Each and every day, it seems as though we are covering a new 3D printer that is either launching or about to launch. This is because the technology has become so popular that everyone wants in on the action. Unfortunately though, the majority of these new 3D printers really are nothing new in terms of technology, but instead are the same old printers that we see from other manufacturers, simply re-branded, and slightly redesigned. Sure there are those innovators out there who come up with hardware that is truly unique and game-changing, but these are few and far between.
Back in July, we had come across a video for a new 3D Printer called the Nectar One, and we immediately contacted the development team. At the time, they were still in the planning stages and couldn’t provide us with any more details. Today, however, a little more has been made public, although not much.
Unlike most companies that promise innovation, change, and the idea of making the 3D printing process an easier one, for some reason it is hard not to believe that Nectar will actually follow through on this promise, where others have not. Why? Simply because they aren’t just another garage startup, looking to make a few bucks by riding the consumer-level 3D printer wave.
Nectar, a Dutch startup founded by Nick Wilderink (CEO) and Stein de Haan (CTO) in May of 2013, sets out to make the act of 3D printing an efficient, easy, open-source process that is affordable and accessible to all. Already with over 25 employees, including some of the most brilliant and more well known individuals within the industry, the company seems to at least have what it takes to make this dream a reality. One of the more well known men within the RepRap community, Richard Horne (AKA RichRap) is the team’s Chief Technical Advisor, and his presence alone is enough for me to believe that this won’t be another fly-by-night venture. He is an electronics engineer, product designer, and major problem solver, when it comes to developing open source 3D printing technology. He is also one of the co-authors of the book “3D Printing for Dummies. Fact is, he knows his stuff when it comes to 3D printing.
“Getting Nectar to this point has only taken nine months, and now it’s ready to be born into the world,” explained Horne on a recent blogpost. “That’s where we will need some help from you (the public). Support us, contact us and get involved with this ground-breaking project.”
With all the different aspects that will be involved in the development of the Nectar One 3D printer, they plan to ensure that no features will be added unless they are truly needed. They have a goal of really listening to their potential customers and the community, and integrating ideas that they feel are necessary. While very little details on the actual printer have yet to be disclosed, the company plans to design the printer so that it makes the entire process of 3D printing an easy one.
“My role as Chief Technical Advisor for Nectar added the first spark to get the project moving,” wrote Horne. “It didn’t take long for us to tear down all the problems with 3D Printing, and work together on solutions and the vision for the Nectar One 3D Printer. After that, the team grew quickly and ideas started to become real, everything carried on moving very fast indeed, but much more on that later.”
One of the most common reasons why we haven’t seen mainstream adoption of consumer level 3D printing is the mere fact that most 3D printers are not all that easy to use. First you need to download a design, then you need to slice it, prior to generating gcode and then sending it off to be printed. Before printing, a user must make sure that the print bed is leveled, and this can be quite tricky at times. While we are not entirely sure what Nectar will be doing to make this process easier, it should be interesting to see what they come up with.
The community will help build the Nectar One 3D Printer, and according to Co-founder Nick Wilderink, these individuals within the community are called “Nectarians” and should exude the following characteristics:
- Passionate about making.
- Visionary: to define and develop little steps towards the future, while being able to keep a fresh perspective.
- Geeky. Embrace your inner nerd.
- Flexible. Sometimes you have to kill your darlings and start over.
- Both a strong communicator and team player and an excellent independent worker.
“We are open to collaboration and constant refinement, you can also get involved with helping refine the software tools and technology that’s important to you,” explained Horne. “We understand that one way does not work for all, so we want to hear what else you would like to see implemented. We can’t promise to do it all, but we will promise to listen and discuss any ideas or wishes with you.”
On September 30 – October 2, the Nectar One 3D printer will be on hand at the TCT show in Birmingham, UK. “At the TCT show we will unveil all of the features for the first time,” said Michael Lek, Marketing & Communications Director at Nectar to 3DPrint.com. “After this, we will go into more specifics on the blog.”
After the TCT show, Nectar plans on launching a Kickstarter Campaign for the new Nectar One 3D Printer. It should be interesting to see more on this machine in late September. We will certainly be looking forward to it. What do you think? Will this new 3D printer be able to revolutionize the industry, or will it merely be another cookie cutter machine? Discuss in the Nectar One 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the introductory video below:
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