FAQ's

Purchasing From Fusion3

What is the process to purchase a printer from Fusion3?

To purchase a printer from Fusion3, a customer fills out an online form and Fusion3 will respond with a customized quote. The customer just needs to sign the quote acceptance form, Fusion3 puts your order into production and we contact you to handle the payment details.

Why do you have a quote process instead of an online store?

We’ve found customers won’t place an order online for a purchase as large as a 3D Printer (costing $4,000 and up). In addition, pricing for the freight shipping isn’t intuitive and difficult to price for an online store. As a result, we’ve created a process where customers provide their details and we e-mail quickly (within 1 business day, sometimes within an hour) a customized quote.

Why does Fusion3 ‘build its printers to order’?

In order to keep costs and prices down, Fusion3 only builds so many printers ahead of our forecasted sales. Usually, printers are in stock and ready to ship when payment is received from the customer. Occasionally, when demand for our printers is greater than forecasted, we will have a small backlog of orders will provide you an estimate (‘lead time’) of when we can ship your printer.

What are lead times?

The lead time is the time from placing and order and when the printer is boxed and ready to ship. Our lead times vary depending on seasonality and configuration.

Can you print a sample part so I can compare Fusion3’s print results with your competitors?

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that our printers have superior print speed AND quality than our competitors. We can print a part based on your own designs with a supplied ‘.STL’ file. If the file is small and does not use any exotic materials, we are pleased to do this at no charge. If the part is large or uses some exotic material, there may be a small charge which you can agree to in advance.

What forms of payment does Fusion3 accept?

We accept credit cards, personal / company checks, electronic bank transfers, purchase orders (for companies with proven credit) and can even arrange for business leasing for our customers.

How does your lease option work?

Fusion3 has partnered with eLease, a leader in small-to-medium business leasing, to offer a 3 year lease at the end of which, your company owns the printer. Their rates are competitive and determined based on your business’ D&B credit rating. If you have well established credit, the lease rates should be quite low and in line with competitive consumer credit card rates. If you don’t have established credit, a lease is a great way to conserve capital and build up a business credit history.

Does Fusion3 offer volume discounts?

Yes, Fusion3 has very aggressive discounts for orders of four or more printers at one time. Contact us for more detail.

Does Fusion3 offer discounts to educational customers?

Yes, Fusion3 has an educational discount program for schools, universities, community colleges and other educational groups. Contact us for more detail.

Do you offer the F306 as a kit?

We do not sell printers in kit form.

Material Options

What filament / materials can be printed on the F306?

Fusion3’s printers can accommodate most any thermoplastic filament as long as the material doesn’t require heating beyond our extruder temperature of 300*C. It seems each week a new material is released onto the market and Fusion3 tries to test and approve any material that is in demand by the customers. The only material we cannot print is very flexible filaments such as Ninjaflex (TPE).

What is your philosophy about proprietary filaments?

Fusion3’s business is focused on making the best 3d printers and believe our business success will come just from that mission, not the sales of filament. Unlike many of our competitors, Fusion3 believes that a customer should be able to use any quality filament in their printer to encourage both experimentation and to help save costs.

Where do you recommend I purchase filament?

We suggest you buy filament directly from one of a list of recommended stores (http://www.fusion3design.com/3d_printer_filament/ ). We have extensively tested these filaments and provide optimal print parameters in Simplify3D for our printers. If you need something not provided by these suppliers, please let us know and we will work with you to find a supplier and determine the correct print settings. Fusion3 is constantly testing new filament suppliers and new filament types, so we can probably point you to what you need if you contact us.

What if I want to print a filament that hasn’t been tested by Fusion3?

If you need something not provided by our approved suppliers and which we have not yet tested / created a material profile, please let us know. We will work with you to find a supplier and determine the correct print settings.

Do I have to buy my filament from Fusion3?

Not only do you not need to purchase filament from Fusion3, we’d prefer you to purchase from a variety of companies that we recommend. These companies sell quality filament at very competitive pricing. These companies can be found at the following page: http://www.fusion3design.com/3d_printer_filament/

Do I void my warranty if my printer is damaged when using a filament from a supplier other than those approved by Fusion3?

Fusion3 reserves the right to void your warranty if your printer is damaged from using filament that is not on our recommended material list. There is a lot of bad filament on the market and the quality of the filament really does make a difference. Most cheap filament is cheap for a reason.

Do you provide default material profiles for use with your printer / Simplify3D?

Yes, Fusion3 extensively tests filaments from our recommended suppliers to develop profile settings for optimum results from the F306. We are constantly adding new material profiles, so if you have a particular material that you are interested in, check with us and we’ll help you find something that will work.

Can Fusion3 printers print PVA (as a support material)?

PVA should work but has not been tested. We think PVA has few applications due to its extreme tendency to absorb moisture from the atmosphere, which adversely impacts its printability. A better support material is HIPS, which is soluble in Limonene and does not aggressively absorb atmosphere moisture.

Can Fusion3 printers work with flexible materials like Ninja-flex(TM)?

Fusion3 pritners can print a very wide variety of materials including “pliable” materials like nylon, PCTPE with good results. Rubber-like “flex” materials like Ninjaflex and Filaflex (thermoplastic polyurethanes) do not print well with Bowden type extruders, including the one used on our Printers. If you need flexible materials, please contact us and we will help you find a material that will work for you.

How do you recommend I store my filament?

It is extremely important to keep your filament dry! When you are not printing, seal it in a plastic bag with desiccant (moisture absorbent). Filament that has absorbed moisture is much more likely to print poorly and/or jam your hotend.

Shipping

How does Fusion3 ship its printers?

Due to the size and precision nature of our equipment, we only ship via LTL freight carrier.

Why do you use LTL freight shipping (which is more expensive) vs. UPS / FedEx?

We tested the less expensive UPS / FedEx type shippers and found that they are unable to handle the printer without negatively affecting the printers’ calibration. The printer is packaged on a pallet in a shock-mounted box. This ensures everything arrives intact and ready to go.

Why is there an additional cost to ship to locations without a freight dock?

The lowest cost option is to ship via an LTL carrier to a location with a freight dock. The 18 wheeler does not need a liftgate to make this delivery. If the printer is to be delivered to either a residence or small business that does not have a freight dock, the freight shipper charges an extra fee as they will either have to transfer the printer to a smaller truck or ship on an 18 wheeler with a liftgate. The same fee applies for Educational institutions. The freight shipper assumes that they will have to use a smaller truck to navigate tight parking lots or narrow roadways.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we can ship your printer internationally via air-freight with the help of our freight forwarding partners. The cost for air freight is surprisingly inexpensive. However, the customer will have to pay any additional duties or taxes at pick-up which may add significant cost to your purchase.

Warranty & Support

What does the F400: 1 Year Advanced Exchange and Support Plan cover?

This plan improves on the base warranty in 2 ways:

  1. Support is not limited to fixing any unlikely problems that arise, we would help you in a variety of different ways to optimize your use of the printer including: selecting new materials and assisting in testing and creating new material profiles, help in the advanced operation of your printer and helping you with your parts to help get the best possible results for your prints.
  2. ‘Advanced Exchange’ to help ensure maximum uptime of your F400 printer. Under the plan, we will ship out replacement parts in advance via 2 day shipping.

Do you provide free, lifetime phone and e-mail support?

Keeping customers satisfied and ensuring your Fusion3 printer is working at peak performance is key.  To that end, every Fusion3 customer is provided with FREE phone and email support (during regular business hours) for the life of their printer.

What’s your philosophy on customer support?

Fusion3 wants every one of our customers to be successful with their printers and happy with the results they get. If you have questions, we want you to contact us so we can help.

What does the standard F400 warranty cover?

Fusion3  provides the best warranty in the 3D printing industry for the F400 and the F306-D (as of 4/11/2016). Our standard warranty covers workmanship and materials for 2 years from shipment (compared to 6 to 12 months by our competitors)  We provide support via e-mail and phone. Our components are modular in nature. In the event that your printer requires servicing, we guide you through the process to remove the part / module which you then return to Fusion3. We will quickly verify that the issue was in fact covered under the warranty and then ship you out the replacement part / module with instructions for you to install.

What does the F306: 1 Year Advanced Exchange and Support Plan cover?

This plan improves on the base warranty in a number of ways: 1) Extends the coverage to a full year (and renewable), 2) Support is not limited to fixing any unlikely problems that arise, we would help you in a variety of different ways to optimize your use of the printer and 3) You get an ‘advanced exchange’ component to your business up and running in the event of a technical problem. Under the plan, we then ship you out the replacement part in advance and give you a package / return slip to then return the damaged part.

If my printer is out of warranty, can I purchase replacement parts?

Yes, Fusion3 maintains a supply of replacement parts which are reasonably priced. Please contact [email protected] to request a copy of our replacement part list.

F306: Specifcations & Performance

Where can I find detailed specifications for the Fusion3 F306 3d printer?

Detailed specifications for the Fusion3 F306 3d printer are included on the F306 product sheet. The product sheet can be downloaded from the Fusion3 website HERE.

If I print the same part on the F306, should I expect any different in print quality from part to part?

Our part quality is very consistent. This has been proven as Fusion3 has 5 machines that run parts all day, every day.

How does the positional resolutions (100-300 micron Z, and 21 microns (X/Y) and minimum feature size (.45 MM2 ) translate into printed part resolutions?

The only numbers that matter are the z layer height range (100 to 300 microns) and the minimum feature size.

 

Z resolution is the thickness of each layer.  Smaller layers usually look better, especially on curved surfaces.  But the part will take longer to build.

 

Important to note that two printers with the same “on paper” z resolution can make parts that look drastically different.  It’s possible for “high resolution” parts to look bad if the printer has poor X/Y repeatability (more on this in a minute).

 

Minimum feature size is how small a feature the printer can repeatedly make.  In our case we can make a stand-alone column about 0.5mm^2 in cross-section.  Due to how FFF 3D printing works (draws like a pen plotter), there are some situations where small features or features with varying thicknesses (like a wall going from 3mm thickness to 0.5mm) is not going to behave like the user expects.  It’s important to check the toolpath preview in Simplify3D prior to printing to catch things like this.

 

What’s not captured in anyone’s specs is XY repeatability, and it’s probably the most important factor in making good looking parts.

XY repeatability works like this: I start at some point in XY space, say 100, 100.  And then execute a series of random moves of the print head all around the build envelope.  When I’m done, I tell it to return to 100, 100 and measure how close to the original point it is.  The closer we are, the better XY repeatability we have, and the better our parts will look.  Poor XY repeatability can make the layers look slightly misaligned from one another.

What’s the range of print speeds for the F306?

The F306 can print at speeds ranging from 100mm/s to 250mm/s. The default speed for the F306 is 100mm/s.

What’s the speed of the first layer and what does it speed up to after that?

The first layer is printed at 1/2 of the normal print speed. Note that the quality of the first layer is very important to the quality of the print. The first layer needs to adhere well to the print bed and be smooth and even. The slower speed ensures that this layer is good. After the first layer, the F306 will automatically speed up to the selected print speed.

What is the fastest print speed the F306 can run at?

The F306 can print at a maximum speed of 250mm/sec. What’s the impact on part quality when the F306 prints at 250mm/sec. Fusion3’s patent-pending motion controls system is designed for high-speed printing. For many parts there isn’t a noticeable quality change printing at higher speeds. When printing parts with many corners and small features at 200 or 250mm/s, you may see some “artifacting” in corners where the printer is slowing and then accelerating around the corner.

Have you considered auto-leveling, and if so, why haven’t you implemented it on the F306?

We have looked at it, however, with the stability of the F306 print bed and ease of adjustment, we don’t think this feature is a high priority.

Why is the F306 default print speed 100mm/second? Does that need to change for different parts?

This speed provides the best combination of great quality with good print times with common materials. Printing slower than this provides some increase in surface smoothness and small feature resolution, but for most parts it is not noticeable. Speeds up to 250mm/s still provide very good print quality, but some “artifacting” can be seen, particularly where the print head slows and accelerates in corners and other direction changes. Higher print speeds are less appropriate for very small parts since the deposited plastic needs sufficient time to cool.

Can The User Change Print Speed Settings Easily on the F306?

We provide presets for each material that correspond to a setting that provides excellent print quality with reasonably quick print times (0.2mm layers, 30% infill, 100mm/s print speed). The customer has the capability to adjust all printing parameters including layer height, infill, speed, and support material generation as needed. There is minimal quality improvement to be gained by running slower than our standard print speed. However, lowering the layer height to 0.1mm will result in better quality output. Some materials such as Bridge Nylon are configured to run slower due to the material’s properties.

What are the storage / connectivity options on the F306?

The printer comes with both a USB port and an SD storage slot. However we do not reccomend using USB to connect the printer to a computer as certain computer behaviors (sleep, disk access, etc…) can adversely affect your print results.

How reliable is the F306? How do you test for reliability?

The F306 is one of the most reliable 3D printers on the market today. We have five F306 printers dedicated to printing the parts used to build new printers in our factory. These printers run between 10 and 16 hours per day, 5+ days per week. Two of these printers have been in service for over 8000 hours of run time with only routine maintenance and some upgrades to the current configuration. This is equivalent to printing 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for 4 years.

What print surface is used with the F306?

The F306 print bed is mirror glass. Glass is very flat, low cost, and is easily cleaned. And while it’s not completely impervious to damage, it is easily replaced if it does become damaged.

What kind of Hotend is used with the F306?

The F306 uses the E3D V6 all-metal hotend. We tested several hotends and selected the E3D product. It is a very reliable, long-lasting and high-performance hotend. http://e3d-online.com/

What nozzle diameter options are available on the F306?

Our nozzle diameter is 0.4mm. If you have special needs that may require a different nozzle diameter, please contact us to discuss. We do have the ability to offer different nozzle sizes but there are some tradeoffs involved. For most applications, our testing shows the 0.4mm nozzle to be the best choice.

What type of extruder is used with the F306?

The F306 uses a Bowden style extruder where the filament feed mechanism is mounted in a fixed position to the printer frame. The filament is fed through a low-friction tube to the hotend where it is melted and then deposited on the print. The patent-pending F306 design provides precise control of the filament flow.

Do you offer a dual extruder version of the F306?

Yes, we offer both single extruder and dual extruder versions of the F306 3d printer. However, while a dual extruder printer has significant promise in the future to allow for multi-material printing and soluable support structures, available materials limit what users can currently do with a dual extruder printer.

Are the heads in the dual extruder identical?

The dual extruder consists of two identical heads mounted side by side. They are fed by two identical extruders mounted side by side on the frame.

Can I add a second extruder later if I buy a single extruder F306?

We do not offer dual extrusion as a retrofit. Please call us to discuss this if you own an F306 and believe you have a critical need for dual extrusion.

F306: Operating the printer

What do I need to do to prepare the printer for each print?

You’ll occasionally check to ensure the bed is level, clean the bed using water and a paper towel and then apply adhesive to the heated print bed.

What adhesive do you recommend to help the prints stick to the bed?

We recommend that our customers use Elmer’s purple glue stick, applied directly to the glass print bed. We’ve tested many options and this is the best. It’s also readily available and inexpensive. Several tubes are included with your printer.

What is the turnaround time from when a part finishes to starting the next print?

The turnaround time, assuming you are using the same filament spool, is 5-10 minutes depending on the material. For higher temperature materials such as ABS, most of this time is for letting the bed to cool down so the parts self-release.

What’s the speed of the first layer and what does it speed up to after that?

The first layer is printed at 1/2 of the normal print speed. Note that the quality of the first layer is very important to the quality of the print. The first layer needs to adhere well to the print bed and be smooth and even. The slower speed ensures that this layer is good. After the first layer, the F306 will automatically speed up to the selected print speed.

What slicer software do you use with your printers?

We’ve tested every slicer software on the market and hands down found that Simplify3D is the best. Simplify3D is not only easy to use and has advanced features, its ability to generate great output files and detailed, high quality support structures enhances the Fusion3 ownership experience.  We include a 2 seat license ($149 value) with each printer. For more information, visit Simplify3D’s FAQ’s HERE.

Why can’t users print over USB or WiFi with the F306?

We’ve tested both of these options and we consider the risk of failed prints unacceptable. The F306 is a very fast printer, capable of speeds of 250mm/s with good print quality. This requires uninterrupted data flow from the gcode file to the controller. Neither WiFi nor USB provide the guaranteed continuous high-speed data flow needed to keep up with the F306 with no interruptions, so we do not use it. The SD card in the controller provides directly addressable memory for the processor with no delay or interruption in the data flow.

What’s in the supplied toolkit?

  • 1.5mm hex wrench
  • 2.5mm hex wrench (ball end)
  • 4mm hex wrench (ball end)
  • 4 gluesticks
  • Feeler gauge for setting the bed gap
  • Part scraper
  • USB cord
  • Power cord
  • Roll of PLA filament
  • Spray bottle
  • Torture test printed on your printer

What are the storage / connectivity options on the F306?

The printer comes with both a USB port and an SD storage slot. However we do not reccomend using USB to connect the printer to a computer as certain computer behaviors (sleep, disk access, etc…) can adversely affect your print results.

F306: Maintenance

What do I have to do to maintain the F306?

The print bed should be cleaned and prepped between prints by spraying with water and wiping clean. Other periodic maintenance includes leveling the print bed and removing any debris from the extruder. Inspecting the hotend and removing any plastic that may be stuck there and checking alignment. The Operations Guide describes the maintenance in detail http://www.fusion3design.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/OperationGuide_R5.pdf

Does the F306 require any kind of ongoing calibration?

No, other than regular maintenance, the F306 does not require any regular calibration.

How often will I have to level the print bed?

The print bed is very stable and in normal use does not need adjustment. It should be checked when the machine is moved and if significant force is used to remove a print from the bed. The adjustment procedure is very simple and takes only a few minutes. Here is a link to a bed leveling walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQlVLfrwclE

How often do I have to replace the drive line/cable?

We have never seen a failure in the drive cables. We have two printers with over 8000hrs of print time on them and their original drive cables are still working fine.

How often do I have to adjust the tension in the drive line/cable?

In normal use, you should never have to adjust the tension. If the idler pulleys in the back get knocked out of position, this can change the tension, but it is very simple to gently move them back into position to restore the correct tension. The Operations Guide (http://www.fusion3design.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/OperationGuide_R5.pdf ) describes this procedure.

Have you considered auto-leveling, and if so, why haven’t you implemented it on the F306?

We have looked at it, however, with the stability of the F306 print bed and ease of adjustment, we don’t think this feature is a high priority.

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