Frequently Asked Questions
We have a stretch goal that will allow us to create 3mm filament (aka 2.85mm) as well as the 1.75mm, and then backers will get to choose which gets included in their pledge.Last updated:
No! Cx5sf is not a plastic, and it is not made of existing low-melt plastics. Sometimes we hear from people online who have never touched Cx5 saying they’ve figured out it is Instamorph, but anyone who handles it or starts sculpting in it will instantly realize that it’s a sculpting material, not a malleable plastic. Adam Beane invented the original Cx5 during his first years as a professional sculptor, and brought it to market for other sculptors who do highly detailed, precision work. Now we have invented the next generation of Cx5 materials, Cx5 Sculptable Filament, and it isn’t Instamorph. ;)Last updated:
We worked to keep the pricing of the tiers reflective of the price of the material plus the worth of the added incentives. We made the shipping cost separate, because they vary widely between the USA and outside of the country.
To calculate shipping we used the actual weights of the packages for each tier, and manually calculated the exact USPS shipping costs for addresses in over 30 of the countries we most frequently ship to, for every single one of the tiers. It’s a large spreadsheet. We set one international shipping rate per tier, which is an average of the shipping costs to those 33 countries.
We asked backers to cover this shipping cost, as opposed to saying shipping is “free”, because we calculate that at our goal of $75k we will spend nearly $13k of it on shipping, and so we need to be mindful of raising enough money to cover what will be very substantial shipping costs.Last updated:
We’re going to be coming up with a list of recommended printers as we get the opportunity and access to test Cx5sf in more printers. Right now we’ve printed with a MakerBot Replicator 2, and the Flashforge Pro. We’re about to test out the Printrbot Simple, and we’re really excited about that!
Note: If you are a printer manufacturer and want to help us test Cx5 Sculptable Filament on your machine, please let us know! We want to be able to suggest the best printers for Cx5sf users as we test them all out.Last updated:
We have not gotten to test the filament in bowden extruders yet, but are going to be doing that during the manufacturing process. There are a number of challenges with all flexible filaments, but ideally we will develop it to work as well in bowden extruders as in direct extruders. There are some advantages to bowden extruders that may even serve this low-temp material well. Through our testing we will come up with best practices, settings and bowden extruder printer recommendations.Last updated:
Retail pricing is going to depend on a number of factors, one of which is the success of this Kickstarter! We have target pricing that will be in the range of other premium grade speciality filaments, but because this is an actual sculpting material, and not a plastic with filler in it, the manufacturing process is far more complex and the price is higher than your standard PLA or speciality filaments that are powder-filled.
Because Cx5sf is a sculpting material it offers completely unique possibilities for 3D printing and eliminates many of the hidden costs of PLA. These “hidden costs” include time and money spent either grinding down the surface and dremmiling in details, or molding and casting the piece in a workable material, finishing that copy, and molding and casting again.
By offering a one-step product we can eliminate those extra expenses for users, but the initial cost of inventing and manufacturing a new material are not small, and retail pricing will depend in part on how successful we are here on Kickstarter!Last updated:
You can, now! We have created a filament only tier and are offering add-ons (up to five spools) for backers who back at or above the Experimenter Kit level. We listened to those of you who said you'd really just like more filament, so please check out Project Update 4 for more info on why we chose to add the tier. Here's the original Q&A answer from before we switched it - we still believe it's great to get your hands in some fun rewards before the filament ships out. :)
We’ve planned the rewards tiers very carefully to make sure every backer has a positive experience with Cx5sf, because it is such a new, unique material. The best way for us to do that is to include a sample print and tools, so that everyone can experience how to manipulate Cx5, with tips and videos from us, before printing something in it themselves. A bonus is that the Experience Pack portion of your rewards will come earlier than the filament, so everyone will have something fun to play with while the filament is being produced!
We’ve gotten some requests for filament-only tiers, or add-ons for spools. We aren’t using Kickstarter as a pre-order service, so the largest amount you can pledge for at once is five full 1kg spools. That pledge still comes with two of the upgraded Experience Packs, which all backers that pledge for Cx5sf will receive. If you know all about sculpting in Cx5 already, share the Experience Pack with a lucky friend who has never tried it! We know that many people won’t be familiar with how to sculpt and smooth a 3D print in Cx5, so we’re making sure that we give every Kickstarter backer what they need to try it out, whether you’re a professional sculptor or a complete beginner.
We appreciate that you’re enthusiastic about the new possibilities Cx5 creates, and that you know you just want to get filament and get printing! We will bring Cx5 Sculptable Filament to our store as soon as possible after Kickstarter rewards are fulfilled, and that will either look like a pre-order option or a direct purchase, depending on a number of factors. For Kickstarter, we’re making sure that we offer the same experience of this brand new material to all backers.Last updated:
Yes! All Cx5 materials will burn out in the traditional investment casting process used for making bronze and precious metal final pieces, from statues to jewelry.
A few key pieces of advice when investment casting with Cx5:
1. Make sure the investment is fully hardened before firing it. This allows the investment to hold the shape of the master pattern when it goes in the kiln. Cx5 will melt out sooner than jewelry waxes, and if the investment is too wet, that may interfere with the surface of the mold.
2. Blow out your investment before casting precious metal into it, to ensure that there is no particulate of Cx5 left behind. Because Cx5 is a sculpting material, and not a wax, it may leave a fine dust in very small, thin areas. Blowing out the mold means you will get a clean casting. You may also achieve this by rinsing out the mold with hot jewelry wax before casting.Last updated:
It may be possible, but that depends on your home extrusion machine and your dedication. If you have leftover Cx5 Sculptable Filament you can try extruding it, but because it is a sculpting material, and not just a plastic, it is a much more needy material during the extrusion process. Things to keep in mind are that it requires tight tolerances that home extruders are not generally able to hold, and when re-extruding used material you run the risk of inclusions from the environment and dropouts (bubbles) in the new extrusion. It requires specific temperatures and conditions that are different than PLA or other plastics, so it is not the easiest extrusion to do.
Note: The regular Cx5 materials that come in brick form DO NOT work in 3D printers. Extruding them for 3D printing will bring you sadness.
Alternatively, we are hoping to reach our stretch goal that will allow us to create the infrastructure for recycling used filament; you send in your extra bits and prints you no longer need, and we’ll give you a credit towards buying more fresh Cx5sf. That will give everyone an option outside of at-home extrusion, and will minimize waste as much as possible by incentivizing recycling instead of throwing away.Last updated:
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