Project image
)}
AU$ 67,986
pledged of AU$ 250,000pledged of AU$ 250,000 goal
76
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 1 2014
AU$ 67,986
pledged of AU$ 250,000pledged of AU$ 250,000 goal
76
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 1 2014

About

We thought about what you need from a 3D printer before we thought about what we would develop.

We’ve been inspired by the developments in the 3D printing community enabling people to work, play, learn, build and create. So when we set about developing our own 3D printer over 2 years ago we started thinking about what you really need from a 3D printer. How you’ll use it and what you’ll do with it. The result is Elemental – the first pressure controlled, 3D printer that is easy to use, quiet and quickly produces great prints.

Elemental embraces the power of the elements and lets you do more than you ever imagined.

What the 3D printing world is saying about Elemental

Individual images can be viewed at:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h3wkt59pmrf2u43/AADTU6IaJKSQ0aq6dfFCDm0La?dl=0

There are many low-end 3D printers on the market that don’t have the capability to truly produce the high quality prints you’re looking to achieve. And those high-end printers that are able to produce high resolution prints are complex to configure and use, as well as being expensive.

Whilst there has been some recent progress with Stereolithography (SLA) printers to make quality printing more accessible, these printers are still expensive. We knew we could do better and deliver a more affordable system.

It’s really amazing seeing anything printed in 3D. It is even more amazing when the print is done quickly, quietly and simply. Our focus is on developing 3D printers that work with liquid resins which when exposed to ultraviolet light, cure into a solid object. Where we are different is that our printer is capable of printing without the use of a mechanical platform to create each layer of a 3D printed object.

Unlike traditional methods of 3D printing that rely upon a mechanical process to move a build platform away from the source of print production after each layer is printed, Elemental uses patent pending pressure control technology to prints objects by increasing the volume of resin above the build platform. 

By utilising pressure controls in Elemental's custom designed vat during the printing process, Elemental’s laser system can cure a layer of resin accurately, quickly and quietly. The first layer is cured onto the surface of the removable build platform in the centre of the vat. The pressure control system then allows the flow of material from one of the control chambers into the build chamber, increasing the level of the resin by a certain, precise and extremely fine amount. The laser system then sets about curing the next layer of resin to further create the object. The process is repeated until the object is produced.

Elemental's revolutionary functionality in resin based 3D printing gives it the advantage over other printers as it is capable of working with a wider range of photosensitive resins - from thin resins to those that are much more viscous. This revolutionary functionality is a result of there being no direct mechanical interaction with the printing material.

Elemental can also operate in an economical manner by the use of a build support material on which the printing resin can float. Recent developments in 3D printing have identified that certain thinner resins are capable of being floated on denser material such as a saline solution. This means lower operating costs to produce 3D prints. The first prints on Elemental were created this way.

Pressure control provides an extremely high level of accuracy in printing layer upon layer during the print process.

Controlling air volume flow is a more accurate means to control build support material such as the saline solution. The addition of the saline solution into the build chamber through partitioned control chambers that surround the build chamber reduces disruption of the resin in the build chamber.

Pressure control technology also reduces the need to print support structures where there is overhang in a 3D model. The material surrounding the cured resin holds the resin in place long enough for the laser to cure the resin above it.

Like developments in other technologies, high quality outputs are the desired standard in today’s world and we want to make sure this is an option for everyone who wants to produce 3D prints.

We're so excited to see the possibilities of Elemental. Now in the final stages of development, Elemental is producing great prints as you can see from the photos and our system electronics are reliable.

We're certain of Elemental's technical capabilities and are nearly ready to set-up full-scale manufacturing. We have experienced operators and manufacturing partners in place, and talented and passionate people to put it all together. All that is missing is you. This is a big step and we need your support so that we can do it right.

We've set a high crowdfunding target and it's for good reason. The costs of developing a new 3D printer are huge. So that we can offer Elemental at a more affordable price, we have designed a modular printer, which will be manufactured through mass production thus reducing costs for you - the end user. This requires substantial investment and is why we need the full on support of the Kickstarter community.

We have undertaken considerable investment from our own funds to get the prototype fully operational and producing the high quality prints you see on this page. With our fully functioning prototype we want to bring this technology to market and with your help, we can.

Still thinking of Christmas gift ideas? Why not make a pledge your gift? On successfully reaching our Kickstarter goal, we can email you a certificate so you can gift your Elemental pledge to someone special this Christmas.

Let’s work together to get this project funded and with your help bring Elemental to market and transform the 3D printing community. Click the currency conversion link to see how affordable Elemental is in your local currency.

Built with you in mind, Elemental is easy to set-up so you don’t need to spend unnecessary hours on complex set-ups, time assembling parts or calibrating equipment. The printer is set-up and ready to go in minutes.

  • Very large build area for SLA - up to 200mm x 200mm x 200mm
    (7.87in x 7.87in x 7.87in)
  • Z control accurate to 1 micron
  • 24-bit XY control resolution (variable through software)
  • Variable output 405nm laser
  • Pressure control of layer height
  • Stand-alone SD-card printing
  • Bluetooth functionality    

Communication with Elemental is possible through Bluetooth or by way of USB cable.

Elemental can be operated in the usual way by being tethered to a personal computer that communicates with Elemental for the duration of the printing process.

Alternatively a device with Bluetooth functionality may communicate with Elemental. We’re currently working on an application for Android devices so those of you with these devices can operate Elemental without any need for a personal computer.

Importantly, Elemental is equipped with an SD-card slot to allow for standalone printing.

Our hardware and software are designed to work together to give you the best possible user experience.

From the very start, we’ve aimed to use open source slicing software to generate the information necessary to describe every layer.

Our software is designed primarily to promote the simple use of Elemental. It is very much focused on allowing for one-click printing of selected objects. It also provides for more advanced features such as:

  • varying print sprint speed by varying the XY resolution
  • varying the fluid flow to allow for software tuning of z-axis control
  • software calibration of the laser projection system

We’re focused on developing a top-notch 3D printer so our software focusses on just that. Elemental’s operating environment will be made freely available so as to promote development of high grade, high performance routines specifically for the unit.

We're providing the opportunity for you to print the way you want!

We want Elemental to be a developmental platform for 3D printing. That’s why we’re providing a ‘sandbox’ area in Elemental’s system for you to implement your own way of 3D printing.

We developed the G-Code routines within Elemental by first putting the routines together within a desktop environment and transmitting them to Elemental in a raw format. We’ll be making this raw format available to everyone so you too can develop your own routines as an alternate to Elemental’s embedded G-Code system.

Using the raw code, you can develop your own routines on your PC (in C/C++). Once you're satisfied with the performance of your code, you can transfer it to your Elemental to operate as an alternate to the standard system environment.

Hardcotton was formed by Scott Pobihun and Richard Spreckley to bring Elemental to life. Together we have put together a team in Australia and around the world to bring Elemental to production.

From the start we realised that it was important to utilise the best skills, wherever they were available.

Scott Pobihun, BEng (Computer hardware), LLB, LLM

Scott is primarily responsible for research and development and corporate governance and operations. Scott had his first experience with lasers and microelectronics during his computer engineering studies. He’s had a passion for tinkering with electronics ever since. Scott has designed Elemental from the ground up. He has spent the last 2 and a half years researching and prototyping various photolithography technologies.

Scott has experience as a government lawyer, a computer forensics expert and in commercial operations. 

Richard Spreckley, BEng Honours (Manufacturing & Business)

Richard’s primary focus is on Hardcotton’s manufacturing, marketing and business development. Richard invaluable experience with the manufacturing process and industrial design process ensures that Elemental will be delivered as a quality printer. Richard is responsible for the marketing strategy which includes a comprehensive digital and social media strategy.

Richard has international marketing experience having worked in the UK and Australia for multinational corporations and advertising agencies.

We’ve put together an international team, all experts in their fields of specialisation from industrial design, electronic and software development through to product supplies, manufacture and supply chain logistics.

Shipping Costs Paid Separately

Shipping costs vary by location and country. It’s simpler, and cheaper for you, to handle shipping costs separately after the Kickstarter campaign has finished. Before your Elemental can be shipped, you will receive an email as part of the backer survey inviting you to confirm your shipping information. Shipping will then be calculated and collected. This will be just before your rewards are sent to ensure the most accurate shipping rates are charged.

Elemental will be shipped directly from the point of production - in Asia. Competitive Asian manufacturing services not only keep production costs low, they also reduce packaging and shipping fees in the context of providing 3D printers to global markets.

Risks and challenges

As with all Kickstarter projects, we face risks and challenges as we progress from prototype to getting Elemental delivered to you. The primary risks for us include:

Engineering:
For nearly three years we’ve been working hard and developing dozens of prototypes. After thousands of hours of development and testing we’ve developed an SLA printer that meets all our goals. We’ve undertaken rigorous testing of all components and have developed a robust platform that is both capable stable, it does not need the sensitive calibrations or regular servicing other 3D printers require.

Manufacturing:
Progressing from prototype to full production can encounter problems such as delays with injection mould tooling, supply of components for assembly and consistent and accurate product assembly. We're well prepared for the journey ahead. We’ve been working for many months sourcing and testing components, negotiating with suppliers and building an experienced team of designers, engineers, project managers and commercial executives ready to deliver Elemental. Our plans are in place, and our team is ready.

We are committed to keeping to our delivery schedule. We will passionately work to minimise any supply chain delays that may occur.

We wish to acknowledge the designers of objects in the Hardcotton campaign for Elemental.

Thingiverse users:

Bernie Solo (SSW)
Kacie Hultgren (PrettySmallThings)
Roman Hegglin
Jakob Nilsson (Jaknil)
pmoews
Paul Braddock
Geoff W. (geoffro)
Luke Chilson (LukeChilson)
Filopat
http://www.fantasygraph.com @ the makershop

If you are a designer and you believe we used your design please get in touch. We are sorry if we missed you out.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About US$ 35

    Unique recognition by having your name hard coded in the source code, leaving a footprint of your legacy in helping us make this project succeed. You will also be listed on our website funder wall.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 950 or more About US$ 672

    Early Bird Special: This level is for supporters who get in quick and want the best deal. Get an Elemental 3D printer at a very limited special price.

    Shipping not included

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,100 or more About US$ 778

    Limited special price for early supporters. Get an Elemental 3D printer from a full batch of production. Shipping not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,200 or more About US$ 848

    Get the first Elemental 3D printers from the first full batch of production. Shipping not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,300 or more About US$ 919

    Get one of the earliest Elemental printers from the second pre-production batch. You will also receive an invite to sit on our early adopter review panel. Shipping not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,300 or more About US$ 919

    Get an Elemental 3D printer from the first full batch of production. Shipping not included

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,300 or more About US$ 919

    Get an Elemental 3D printer from a full batch of production. Shipping not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,400 or more About US$ 990

    Get the earliest possible Elemental printer from the first pre-production batch. You will also receive an invite to sit on our early adopter review panel. Shipping not included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)