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SENTINEL, the Smartest Filament Detector and Cleaner on Kickstarter

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detector_iso-5With 3D printing becoming what it is, many companies and people are working on improving the accessibility, reliability, and size of Fused Filament 3D Printers.

This results in bigger objects being printed, meaning longer print time and more materials being used. With printers now being able to run for hours without any sort of mechanical hitch, it has become increasingly easy to simply start a print and come back sometime later to pick up the finished product. However, more than a few users have come back to a job completed and an unfinished object due to lack of raw materials.

That’s why Montreal Startup Dyze Design, a dedicated team working on the development of high performance 3D printer parts, decided to create the filament SENTINEL, a small add-on that can detect your filament and pause your print automatically.

“With SENTINEL, the days of prints failed due to a lack of filament or dust on the filament are over,” says Philippe Carrier, Dyze Design’s Chief Research Officer.

img_6153_whitebalanceWhy use SENTINEL?

The filament SENTINEL has a rugged metal casing and cover, both with a black finish that’s characteristic of Dyze Design’s products. Under the cover, a simple circuit board with a light sensor checks if a filament is present. This minimalist system provides reliable readings with any kind of filament; be it rigid or flexible, opaque or translucent. Two M8 Male push-fittings encompass the device. These push-fittings will grip a whole PTFE tube, ensuring that the filament is properly guided through the SENTINEL. A foam hidden in the casing is used to clean dust from the filament. The small add-on is really easy to install using only 2 screws. Finally, you can plug as many SENTINEL as you want for a multi-filament setup.

How does it work?

The filament blocks the light when it passes through a slotted light sensor, which sends a signal to an LED indicator and a logic system. It then pauses the printer and moves it to the park position so it can wait for a filament change.

When multiple SENTINELS are daisy-chained, the logic system compares the signal from its light sensor with the one from the previous SENTINEL. A positive signal is sent as the output only if both of these signals are positive.

SENTINEL, now on Kickstarter

Dyze Design just launched a Kickstarter campaign for this add-on called “SENTINEL : 3D printer filament detector and cleaner”. The Kickstarter Campaign, which ends on December 24, set an initial funding goal of $5,000 CAD. The campaign will help the company ensure that SENTINEL is as compatible and as versatile as possible. They want users to be able to use SENTINEL with any firmware, any width of filament. Fortunately, at this time, SENTINEL is already compatible with almost any 3D printer as it can fit on any board that has a free digital pin, such as a servo pin.

Dyze Design wanted to create a simple and affordable product, yet slick and functional. That’s why the pricing is very reasonable. Rewards start at $29 CAD, which includes one SENTINEL. For $49 CAD, you can get a special SENTINEL with your name, unique serial number and a “Thank you” engraved on the back of it. There are also a lot more rewards, such as the 2 pack, 4 pack, 10 pack, 20 pack or even 50 pack.

Shipping is expected to begin in February 2017.

You can have more information on the Kickstarter page here and you can check the project video below:

Discuss in the SENTINEL forum at 3DPB.com.

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