Project image
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$2,491
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, January 17 2016 3:43 PM UTC +00:00
$2,491
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
38
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, January 17 2016 3:43 PM UTC +00:00

About

How It's Unique 

Using Essemplex™ as a 3D printing filament combines the benefits of shape memory properties with ease of printing. Essemplex is as processable as ABS, and as customizable as flexible materials, but it has the added benefit of being reshapable after processing. Unlike existing flexible filament materials, Essemplex is a rigid plastic below its activation temperature, which affords effective printing without the need for adjustments in speed and/or temperature. The innate shape memory properties allow users to further customize the material's shape after printing. Because it's rigid, Essemplex filament may be co-printed with an ABS filament, which broadens the design options for reconfigurable, formable, versatile and customizable objects.

What Essemplex Is

Essemplex is a melt-processable, thermoplastic shape memory polymer (SMP) that is compatible with conventional processing methods, including injection molding, thermoforming and extrusion. Once formed, the polymer exhibits shape memory properties; the fully processed SMP can be heated to a temperature less than the melting point and reshaped repeatedly without loss of the memory shape or degradation of the material.

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG) developed Essemplex resin, a patent-pending technology, for the development of reconfigurable, versatile products that a consumer or manufacturer can customize.

Essemplex filament technology was developed using the MakerBot Replicator 2X. Feedback from beta users will determine its compatibility with other 3D printers. The current version of the filament is translucent.

Advantages

  • Prints as easily as any other rigid filament, but can be reconfigured afterwards for free-form customization
  • Processes at a temperature similar to ABS, which could enable components to be fabricated using both rigid and shape memory materials
  • Eliminates the need for an iterative design process
  • Won't jam or clog printers like flexible filaments
  • Real-time ergonomic shaping and contouring is possible after processing
  • Ability to print "inflatable" or "stretchable" objects that exceed a typical build volume
  • Enables dynamic objects that can move or be reconfigured in response to heat

 Material Details

Transition States
Transition States
Essemplex part as printed
Essemplex part as printed
Rigid form of Essemplex part after heating, re-shaping and cooling
Rigid form of Essemplex part after heating, re-shaping and cooling
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 Objectives for Kickstarter 

This is a chance for 3D printing enthusiasts, both DIY and professional digital manufacturers, to help add a unique filament to the 3D printing toolbox. We will achieve this goal by leveraging existing Essemplex technology developed under our R&D programs and soliciting feedback directly from our most valuable stakeholders – the 3D printing community.

Essemplex is unique for 3D printing, and we want to expand this patent-pending technology through further development. We are seeking funds to diversify and bring to market a range of SMP filament products. Purchasing raw materials in large quantities will ensure that we can provide the most competitive pricing for our filament materials. Kickstarter supporters will enable CRG to introduce an Essemplex 3D printable shape memory filament portfolio at a market-friendly cost and greatly increase our capacity to meet demand for this novel material.

Kickstarter funds will help refine the process and scale up the manufacturing of Essemplex filament. Upon successful launch, CRG will create a subsidiary business to focus on this product portfolio.

Based on the response of the Kickstarter support community, CRG will also determine the demand for additional properties such as:

  • Color variety
  • Activation temperature for shape change
  • Thermochromic effect (changes color at reshaping temperature)
  • Optical effects (sparkle, shine, etc.)

Beta Testers

As demonstrated by our previous commercialization successes, CRG  makes innovation accessible, and we have many more technologies we look forward to developing. With your help, we can fast-track development of Essemplex in the 3D printing market. Join us on this journey as a Beta Tester and have your voice heard; vote on which technologies become real-world materials.

At the close of the funding campaign, 0.25 kg of Essemplex Beta (d=1.75 mm) will be shipped to the Beta Tester group; their feedback will be captured via survey and serve as guidance in the development of the resin to be delivered in a second and final shipment. Our intention is to gain an understanding of what materials and material features the 3D printing community deems innovative, valuable and fun. The products developed as a result of this campaign will expand the Essemplex filament portfolio.

Supporters in other reward tiers will also get the chance to submit feedback and vote, helping in the development of this innovative product.

Multiple Orders/One Pledge Per Backer

Kickstarter’s guidelines limit backers from issuing multiple pledges; if you would like to request more material, follow these instructions:

  • Choose your reward tier.
  • Enter multiples of the pledge $ amount according to the amount of filament you would like receive.

For example: If you choose the “$90 or more” pledge at which 1.0 kg of “developed” filament is rewarded but you would like to receive 2.0 kg of “developed” filament, then enter a pledge of $180 to request two orders, a total of 2.0 kg of “developed” filament.

Potential High-Interest Areas 

  • Cell phone cases
  • Headphone or ear-bud covers, hearing aids
  • Custom can/bottle Koozies
  • Custom sports grips (golf clubs, bats, ping-pong paddles, etc.)
  • Custom video game controller grips (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, etc.)
  • Custom computer mouse covers or grips, joy-stick covers
  • Custom orthopedic devices (wrist or ankle braces, DIY shoe insoles or arch support)
  • Sculpture (similar to forming clay or glass items)
  • Gifts or surprises (fortune cookies, self-opening box, hidden messages, etc.)
  • Body modifications or custom design (elf ears, masks, etc.)

Risks and challenges

CRG has been working with shape memory polymers for more than 15 years; a significant amount of time and effort has been invested in the development of the Essemplex beta resin. As a result, we believe that our risk is low. However, the design and fabrication of 3D printed objects with SMP is not a trivial task. The main objective of our Kickstarter campaign is to get this resin into the hands of numerous 3D-ers employing a variety of printers, process parameters and applications. Users should understand that their individual results will also be a function of these variables.

On our side, the main risks involve manufacturing to meet demand and delivering rewards on time. To be proactive, we have developed a fulfillment timeline that should afford us sufficient time to deliver rewards as scheduled. If the demand should exceed our expectations, the fulfillment timeline may need to be adjusted. However, our backers will be kept up to date on schedule changes through Kickstarter updates. We will make every effort to deliver our rewards in a timely manner.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2.00

    Every $$ counts!
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Access to Project Updates

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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Make your voice heard!
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Access to Project Updates

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    1 backer
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Here to Support!
    - 0.10 kg "developed" filament, loose coil sample
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (shipping fees additional)

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    Ships to Only United States
    9 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Here to Support!
    - 0.25 kg "developed" filament on a spool
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (shipping fees additional)

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    5 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Early Adopters!
    - 0.50 kg "developed" filament on a spool
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (shipping fees additional)

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    7 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 90 or more About US$ 90

    Silver Supporters!
    - 1.0 kg "developed" filament on a spool
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to continuing development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (shipping fees additional)

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    3 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Beta Testers!
    - First Shipment: min. of 0.25 kg beta filament on a spool (delivery March 2016)
    - *Second Shipment: 0.50 kg "developed" filament on a spool (est. delivery July 2016)
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (shipping fees additional)

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    7 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Gold Fundraisers!
    - Meet with the Founder of CRG, Patrick J. Hood, Ph.D.
    - Tour CRG facilities (limited to US citizens, nondisclosure agreement required)
    - Public Acknowledgment
    - Access to Project Updates
    - Voting Rights: Make your voice heard! Contribute to continuing development efforts by providing feedback!
    - Logo Sticker (limited quantity)
    (travel expenses are not provided)

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)