As many of our readers utilizing desktop 3D printers have come to know, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as returning to your printer expecting to see a finished model, only to find that you’ve run out of filament or clogged up your extruder while in the midst of the process. But, that disappointment could soon become a thing of the past thanks to Auckland, Australia-based 3D Printing Systems. On September 1, 2016, the 3D printing pioneers will launch a Kickstarter campaign for what is sure to be your 3D printer’s new best friend, the Filament Bunker.
The Bunker is a smart filament cartridge system that helps users monitor and optimize the 3D printing process. According to 3D Printing Systems, the Bunker keeps track of every last inch of your filament, provides a moisture- and dust-free environment to optimize the material properties, and also keeps track of statistics relating to print times, duration, print success, failure, and the mileage of your 3D printer. With automatic dual feeder mechanisms that function independently of one another, users will be able to utilize the Bunker with multiple 3D printers simultaneously, as well as a dual extrusion 3D printer.
“I’ve helped hundreds of people 3D print since 2011 and there are so many variables for getting that perfect print. When 3D printers work they are great. Tackling these common issues can be a real pain, so our team thought how we can make it easier for 3d printer users and that’s why we developed Bunker. It works with any 3d printer and any filament – we’ll just about any!” says Bruce Jackson, the founder of 3D Printing Systems.
The Bunker system will allow users to scan the barcode of a certain filament, which will specifically load up the optimized print settings for that particular material. After that, users will load the spool into the cartridge system and feed it into their 3D printer as normal. The Filament Bunker is compatible with both 1.75mm and 3mm filament sizes, and works with just about any type of filament on the market, including PLA, ABS, Wood, Copper, Flexible, PETG, HIPS, PC. In addition, the enclosed environment of the system is said to work exceptionally well for materials that are hydroscopic, such as PVA, PC, and Nylon.
The system will also be accompanied by the Bunker app, which will allow users to monitor their prints directly from their smartphone or tablet. If filament is running low, or the print process has encountered some unforeseen error, the Bunker will alert you via the app. 3D Printing Systems will officially launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Bunker on September 1, looking to raise around $75,000 to help bring their smart filament cartridge to full-scale production. It seems like a trustworthy and righteous campaign as well, seeing that 3D Printing Systems is one of the leading 3D printing companies in all of Australia, also invested in STEM education in the country. Currently selling desktop 3D printers, industrial machines, and even 3D scanning systems, it seems safe to say that the Bunker will end up being a well-vetted system.
According to the Australian 3D printing company, they’ve been developing their new product since February 2015, which has already gone through three prototype iterations thus far. By repeatedly testing out the feasibility of their product before bringing it to Kickstarter, 3D Printing Systems has been able to ensure more than just an interesting idea, but a properly functioning product as well. Ultimately, the quality outcome of printed filament is heavily dependent on its environmental conditions, print settings, and a bit of good fortune. What the Bunker essentially does is optimize and monitor that environment for the user, allowing them to continue down the path of innovation and leave all of the filament worries for the smart cartridge to handle. Discuss further over in the Bunker 3D Printing Filament Cartridge forum over at 3DPB.com.