Isaac Porras grew up in San Jose, California and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University.
It was his experience in his father’s sheet metal shop that taught him the lion’s share of his manufacturing and design knowledge, and after college, he went into the semiconductor industry designing parts for machines.
When he was laid off in 2009, he designed and built what he calls the Solarcycle, a USB solar charging device to charge smartphones, and that experience led him to building a new hot knife, needle, and scooper attachment device to remove defects from 3D prints for his Solderdoodle tool. He ran successful Kickstarter campaigns for the Solderdoodle and the Solderdoodle 2.0 to fund development and production for the device.
Now he’s introduced a Kickstarter campaign for his new Cordless 3D Print Finishing Tool.
It’s a series of attachments–a hot knife, needle, and scooper for the Solderdoodle Pro–that convert it in to a portable, cordless, USB rechargeable 3D print finishing tool. The Solderdoodle Pro was originally a portable soldering iron capable of operating at full power for over a half hour at temperatures above 800ºF. The unit will also function for more than 2 hours above 500ºF, and it can be charged from a standard USB port.
“You can literally go anywhere and still have a way to charge your Solderdoodle if there is a laptop, USB battery, wall adapter, or even a USB solar charger nearby,” Porras says.
The Solderdoodle Pro uses a high-efficiency, high-power charge controller and the same battery used in the Tesla electric car. With its replaceable tips, the device includes a Hot Knife, Needle, and Scooper, this 3D print finishing tool is portable, and Porras says that the funds will be used to “build the final production version at a reasonable cost.”
He plans to raise the necessary seed money to purchase a minimum order of hundreds of batteries, cables, heating elements, circuits, and plastic components.
According to Porras, the Solderdoodle Pro is designed to be simple to manufacture and is being refined for the most efficient assembly.
“Our suppliers have given us great quality prototype parts and they are ready to manufacture the components in large quantities,” he says. “Typical manufacturing lead-times for components are about 30 days and test batches are always ordered before going in to large-scale production. Realistically, it should take about 6 months to order parts, manufacture parts, inspect components, assemble each batch, final test each unit, package, and then ship them.”
Porras says he expects the retail price for the base only to be $59 plus shipping costs, and he adds that each replacement tip will retail at $10 plus shipping.
The Solderdoodle fully charges in anywhere from 2 hours to 4.5 hours depending on the power source being used, and it uses a lithium-ion battery. At 1.6 inches in diameter and 8.1 inches long, the tool is constructed of nylon and weighs in at 3.5 oz.
Porras says the finisher works with PLA and ABS, and he’s even provided open source instructions on how to build the Solderdoodle Pro prototype.
The release of the Solderdoodle comes hot on the heels of the announcement of a similar 3D print finishing device, the ReTouch3D.
What do you think about the Solderdoodle? Do you need this kind of 3D print finishing tool for your work? Let us know in the Solderdoodle 3D Print Finishing Tool forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the project’s Kickstarter video, as well as more photos, below.