A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
The VIT 3D printer is a laser sintering 3D printer capable of creating high quality pieces. It's quality can be compared to injection molding with high hardness and strength.
The printer uses polyamide PA12 to create the pieces so thick parts are though and thin parts are flexible. You will be able to print almost anything you can design.
Laser sintering allows to print with no need for supports, and works perfectly with intricate and complex models. You can also maximize production by filling completely the build volume with models even in Z axis.
We work with open materials. You will be able to buy supplies from any provider you have near you or through the Internet. You can use a wide range of materials for laser sintering. You could even use sugar!
Web based software, no need to install anything. You connect to the 3D printer and run the local web interface from your PC, or directly use the touch screen in the machine itself.
Printing Volume: 250 x 250 x 250mm / 9.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches
Laser tech: CO2 40W allowing diverse materials (eg. polyamide)
Open material: Powder PA tested. Other PA through Natural robotics advise
Printing colors: White (and others)
Printing Speed: 20mm/h / 0.8 inches/h
Resolution X, Y: 60 microns.
Layer height: 100 to 150 microns
Connectivity: USB, Wifi and Ethernet
Interface: 7 inches touchscreen display
Autonomous Printing: No PC/Computer connection required
Software: Web Based (Local)
External Dimensions: 800 x 600 x 950mm / 31 x 23.5 x 37.4 inches
We have designed a custom electronics board to provide a solution dedicated to laser sintering. The board features the ATSAM4S2B ARM microcontroller, 112MHz and 64KB RAM, that comes packed with our own custom firmware.
Communication with internal computer. (I5 8Gb Ram)
Driving of all the motors necessary for printing, as well as the scanner system ,the laser...
Controlling of the powder temperature using an optical heating system with sensor feedback.
Controlling the chamber temperature with thermistor feedback
We’ve developed our own software to streamline the process from 3D file to actual print.
The software reads in .STL and .OBJ 3D files that any 3D CAD software can export and lets you print and monitor the print.
You will have the option of remote technical support by user authorization.
It has a webcam to monitor the printing and help in the technical support.
The Software has 2 different parts, the FrontEnd and the BackEnd. The Backend part is responsible of all the hard work of the VITSLS. This part is already 100% developed. The FrontEnd or user interface is under construction and planed be finished during the Kickstarter campaign.
The video shows the BackEnd software and the syntering process of one layer .(The front door has been replaced by a Plexiglas part to maintain the chamber temperature).
In the In(3D)ustry fair in June 2016, we clearly confirmed there is a need for a low cost Laser Sintering 3D printer, so we put a lot of effort into reducing all cost components. This was possible because the main technology is based on an expired patent which reduced the cost of engineering, we have used standard components (e.g. normal PC), used extensively with our 3D printers to produce parts, and well, we have a small structure.
We want to ensure that we deliver what we promise. It is quite different to ship 100 machine units to thousands of them. As per our own experience we are realistic and know that a huge campaign success would completely delay the timelines.
The requested funding is to help us kick-off first production units and comply with all health and safety requirements. After that the 3D printer will be available at an estimated retail price of around 11.000 € / 12,900 USD. You help us make this happen, and you are not just a number for us.
We need your support to launch our first units in the market. If we reach our first goal we will be able to launch our 3D high quality printer at a very special retail price.
VITSLS uses 40W CO2 Laser
Moved to gallery.
We have designed a tool to facilitate the extraction of the impression cube containing the un-sintered powder and the printed parts.
Once the temperature of the printing chamber drops to safe levels, the printer door can be opened to insert the extraction tool.
Positioning the tool on the printing area (Step A) and activating the extraction on the touch screen of the printer, the tool will be filled with the contents of the impression cube (Step B).
It only remains to close the extraction tool (Step C) and remove the tool from the printer (Step D).
Once the tool has been removed, it will be possible to clean the parts inside the tool itself or in a cleaning station.
With the F-theta lens it is possible to focus the laser correctly on a flat surface.
The mechanism of the door allows to position the door on the top of the printer, facilitating access to the interior of the machine.
VIT incorporates LEDs in its cabinet to easily indicate the current status of the printer. (Waiting, Printing, Attention required, Work completed).
The cost of production materials is around 55% for the higher reward tier. Rest of costs are machine assembly, packaging, campaign fees, taxes and process management.
Next steps will include making the prototype production ready and finalizing the software. Software will be free and web based (Local).
What happens after the campaign ends?
Technical Support and maintenance
Natural Robotics is a company founded in 2016, with a FFF 3D printer already on the market.
We provide technical support and maintenance for this product, the Delta Black, and will do the same for the VIT. Next step after the campaign is successful will be to enroll resellers worldwide, so that the distribution network can also provide first level support locally. The software includes remote control (client authorization) and a webcam to improve the technical support.
For the VIT we will continue producing upgrades of its firmware and software with the feedback and suggestions provided by you and future clients.
We want to look at industrial color 3D printing as our next big innovation round. A proof of concept has already been tried using laser sintering technology and we will start working on this once this campaign is completed and fully delivered.
Hector started to look at a concept of developing laser sintering technology soon after the main Selective Laser Sintering patent expired early in 2014. He worked gathering information and doing several proofs of concept tests, but it was a year later when he was able to make real progress. After asking several supplies providers for material, he managed to get a batch of the most typical material -polyamide PA12- before spring 2015 that helped him boost progress with the prototype.
In Spring 2016 the company was founded to pursue the development of the SLS 3D printer, while selling the other products such as the Delta Black 3D printer.
During this period we had to try hard to obtain prime materials such as the powder we need to print. But fortunately we succeeded and so we are now at Kickstarter!
About Natural Robotics
The company Natural Robotics was founded in 2016, The focus of the company is on industrial customers, mainly SMEs who require affordable platforms but with good specifications. In addition to the 3D printers offers, Natural Robotics also provides customized products and services. Thanks to the modularity and openness of the Delta Black FFF 3D printer, their current product in the market, the company can provide customized versions in terms of height and width, as well as components such as higher grade hot ends and enclosing. This responds to specific needs that customers have for their product fabrication or to use technical materials with higher requirements. Natural Robotics also fabricates customized CNC routers, adhoc, thanks to the acquired expertise in digital machine fabrication.
Natural Robotics is a young company with a product already in the market and experience in design and manufacturing of hardware products. However there are typical risks and challenges that any hardware project has to face:
Hardware: a laser sintering machine is complex, as per all the components that need to be designed, assembled or integrated, and to work perfectly synchronized. This includes mechanics, electronics, software and materials. We have gone through three prototypes to get to our desired outcome in terms of cost and quality.
Supply chain: the BOM has a high number of components and this involves a big network of suppliers to deal with. Everything is ready in place and we have considered a buffer for delays in our supply chain, although this is the major risk factor to produce a delay.