Brook Drumm is one of the more recognizable faces within the 3D printing community. He also happens to be the CEO of a company called Printrbot, and one of the leading innovators within the 3D printing space. He is in the business of designing 3D printers, extruders, and other components for PrintrBot machines, but it isn’t just about business for Drumm. He is a designer and innovator first and foremost. Printrbot is known for their high quality, yet very affordable 3D printers and kits. Recently, however, Drumm and company have concentrated on the extrusion process, working to perfect the most important component of any 3D printer, the extruder.
Last week Drumm excitedly announced Printrbot’s new Double-Drive extruder, which utilizes the company’s new Ubis all-metal hotend and, unlike most extruders, lacks a pinch-wheel. The minimalistic design is quite incredible, using 3D printed parts and having the capability to print using flexible filaments such as Ninjaflex and FilaFlex.
As it turns out this new Double-Drive extruder may just be the beginning of Printrbot’s rapid acceleration within the extrusion space. Last night the company announced yet another extruder, this time for paste. The Printrbot Paste Extruder beta has just been finalized and images of its output have been released. Note that this is only a beta version of the product.
“We learned a lot in the process,” explained Drumm. “This beta is for those brave enough to work through a learning curve.”
Printrbot also unveil some of the company’s future extrusion plans, and although these are lofty goals, there is little doubt that they can all be accomplished thanks to Drumm’s innovative leadership. So here’s a quick look at some of these very interesting plans:
- Heated Syringe – This could have numerous applications for materials such as chocolate, as well as uses within the medical field, allowing for the printing of human cells and other biological material.
- Quick Setting UV Paste Extruder – Here’s an idea: 3D printing a photosensitive resin using a extrusion method. A UV light on the tip of the hotend could cure a photosensitive resin as it’s extruded from the machine.
- Concrete Extrusion – The plans are to ‘dabble’ in this area and eventually scale up their creations to enable large scale concrete printing.
- Large Pneumatically Assisted Reservoir – By feeding a screw drive print head, this would allow for longer and larger 3D prints
- Other interesting ideas – New material mixes for firmer clays and sturdier paste extrusion, pancake printing, 3D Jell-o art, cookie printing, and sugar paste for printing of edible treats.
With people like Drumm working on these various applications, and numerous new competitors within the market, it’s pretty much a sure bet that we will see quite the innovation within the 3D printer extrusion/materials space over the next couple of years. Let’s hear what you are most excited about in the New PrintrBot Extruders forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below of Drumm showing off Printrbot’s new Double-Drive extruder:
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