3D printers are no longer a giant machine of the future, too big to fit on a desktop or a kitchen counter. There are many 3D printers on the market that boast sleek, beautiful designs to help them fit in anywhere in your home, whether it’s the newly announced Cubibot, the Mcor ARKe, or the Morpheus Delta. There are even 3D printers aimed for kids to use in the home, like the Yeehaw and the da Vinci miniMaker. Many 3D printers making their way into the suburbs are beginning to add more high-end functions, like the ability to print objects using multiple materials. That’s exactly what German startup Next Dynamics brings to the table, with its NexD1 multi-color and multi-material 3D printer for the home. What’s more exciting – it can also use a conductive resin to create custom electronic circuit boards!
The founders of Next Dynamics, who started out engineering modular robotic building sets, were both also 3D printer users, and wanted to get rid of all the aspects that annoyed them most about 3D printing, and three years ago decided to work on developing a machine that can produce PCBs. After realizing its potential, they expanded the machine’s capabilities and turned it into a functioning 3D printer in 2015. The eight-person team works out of Fab Lab Berlin and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the NexD1 (pronounced ‘next one’), featuring proprietary technology called DigiJet.
There are six DigiJet print heads on the NexD1, each featuring 200 nozzles that will spray very fine droplets of material onto the build surface. Layer by layer, the material droplets are hardened by a UV laser. The machine can print at a resolution of up to ten microns. If this technology sounds a little familiar, it’s because Next Dynamics attempted to specifically optimize the technology of the Stratasys PolyJet system, but reduce the cost to less than six figures.
The compact NexD1 is just 42 cubic cm, with a build volume of 20 x 20 x 20 cm. It can hold six cartridges at the same time, and can print with and mix materials as needed. Its available materials include tough, flexible, transparent, CMYK-colored, and conductive resin, which is the most interesting of all. The NexD1 can print fully functional circuits that are just as conductive as a regular PCB. They accomplish this revolutionary feat by galvanizing a nano-particle infused resin. The printer, designed for rapid prototyping, will then place the circuit in any 3D configuration within your design. The cartridges have digital rights management (DRM), and the company is working with German manufacturers to create new materials, while also keeping costs down, quality up, and staying eco-friendly. Speaking of eco-friendly, the support structures for the NexD1 are non-toxic, and can be washed off with water, which means you don’t need a finishing kit.
Some of the other features of the NexD1 include:
- 10″ easy touchscreen
- onboard slicer
- simple swapping of cartridges
- silent operation
With just 43 days left in their Kickstarter campaign, Next Dynamics has already raised nearly all of its $212,732 goal. Though the Super Early Bird pledges are already sold out, the Early Bird package is still available – to get 45% off the final retail price of the printer, you can pledge $2,976 and get the NexD1 printer and the basic cartridge set; this does not include color or conductive cartridges. Additional cartridges will be available on the company’s website after the campaign is finished, which will cost between $15 and $100. If you’re interested in pledging, but maybe don’t have $3,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can get a cool Next Dynamics t-shirt, identifying you as a NexD1 backer, for just $25! The NexD1 3D printer is expected to ship in September 2017.
To learn more about the campaign, check out the Kickstarter video:Discuss in the NexD1 forum at 3DPB.com.
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