We thank you all for a successful Kickstarter! To keep up to date on ProtoFlux Magnetic 3D Printing Filament and for purchasing or distributor information, visit us here.
ProtoTek 3D Printing Materials
A Mission to take 3D Printed objects off the display shelf and into your daily life!
ProtoTek 3D Printing Materials is the result of a chance our company took over two years ago to abandon the safe business model of buying generic colored 3D Printer Filament and leverage our resources into pursuing our dream of developing and producing 3D Printing Materials that allow you to make and do more.
We worked with chemical companies and compounders. We designed and built custom 3D Printer Filament production equipment. Now we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our work with the 3D Printing community.
To help us launch these new materials we will be running a series of short kickstarters, each focusing on a unique 3D Printing Material. These materials will bring something new to 3D Printing with reactive or interactive properties.
ProtoFlux PLA Magnetic Filament
An Attractive Start to a New Bread of 3D Printing Materials
The first new 3d printing material offering is ProtoFlux, an iron nanopartical infused PLA that is attracted to magnets and has basic data storage capabilities. Designed to print using the existing PLA settings for your 3D Printer, ProtoFlux PLA allows you to explore fun and academic magnetic applications with parts that print well and look great.
Potential 3D Printing applications of ProtoFlux are most definitely NOT limited to:
- Magnetic Field Shaping & Sensing
- Magnetic Encoding
- New Analog/Digital Magnetic Storage Implementations
- Custom Magnetic Actuators
ProtoFlux Hearts Magnets
Everyone loves magnets. Magnets are awesome, and now for the first time you can print plastic parts that love magnets as much as you.
The strength of the attraction between a magnet and part will be dependent on the strength of the magnet and the amount of ProtoFlux used in the part. We recommend neodymium magnets and low infill parts with a high number of shells and solid surface layers. Older style ceramic magnets may not provide the desired results.
World First 3D Printed Compass Needle
Can you use ProtoFlux to 3D Print a compass needle?...yes
It's just a couple little boats sitting in water but to us it represents a big change in desktop 3D Printing. A change to functional 3D Printed objects with properties that let them truly interact with their world.
To our knowledge this is the first ever 3D Printed compass needle. Could you do the same with a real needle, nail, or screw? Sure. But now you can do it on your 3D Printer too.
Magnetic Storage - 3D Printed Magnetic Key Code
For the first time, 3D Print magnetic storage on your desktop
ProtoFlux's remnant magnetization and strong coercive field means you can imprint magnetic data to filament or finished parts. It's easy to read and write basic digital data to ProtoFlux using a magnetic field and linear hall effect sensors.
To our knowledge this is the first ever example of 3D Printed magnetic storage. This is only one form of magnetic reading and storage, there are many, many others with which you can experiment.
A Perfect Balance of Properties and Printability
A primary goal for ProtoFlux PLA was making the material easy to print with. In all our testing ProtoFlux prints great using the existing PLA settings on your 3D Printer. It has shown to be very forgiving of different printing conditions giving smooth finishes and excellent results in overhang tests. You can even produce a glossy or matte finish by adjusting your starting printing temperature up or down.
What Will YOU Invent?
We know these are only the smallest smidgen of possible applications for ProtoFlux. It's up to you to think of and design the next generation of interactive 3D Printing applications. Back our kickstarter to get a head start and a reduced rate on this new 3D Printing Material.
1 UP! -Our basic 'get you started' level. 227grams (1/2 Pound) of ProtoFlux for $19. Get started printing with advanced 3D Printing Materials for less than the cost of a larger spool of standard ABS/PLA. We hope to ship these late December or sooner but not before the "First Delivery for Christmas" tier.
First Delivery for Christmas! - For the enthusiast in your life. If your in the USA and want to get or give ProtoFlux for Christmas, this is the tier for you. We'll be working around the clock to ship these out the door in time for you to receive them for christmas. If traveling for the Holidays, when the time comes for shipping addresses be sure to list the address you will be staying at. Please note that while we will do everything we can to get these to you before Christmas we cannot absolutely guarantee their arrival before the 25th.
Big Hitter! - Jump all the way in with 750grams of ProtoFlux! We hope to ship these late December or sooner but not before the "First Delivery for Christmas" tier.
Maker Kit! - Get everything you need to integrate ProtoFlux Magnetic Filament into your electronic projects. This kit includes ProtoFlux, linear hall effect sensors, solderless breadboard, jumper wire and magnets. We'll help you out with documentation and examples to get you going.
Note: This kit DOES NOT include a micro-controller. Any controller with an 8bit or greater A/D converter such as Arduino will be sufficient for most projects.
Why ProtoParadigm, Why Kickstarter?
Because we care about 3D Printing, and we care about putting you in the driver's seat of innovation.
a little about us...
We believe in making 3D Printing practical and functional. You have an amazing machine on your desktop and it is our mission to enable you to make and do more.
Many months ago we began coordinating the development of a number of new 3D Printing materials we felt had tremendous potential to change how people used 3D Printing in their daily lives. We worked with chemical companies, compounders and other movers in the plastics industry to formulate these five new materials and prepare them for extrusion into 3D Printer Filament. But, when it came time to trial these materials into filament, our filament extrusion partners recanted on their promise of quality, affordability, and scheduling. Worse, no other extrusion company we talked to had the time, capacity, interest, or expertise required to help us. We were at a loss for how to take hundreds of pounds of raw plastic pellets and turn them into filament.
Then, quite by accident we happened to be put in touch with a retired plastic extrusion consultant. An expert in his field, specializing in process development and troubleshooting. Under his tutelage we purchased a used industrial plastic extruder, broke it apart and rebuilt it from the ground up, and built the associated processing equipment to go with it. We learned about polymer melt rheology and developed our own tooling with the specific aim of preserving the positive properties of different compounds. Flexible downstream methods for shaping and quenching filament were developed that allow us to work with and process many different compounds quickly and effectively. With a lot of sweat and blood (and burns), we were able to put together a system and processes that allow us to develop, test and produce 3D Printer Filament from any number of compounds with batch sizes as small as 100 grams.
You can help us move to the next step, full scale manufacture of highly specialized, purpose-driven, 3D Printer materials. Some of these materials have their own processing quirks that require specialized equipment to be made for production at a scale that will allow us to produce and sell at affordable rates. Additionally, securing the more consistent production-scale batches of raw goods takes considerable investment. Your pledges will allow us to build the last mile of production equipment and purchase the raw goods needed to turn these materials into market-ready 3D Printer Filament.
We believe that developing practical, functional, 3D Printer materials is a critical step in enabling this technology to truly change the world. You can be a part of this step and be among the first to explore all the exciting potential these new materials bring to 3D Printing.
Risks and challenges
Our material and raw goods procurement supply chain is locked and ready to go, all we need now is to make the minimum order amount to pull the trigger. A successful kickstarter means we place the order and make the goods!
We have the tremendous advantage of doing all our production in-house. In addition to our strong team of advisers to assist in maintaining product quality during the transition from small batch to full scale production we will be bringing online our in-house line-monitoring software, 'Squidly.' Unlike generic color pigments, each of these materials pose new processing challenges increasing the difficulty of producing high quality filament. Squidly will help us do that by combining old school extrusion troubleshooting with an array of new school sensors and analysis tech allowing us to better detect and troubleshoot extrusion problems. These are new, difficult to process materials, so we will be working continuously to do our best to maintain quality, be it a batch size of 5 LBs or 5,000 LBs.
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