I have a confession to make, a confession that may cause me to lose some respect among 3D printing enthusiasts… I only 3D print objects on my 3D printer that require no support material. Yes it’s true, I’m lazy and I hate having to clean up anything that comes off of my 3D printer.
Not everyone is like me, however. Some people thoroughly enjoy spending hours on end, chipping off support material with a razor blade, sandpaper, or anything else that they think might work. Many times, this results in injuries or damaged prints. Others are like me and they dread even hearing the word “support.” Thanks to one company though, called Retouch3D, this may soon be a thing of the past.
Retouch3D has announced that they have launched a Kickstarter campaign for a product which quite frankly I’m surprised no one else within the 3D printing space has come up with yet. The product, also called the Retouch3D, is a heated tool that features 5 interchangeable heads, allowing for incredibly simple touching up of 3D printed objects. The device can be used to cut through support material “like butter,” to refine layer imperfections, or to blend and even-out rough patchy areas on an object.
“Until you own a 3D printer, what you don’t realize is that removing supports and getting rid of printing errors can be frustrating and time-consuming,” said Phil Newman, Founder, 3D 2.0. “We figured that if heat created a 3D print, then heat would be the best way to clean it up. And that’s how Retouch3D was born.”
The five tool-heads that come with the Retouch3D include the following:
- Macro Remover
- Micro Remover
- Macro Refiner
- Micro Refiner
- Blender Head
“Retouch3D’s five interchangable micro and macro remover heads make it easy to remove large support structures as well as closed-in supports that are hard to reach,” explains Amanda Hurt, Product Manager for Retouch3D. “The five heads have been designed to address the main issues associated with 3D printed models, from support removal to refining layer imperfections.”
The device, which measures 7.03″ x 1.19″ x 1.14″ in dimensions and weighs just 3.53oz, is designed so that it can fit comfortably in anyone’s hand, in a multitude of different grip positions. It features three material preset buttons that can be programmed for different heat settings, as well as manual temperature setting controls which allow for settings from 120°F to 570°F (50°C to 300°C).
As for pricing, the first 200 early bird backers can get a Retouch3D for just $149, while later backers can grab one for between $179 and $199. Special Beta Tester units are available for $399 and will get you a device sometime in December of this year, while others will have to wait until April of 2016 or later.
“I love the concept, the industrial design looks very polished, and I like how it has more than one tip,” said Mike Grauer Jr, a Board Member of 3D Printing Community and 3D evangelist. “Sanding and other surface finishing is a pain and I haven’t seen a similar product on the market.”
Without a doubt this is a tool that has been missing from the desktop 3D printing space. It should be interesting to see more details on the campaign upon launch, but surely they should have plenty of backers lining up to get one of these new devices. If all goes as planned, the Retouch3D will begin shipping about 12 months after the crowdfunding campaign closes.
What do you think about Retouch3D? Will you be backing it? Discuss in the Retouch3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more videos below.
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