A Buccaneer Update

Weekly Update: Extension of Survey Deadline and Some New Information

Dear Backers:

Brendan here again, and I’m here to let everyone know about:

  • The improvements Buccaneer-C (cold-bed) has over the previous Buccaneer-Beta.
  • The differences between the Buccaneer-C (cold bed) and the Buccaneer-H (heated bed).

I want to provide more information about the above points; as concerned Backers have helped us realize that we have not provided sufficient information for you to make an informed choice.

That said, we will be now be closing the Backer survey on 22 August, 2359hrs (UTC +8:00), which gives you one more week to reconsider.

You may fill up the survey form as many times as you need, for the duration of remaining time. However, we will only take note of your latest option. The method of how we will fulfill your decision has already been outlined in the last update.

With that in mind, please carefully read the information presented below, and let us know if there are any other issues you want us to address.

Improvements Made:

While much has been debated about the reduced horizontal printing area , we also have made many improvements to the Buccaneer, since the Beta-unit, that all Backers should be kept informed of.

We understand that these changes are currently not mentioned on our website, but that’s because we are working on a new website where all this information will be showcased.

1. Sheet Metal Extruder Casing:

This sheet metal covering is a safety feature to prevent unwary users from touching the hot printhead while it is printing.

2. Embedded Thermal Fuse:

A thermal fuse has been embedded into the heater block. This is a safety feature to shut down the extruder in the event of a short-circuit which could cause damage to the electronics board. This is a requirement for certification in the home.

The thermal fuse (at bottom) and where it goes on the extruder (red wires)
The thermal fuse (at bottom) and where it goes on the extruder (red wires)

3. More Efficient Software:

Did you know that Yoda used to take 2 hours to slice on our Buccaneer-Beta? Now it takes roughly 5 minutes for Buccaneer-C!

In addition, multitasking is a cinch, Buccaneer-C can print and slice multiple objects at the same time.

The Buccaneer-C uses a Cubieboard instead of a Raspberry Pi as it’s onboard CPU. The Cubieboard is equipped with a 1Ghz Dual-Core A20 Processor, which just chomps through slicing and printing tasks.

This means that the printer is more responsive than ever before.

4) Auto-levelling:

Buccaneer-Beta used to require a user to tediously adjust 3 levelling screws to make the print platform level with respect to the nozzle. This levelling process is now automatic for the Buccaneer-C.

The Buccaneer-C’s printhead is equipped with a sensor which allows it to print on a bed with up to 3 degrees of tilt in any axis, so now just let the printer do the leveling for you.

The sensor (highlighted)
The sensor (highlighted)

5) Stamped Steel Chassis:

The Buccaneer-C now deposits plastic layers more accurately, as we’ve made the internal metal chassis more robust. This results in a smoother texture on your printed objects.

We have increased the thickness of the chassis, or what we call the base-plate from 3mm to 4mm. In addition, the Buccaneer-C’s metallic parts will be produced via stamping. The stamping process introduces cold-work, which further increases the rigidity of the material.

Below you can see an example of a Buccaneer-C print.

6) Better Lighting System:

The Buccaneer-C has had it’s front panel light redesigned so that it fits better into your home.

Instead of glaring LED lights that distract or disturb sleep, Buccaneer-C features a more subtle diffused “breathing-light” that attempts to emulate the breathing of a person.

Differences Between the Buccaneer-C (cold-bed) and the Buccaneer-H (hot-bed):

And here’s what we mean for each point:

1) Limited Printer Warranty: The 3 Month Limited Warranty is only applicable to the Buccaneer-C. Buccaneer-H will only have a DOA (dead-on-arrival) Warranty.

2) Lifespan of Buccaneer-C vs Buccaneer-H: Due to the closed-box design of the Buccaneer, (which is a feature designed to protect people from touching the internal mechanics) the Buccaneer-H may have a reduced mechanical and electronics lifespan due to higher internal casing temperatures. Buccaneer-C on the other hand is projected to have better reliability and a longer-life, due to lower internal casing temperatures.

3) Warp of Printed Objects: This is a picture of a warped print. You can see how the bottom of this object curls-upwards slightly instead of being completely flat.

There is about a 10% chance of the above happening on a Buccaneer-C, especially in cold and dry weather. For the Buccaneer-H, that chance is reduced to almost zero. Our mechanical team has found that spraying hairspray onto the Buccaneer-C’s cold-bed before printing actually solves the warping problem.

We hope that we’ve set the record straight on exactly what you will be getting for the Buccaneer-C and the Buccaneer-H. As always, do let us know if you have anything to clarify. We will be listening!

Fair Winds & Calm Seas,  

Pirate3D