Raise3D N2: first impressions

Got my Raise3D N2 today. The good news is, it worked right out of the box. A few standouts were that I didn't have to level the bed, the touch screen is awesome, and the whole thing looks great. It's also very very quiet.

51 kg of fun

51 kg of fun

All the things in the box

All the things in the box

All the things inside the thing in the box, except for the drill which is shown for size.

All the things inside the thing in the box, except for the drill which is shown for size.

Set up and almost ready to go

Set up and almost ready to go

However, there are a few things that need fixing. Some are pretty minor. Some are major. I emailed Raise3D all of these, and they got back to me within half an hour! In no particular order (Raise3D's response in italics):

1. The quick-start guide (section C step 3) says to unscrew the 2 nuts holding the Z-axis in place. I'd use the word clamps instead of nuts. Also I'd say to unscrew the 2 screws on each of the two clamps holding the Z-axis in place. It's just clearer that way.

2. The quick-start guide (section G step 4) says that the USB storage included with the printer comes loaded with already sliced models. It did not.

3. Sorry, there's Chinglish in the software, which is sad because the printer looks so good. If you make these changes, it will look much better:

[Note: Chinglish really bothers me. It's not hard to find a native speaker of English that knows Chinese. Or heck, even a native speaker of English that doesn't know Chinese, who can do a second pass on the wording like I just did. I don't think there's any excuse for manuals not to be in good, grammatical English.]

a. "Task Finished! Please take the models off from the bed." -> "Task finished! Please take the models off the bed." (don't capitalize the "f" in "finished", and use "off" instead of "off from").

b. Under the extruder loading screen: "When the extruder gear started rotating, feed the filament into right extruder;" -> "When the extruder gear starts rotating, feed the filament into right extruder." (started -> starting, don't use a semicolon at the end of the sentence; use a period. There's a reason for the semicolon and separating list items isn't it :)  ).

c. Also under the extruder loading screen: "When hot end reached target temperature, press "Load" button to next operation." -> "When hot end reaches target temperature, press "Load" button to continue." (reached -> reaches, and you need a verb after "to")

yes, we will change that for the next update.

4. The BuildTak has bubbles in it. This is very very bad, since the part will not be flat.

We have complained about that to BuildTak a lot also. For now, please use a needle to poke each bubble to release the air and flat it.

5. Under Utilities, the strange symbol in the upper left (which I now recognize as a stepper motor) disables the motors. But there doesn't seem to be a way to re-enable the motors. Pressing that button again just goes right back to saying it disabled the motors.

It is just a one motion button--to disable the motors so that you can push the extruder around. As soon as you use the touchscreen to move the extruder, it will go back on(enable).

6. When I pressed the disable motor button, cancelled the dialog, pressed it again, cancelled the dialog, and did it a few more times, eventually the response became slow and then the touch screen did not respond to touches any more. It did eventually go back to the home screen, and I saw the temperature monitors were still working, but the touch screen remained unresponsive. The only solution was to turn off the printer and turn it on again.

That is an issue we are working on right now. Also do not hold the button for too long otherwise it may freeze and you have to turn it off and on again.

7. Speaking of turning the printer off, the power switch is located in a very inconvenient place. The thing is nearly 60 cm deep, and it's hard to reach around to get to the switch. I suggest that the next iteration have the switch on the front or on the side near the front.

Ya, we noticed this also. We will think about this and figure out a better way.

8. No ground. The power cable that comes with the printer is two-prong with some kind of small green wire hanging off it. This is very very bad. Power cables should use all three prongs, and the case should be grounded using the ground wire. This is a shock hazard and you could be barred from importing this printer into the US unless you ground the machine properly.

[Note to all: I admit I'm probably wrong about this thing being barred from the US for not being grounded. Still, it's a good idea, no?]

We will switch to a standard 3-prong plug.

9. The purge cycle at the start of a print worked fine, but then the purged stuff didn't get wiped off onto the BuildTak. It actually was being dragged around during the print. I had to reach in there and pull it out.

Sometimes it wipes and sometimes it does not. We will think about a way to solve this.

10. After the print is done, the bed does not move down to the bottom. I have to manually move it. But moving it seems to be difficult: I went to Utilities and hit the Z-down button. It moves at most 10mm at a time, and it doesn't move continuously. I have no idea how I'm supposed to move the bed down. On the other printers I've used, the bed moves all the way down after the print is done so you can remove the print easily.

Ya, we are thinking about the Z movement. We might add a button to tell Z axis to move the bottom instead of 10mm a step.

11. When stopping a print, the print should stop immediately and the heaters should turn off. I found that if I wanted to cancel a print just after I started a print, the "Stopping print" message came up, and then did nothing. The nozzle and bed seemed to continue to heat up. I would expect that stopping the print would completely stop the process.

That is a Marlin thing. It has to heat up to desired Temperature before it can stop. We will think about a way to get around this.

12. When heating up, the nozzle temp gauge goes up but the bed temp gauge stays at "25/0" until the nozzle temp turns green, then the bed temp suddenly changes to "75/100". It's like the bed is heating up, but the gauge does not show its temp until the nozzle has completed heating up.

Again, this is also a Marlin thing. We have already fixed this. Please update the firmware and it should be fine. You can find it on our website under download.

13. When I started my second print, the nozzle and bed heated up, then the bed calibrated itself, then the purge cycle began, but nothing came out. Then the print started, and still nothing came out. I verified that the feeder gears were turning. It looks like the purge cycle isn't purging enough to fully load the extruder.

It seems that the filament is stripped due to gear teeth grinding. You can take off the cover and check whether the filament is actually going in or not. If the filament is not going in, then you need to unload the filament and re-load it again. Also using 3rd party filament may cause clogging issue.

A little tip is to always load a little bit filament before printing. If there is something wrong, you can spot it sooner.

Right now I have the printer printing a 17 hour job as a kind of torture test. We'll see how it goes, but from Raise3D's responsiveness so far, and the quality of the one print I finished, after all the usual initial bugs are worked out, this looks like it will be an excellent printer!