Review by one of KS backers
Mark IV Review by Angry Panda
1: Let me start by saying that I was VERY impressed with the Morpheus! IT'S REAL!! I got to meet up with TOW and see the Mark IV fully functional and in action. I will probably jump around as I’m writing this so please bear with me. (I also apologize for the HUGE wall of text that you are about to see.) 2: Mark IV Construction: (The larger unit posted in TOW's last update) is the unit that all KS backers will receive. And let me tell you, it is beautiful! A very simple, elegant, and clean design. They spared the “frills” and kept it simple. The printing bay is an enclosed but very wide open space and very easy to work in. It has a swing up cover door. With the added vertical space, the unit itself is VERY BIG! The shiny red casing is made of sheeted metal with smooth edges and clean lines. The swing up door cover has nice solid black hinges bolted on along with a nice handle grip used to lift it up. The door has 2 smoked glass window attached. There’s one large window in front for viewing and a smaller one on top for birds eye view. The smoked glass helps filter ambient UV light from entering the build chamber (which would negatively affect curing.) Although you CAN see in, one detriment to the smoked glass is that it does hamper how well you can see inside to watch your build. (But shining my phone’s built in flash light gave me enough detail.) I did speak with them on the design and suggested possibly adding LED’s inside as long as it doesn’t affect curing, or possibly adding a camera inside to view remotely. Another drawback to the large door is that if you are not gentle in lifting it open while running a print job, you run the risk of adding visible shifted layer lines to your print, or worse, knocking your print loose from the build plate. (The latter requires a reprint altogether.) They graciously allowed me to open the door several times while running a print and it didn’t seem to affect the quality of the prints going on (they were printing multiple copies of the “rook” chess piece, however, a few of the bases did seem to detach.. but most were completed. I have to say the quality of the prints that did come out were remarkable!
3: Construction Continued: The build space is enormous. TOW increased the vertical height inside the build space with translates into larger attainable print volumes! The new design also includes a fan baffle on the front (visible in the updated pics) which cuts down the noise level from the dual cooling fans. (SJ Park also let me know that they did not choose your average run-of-the-mill fans. Instead they chose higher quality fans which were very quiet but also very effective. I reached in the back to feel the components inside during a print and it was very cool (even with the UV LED’s blasting.) The only other moving electronics are the dual actuators located on the sides with move the print bed up and down. The design properly has the actuator motors contained inside the walls of the unit which makes them incredibly quiet. Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet the Morpheus operated. The Print Bed itself is made of machined metal. (Galvanized Aluminum is what I was told..or was it Zinc?... I can’t remember.. You’ll find out if you get one…) Decently weighted with drilled holes throughout the platform, it makes for a great print surface. It’s easily cleaned and has a built in handle!
4: Electronics inside: As previous comments and conversations on the KS page stated, Morpheus is designed around “makers” yet capable of much more. The backend is designed with the Arduino & RAMPS combo inside. Many Arduino/RAMPS enthusiasts out there are already aware of how flexible It is, as well as how “uncomplicated” it can be when using basic functions. The Morpheus also has a UV light board, LCD (both HDMI and VGA hookup for those that are curious), and operational power supply. (Details of these are proprietary information and will be available once the units are delivered to each backer, but I promised that I would not publish this info here.) There is plenty of space within the electronics compartment and the design definitely lends itself to makers and tinkerers alike. Plenty of power under the hood and lots of room to grow! And there is plenty of space to keep all of the pieces inside neat and clean as well as leave room for future experimentation and/or expansion. (You mega-nerds out there should be able to read into that…) The unit uses a single AC power chord (computer style) located on the bottom right side (if you are facing the printer.) Also features a cover for the back to keep all the guts in as well, although they had it off for me to observe everything nerdy inside. (PS, DO NOT STARE DIRECTLY AT THE LED BANKS WHILE RUNNING!!! It’s like staring at… well.. the Sun. lol.. I know that should be an obvious statement, but there are those people out there..)
5: Software: The campaign itself states that the Morpheus runs on the Creation Workshop by Envision Labs. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out yet, it’s good software but generally geared towards SLA/DLP printers. It requires a little bit of tweaking but works well with the Morpheus. SJ Park (Founder and CMO for Owl Works) explained a little hint of the future to come for all Morpheus owners. Although the KS units will most likely ship with Creation Workshop to start, Owl Works is in the process of developing their own software for the Morpheus.. It is appropriately titled “Trinity”. (You should have picked up on the common thread.. Morpheus.. RED pill… Trinity.. being a Matrix Movie fanboy myself, I appreciate the run.. J SJ said that their software engineers are designing Trinity around how End users would WANT the software to work with the Printer. And it will be written to work specifically with the Morpheus printer. Although it was not available to review at the point of my visit, SJ said that it is expected to be available within the next 6 months.. or so..
6: Print Materials: The campaign stated that the unit has been successfully tested with several different resins that are widely available (Makerjuice G+ for example.. which was tested there at the exhibition.) They (TOW) explained the lengths they have gone through to test the various resins for best prints. SJ also informed me that they are in the process of making their own resin as well!! (These guys are seriously into printing!) The resin container itself is made of a 2 piece metal frame that bolts together to sandwich the print membrane (currently super-secret material that I cannot say here) and gaskets (so it doesn’t leak.) The resin tank is quite large. Being as large as it is has its benefits and its drawbacks.. Benefit, it can hold enough resin for VERY large prints with little need to refill during printing. Drawback, it is a wide reservoir so you have to put ENOUGH resin in it to make even smaller prints.
7: Print Quality: The exhibition display contained the majority of the same types of items shown during the KS campaign, (with a few added prints.) However I have to say that in MY OPINION, the KS campaign did NOT do the print quality of the Morpheus any justice. Although the majority ALL 3D printers will have print lines/marks of some sort on the items that come out of them, the prints that came out of the Morpheus were incredibly clean. Of course you can always go through a post-print clean-up of your prints (as recommended by most professional 3d Print services) but the quality of prints that come out of the Morpheus needed little to no cleanup (other than the normal “bath” to remove excess liquid resin as it came out of the vat. Those who choose to “finish” their prints should be pleasantly surprised by how little they should have to do to get that accomplished. Considering how this machine works, how simple (and pretty fast) it is to make things, and how great the prints come out, The Morpheus truly is a game-changer!
8: Future things: As mentioned above, Things currently in development with Owl Works are: customized software (Trinity), custom Resin, different sized future model printers, and quite possibly upgrades for the Mark IV. (Again I was asked not to say too much, but the possibilities are pretty exciting…) I hope this review has helped you as much as it did me.. J If you have any questions please post them here! I’ll do my best to answer them! AP (I also apologize for any mis-types)
*Dr. Owl put some images for your information. ^.^