Last year, a Kickstarter campaign launched by Canadian company DisTech Automation reached its funding goal in less than two hours, going on to bring in more than seven times its initial goal before the end. The object of all of this backer enthusiasm was the Prometheus System, an add-on capable of turning any FDM 3D printer into a multi-color, multi-material printer. The open source system only cost a couple hundred dollars and gave 3D printer owners the opportunity to print with a wide variety of colors and materials in a single print, regardless of what kind of 3D printer they had.
One of the main components of the Prometheus System is the V2 hot end, a customizable, all-metal hot end that fits any 3D printer. Many users, however, wanted to be able to use the industry standard in terms of hot ends, and asked DisTech Automation to make the system compatible with the E3D V6 hot end. DisTech has now complied, offering an upgrade to the Prometheus System that uses the E3D V6 for multi-color, multi-material 3D printing.
“The Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade) is an exciting new development for the desktop 3D printing industry,” Eric Sammut, CEO of DisTech Automation, told 3DPrint.com. “When we launched the original Prometheus System on Kickstarter in September 2016, we had a lot of interest in an E3D V6 compatible version of our system. The E3D V6 Hot End has become the industry standard for desktop 3D printing and is used by 3D printer manufacturers around the world. However, the E3D V6 is limited to printing with one filament, and as a result, single filament 3D printing has remained the standard.”
Responding to the desires of its customers, DisTech set out to work in upgrading the hot end, and has looked forward to sharing details about the newest offering.
“This new upgrade for the E3D V6 will fill the need for an industry standard solution for multi-color and multi-material printing,” Sammut told us. “It is directly compatible with the E3D V6 Hot End and provides a direct upgrade path for people who want to expand the capabilities of their E3D V6. More significantly, it also offers 3D printer manufacturers a multi-extrusion solution that can easily be incorporated into their existing machines that use the E3D V6.
As multi-color and multi-material 3D printing becomes the new standard for desktop printers, we are going to see the Prometheus System being used with E3D V6 hot ends in 3D printers around the world. This is the simplest, most affordable, and most reliable solution for multi-extrusion and it will quickly be adopted by 3D printer manufacturers who want gain a competitive advantage in the crowded 3D printing market. Multi-extrusion 3D printing has been a growing trend in 2017, and we are going to see it become a standard feature for desktop 3D printers within the next 12 months.”
To make the E3D V6 hot end work with the Prometheus System, DisTech Automation had to develop what it calls the Prometheus Heat Break, a precision machined, polished component to replace the standard E3D V6 heat break and enable filament switching. According to DisTech, the advantages of the system remain the same: unlike dual-nozzle 3D printers, the single-nozzle Prometheus System eliminates nozzle dripping and calibration issues. In addition, by feeding one filament at a time into the single hot end, the system avoids color contamination and the increased extruder pressure often seen with other color-mixing hot ends.