This past weekend was the AFL Grand Final, and every year one of my friends throws an annual Grand Final party. To celebrate I decided to print a Trophy with our UP Box alongside some mini swan and bulldog figurines that the guests could take home. The Trophy was a 10 hour print. The day I started to print the glorious trophy I found, our home state of South Australia was hit with a large storm! During this storm all of South Australia's power was cut off, 9 hours into my 10 hour print.
This is one unfortunate downside when it comes to 3D Printing. If your power cuts off, whatever you were printing at the time is a throw away print. This can be heart wrenching if like me you were so close to a finished print! Almost all printers on the market are incapable of resuming a print after a power interruption.
At the time of writing this, there are a surprisingly small number of printers that have this feature; one of those printers is the UP Mini 2. It’s not a feature that gets a lot of attention because this isn’t a common problem in some areas. Luckily for us this is the first time this has happened to us since we started working with 3D Printers in early 2013! In some areas like Queensland, power fluctuations can be common and short power outages can disturb 3D prints.
So what could we have done to prevent this and what could you do? Chances are your 3D printer doesn’t have this feature and it could be a while until this feature is adopted by major 3D Printer Manufacturers.
I tried the next day whilst the 3 day South Australia storm continued, and luckily I had no troubles!
What could we have done and what could you do?
We would use a UPS Power Supply and here’s why!
An uninterrupted print with a UPS Power Supply and battery backup may offer the best printing quality especially for higher temp plastics like ABS and PC which could potentially warp from cooling and reheating. With a deadline, waiting for the power to return to resume a print would be wasting time you don’t have. A UPS Power Supply would allow the printer to continue printing through that power outage. We tested a 420watt 700 VA UPS powersupply on our UP Box to test how long it would last. It allowed our UP Box to print for 6 minutes after cutting the power. Whilst this wouldn't have helped for Adelaide's long power outage, a UPS is still beneficial for those short 1 minute or 2 minute power outages that occur.
This experience inspired us to offer a special deal to our 3D Printing Solutions customers. For a Limited Time, purchase an UP Box from us and receive a free UPS Power Supply! This is $199 of extra value, we hope this comes in handy for our customers who experience short power outages. This deal is specific to the linked product. Other 3D Printing Solutions UP Box Bundles will not include a free UPS power supply. Visit store
We look forward to seeing how 3D Printer manufacturers across the world decide to handle this issue. Could 3D Printers start shipping with internal batteries, similar to a laptop? Or could we see more printers adopting resumable printing like they did with the UP Mini 2, it makes sense that Tiertime will add this feature to the new UP printers they develop.