The first universally adaptable 3D Printer extrusion head to provide up to 4 extruders in the same space as 2 traditional extruders. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on September 13, 2013.
About this project
ATTENTION: MAKERS, INNOVATORS, & 3D TECHNOLOGY ENTHUSIASTS! Easily upgrade your 3D printer extruder to improve the reliability and double your potential!
At Dglass3D (D3D), we are excited to showcase a new product designed especially for makers, innovators and 3D technology enthusiasts who are looking to add a whole new level of productivity and creative potential to their 3D printers. D3D’S DUAL & QUAD are completely reinvented versions of the industry’s traditional extruders, and are universally compatible with most consumer 3D printers on the market today. Our extruder has been design for 1.75mm filament.
There have been multiple attempts, in the industry to, develop multi-head style extruders with limited success. But we stand here today knowing we have conquered most of the limitations and problems along the way to arrive at a solution that could change the industry and what’s possible for all of us!
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 grippage 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.
Our Funding Goal
We set our funding goal at $25,000 which allows us to complete the final few steps in our development process of the D3D Dual and Quad extruder heads. In addition to these extruder heads we are also developing another revolutionary 3D print extruder to compliment the Dual and the Quad. We are also developing a line of printers to offer a level of user functionality that simply doesn't currently exist. We have many great concepts in the works to improve 3D printing and any funding exceeding our necessary development expenses will be reinvested into the next great D3D innovations. We have so many great ideas to bring to the industry and with your help these ideas can help change how we use 3D printing.
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 DEVELOPMENT STATUS
At the moment, our DUAL & QUAD extruders are in the final stages of development. So what does that mean, exactly?
Throughout our process, we have designed 12 different extruder models and have tested prototypes of the three most promising designs. 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.
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.
OUR PATH TO A PATENT
So how do you add functionality and capacity to a complex 3D printer without adding more parts? This answer isn’t easy. It took a hundreds of hours in SolidWorks and countless nights dreaming of solutions and waking up with those “ahh HAA” moments. You know those moments that make you run to the computer or grab a notepad to get it all down? There’s nothing more exciting than finally finding an answer after days of trial and error. It’s that tingly feeling that all creative innovators live for that has continued to push us forward.
During this process, we had long debates about how to handle the patent-ability of our design. We talked to many mentors and industry professionals before finally proceeding with a patent filing. The debate centered around our desire to maintain forward progress in the industry for all of the makers and innovators out there. Yet, as makers ourselves, we also understood the threat of larger companies stepping in to restrict the use of technologies and limit the progress and innovation we all want to be apart of. While we chose to file a patent for our technology, we remain committed to pushing forward with an open, collaborative culture.
So now, after months of hard work, sleepless nights, frustrating moments and exciting steps forward, we are extremely confident in our product. We are in the final developmental stages where we are tweaking and testing different component styles to ensure that reliability is as high as possible. We DO see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this creative solution will only be great if others see what we see! That’s why we are here – to show everyone that it could be done!
We expect these next few weeks to be even more chaotic for us than the last few, but we anxiously anticipate the final evolution of our product with your support and input! We want our Kickstarter supporters to join us during the final steps of our journey to finalize and release this new technology.
We have been diligent in choosing 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 subcomponents. For instance we have designed the barrel to be quickly swapped by removing the cooling fan and loosening a set screw. We have placed a great emphasis on ease of use.
About half of our suppliers are located in Willmar, MN and surrounding towns. We have called on two suppliers from other states who are highly specialized in their fields. We have identified many supplier options for the stepper motor, heaters, and thermistors our goal is to find the highest quality to price ratio. Ideally these parts will be sourced within the U.S., but in the event we source these components from overseas suppliers we will remain focused on high quality suppliers. A primary goal of ours is to keep production and supply as local as possible and within the United States where cost effective.
At the close of our Kickstarter campaign we will have most of our supplies on hand and will ship the beta test orders by Sep 30th. We looking at two to three weeks for the customer feedback and we plan to make our product design adjustments within 1.5 weeks. Once this point has been reached we will begin placing the final order for all parts. Through out the Beta phase we will remain in close contact with our suppliers to ensure they have the materials on hand and have our production in their schedules. We plan on shipping the un-assembled kits by December 2. The fully assembled extruder heads will be shipped from December 2 through the 23 depending on the volume ordered.
We have enlisted local software experts to aid us in the firmware updates for Repetier to drive the dual extruders with a single stepper. We have a plan established and will have the firmware update completed by the time our Kickstarter campaign is completed, on September 13th. The updated firmware package will be available to all.
We will be updating this page frequently as we reach new milestones in development and further enhance our design and capabilities. Our DUAL & QUAD prototypes are tested daily for weaknesses as we work hard to ensure they will be a Grade A final product.
THE REWARDS & DESIGN DETAILS
Our Kickstarter rewards are intended to serve as everyday reminders of your support for this project, even for those who are not connected to the 3D printing industry.
Our goal was to have fun with the final design so that our product isn't just a functional piece of equipment, but something that stirs the imagination. With that in mind, we are enlisting you to help select the design.
When you support us at any level, you will have the option to vote on our final printer head design. We are asking our supporters to help us make this last fun, exciting decision in order to complete our finished product.
Along with your vote on a design choice, we will need to know what extruder tip sizes you would like if your support level includes THE DUAL OR QUAD. We are offering .25, .35, and .5 sizes. We have been working on a series of barrel and tip designs to ensure we have a functional, non-clogging device that can be trusted to make high quality 3D printed parts.
Thank you for supporting our Kickstarter! This is just the beginning for us. We also have designs in the works to extrude more elastic materials to allow for a rubbery exterior on 3D prints which would fit great next to our space saving DUAL. Next on our development list is a space efficient 3D printer that encompasses our ideologies and our passion to do more, and to do it BETTER!
Risks and challenges
A major risk we face is lead times with our parts manufactures. 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.
The other area we will be focusing on is the firmware changes that allow our extruder to operate with both extruders and we have our local software and ardruino experts on the case and rest assured we will make the changes necessary to have a fully functional piece of hardware.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Don't you think that the fact that your extruder is not capable of retraction will result in a lower print quality?
Great question, one of our first updates next week will be with our auto-retract system to take the pressure off of the unused extruder. As part of Kickstarter rules we are not permitted to reveal a product with the guarantee that it will do something that it currently doesn't.
We are currently testing the system and will have video footage up as soon as it's finished.
hey guys....two questions here....first - what does the COMPLETE package come with....is it just the assembled extruder or is the printhead with heater and thermister also included. second - which printers have you tested your system with? it appears as t
Thank you for the feedback, The complete Package will come with the stepper, heater, thermistor, and fan. We are going to ensure we have the most commonly used connectors on the delivered units.
We will be providing updates as we add features to the shipped product. A goal of ours was to look at offering a different mount that replaces the heated barrels to allow for a PTFE tube to be mounted, which would allow it to be used as a remote mounted motors.
Our dual extruder is no heavier than a traditional single extruder, which will also create a weight savings.
As far as types of printers go, we felt as though the best route was to build for a standard 3D printer and make attachments a necessary, with this being a modular design we easily offer different add-ons. We'll update you with our progress on this.
- (35 days)