About this project
We've recently partnered with 3DXTech, a rare breed of manufacturer focusing on high-performance materials, to offer a special deal to all of our Tier 1/2/3 backers - every AON will also include a 500g reel of Firewire™ PPS (polyphenylene sulfide)!
This polymer is prized for its thermal properties and chemical resistance - it's insoluble in any known solvent under 200°C! We're extremely excited to be working with 3DXTech to make true engineering grade materials more accessible to the 3D printing market in the coming months and beyond.
We've been featured!
We mixed up a detail on the datasheet below, the electricals will be 110V/60Hz, 220V/50Hz as is standard in the world.
We truly, truly believe in the potential of 3D printing to change the world in significant ways. However, we don't think printing more trinkets from PLA is going to get us there anytime soon. The founder comes from a background in materials engineering and chemistry, and so the focus from Day 1 has been making advanced, high performance materials accessible to as many makers as possible.
We believe materials are the key to future innovations in 3D printing, and this is our first big step in making our vision a reality.
Questions about AON? You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a machine designed for the professional. Whether you're a print bureau, manufacturing/engineering firm, researcher, or anybody else benefiting from 3D printing in their work, AON was built for you.
We ourselves started out as a print bureau but quickly ran up against the limitations of the consumer-grade 3D printers we were using. We were limited by size, frustrated by the high failure rates of dual extrusion, and could not combat warping and cracking in large prints with useful engineering plastics.
So we took the best of the hardware, software, and feature sets out there, and combined them into one comprehensive package. This is the printer we wish we had, now made available for everyone. We think you'll like it too.
We've also learned from the graveyard of failed Kickstarter launches - we're only offering 50 units at launch to ensure we can deliver to all of our backers on time. It's the least we can do to protect your investment!
- Two Independent Toolheads
Dual Extrusion with support material is key to 3D printing complex shapes, but is inevitably a messy affair with current solutions which leaves bits of ooze everywhere, wastes material on ooze shields or prime pillars, and increases print times significantly.
With two independent toolheads, the inactive extruder is parked off to the side to eliminate all oozing issues.
If you don't need supports for your object, the two toolheads can work in tandem to print multiple copies of an object at the same time, doubling your productivity. Each extruder can be loaded with a different colour filament or an entirely different material altogether.
- Actively Heated Build Chamber
High performance materials like ABS, Nylon, or Polycarbonate warp and crack without keeping the ambient temperature high. Instead of fighting warping with adhesives and pricey specialty build surfaces, a heated chamber prevents it from happening in the first place.
But we didn't just slap some acrylic paneling on the sides and called it a day. Up to 1800W of chamber-heating power keeps the interior nice and toasty (rated up to 70C).
We do NOT use printed parts on any sensitive structural or motion components to ensure long-term, reliable operation even in the heated environment.
- Massive Build Volume
450mm x 450mm x 640mm of space to print your dreams, or approximately 18" x 18" x 25" for our friends in the USA, Liberia, and Myanmar.
We can talk about all the fun things you can print with such a build volume, but we heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. (How many is a GIF worth?)
- High Temperature Hot Ends
We took E3D (Volcano) hot ends, the gold standard of hot ends, and made it even better by upgrading to a thermocouple for printing temperatures of 450C and up, and water cooling to eliminate heat creep whether you're experimenting with crazy high-temp materials or printing with PLA.
- Robust Software & Connectivity
Every AON comes bundled with a copy of Simplify3D software, the premium market-leading solution that's unparalleled in slicing speed and complex support generation. What better way to take advantage of our massive build volume and independent toolhead dual extruders?
Every AON also comes with a Raspberry Pi loaded with a customized version of Octoprint for full printer control over Wi-fi.
- High Precision, Durable Components
No expense was spared on precision linear components. The XY gantry is driven on high grade, preloaded Japanese linear guides, and the Z axis is driven by two beefy 16mm lead screws supported by 4 20mm hardened steel linear shafts. Up to 500mm/s travel on XY means quick printing and no ooze.
The frame is constructed from 40mm extrusions for stiffness, and all structural and motion components are fabricated from metal for high tolerance and long-term reliability.
All of this comes in at the unbelievably affordable price of CAD$5500 for our earliest backers, nearly half off the retail cost. And with the exchange rate nowadays, that's like... USD$20.
*LCD will be available as an add-on option after the campaign
*PEI Build surface also available as an add-on option after the campaign
*Specs subject to minor changes
The proceeds from the campaign will go towards setting up a proper production facility and to meet minimum order requirements to make the printer economically viable. We'll also need additional sets of tools, jigs, light machining equipment, and more.
All project funds are in Canadian dollars (approx. $0.75USD)
What you'll get:
- Access to Backer's Circle+
- One AON at prices that will never be seen again, shipping in March 2016.
- One license for Simplify3D (immediate delivery after campaign)
- The Backer's Pass: Lifetime VIP status for special discounts on our online store when it launches (materials, spare parts, accessories, etc.)
You'll get everything included in Tier 1, with shipping in April 2016.
You'll get everything included in Tier 1, with shipping beginning in May 2016 on a rolling basis.
A virtual high five from us! Awesome! You'll also ensure you don't miss a single update in the campaign.
Thanks for your support! You don't need a cheesy postcard/mug/t-shirt but you believe in our mission and want to support the cause.
On top of getting all the Kickstarter updates, you'll also become part of our exclusive Backer's Circle community for life. Think of this as a mastermind group of 3D printing - connect with other backers, make your voice heard in the direction of our product development, and get first dibs on beta access to other cool things to soon come out of our labs. Think new materials, automatic part finishing and support removal stations, etc.
The founder reserves the right to refuse any requests to sing to you. It's for everyone's benefit, really.
Water cooling your stepper motors allows you to up the amperage for more torque while still keeping your motors cool for long-term, reliable operation. Under 2.4A of current and 70 degrees ambient temperature, our steppers are still comfortably cool enough to touch!
Both NEMA 17 and 23 versions are available.
Annual budget feeling tight? Already finished your holiday shopping? (Way to go!) Lock in the special Kickstarter pricing for 1 year (CAD$6500) and buy when you're ready. The $300 you pay now will apply as credit towards the final cost!
Where we're at now:
It's been almost 1 year to the day since the concept and target specifications were put down on paper for the first time. After months of modeling and design, building of the prototype began in August and lead to what you see today.
The printer is fully functional and has been running production prints for customers for the last month. The video gives a better idea of what it looks like and how it works.
What's left to do:
We're 95% finalized on the design - the few changes we'd like to make relate to things like better cable management, easier assembly, aesthetics, and reducing the part count for certain subassemblies. We're absolutely confident in the performance of the core design and do not foresee any major changes that will result in delay of delivery.
After the campaign:
Buy, buy, buy! As soon as funds are cleared, we are placing our orders for components, the majority which should arrive by late January. In the meantime, we'll be setting up our new production facility, creating jigs, investing in additional tools and equipment, developing assembly documentation, and training staff.
We'll be working with Simplify3D to create optimized profiles that are ready to go by the time you receive your AON as well.
In February, we're starting build our first units, refining our production process, and finalizing shipping arrangements. In the best case scenario, we can ship the first unit by mid-February, and more units as fast as we can build them!
We can't give a specific quote on shipping and taxes yet as we haven't finalized the packaging for AON, but rest assured we'll get you the best rates possible. Shipping will be charged once your AON is ready to go.
For our fellow Canadians, taxes will be charged according to your province of residence. For everyone else, you'll have to check with your local authorities about customs and duties charges.
- http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:23008 by Daid, CC-BY
- https://www.youmagine.com/designs/pineapple-tulip-vase by garycmartin, CC-BY-SA
Research grant from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Big shoutout to our interns, past and present!
Risks and challenges
*Supply Chain & Manufacturing:
We've made every effort to source as many components as possible from within North America to cut down on lead times and delays should something go wrong. Although this is a much costlier option than sourcing as much as possible from China, this is a price we're willing to pay to de-risk this project for you, our backers.
For the few parts that we will be sourcing from overseas, we'll keep our hand hovering over the "Buy" button during the campaign and place early orders as soon as funding milestones are reached to reduce lead times.
We've also made the most out of off-the-shelf components so that we have multiple suppliers to fall back on if necessary, but we've got a feeling that large established companies like McMaster-Carr, Misumi, and Digi-Key aren't going to let us down.
Almost all of the custom parts will be produced in-house or by local suppliers so if problems arise, we're able to rectify the situation immediately. The same goes for manufacturing - all of the assembly, calibration, and packaging will take place right here in Montreal, Canada to ensure we have full control over both QA/QC.
Prototyping was completed with manufacturers and suppliers that we'll work with for the production runs to ensure quality of the components.
*Scaling & Fulfillment:
Building a prototype in the office and full-scale production are two completely different beasts. We've learned from the many, many crowd-funded 3D printer campaigns which were monumentally successful but failed just as monumentally to deliver on their promises. That's why we're limiting the number of units available to a modest 50 to ensure that we're able to make good on our promises to our backers.
In fact, we expect to beat our delivery deadlines by about a month but have factored in the extra time as a contingency.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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