I have been printing lots of things with the plastic tool system for a while now and I have noticed some areas that will need improvement down the road.
Path planning is critical. Based on empirical calibration of the plastic tool, in terms of suck back and push out, you can only go so far. The new Fab Studio features a modular pather, so you can create and select different pathers during the planning process. I am still tweaking the paths to get a perfect part surface finish.
After many days of printing, my heated build base burned out and smelt terrible. The cause? the entire bottom of the plate is heavily insulated. including over the heater. Over time the heater itself was surpassing its maximum operating temperature. This caused an air bubble to form between the heater and the plate, which expanded then causing the wires within the heater to short. So the solution is to use a large 10"x10" heater with no insulation. This actually costs the same because the cost of the larger heater is offset by not having to buy the ceramic insulation.
Burned out heater New fix
For awhile now we have been stumped as to why our software keeps freezing in the middle of plastic prints. Turns out it is not a software issue but an electromagnetic interference (EMI) issue. The EMI is coming form the relays in the temperature controllers which are constantly turning on and off. The SNAP hub is located right next to these temperature controllers. So the fix for now, until we find a shielding solution, is to put the snap hub as far away from the machine as possible. Aluminum foil does not really do much, as you can see I was testing an inexpensive solution here.
Next up: 3D printing kittens