We like to keep you informed about the latest 3D printing technology campaigns on well-known crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. These campaigns are still a very popular way for new groups and companies to raise the necessary funds to get their innovative products off the ground, and the new 3D printer campaigns we’re telling you about today are no exception.

Back in 2014, New Matter launched an Indiegogo campaign for its affordable MOD-t desktop 3D printer, which quickly went on to raise over $300,000 more than its original goal, followed by $6.5 million in Series A funding. Now the company has launched a new crowdfunding campaign, this time on Kickstarter, for its MOD-t 2nd generation 3D printer.

“Today, we take another major step toward making the magic of 3D printing accessible and affordable for every home and classroom. With the MOD-t (2nd Gen), we’re raising the bar for desktop 3D printers the world over – especially for the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers,” said New Matter CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schell. “We were humbled by the outpouring of support for our original record-breaking crowdfunding campaign and are excited to bring the new MOD-t to the community through this new campaign.”

The elegant new MOD-t, designed by frog, has a completely sealed printing environment, which keeps kids safe and contains heat. It prints up to 30% faster than its previous iteration, and thanks to its new cooling system, it is also 50% quieter, which is perfect for the classroom; the company is committed to in-class technology and even donated several of its printers to Challenger Learning Centers around the country.

“We have deployed the New Matter MOD-t across the entire Archdiocese of Baltimore and our 3D printing initiative is now ubiquitous among all our schools. The printer’s reliability, robustness, ease of use as well as the high level of support provided by New Matter have all been nothing short of excellent,” said James B. Sellinger, the chancellor of education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “Our fleet of MOD-ts has proven to be quiet enough to operate while classes are actually in session, especially when compared to a variety of printers we’ve piloted. Can’t wait to see what exciting things the MOD-t (2nd Gen) will bring!”

The new MOD-t is easy to use, and right on track with New Matter’s vision of affordable and reliable 3D printing for everyone. It has two times the WiFi signal strength as its predecessor, though it does come with an Ethernet port for direct access, and has an extremely fast processing power – the printer’s new dual processing architecture and redesigned firmware work independently to manage and improve printing tasks such as data transfer, motor control, and trajectory planning. In addition, thermal performance is optimized thanks to the printer’s dual, independently working fans, which make for good layer adhesion and high-quality prints.

The 2nd generation MOD-t comes with a new attached build tray for higher resolution prints, a smart LED button on the front panel, and a redesigned sensor integrated right into the extruder head, in order to detect filament motion and automatically pause the print if the material gets snagged or runs out. Thanks to the new My New Matter online cloud, your print will resume once you’ve fixed the issue, and you’ll also have access to hundreds of 3D designs, or you can upload your own.

The Kickstarter campaign reads, “People of all ages and skill level have embraced the MOD-t with an eagerness to learn and create never before seen in the industry. We’ve built a community of users who share ideas and help each other create better, more purposeful designs. Educators have found that integrating the MOD-t into the curriculum has yielded a more engaged student body, especially in STEM-focused classrooms. And Makers have embraced the MOD-t as one of the most reliable high-quality 3D printers in the world. Yet we’ve only just begun. The MOD-t (2nd Gen) is truly a giant leap forward not only for New Matter and the consumer 3D printing industry but also the next generation of young engineers, scientists, designers, and artists.”

The new MOD-t will begin shipping this spring, and comes with a one-year warranty. While the Super Early Bird rewards are all gone, there are plenty of Early Bird ones left – just $199 for the second generation MOD-t 3D printer, a spool of PLA filament, and a print surface plate. The Kickstarter has already raised well over half of its $100,000 goal and runs through November 17. Check out the campaign video to learn more:

 

The next 3D printer we’re telling you about today is the Ark by Finland-based startup Platonics, which recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for the printer.

Platonics has been developing the efficient Ark for two years – it is the first 3D printer designed specifically for architects, by architects. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce scale models in an architect’s daily work processes.

“We believe that physical models have the power to radically improve their communication and design decisions,” the campaign reads. “A model in three dimensions says more than a thousand renderings and drawings. It turns your imagination into reality. However, traditional modelling often takes a lot of effort and time, and is mostly done only once or twice during a project. With 3D printing you can use scale models at every stage of your design process, efficiently.”

The printer’s plug and play software allows you to print directly from Vectorworks, SketchUpRhino, Autodesk Revit, and ArchiCAD. The software also converts CAD files into 3D printable STL files, and pre-processing is all but eliminated, as it also fixes all internal design errors, such as holes and non-manifold components. This is a crucial time-saver, as it can reduce the time spent optimizing files by over 90%.

The Ark self-calibrates, automatically cleans itself, and self-configures, so the architects who use it won’t have to. It has an easily replaceable modular nozzle, auto-filament detection, and can print with multiple biodegradable materials, like wood and terra cotta.

The startup has simplified the printing process to four steps:

  • Once you’ve installed the CAD plugins, choose the parts of your design that you want to print.
  • Select export, and let plugin do its job, converting the file and sending it to the slicing software.
  • Choose your print quality; the printer will adjust all the other settings to match.
  • Click print – the Ark takes care of any necessary calibrations or cleaning before printing begins.

The FFF open filament system weighs 18 kg, with a build volume of 20 x 20 x 20 cm and a 60 micron layer resolution. It has auto-bed leveling, and the print head travels up to 100 mm per second.

Platonics has thoroughly tested the Ark with some of the top architecture firms in Finland, which helped the startup improve upon the printer’s reliability and maintenance, as well as integrate 3D printing into the architects’ design processes.

According to the campaign, “During the pilot, architects who had never used a 3D printer discovered how easy it is to make scale models on a daily basis to improve communication or design decisions, and architects who had previous experience with 3D printers found the Ark superior to their previous ones.”

There are still some Super Early Bird rewards available – a €2,095 pledge gets you the Ark 3D printer and the slicing software, and for €2,575 you can also get the CAD plugins. If you can’t swing the cost, but are still interested in learning about CAD file conversion, a €50 pledge will get you a CAD to 3D print video course. The campaign, running for another 23 days, has already reached 60% of its €50,000 goal. You can learn more in its campaign video:

What do you think of these 3D printers? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

 

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