What and Why?
We have been developing a set of accessories that every hobbyist, professional or company will need for their 3D Printer. It started when we recognized that 3D Printers are not perfect, the materials aren't ideal and everyone else had the same concerns. Bumpy prints. Brittle materials (like PLA). Print warps or comes off the bed. Flexible filaments are impossible to print with. Prints damaged when removed.
We share your pain. Being Makers and Inventors, we started experimenting and trying new ideas, seeing what we could come up with. 6 months later we have here the Makeraser and Makelastic, all to make your 3D prints smoother and more flexible.
The Makeraser was our first idea - it started when Chris found that cotton balls soaked in acetone were pretty effective at smoothing ABS 3D Prints. We tried using felt pens and they were even better. As we started experimenting more, we added on a scraper to help us remove prints. Before we knew it, the Makeraser had morphed into the Multitool you see today. Everyone we talked to in the industry agreed that this was something they needed to get the most out of their 3D Prints!
A Few Common Uses
-Touching up details on Prints
-Preventing curling or warping of ABS or PLA prints (Raftless printing? YES)
-Sealing holes or cracks to make a water-tight print (who doesn't love to go boating?)
-Instead of printing something big, print it in pieces and glue it together!
The Makeraser consists of
-Flexible HDPE Controlled-flow Felt-tip Bottle
-Wool Felt Nib + Washers
-Marble inside Bottle to keep ABS + Acetone Mixture homogenous
-Scraper made of 1095 Blue Steel
We discovered Makelastic during our experimentation. We discovered that a certain mixture of Ethyl lactate and other alcohols was a very effective plasticizer, getting in-between the PLA molecules and loosening their bonds. Suddenly, you didn't have to mess around with flexible filaments - good ol' reliable PLA could be used and then rubberized! Best of all, Makelastic was safer than even Acetone. For example, Ethyl Lactate is commonly used in fragrances - it has a scent that is close to coconuts (we kid you not).
Makelastic tends to dissipate over a few months, necessitating a quick spray with any off-the-shelf polyurethane spray. So far our prints have remained flexible!
What's it good for?
-Moulds for Casting
We took Makeraser and Makelastic on the road to World Makerfaire 2013 in New York City, showing it off to every Maker we could see. We were a Finalist in the Pitch Your Prototype competition and got a hugely positive response from everyone. We connected with fellow Brooklynite Gordon LaPlante, the creator of the Kickstarter-backed GMax 3D Printer. He become really excited about the Makeraser in particular and bought 100 as a Printer accessory. We've already gotten some feedback like this
We've also been featured on major blogs in the 3D Printing Industry!
Our Production Plan
End of February
Order all Parts for Makeraser/Makelastic
-We've identified every single supplier for all the parts to make a Makeraser and Makelastic. Some are shipped the very day we order them (ie/ Nuts), some take a few days (ie/Bottles) and some have to be manufactured (ie/ Makelastic 'Cage')
First parts arrive, begin Assembling Makeraser + Makelastic
-Ah assembly, the best part of the project. We've created a very specific process for assembly each Makeraser and Makelastic so that we could estimate how long it would take and cost to make them. In addition, if we have a hugely successful campaign we will be ready to bring outside help and quickly teach them the fine art of hand-assembly.
Mid-April to Early May
Ship to Backers
The most exciting part for you, The Backer! We will be shipping our products in one go, since creating labels, organizing shipping and packing each one will require all hands on deck. Delivery depends on where you are - for International Buyers it could be a few weeks until you receive your Makeraser or Makelastic!
We've perfected the designs, we've sourced the parts, we've delivered a small production run and learned enough to go Big Time! Let's make 3D Printing easier than ever! Back us!
Risks and challenges
We've been doing our best to make sure everything has been nailed down. We worked endlessly on getting the design right, from aesthetics to manufacturability. The biggest risks are production delays - there are bits and pieces coming from different directions and different parts of the world.
We learned alot about how long it takes to make each one, where the bottlenecks in the supply chain are and how to manufacture these.
Key challenges are
-Manufacturing the Makeraser body can be done by injection moulding, although only at quantity. If we hit more than 250% of our target it becomes feasible to manufacture these this way. Otherwise, we can simply print them off.
-Manufacturing the Container and Cage to hold Makelastic and any item that you're rubberizing is another challenge. We've identified our container that we want to use. The cage will be made out of 3D Printed components, up until that 250% limit. Beyond that, Injection Molding is pretty cost-effective.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)