Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are 3devo!
A Dutch startup, 3devo, part of the engineering company Detoteq, has developed a filament extruder for 3-D printing, called the Next 1.0, aimed at the “maker” market, and now it is hoping for support to bring it to production.
The firm says that the 3-D printing sector has made technological improvements to the equipment, but that the filament has lagged. According to 3devo, a typical 2.2-pound filament reel costs about $40, and runs out quickly. The team behind the startup also faced those costs in running their business that relied heavily on 3-D printing. They also became aware of what they called the material limitations of regular filament.
“We ran into a problem. There is quite a high cost of 3-D printing filament and a lack of flexibility in material types and colors,” said Tim Wesselink, one of the founders of 3devo. “We were also unable to recycle our failed prints/waste plastic to create something new.”
The Next 1.0 is less expensive, because it lets you create your own filament for 3-D printing.
And after two years and five prototypes, 3edevo is ready to go into production, and the startup is seeking the public's help. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign on Aug. 12, although it is running out of time.
With 3 days left in the campaign, the Next 1.0 extruder had received about $22,000 in pledges out of a nearly $55,000 goal. Within Kickstarter, companies do not get anything if they do not meet their goal.
The Next 1.0 extruder, with custom-designed compression zones converts plastic pallets into filament. The barrel has three independently heated zones; company officials claim most consumer filament extruders in the market today only have one heating zone, which can overheat the plastic, leading to rapid degradation.
The extruder uses a high-torque DC electric motor, with feedback so the motor delivers a consistent level of revolutions per minute. A sensor analyses dimensions of the filament and adjusts the machine, creating consistency.
You can change the filament diameter by manipulating the speed of the puller. A filament positioner allows you to set to the desired diameter and width of the reel. As the spool gets fuller, an adjustable slipper clutch changes the RPM of the spool.
Spools can be changed in seconds. A magnetic spool holder fastened to the spool enables it to magnetically snap into place for easy mounting or replacement, while extruding filament.
3devo is based in Ultrecht, the Netherlands.
Tel. 011 31 858 769016, email [email protected]