much fun with the laser cutter and barely have time to do that so the 3D printer might have a backseat for a while as the learning curve there will be WAY steeper.

Posted on March 31, 2013 and filed under 3D Printing.

The 3D Printer


The printer I settled on is an Aluminatus TrinityOne by Trinity Labs.

I ordered on 01/27/2013, order #1320. It's supposed to ship Feb. 20th. Cost: $1,899.00 USD Shipping: $91.66 USD Total: $1,990.66 USD

Quick Specs:

  • Build Area: X 300mm, Y 300mm, Z 350mm (which is over a cubic foot)
  • FootPrint: X 527mm, Y 590mm, Z 587mm
  • RAMPS Driver board running Marlin (with upgrade path to Smoothie... soon hopefully)
  • External LCD w/click wheel controller, SD card slot, for PC independence
  • 400W Kapton heater bed
  • Borosilicate print surface
  • Two 24V power supplies (one 17A for the heater and one 8-10A for everything else)
  • 0.4mm nozzle Jhead MKV-b hot end and uses a hobbled pulley made by blddk
  • Custom extruder with true planetary gear head nema17 motor
  • PLA or ABS (plus nylon and other new materials)
  • Z axis is capable or 0.025mm or 25micrometer layer heights
  • +-0.02mm repeatability and resolution per meter of travel

The hardware is all open source. The files are on Thingiverse. There is a very active support group on Google Groups. Videos of the prototypes on YouTube.


After a quick bit of research and forum scouting, it was obvious that Ezra Zygmuntowicz, who founded Trinity Labs, has extensive knowledge in this type of printer, and more importantly, was serious about supporting them and making the best printer one could for the $2k price range. I loved the lead screw setup over belts, and the build size and speed of this printer is hard to beat for the price, build quality, and completeness of the Aluminatus. When it comes down to it, his enthusiasm and willingness to "make things right" on the groups and forums sold me immediately and I got in on the second batch order after only a few hours research. There seem to be LOTS of issues with the MakerBots and the forums are too full of newbs like me. And of the few others I considered, the Aluminatus has them beat in most factors.

I'd swore I wouldn't plunge into 3D printing until the DLP or Stereolithography style printers were more mainstream and affordable, ala the FormOne, but until that company and all it's issues are worked out, I'll stick to the tried and true FDM style for a year or so just to get going and see if it's something I want to pursue. I'd seen the bad quality and amount of time it took just to get the printer working much less to print anything worth saving, and decided the time investment wasn't worth it yet, but it seems the software and hardware are finally to a point that I can tolerate the time-sink. At least at this price point. Any other DIY or $500-$1000 printer you're looking at a lot of setup and figuring. We shall see!


Along with the printer I ordered some filament from Trinity Labs to ship with the printer:

I also ordered some 618 Nylon fillament from Taulman 3D:

I ordered a set of ball head metric allen keys to aid with construction of the Aluminatus (ball heads were recommended by a couple of guys who've already built theirs) from Amazon:

And to help with bed leveling, I ordered a cheapo dial indicator from eBay:

And to check print bed and hot-end temps... I ordered an IR Thermometer from Amazon:

Posted on February 12, 2013 and filed under 3D Printing.