Product and Process Evaluation of Huxley 3D Printer

Product development for quality

  • Ademola Adewoye

Quality engineering, product and process evaluation

Huxley 3D Printer & Quality Gurus’; coursework



This article refers to a coursework of product development for quality to which answers are provided for questions as related to product development for quality coursework1. This report is dived into two: part A consists of question and answers for Huxley 3D printer and part B comprising quality gurus’ analyses.


To extend the masters’ student’s ability to apply design methodology and assessment techniques associated with quality engineering in broad context of managing the engineering and design process.


The core objectives employed include the following.

  • Teaming to assemble 3D Huxley printer
  • Understanding and evaluating the design defect with comparative analyses
  • Understanding quality, quality development, and quality design fundamentals.
  • exploring the quality gurus philosophers
  • Learning about quality operation and management

Scope of the study

This article is limited to answers to product development for quality coursework and evaluation of quality gurus; titled quality engineering, product and process evaluation.

Significant of the study

In context of technical skills, I had learnt new technical skills e.g. assemblage of disassemble machine as one worked upon; the 3D Huxley printer. I also worked with external experienced students in modelling and printing of different parts. The experience and knowledge gained is never quantified hence this study is significant to helping students developing a practical technical skills.

Chapter one

Part A

1.0 brief introduction

A Huxley 3D printer is a robust three dimensional rapid prototyping machine developed by Erik Debruijn and other and named after a biologist Thomas henry Huxley. It is a mechatronic machine consisting of mechanical components such as timing belt, nuts, bolts, bearings, extruder, x, y and z axis frames and electrical component such as electric motor, microprocessor, and converter.

This machine is controlled by a firmware and a host software configured to convert a 3D design from any CAD related software into a physical design called rapid prototype printing. This 3D printer are flexible, fast, trendy and easy to use.

Chapter two

2.0 Assemble the Huxley 3D printer using the supplier online instruction and once complete demonstrate the machine as a working systems.

2.0 Answer

The 3D Huxley printed was assembled by my group and was functionally demonstrated.

3.0 Compare the following aspect of your completed machine with one completed another machine built by your peer groups. Report on what do you observe to be the factors affecting the following;

  • Individual component quality
  • System consistency when compared to other completed ‘Huxley 3D printers’
  • Ambiguity and opportunity for error in the instruction set

3.0 Answer

The following observations were made in comparison with other peer groups in terms of quality.

  • Coupling or assemblage accuracy and orientation are factors that affects the output of the printout in terms of quality as was observed during testing of peer A and peer B machine. One peer machine produce better surface finish than the other observed to be as a result of poor orientation of vertical and horizontal frame parts.
  • The plastic frames were also observed not properly fillet with no allowance which bars performance and quality of printing.
  • Electronic components such as the electric motor positioning was observed not labelled and diagrammatized.
  • Generally, the individual components of the ‘Huxley 3D printer’ was affected by lack of surface finish and inaccurate labelling.

The following observations were made in comparison with other peer in term of system consistency

  • All the electric component e.g. electric motor provided the was observed consistent in both peers
  • Major mechanical components such as bearings, x-y-z rods, axis-belt drive, pulley and shaft, provided by supplier was observed consistent.
  • All major frame components
  • Generally, the factors which affects systems consistency are labelling and specifications. Mechanical components parts such as nut were not threaded with precision; Part was observed to be excess.

The following was observed a major factors responsible for systems ambiguity and opportunity for error in comparison with other peers.

  • Too many component parts
  • Part dimensional inaccuracy
  • Poor labelling
  • Too many axes
  • Poor surface finish of parts.

4.0 Based on your observations suggest how the quality of the system as well the user experience could be improved.

4.0 Answers

Based on my experience gained and observations made during the course of the study I suggest the following for system quality improvement.

  • parts should be simplified to improve design optimisation
  • Nozzle could be modified to lower dimension of 0.3mm or less for high quality surface finish
  • Increase the number of extruder to differentiate support materials from printing material when printing or prototyping complex design.
  • Improve the slice setting
  • Increase speed
  • Accurate parts labelling for easy and better assemblage.
  • Frame rigidity could be supported by other methods of joining e.g. riveting to provide frame structure a solid rigidity.
  • Post treatment (rework) of Huxley 3D printer parts could help to ensuring part are produced to standards e.g. uniform dimensions of frame rods, bolt and nuts.
  • Thermoplastic mini-spool (printing material holder) should be inclusive in design parts to store sufficient amount of filament when the machine in operation.
  • The x-carriage mounted fan should be designed in two parts for effective and speedy cooling of printing parts.
  • An additional nuttraps in substitute of self-tapping screw with metal screw should be used for the carriage for better quality finish.

In regards to user experience the expressions below are suggested;

  • More practical sessions should be allocated to students offering this module to facilitate their real know-how technical skills of the subject matter.
  • The assembly of the machine should be individual with group analyses, suggestion and assessment to ensure an independent knowledge transfer.
  • Exhibition, seminar should be held and best student compensated to motivate students to go extra-ordinary.

Part B

Discus your personal experience for this project making specific reference to ethos captured by the terms;

  • ‘zero defect’ as used by Philip Crosby
  • ‘Fitness for purpose’ as used by Joe Juran
  • ‘constant improvement’ as advocated by Bill Conway


The quality guru Philip Cosby defines quality with his four principles of quality management as follows; ‘quality is conformance to requirements’, ‘defect prevention is preferable to quality inspection’, ‘quality is measured in monetary terms’ and ‘Zero Defect (ZD) as quality standard’ as main focus as concerned this article. The need of technological advancement and commercialization of 3D printing for all is observed a genuine requirement for 3D development but substandard finished parts, poor labelling and other defects observed during the machine assembly in the course of the practical study was as a results of a ‘no zero defect’. This factor of no zero defect with the Huxley 3D printer can be blamed on management. Perhaps, its worker are not motivated and recognised accordingly toward a personal interest in their job and or lacks production procedures where for every final parts produced requires an inspection to ensuring quality. The lack of ‘no zero defect’ was clearly observed in the bolts and nuts, frame rod, and thermoplastics frame parts.

furthermore, since Huxley produces large volume of components part (mass production) they should adopt the principle of ‘zero defect’ primarily focusing on preventive methodology; zero defect’ of its worker towards a constant, cautious, and right attitude of work within its organization to ensuring quality at every level of production. This methodology if adopted will impact great benefits to the company’s general growth, brand recognition and improved their profit maximisation.

The American-Romanian quality guru; Joseph Moses an advocator of quality and total quality management defines quality in term of fitness for purpose as ‘evaluation of how well a product perfumes’ for its intended use’. Since the primary function of the Huxley 3D printer is to print 3D designs preconceived from any computer aided design software (CAD) and as observed during the course of the study, it perform this function to satisfactory printing various component parts; simple and complex it can then be established that the fitness for purpose postulated by Joseph Moses is satisfied hence Huxley would need to fine-tune and improve on its current standards for quality with fitness of purpose because “without standard there is no logical basis for making a decision in taking actions” (Philip 2008) to provide its teaming customers with not just a 3D printing machine but one that can stand global competitive market in quality and functions.

Although, it is assumed that Huxley already adopt this methodology in its production and quality management structures but it would do the company more benefit fine-tuning to achieving a more global qualitative product.

William Bill Conway advocates for continuous improvement in product development for quality; a concept that put the American ford company into world breaking record in operational effectiveness. Huxley 3D printer was made an open source on the internet to serves as empowering tool for product improvement, the need to train and retrain its staff is another way a strategy to continuous improvement of product for quality. A company growth depends on the ability of its management strengths for a consistent improvement which further translate to efficiency and effectiveness in operations. It is conceived that Huxley Company applied this methodology via internet open source with continuous research as well. In this way, a substantial improvement on the component parts of the worked on Huxley 3D printer has been updated and new model are produced. With maintaining this methodology and exploring other related method constants product improvement can be sustained with enormous benefits.


  1. Roberts, T. (2014): product development for quality EEB_7_877 [lecture note] quality gurus, Huxley 3D printer, LR-313, London South Bank University, 25th March, 2014. Available from http//
  2. Wikipedia article (2014) online [accessed 28th 04, 2014] available from: http://
  3. Google image (2014) online [accessed 30th, 2014] available from: http//
  4. google article (2014) online [accessed 4th, 2014] available from: http//

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