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.
About this project
We are proud to introduce a new type of production platform. The BLACKBELT 3D Printer allows you to produce special and endless geometries in series production.
Changing paradigms in 3D printing
Print continuously / series production
Print specifically designed overhangs without additional support material
Print extraordinary long parts
BlackBelt 3D offers the user new possibilities that standard XYZ printers cannot deliver.
New shapes are possible, meaning new design guidelines for users of the BLACKBELT 3D Printer. Here’s the first designer’s guide to using this technology.
What we CAN do:
We can build up material on the conveyor belt or on previously printed layers. The 45° slanted layering allows printing horizontal overhangs that don't require support material.
This example shows a txpe of overhang, which requires support material on regular 3D printers. With the BLACKELT, this is not nessecary anymore.
Still, we are not able to print into thin air. The BLACKBELT 3D Printer must start every new geometry on the conveyor belt or onto a previous layer of the workpiece.
If the model starts above the conveyor belt, a gap arises to the conveyor belt. That's why some geometries require a starting geometry.
We are using carefully selected components that have proven to be reliable and work with the best performance. Among these are a specially designed extruder and feeding system, high quality electronic boards, motors and actuation system. Using a full metal frame made from BOSCH aluminum beam Profiles and stainless steel sheet metal parts provide a rigid construction and also makes customization easy.
The entire design of the BLACKBELT 3D Printer has been engineered in SolidWorks CAD, allowing detailed construction and parametric design.
Customizable modular design
The BLACKBELT 3D Printer is designed to adapt different environments for example like production facilities or R&D departments. It can Produce large prints or many parts in series, using a variety of materials. We can customize the machine to meet your individual requirements: as desktop version or stand-alone.
The machine comes with easily interchangeable print heads to allow a flexible adaptation to different printing requirements.
We understand that different industries require different machine set-ups. This is why we also offer additional modules like a roller table for extra-long products, a stand-alone frame containing a spool storage rack or a variety of different print heads that are adaptable to the BLACKBELT 3D Printer. Get in touch with us to get an offer for those extras!
The carbon fiber composite conveyor belt has proven to be durable and provides necessary surface adhesion to print on. Its intrinsic stiffness and low thermal expansion coefficient allow precise positioning and great interfacing of the product that is being built, which makes it the perfect material for this application - plus, it looks great; which gave the BLACKBELT its name!
Here is an example for series production of stackable storage boxes:
The BLACKBELT production platform is also a perfect tool to manufacture long products like extrusion profiles.
This is a 2m long profile being printed, using a roller table to stabilize the print to keep it straight.
Jet: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:920865 Guitar : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1068688 Stackable Storage Box: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1997048 Prusa MKII: https://github.com/prusa3d/Original-Prusa-i3 Automotive part: University of Braunschweig
Risks and challenges
Over the last 3 years the BlackBelt 3D Printer has been engineered from concept to prototype to a production-ready platform. Rigorous testing and several design iterations have resulted in a new Belt technology that is unique in its kind.
As proven and tested technology, the BlackBelt 3D Printer is now ready to be produced in larger volumes. It is our mission to keep improving and adapt to technological challenges in order to ensure the best possible user experience.
For example, one of our challenges is to create specific slicing software or a plug-in to allow the user to evaluate how specific geometries can be printed on the BlackBelt 3D Printer. The design guidelines necessary to produce a successful part will be implemented in this new software, enabling a logical workflow and intuitive user experience.
We expect this software to be completed within 4 months. However there is always a risk of minor delay.
After the Kickstarter campaign we’ll scale up the production with selected partners. We'll generate tutorials, work on specific material settings and continue testing the BLACKBELT 3D Printer for new applications. Of course continuous improvement of its reliability is our daily standard to ensure your success.
Another challenge is handling the shipping costs. The BLACKBELT 3D Printer will be shipped in a custom crate. This means every reward has to be dealt with individually with respect to shipping fees. We'll communicate these with you in a transparent way.