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Add color & material capacity and reliability to your 3D Printer with our slimmer dual extruder that installs in the space of a single! Read more

Spicer, MN 3D Printing
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This project was successfully funded on March 21, 2014.

Add color & material capacity and reliability to your 3D Printer with our slimmer dual extruder that installs in the space of a single!

Spicer, MN 3D Printing
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About this project

Upgrade your hobby 3D printer with a professional quality extruder. Add reliability, performance and even color capacity with our slimmer dual extruder that installs in the space of a single!

RUGGED-HPX1: Single Extruder  

  • Plug-and-play
  • All-metal & precision bearing gearbox
  • 2:1 gear reduction = greater torque & print quality
  • Lightweight design results in higher quality & higher speed printing
  • Durable design provides trouble-free printing
  • Infinitely adjustable retraction 
  • 1.75mm or 3mm filament
  • Locally sourced parts, hand assembled by D3D team 

RUGGED-HPX2: Dual Extruder  

  • Plug-and-play
  • All-metal & precision bearing gearbox 
  • 2:1 gear reduction = greater torque & print quality 
  • Lightweight design for higher quality & higher speed printing
  • Durable design provides trouble-free printing
  • Infinitely adjustable retraction 
  • 1.75mm or 3mm filament 
  • Locally sourced parts, hand assembled by D3D team
RUGGED-HPX2 MAX: Dual Extruder - the only Dual that's the size of a Single
  • Single stepper motor allows for slimmer design  
  • 2:1 gear reduction = greater torque & print quality
  • Lightest-weight dual extruder for higher quality & higher speed printing
  • Slimmer design installs in the space of a standard single extruder  
  • Durable design provides trouble-free printing
  • Infinitely adjustable retraction 
  • 1.75mm filament
  • Locally sourced parts, hand assembled by D3D team 
RUGGED-HPX4 MAX: Quad Extruder - the only Quad that's the size of a Dual
  • Single stepper motor allows for slimmer design 
  •  2:1 gear reduction = greater torque & print quality 
  • Lightest-weight dual extruder for higher quality & higher speed printing 
  • Slimmer design installs in the space of a standard single extruder 
  • Durable design provides trouble-free printing Infinitely adjustable retraction 
  • 1.75mm filament 
  • Locally sourced parts, hand assembled by D3D team

The D3D team is proud to be back on Kickstarter for a second time with some exciting news. The development process for our ground breaking 3D printer extruder line is now complete and test results are proving them to be some of the most reliable, highest performing extruders on the market today.

At D3D, we’ve had incredible success since our first Kickstarter in 2013, which didn’t reach our funding goal but provided the feedback we needed to re-engineer our extruder line and address critical performance needs outlined by our supporters and industry peers. After our 2013 Kickstarter campaign ended we sifted through emails, Kickstarter messages, forum threads and blog posts to gain valuable insight from our 3D printing community.

To summarize what they wanted, we call it “rugged reliability.

The feedback we received was that the print heads included with many of the hobby or consumer level printers being sold were unreliable and produced low print quality. Those problems rendered the user’s considerable investment in a consumer grade 3D printer useless. Ideally, they wanted everything promised to them when they bought their machine – hours of trouble free printing. But what they were experiencing was filament grip issues, overheating stepper motors, loss of print quality or speed, malfunctioning hot ends, and more.

In addition, users wanted to push their creativity with the use of more colors and new materials. Owning and experimenting with their own 3D printer had given them ideas, but their existing extruders were limiting their ability to add colors or try new materials. Like us, they felt stuck.

Welcome the ruggedly reliable extruder line from D3D: The RUGGED-HPX!

  • RUGGED-HPX 1: Remote or Direct Mount
  • RUGGED-HPX 2: Remote or Direct Mount
  • RUGGED-HPX 2 MAX: Single Stepper Motor and Dual Filament Drive
  • RUGGED-HPX 4 MAX: Dual Stepper Motor and Quad Filament Drive
HPX2-MAX Compatibility
HPX2-MAX Compatibility
Take your Printer to the MAX with the HPX2-MAX
The RUGGED-HPX series is D3D’s final design inspired by our 3D printing community and recent development journey. Each extruder is built with precision-machined metal parts that have been hand finished and carefully assembled. They are the next generation of D3D’s previous models, which have been re-engineered to use a 2:1 gear reduction drivetrain accomplished with an all-metal gear and bearing transmission. The new gear reduction design provides greater torque and significant improvement in steps per filament extruded.

Our patent pending “D3D Filament Shifter” technology allows for two plastic extruders to be driven by a single motor. The Filament Shifter is a uniquely simple yet effective design controlled solely by reversing the drive motor, which automatically selects the other filament extruder.

Since moving into our new 2,000 sq/ft testing lab last September, we have logged 1,000+ hours of print tests with our RUGGED-HPX extruders on several different printers. We’ve also completed 100+ print jobs and samples. The result is an expanded product line for one of the most reliable, robust print heads on the market today.

Light Weight Makes a Big Difference
 
D3D Development & Testing Lab
D3D Development & Testing Lab
A few of the many 3D prints completed on the D3D Print Heads
A few of the many 3D prints completed on the D3D Print Heads
 Carl Douglass, Co-Founder

Carl is a professional engineer with over ten years of experience in the plastics industry and currently holds a senior level management position at a plastics manufacturing business. While Carl's background includes experience in marketing, structural analysis, polymer science, polymer processing, and software development his passion is product 
development.  

Over the last several years the majority of Carl's focus has been on strategically planning, developing and releasing new products in the plastics industry. 
 
The new product development initiatives have had budgets in hundreds of thousands of dollars with market sales in the millions.  His background in product development using plastics naturally led him to 3D printing. Carl's unique perspective allows him to solve problems and think differently about how we want our product to change 3D printing in the future.

Brian Douglass, Co-Founder

Brian spent the last 8 years building, diagnosing and fabricating electro-mechanical systems for a variety of industries. Brian began his career in the lighting and grip industry in diagnosing movie set lighting electronics and high tolerance camera dolly's, from there he was part of a crew rebuilding aircraft engines, and eventually moved on to automotive diagnostics and repair. 

All of these fields offered such a variety of experience that has allowed him to think outside the box and find solutions to mechanical challenges using a wide array of methods.

Brian has spent most of his career in leadership roles working to streamline business operations. Brian's thought process epitomizes innovation and he relentlessly pursues excellence.

Together, our combined experiences make us a powerful creative and technical team with a passion to drive the industry forward and spark innovative solutions to problems that have been limiting the potential of consumer 3D printer users.

We use our unique perspective to focus on what we want to accomplish and not just what has been done already. In this light, we know anything is possible! Our passion to succeed trumps any potential failure. In fact, Carl and Brian feel the only way to fail is to give up - something neither of them has ever done.

Brian Inspecting the quality of the cut on the D3D Hobbed Wheel
Brian Inspecting the quality of the cut on the D3D Hobbed Wheel

WHY DESIGN THIS PRODUCT?
The first question we usually get asked is: Why did we design and test a device like this? Well, the answer is simple.

As relative newcomers to consumer grade 3D printing, we were quickly frustrated with the capabilities of our own newly purchased printer, the quality of its parts, and the constant “tinkering” required to continue printing. 

We wanted something better – not just for us – but for the entire 3D printing community we had joined. We felt we shared and understood their frustrations, and had the passion, vision and experience to take our ideas for a solution from concept to reality.

OUR STATUS
Our development is complete, we have over a thousand hours of testing and have printed a few hundred print jobs ranging in duration from 30 minutes to 15 hours.

We have tested many materials including, ABS, PLA, PVA, Nylon, HDPE, a few custom materials and have experienced outstanding results with all materials.

On our path of creative innovation, we have come across many problems and found many of our solutions in unlikely places. These solutions could only be obtained after we set the bar high and set our sights on a very specific target.

 RUGGED-HPX2 MAX - Retraction Demonstration

 Time lapse of the RUGGED-HPX2 MAX creating a 2 color print

 

Time lapse of the RUGGED-HPX2 Remote Mount on a QU-BD RXL
OUR TARGET OUTCOME
Our target outcome has always been this: to create a durable, high quality product that is adaptable to almost any consumer 3D printer in order to allow for the use of more types of plastics and more than two colors.

 In other words, we want to vastly increase the efficiency and creative potential of makers and 3D printing enthusiasts everywhere!
We are thrilled with the results and feel confident that we’ve not only reached our target, but surpassed even our own expectations. 

We have been diligent in selecting our suppliers to ensure we could provide top-notch parts for our product. We have narrowed suppliers down to a select few to provide high quality parts on schedule. In addition to component supply issues we have also designed our extruder head component for simplicity and minimum number of parts resulting in maximum reliability and simple maintenance.  The various components are simple to install and, if necessary, can be replaced as modular sub-components. 

About half of our suppliers are located in Central Minnesota. The remainder are throughout the US and our primary source for Stepper Motors is an overseas supplier.   A primary goal of ours is to keep production and supply as local as possible and within the United States where cost effective.

As our campaign comes to an end and the funding is transferred we will immediately order all materials and begin assembly as the the supplies arrive.  Our initial production batches will be delivered in May for the Early Bird supporters and the rest will be assembled and shipped in June.  If we find that orders exceed our production/shipping capacity, we will issue new reward levels for product delivery in July.

 
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HPX4 MAX Beta
HPX4 MAX Beta
Universal Carriage Add-ons
Universal Carriage Add-ons
                                       
          
All-Metal Hot Ends
All-Metal Hot Ends

Risks and challenges

Since development is completed the only risk we face is lead times with our component manufacturers. Since Carl and Brian are focused on designing and solving problems we've left the detail work of producing our high tolerance parts to our trusted local manufacturers. With keeping much of this production local we are allowing our community to grow with your support. We have great relationships with our local fabricators and a good understanding of the time it takes to complete our parts but there's always an opportunity for those lead times to increase by a week or two. We will continue to work closely with these fabricators and keep you updated on our progress.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • The HPX2 MAX retracts to prevent the stringing you mention. We have developed and refined our Marlin Firmware so that the retraction is set exactly as it would be with a single extruder.

    Last updated:
  • The coding for the HPX2-MAX is done in the firmware. We have developed an add-in for Marlin firmware, which is the most common firmware used by Hobby/Consumer 3D printers. Once the firmware is uploaded to the printer, the operation of the HPX2-MAX head is like any other standard extruder. You set your retraction and other extrusion paramters in the Slicing software just as you do today.

    Once the firmware is loaded, there is nothing else special needed to run the HPX2-MAX

    Last updated:
  • A direct mount setup is where the hot ends are mounted to the extruder and that is all mounted to the Printer gantry. The most common 3D printer is a direct mount. Such as: http://wp.me/a3IRVa-9I

    A remote mount (AKA Bowden setup) is where the drive motors are remotely mounted and push the filament through PTFE tubing to the Gantry where the Hot Ends are mounted. This link depicts a remote mount

    http://wp.me/a3IRVa-bS

    There are benefits and drawbacks of each solution. We recently developed a dual remote mount solution/kit for a QU-BD Revolution XL because our customer requested a solution providing the fastest print quality (i.e. wanted to minimize the weight on the printer gantry). Retraction settings are much different for a remote mount versus a direct mount.

    We do not recommend converting your printer unless you are an advanced user capable of making significant changes. If you have a Direct mount, stick with Direct mount. Like wise for Remote mount.

    Last updated:
  • The HPX2 is a "plug-and-play" solution if you already have a dual extruder printer. The HPX2 has 2 stepper motors, 1 motor drive 1 extruder.

    The HPX2 MAX is a Dual extruder but is driven by 1 single motor. So in order to achieve retraction, which is necessary for high resolution/quality prints, we incorporated a servo. The design of the gear train allows for auto filament switching and the servo actuates a latch to prevent the switch from one material to the second, until the full retraction is complete. This is all handled in the firmware which we provide.

    Once the firmware is loaded to the printer, the user interaction is the same as before the HPX2 MAX. We use the same slicing software as before. The firmware instructs the printer when and how to control the servo.

    See the next FAQ on whats needed to install a HPX2 MAX on your 3D Printer

    Last updated:
  • There are a couple of critical components necessary for an HPX2 MAX. First your control board must have the expansion connections for Extruder Heaters and Extruder Thermistors. Second you must have a board that supports a servo. (See HPX2 vs HPX2 MAX FAQ)

    So in order to have the HPX2 MAX fully functional, you need to have a circuit board that supports a servo, or one that has a open pulse width modulation (PWM) output. The Ramps 1.4 all have Servo connections. Most other boards have open PWM connections but some aren't quite as "plug-and-play" as the ramps 1.4.

    We are working on solutions for the printers that use boards other than the Ramps 1.4 Equivalent boards. Our firmware is Marlin based, so if you have a marlin based printer, the implementation is easy, we provide you with the firmware, you update the firmware (following our detailed directions), and then you are good to go!!

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  • The Hot Ends are not included with the extruders. We designed the extruders to accept groove style hot ends to allow for maximum flexibility in Hot End selection. Since the selection of the hot ends are dependent on your 3D Printing Objectives (as well as your budget), we wanted our backers to have the freedom of choice.

    We have found that all-metal hot ends are the most reliable and provide the widest range of use with different materials.

    We have tested many different styles of hot ends over the past year and have been using the E3D units ourselves. We have also been developing our own all metal hot ends but we will not have them complete by the end of our campaign

    Last updated:
  • Our extruders are designed to accept any standard groove style (J-Head) hot ends. Our HPX1 is designed for 6mm groove, which is the newer style. Our HPX2 & HPX2 MAX are designed for either 4mm or 6mm groove style hot ends.
We designed for the groove style hot ends because most hot end suppliers are going this route to allow for quick disassemble. We have also found that high efficiency hot ends (heat sink cooling) provide the most reliable print

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $33 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    3D PRINTING DEMONSTRATION EVENT: THURSDAY, MARCH 20 | 6:30PM - 7:30PM: If you'd like to learn more about the 3D printing industry and the ideas behind our innovations, join us at the D3D lab in Spicer, MN for this event. You'll be able to see our 3D printing technology in action, view samples of our work, ask questions and have some refreshments. We appreciate your interest and support. See ya soon! (Spots are limited due to space. Backers will be messaged or emailed with directions.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $53 or more

    1 backer

    D3D SUPPORTER: HALL OF FAME.

    You believe in our project but don't need a 3D print head. We'll list you on our website's "Supporter Hall of Fame." Thanks for your support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $69 or more

    1 backer

    SINGLE ALL-METAL 1.75mm HOT END - Available in 12v or 24v configurations. Includes .35mm nozzle, heater, thermistor, fan, & Fan shroud See the Rewards section for product details. Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $103 or more

    4 backers

    D3D SUPPORTER: T-SHIRT & HALL OF FAME.

    You believe in our project but don't have a need for a 3D print head. We'll send you a D3D t-shirt and list you on our website's "Supporter Hall of Fame." Thanks for your support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $105 or more

    27 backers Limited (3 left of 30)

    EARLY BIRD: RUGGED-HPX1
    Early bird gets the worm with early delivery! Specify Remote or Direct Mount configuration at the end of the Campaign. See the Rewards section for product details.

    Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $115 or more

    1 backer

    RUGGED-HPX1
    Specify Remote or Direct Mount configuration and 1.75mm or 3mm filament at the end of the Campaign.
    See the Rewards section for product details.

    Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $138 or more

    2 backers

    DUAL ALL-METAL 1.75mm HOT ENDs - Available in 12v or 24v configurations. Includes .35mm nozzles, heaters, thermistors, fan, & Fan shroud See the Rewards section for product details. Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $205 or more

    17 backers Limited (13 left of 30)

    EARLY BIRD: RUGGED-HPX2 Early bird gets the worm with early delivery! Specify Remote or Direct Mount and 1.75 or 3mm filament configuration at the end of the Campaign.

    See the Rewards section for product details.

    Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $220 or more

    28 backers Limited (2 left of 30)

    EARLY BIRD: RUGGED-HPX2 MAX - SINGLE MOTOR DUAL FILAMENT EXTRUDER. See the Rewards section for product details.
    Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $230 or more

    0 backers

    RUGGED-HPX2 Specify Remote or Direct Mount and 1.75 or 3mm filament configuration at the end of the Campaign.
    See the Rewards section for product details.
    Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $245 or more

    9 backers

    RUGGED-HPX2 MAX - SINGLE MOTOR DUAL FILAMENT EXTRUDER See the Rewards section for product details. Thanks for your interest and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $333 or more

    2 backers

    D3D SUPPORTER: T-SHIRT, HALL OF FAME, CELEBRATION TOAST & PREVIEW OF WHAT'S NEXT. If you're a 3D printing enthusiast and just want to support our efforts and brainstorm about what's next, please join us at this level. We'd love to send you a t-shirt, put you on our Hall of Fame, raise a toast with you, and brainstorm about what's next for D3D and the 3D printing community. Thanks for your interest and support! (Meeting via Skype or travel extra.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $493 or more

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    RUGGED-HPX4 MAX BETA: DUAL MOTOR QUAD FILAMENT EXTRUDER. Universal Carriage included in reward to allow for simplified mounting to most 3D printers. We have done the hard work to make it easy for you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $533 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    PIMP YOUR PRINTER – MAKERBOT REPLICATOR: Send us your Makerbot Replicator v1- 2 and we will upgrade the electronics and install the HPX2 MAX Extruder with all metal high performance hotends. We will install the firmware, test and optimize your printer and send it back to you ready to go. We will also spend one on one time VIA video conference to review the printer and settings.
    Shipping is extra. Local enthusiasts can drop off and pick up the printer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $533 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    PIMP YOUR PRINTER – BUKOBOT: Send us your Bukobot and we will upgrade the electronics and install the HPX2 MAX Extruder with all metal high performance hotends. We will install the firmware, test and optimize your printer and send it back to you ready to go. We will also spend one on one time VIA video conference to review the printer and settings.
    Shipping is extra. Local enthusiasts can drop off and pick up the printer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $533 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    PIMP YOUR PRINTER – ROBO3D: Send us your Robo3D and we will upgrade the electronics and install the HPX2 MAX Extruder with all metal high performance hotends. We will install the firmware, test and optimize your printer and send it back to you ready to go. We will also spend one on one time VIA video conference to review the printer and settings.
    Shipping is extra. Local enthusiasts can drop off and pick up the printer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $683 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    PIMP YOUR PRINTER – SOLIDOODLE: Send us your Solidoodle printer v1- 3 and we will upgrade the control board, electronics and install the HPX2 MAX Extruder with all metal high performance hotends. We will install the firmware, test and optimize your printer and send it back to you ready to go. We will also spend one on one time VIA video conference to review the printer and settings.
    Shipping is extra. Local enthusiasts can drop off and pick up the printer.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,333 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    D3D FOUNDING SUPPORTER: HALL OF FAME, KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN CELEBRATION & BRAINSTORM ABOUT WHATS NEXT, AND FOUNDING SUPPORTER CERTIFICATE. If you're inspired by the possibilities of 3D printing and the work we're doing, join us at this level. You'll help us establish a strong foundation of support as well as have the opportunity to join us for a team meeting about what's next for D3D.
    Travel to Central Minnesota not included)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (32 days)