Additive Manufacturing Strategies

‘The Diamond Hotend,’ for Multi-color & Multi-material 3D Printing, Offered by Denmark’s RepRap.me

ST Medical Devices

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While everyone would agree that a 3D printer that prints in multi-color as well as multi-materials is something we would all shoot for on our list of ‘wants,’ historically it has had to stay in that fantasy category for many because quite simply the fancy printers offering features such as being able to print in an array of materials are just too cost-prohibitive.

logoRepRap.me has plans to put color and multi-material 3D printing in your ‘just purchased’ category, offering an affordable and unique 3D printing nozzle just on Kickstarter now. Sporting a powerful name, the Diamond Hotend is a single nozzle, multi-color 3D printer that isn’t just user-friendly — it’s fast, and it’s versatile.

We’ve reported on numerous high-end 3D printers that are color and multi-material oriented, but RepRap.me has been working to put these features in a nozzle for the 3D printer that has the potential to become one that’s used by — and affordable for — all, from the desktop. With hopes to raise kr150,000 (translating to roughly $21,600 USD from the Danish krone) by Friday, May 1st, the team is ready to start manufacturing the Diamond Hotend, which has been fully designed, prototyped, and tested. The Kickstarter capital will help them put the first batch of Diamond Hotends into production.

What makes the Diamond Hotend unique is that it’s not a single nozzle that forces you to fuse filaments together before printing, or deal with alignment and calibration headaches, as well as issues like ‘oozing’ filament. The Diamond Hotend requires little calibration on your part, along with the following features:

  • Better precision
  • Prints with 3 different colors or materials
  • Color blending
  • Minimal filament waste

903467cd62ee6e07375109c638fd594d_originalThe user is given full control of the multi-color printing process, as the 0.4 mm single nozzle allows use of three different filaments.

“We have designed the nozzle to have smallest possible mixing chamber, to make color shifts as fast as possible and to avoid unnecessary filament waste,” states the RepRap.me team on Kickstarter. “To ensure rapid nozzle heat up we have constructed the nozzle as compactly as possible.”

The nozzle also boasts:481349e9da636412d10917d6493224ea_original

  • 50mm fan
  • 3D printed housing/mounting
  • E3D heatsinks
  • Insulation
  • 40 w heater cartridge

Regarding the Diamond Hotend’s capacity for multi-material 3D printing, the team has so far tested it with the following materials:

  • PLA
  • ABS
  • HIPS
  • FLEX
  • PETG

It does require a motherboard for support of triple extruders, and the RUMBA motherboard is recommended by RepRap.me.

bannerSupporters receive an array of affordable rewards from those who pledge kr210 (approximately $30 USD) receiving the nozzle itself, to pledges of kr5600 (around $807 USD) receiving the complete kit with nozzle, all the parts, and the Prusa i3 3D printer DYI kit.

At kr17,500, users receive the premium kit offering:

  • 1 x bq Witbox upgraded with:
    • 1 x Diamond Nozzle
    • 3 x E3D HeatSink
    • 1 x Termistor
    • 1 x Heater
    • 1 x Fan
    • 1 x 3D printed mounting bracket
    • 3 x Ekstruder kit with bowden tube
    • 1 x RUMBA motherboard

The team offers information for installing the Diamond hotend yourself here. Is this a product you are planning to support on Kickstarter? Share with us in the Diamond Hotend forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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