Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Retouch3D Finalizing Design for Their 3D Print Finishing Pen

ST Medical Devices

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Created by 3D 2.0, the Retouch3D was launched via a Kickstarter campaign to build “the world’s first heated tool to finish 3D prints with variable heat and interchangeable heads designed for specific 3D retouching tasks.”

And it was a popular idea indeed as 394 backers pledged a total of $56,398 — well over the original $30,000 goal — to help bring the product to life, and we covered the campaign during March of this year.latest_retouch3d

The product features 5 interchangeable heads which allow for simple touching up of 3D printed objects, and the makers say the device can be used to cut through support material “like butter,” refine layer imperfections or to blend and smooth rough areas.

“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, the founder of 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.”

Newman, along with team members Brian Gale, Andrew Garth, Amanda Hurt, Joseph Friend, and Erin Donaldson, is now working on a refined version of the Retouch3D.memebrane_1_large

“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,” says Hurt, the 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.”

Hurt says a new control system will offer more visibility, temperature control, and flexibility to accommodate future 3D printing materials, and she says the company will continue to offer an easy-to-use temperature look-up chart for mainstream 3D printing materials on their website.

In the coming weeks, the development team will finalize the internal layout of the device’s electronics, begin mocking up prototype circuit boards, testing the prototype tips, and 3D printing a product casing.

As it stands now, the five toolheads that come with the Retouch3D are the Macro Remover, the Micro Remover, the Macro Refiner, the Micro Refiner, and the Blender Head.

retouch3d@2xThe Retouch3D measures 7.03″ x 1.19″ x 1.14″ and weighs just 3.53 oz. It’s designed so that it can fit comfortably in a user’s hand and in a multitude of different grip positions. There are currently three material preset buttons, each of which can be programmed for different heat settings. There is also the option to use manual temperature setting controls with settings from 120°F to 570°F (50°C to 300°C).

The price? The first 200 early backers will get their Retouch3D for $149, while later backers will pay from $179 to $199. The first of the devices should be delivered sometime during December of this year, while another run of the devices will ship in April 2016 or later.

Can you see yourself using the Retouch3D to put the finishing touches on your 3D prints? Let us know in the Retouch3D forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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