Additive Manufacturing Strategies

D3D Kickstart Autolift: Retractable Hot Ends for High Performance

ST Medical Devices

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Extruder and hot end manufacturer Dglass 3D, better known as D3D, is seeking funding for high performance, retractable hot ends that can increase print resolution, eliminate clogging issues and break the 100 micron d3dbarrier.

Called the Autolift system, the new hot end nozzle lifts during filament retraction, which eliminates dragging and prevents any extra plastic deposits. D3D is currently seeking funding for Autolift on Kickstarter and say they got the idea during their previous crowdfunding campaign.

“The idea for Autolift hot ends was born during our development process for the RUGGED HPX line of extruders, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year,” say cofounders Brian and Carl Douglass.

They say that during the hundreds of hours they spent testing their extruders, they discovered that while rigid mounted hot ends created quality prints, they were limited in their ability to offer fine detail and resolution when printing with 2 colors, because the lack of full retraction resulted in plastic stringing and deposits left on the print.

“As relative newcomers to consumer grade 3D printing, we were quickly frustrated with the capabilities of the available technology, the quality of parts, and the constant ‘tinkering’ required to print high resolution prints.”

“We wanted something better – not just for us – but for the entire 3D printing community we had joined. We felt we shared and understood their frustrations, and had the passion, vision and experience to take our ideas for a solution from concept to reality.”

Autolift pack

Their Autolift Hot Ends include various features:

  • Plug-and-play groove style mount
  • All-metal design for high temperatures
  • Micro linear bearing for maximum durability and performance
  • Compact design allows for simplified adaptability
  • 1.75mm or 3mm filament
  • 40w cartridge heater included
  • 300º C thermistors included (500º C optional)
  • 0.35 mm nozzle included
  • Fan included Locally sourced parts, hand assembled by D3D team
  • No Kapton Tape Required! Thermistor & Heater affixed with setscrews

Autolift is comprised of a micro linear bearing and spring to retract the nozzle and does not require special electronics or servo actuation. D3D says it is designed to function as part of the standard filament retraction operation and is adjustable, allowing the fine tuning of the retraction.

You can see it in action here:

Brian and Carl hope to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to allow them to purchase the volume of materials needed to keep production costs low. And despite there being 18 days left to go, it looks as if they have already achieved their target.  Discuss this Kickstarter project and let us know if you have backed it in the DGlass3D discussion thread on 3DPB.com.

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