Zesty Nimble: The lightest 3D Printer extruder in the world! project video thumbnail
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€20,124 pledged of €38,000 goal
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€20,124 pledged of €38,000 goal
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About

The Zesty Nimble is a very lightweight extruder that allows direct drive across a plethora of printers and hot-ends while bringing flexible filament capabilities to all 3D printer owners. It will fit on most 3D Printers and is an extremely adaptable system with adapters for any situation.

Stretch Goal

  • If we reach our funding goal we will release an open source Nimble on our website at the end of the campaign.
The new and improved Nimble
The new and improved Nimble

 

A lot of printers, especially Delta type printers, have a problem with printing flexible materials as they have a long bowden cable. With the Zesty Nimble you can remove the bowden cable and print flexibles, any other filament and often print faster as well. 

Why is the Nimble great for you?  

Here are the benefits of the Zesty Nimble: 

  • Direct drive
    Flexible filaments are now easy to use.
  • Super simple filament changing
    Clear view of the whole filament path. 
  • Quick and sure retraction.
    It is direct drive and the cable does not hinder this.
  • Small and compact
    Will fit any printer, just mount with 2 M3 screws. 
  • Very light
    Faster printing with more accuracy, less stress on the printer. 
  • Ambidextrous
    Just flip it over for optimal placement.
  • Adaptable
    With our adapter system it will fit any type of hot end. Adding an extra hot end? Even with a Chimera you simply order a secondary Nimble. 
  • Quality parts
    Injection molded making sure the parts are accurate and strong. 
  • Increased torque
    Our gear system increases available torque.
  • Optimal package
    Smaller and lighter than any available extruder, with the added benefits of being more adaptable and easier to use. 

Facts and figures

Here are some overall facts and figures.

  • WxDxH is 24x37.5x28 mm for the unit itself and 48.5 mm tall with the sleeve clamp.
  • Weight is less than 28 grams.
  • Drive cable is 95 cm long. This can be adjusted if you want a different length. 
  • It will fit any Nema17 stepper, suggested torque rating is: 4kg/cm
    we used: Wantai Nema17 Stepper Motor 42BYGHW609P1
  • Filament size: 1.75 mm is standard, 3 mm is possible.  

 Why change your extruder?

A Remote Direct Drive (RDD) extruder offers a lot of benefits, printing flexible materials, make higher quality prints, printing faster, simpler filament changeover. Regardless if you have a Cartesian, CoreXY or a Delta, with a Nema17 weighing around 200 grams, adding stepper motors to the hot-end assembly for direct drive capability, really compromises your print quality due to the added inertia.

At less than 28 grams per hot-end the Nimble is at least 6 times lighter than a Nema17. This gives you a lot of flexibility in filament and printer settings.

Lightness allows you to print faster, more accurately and with less strain on your printer mechanics. 

How did we make the Nimble so light?

Put simply, we separated the power source (the primary weight) from where the drive power is required, the extruder itself. The stepper motor can be mounted anywhere on the frame, and is connected to the Nimble via a drive cable that transmits the power to the direct drive unit which is mounted on your hot end. 
If you want, you can shorten the drive cable yourself, if you can weld. The three layers of the cable need to be welded together at the tip. This limits the flex of the cable in both directions.

 

 With our gearing this improves torque giving you even greater filament pushing power.

Easier for you to use

No more threading needles. With a lot of extruders it can be quite difficult to change to a different filament, it’s something like threading a needle in the dark while blindfolded. With the Zesty Nimble there is a completely unobstructed view and full access to the filament path from top of the drive unit to entry of your hot-end. 

Adaptability for you

The Zesty Nimble is very adaptable in operation. You can use it left handed, right handed, whatever is easiest for you. If you decide to upgrade to a Chimera or Cyclops, you just need to add 1 more Nimble. No need to invest in an entirely new extruder setup. Even with the Diamond hot-end, you just add the number of Nimbles you need. This adaptability, combined with the light weight and ease of use, makes the Nimble what we feel to be the best extruder possible.

We have developed adapters to make the unit fit on Delta, CoreXY and other printers. If the adapter for you is not available, let us know and we will design an adapter for your hot-end and printer and send you the design. You can find the current adapters here. We will also add the adapter models to our Thingiverse page.

Product Quality

Although you are looking at our printed prototypes in these photos, all non metal parts of the product will be injection molded to ensure high tolerances and strength that surpasses FDM printed extruders. For the Nimble to work accurately, we need to remove any flex in the system. We believe in high quality products and have invested a lot to achieve that goal. To cover the cost of the injection molds we need your help. These things are expensive but necessary for quality work. With the Nimble we focus on quality first, as with our future products.

Investment

Besides the work we did for more than a year, we spent a lot of money on creating the prototypes, making contacts and contracts, paying license fees and overall costs. The cost of the prototype materials alone was more than €1600, because we wanted to make sure we got it right. In total, the investment so far is around €9200. For production, we need approximately €18,500 for the molds and jigs. This will ensure we have the best quality available and will give you an extruder that is strong enough to give you good results for a long time.

Schedule

Here is an overview of the timeline needed to get the Nimble to you. 

Schedule to get the Nimble to you
Schedule to get the Nimble to you

 

The biggest time span is the mold making. The other big time block is the shipping. It is also where the biggest variation comes in. Until we actually ship, it is impossible to get a real transit time for the parts. So we planned for the worst, but hope for the best.

How it all began

While designing a Delta printer, we've worked on improving multiple subsystems. The Nimble improves on existing extrusion systems. As existing Delta owners we wanted to do away with pushing filament through a long bowden tube and also be able to print using flexible filaments. There was a similar system (by Mutley3d) to what we were developing, but we needed additional functionality and better usability. The result of our work, after iterating on it for close to a year, is the Zesty Nimble. Hopefully it sparks some excitement for many of you.

A bit extra

We decided to add some seasonal cheer.

This is not my design, I just added the foot and the splash on top. I found this brilliant design on Thingiverse. Hope you like it.

Skull eye candy
Skull eye candy

 

Correct, that is the stepper Bracket and coupling you see in the background. Of course this was printed using the Zesty Nimble.

Risks and challenges

As with any project, there are risks and challenges. We have worked hard an long to reduce them and to make sure we understand the risks and know how to tackle them.

Risk #1 The biggest risk in this project is if a supplier lets you down, they do not deliver on earlier made promises. We reduce that risk by only working with people and companies we trust, through long standing relationships.

Risk #2 Cost overruns. This is another often heard problem for Kickstarter projects. We have eliminated that risk as much as possible though comprehensive contracts and, again, the knowledge that we can trust the suppliers.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $5

    A big thank you

    We really need help to get this great extruder made. Any help is greatly appreciated.
    We will set up a page on our website where you will be thanked by name.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €15 or more About $16

    Video on creative engineering

    Creativity is important to us.
    After all, we are the Zesty Technology creative engineering team.
    We know that creativity can be learned, trained and improved. We give you some insights into the types of creativity and how you can use them optimally.
    We also show you how we used our creativity with the development of the Zesty Nimble.
    So all in all, a great training video to show you how to improve your creativity.

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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €65 or more About $71

    1 Nimble, before anybody else has one.

    Early bird special!
    The unique Zesty Nimble delivered to your home at least a month before anybody else receives one. This will be from the limited run we always do to check the molds and assembly procedures. Of course it will have the quality we require of all our products.

    What is in the box:
    1 Nimble
    1 Drive cable plus sleeve
    1 Groove mount adaptor
    1 Coupler for the stepper
    1 Bracket for the stepper
    2 Clamps for the sleeve
    All the nuts and bolts needed to mount and use the Nimble on your printer.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €77 or more About $85

    1 Zesty Nimble extruder

    The unique Zesty Nimble.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.
    What is in the box:
    1 Nimble
    1 Drive cable plus sleeve
    1 Groove mount adaptor
    1 Coupler for the stepper
    1 Bracket for the stepper
    2 Clamps for the sleeve
    All the nuts and bolts needed to mount and use the Nimble on your printer.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 85 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €83 or more About $91

    1 Zesty Nimble extruder

    The unique Zesty Nimble kit.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €146 or more About $160

    2 Zesty Nimble extruders

    The unique Zesty Nimble.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.
    What is in the box:
    2 Nimbles
    2 Drive cables plus sleeve
    2 Groove mount adapters
    2 Couplers for the steppers
    2 Brackets for the steppers
    4 Clamps for the sleeve
    All the nuts and bolts needed to mount and use the Nimbles on your printer.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 46 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €216 or more About $237

    3 Zesty Nimble extruders

    Three of the unique Zesty Nimbles.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.
    What is in the box:
    3 Nimbles
    3 Drive cables plus sleeve
    3 Groove mount adapters
    3 Couplers for the steppers
    3 Brackets for the steppers
    6 Clamps for the sleeve
    All the nuts and bolts needed to mount and use the Nimbles on your printer.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €286 or more About $314

    4 Zesty Nimble extruders

    Four of the unique Zesty Nimble kits.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €347 or more About $381

    5 Zesty Nimble extruders!

    Five of the unique Zesty Nimble kits.
    The lightest and easiest extruder ever.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)