As anyone who 3D prints knows, one of the limiting features is the ability to involve multiple filaments in a print job when its demanded. But, when this is possible, it significantly optimizes print quality and appearance, and so the idea is in high demand from certain sectors of the 3D printing space. It would be the easiest to go ahead and turn your single-head into a multi-head extruder, simply adding hardware onto what you already have. This is the idea behind a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund a Multi-Filament 3D Print Head.With the goal of raising $8,250 in the next 33 days, Advanced Automated Multi-Tools is crowdfunding for the ability to manufacture and market its printer head that easily and affordably turns one extruder head into seven. The extruder head is a project of Advanced Automated Multi-Tools, and is a spin-off project from a larger machine that the company was working on.
Made from one piece of aluminum accompanied by a specially designed hothead, the consumer market intended for this product includes the “casual DIY 3D printing consumer.” This version is for a 1.75mm filament with a 0.3mm nozzle, and the cost is less than buying four separate extruders, so how could you pass this up if you need to print in many colors? Also, if there is concern about the weight of the head, Advanced Automated is making a plastic one available as well.
According to the Kickstarter page, this device got its name, CollideOScope, “because it is a collision of multiple colors and materials.” It works by using “7 push motors multiplexed to one motor driver.”
If you make minor changes to your coding script and connection, you can interact with the device, too. The device is currently at its final test phase and working with 3D software Simplify3D helped overcome a very challenging software issue. In fact, Advanced Automated reports that software was the biggest challenge in the whole project (Simplify3D helped to sort that out). Some process issues will be inevitable as every multi-colored 3D print has different challenges. But the company is excited to see how people will use and modify this product for their own purposes.
The campaign has a $8,250 goal to reach by November 9. For $187, you can get the early bird pricing on one CollideOScope 3D Print Head (with a “K” type TC only for this version). For $205, you can get the device with additional 24Vdc electronics. The significantly greater cost of $830 will get you the device with everything else: the hothead, installed fitting and electronics, and a motor box with 7 remote steppers.
You can go check this out for yourself at the Kickstarter page here, watch the video below, and begin planning your multi-colored or multi-material prints today.
Let us know if you intend to back this project on Kickstarter. Discuss in the CollideOScope forum thread on 3DPB.com.