Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 5, 2012.

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A universal, 100% open source plastic extruder, for DIY 3D Printers, Makerbots, Ultimakers and more! Single or Dual Extruder!

A few people were wondering... the nozzles shipping with the extruders will have the upgraded geometry like the Makerbot MK8 nozzles for improved extrusion.

***We are already producing some of the components so we have a head start...we plan to begin shipping soon after the campaign completion (first in first out)***

We wanted to thank everyone that came out to see our extruders and 3D printer/mill (coming soon) in person at the Maker Faire - San Mateo 2012!

A Dual Extruder That Everyone Can Afford!

Yes that's right, my two friends and I have quit our day jobs and jumped head first into forming our own indie, open source 3D printer company.  Our infrastructure is already set up and running.

Before I go any further I want to say upfront that we are 100% for contributing to the community as a whole. We want to be as Open-Source as possible with our ideas. We will be releasing dimensioned drawings in .PDF format before the end of our campaign in addition to a variety of 3D formats, so everyone, even those without expensive design software can read the files. Also we will have COMPLETE drawings that are not missing details, material specs or the like. What we create internally will be available externally, in full.

Every product we sell will be available as individual components. I hope that being able to buy a single part of an extruder or 3D printer will help spur innovation. Also if you already have some of the parts, there is no need to buy them a second time

We hope that our first product to be released, will help lower the overall price of all the 3D printers available by offering an extremely high quality extruder at a price point lower than everything else on the market. We want to get 3D printers into as many people's hands as possible and we can't think of a better way to do it than by reducing the upfront cost without sacrificing quality. Essentially what we did is take Makerbot's open-source design and improve reliability by replacing the hobbed gear with a 20 tooth spur gear (ala Makergear) with a groove machined into it which centers the filament along the axis of movement; this majorly cuts down on any slipping or stripping.

Extruded Filament After Being Driven | Notice the Grip!
Extruded Filament After Being Driven | Notice the Grip!

We also changed the 'plunger' to allow for much smoother engagement and precision during adjustment. The extruder is also ready to go for dual-extrusion for those that want to experiment, you would just need to get two of them instead of one! All the parts of the extruder are CNC machined in house at our mini machine shop.

We need your help to make this a reality. By buying materials and components in larger volumes we are able to reduce overall costs which we can pass on.  In order to get the extruders at this price point we have to buy A LOT of raw material at once.  We already have a warehouse space, CNC mill, CNC lathe, tooling and everything else we need to machine these extruders.  Your pledges will be going to pay for billet aluminum, other raw materials and stepper motors not our infrastructure.  Below are pictures of our CNC machines and tooling we will be using for manufacturing the various extruder parts.

Our Haas SL-30 CNC Lathe
Our Haas SL-30 CNC Lathe
Our Mori Seiki MV50 CNC Mill
Our Mori Seiki MV50 CNC Mill
Tooling, Fixtures and Jaws for the Mill and Lathe
Tooling, Fixtures and Jaws for the Mill and Lathe

Project Timeline:

Step 1: Identify and test all the open source extruders on the market.  We bought all the readily available extruders, took them apart, tinkered and hacked!

COMPLETED!

Step 2: Take the strengths of the best ones and mash them together into a prototype unit.

COMPLETED!

Step 3: Refine the prototype by modifying some parts to improve performance and reliability.

COMPLETED!

Step 4: Make a small production run of the final design and test, test, test!!!

COMPLETED!

Step 5: Launch a campaign to raise funds for the volume purchase of raw materials to keep costs low and pass them on...THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

In process...

You are essentially pre-ordering our extruder.  We already have established material supply chains and everything except for the anodizing is done in house.  We do not have to rely on third parties to manufacture these extruders.

$5 Pledge: A CNC machined brass nozzle with a .35mm diameter bore.  Male M6 threads allow it to attach to various manufacturers hot ends.

$14 Pledge: A 12v/40w stainless steel heater cartridge.  The heater cartridge is used in place of more traditional power resistors or nichrome wire to heat the hot end of the plastic extruder.  It allows a very clean looking installation and can reach VERY high temperatures safely.  This can be used to power most hot ends from various manufacturers.

Basic Single Extruder Kit Contents:

Structure and Drive:
40mm 12v 8CFM Fan
40mm Anodized Black Aluminum Heatsink
CNC Machined UMHW Filament Drive Block
CNC Machined Anodized Aluminum Chassis
CNC Machined Brass 20 Tooth Brass Spur Gear
CNC Machined 304 Stainless Steel Domed Filament Adjustment Screw

Hot End:
Power Resistor
100k Thermistor
CNC Machined .35mm Brass Nozzle
CNC Machined Anodized Aluminum Heater Core Block
CNC Machined 304 Stainless Steel Filament Barrel

Misc. Hardware
(4) Stainless Steel 3mm Bolts
(1) M3 Stainless Steel Set Screw
(1) M3 Stainless Steel Bolt
(1) M6 Stainless Steel Bolt
(3) M6 Stainless Steel Hex Nut (low profile)  

Mounting
You will receive your choice of a stainless steel Makerbot Replicator compatible mount or our universal mount which will allow it to be mounted to many popular 3D printers.

$34 Pledge: You will receive one of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS.  This includes the extruder AND the hot end as well as a power resistor heating element and a 100k thermistor to measure temperature.  A torquey NEMA 17 stepper motor required but NOT INCLUDED.

$46 Pledge: You will receive one of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS. This includes the extruder AND the hot end as well as a HEATER CARTRIDGE heating element and a 100k thermistor to measure temperature. NEMA 17 stepper motor required but NOT INCLUDED.

$49 Pledge: You will receive one of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS. This includes the extruder AND the hot end as well as a power resistor heating element and a 100k thermistor to measure temperature. A torquey NEMA 17 stepper motor is INCLUDED.  Unfortunately due to the weight, international customers, please add $7.00 for shipping.

$61 Pledge: You will receive one of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS. This includes the extruder AND the hot end as well as a HEATER CARTRIDGE heating element and a 100k thermistor to measure temperature. A torquey NEMA 17 stepper motor is INCLUDED. Unfortunately due to the weight, international customers, please add $7.00 for shipping.

$68 Pledge: For those of you that want to try DUAL EXTRUSION this is it!  You will receive TWO of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS that are mounted side by side on the included mounting plate for DUAL EXTRUSION. This includes the TWO extruders AND TWO hot ends as well as TWO power resistors as heating elements and TWO 100k thermistors to measure temperature.  Your choice of a  stainless steel Makerbot Replicator Mount OR stainless'Universal' mount will be included to mount the extruders side by side in one package.  TWO NEMA 17 stepper motors are required but NOT INCLUDED.

$96 Pledge: For those of you that want to try DUAL EXTRUSION with HEATER CARTRIDGES this is it! You will receive TWO of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS that are mounted side by side on the included mounting plate for DUAL EXTRUSION. This includes the TWO extruders AND TWO hot ends as well as TWO HEATER CARTRIDGES  as heating elements and TWO 100k thermistors to measure temperature. Your choice of a stainless steel Makerbot Replicator Mount OR stainless 'Universal' mount will be included to mount the extruders side by side in one package. TWO NEMA 17 stepper motors are required but NOT INCLUDED.

$98 Pledge: For those of you that want to try DUAL EXTRUSION and want to buy the motors from us, this is it! You will receive TWO of the BASIC SINGLE EXTRUDER KITS that are mounted side by side on the included mounting plate for DUAL EXTRUSION. This includes the TWO extruders AND TWO hot ends as well as TWO power resistors as heating elements and TWO 100k thermistors to measure temperature. Your choice of a stainless steel Makerbot Replicator Mount OR stainless 'Universal' mount will be included to mount the extruders side by side in one package. TWO torquey NEMA 17 stepper motors are INCLUDED.  Unfortunately due to the weight of not one, but two motors, international customers, please add $12.00 for shipping.

$129 Pledge: The ultimate package for DUAL EXTRUSION!  

FULLY ASSEMBLED!!!

You will receive TWO of the Fully Assembled SINGLE EXTRUDERS that are mounted side by side on the included mounting plate for DUAL EXTRUSION. This includes the TWO extruders AND TWO hot ends as well as TWO HEATER CARTRIDGES as heating elements and TWO 100k thermistors to measure temperature. Your choice of a stainless steel Makerbot Replicator Mount OR stainless steel 'Universal' mount will be included to mount the extruders side by side in one package. TWO torquey NEMA 17 stepper motors are INCLUDED. Unfortunately due to the weight of not one, but two motors, international customers, please add $12.00 for shipping.

Thanks for taking the time to look at our campaign.  If you like it, pass the link on to your friends, family, co-workers and pets, we would really appreciate it!

The QU-BD Team

(that's pronounced 'CUBED')

Chelsea, David, Nathan & Courtney

FAQ

  • A 6.8Ohm, 3 watt power resistor is included in EVERY kit. We have found these to be very reliable and can provide more than the required amount of heat for extrusion of ABS and PLA plastic. Additionally we have a heater cartridge available for an additional $14. It is a professional grade, 12v / 40 w heater cartridge with insulated leads. It can get to extremely high temperature, stably and safely; it also offers a 'cleaner' looking installation with the sheathed wiring. For those that want to experiment with high-temp materials, the heater cartridge upgrade is worthwhile.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, the extruder, hot end, heating element and thermistor are included!

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  • There will be 2 choices for mounting plates. The first is a universal mounting plate that will allow most if not all 3D printers to use our extruder. It will include a large selection of bolt patterns to bolt directly to the X-axis of a variety of printers. The other optional mount is compatible with Makerbot Replicators. You can add one of our extruders to the one you already have and VOILA! Dual Extrusion! Our extruder is designed to work in conjunction with the stock Replicator extruder.

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  • Like the Makerbot MK7, it uses 1.75mm filament.

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  • Any NEMA 17 motor that can supply at least 2800g/cm of torque is sufficient to drive the filament at normal speeds without skipping steps. A more powerful motor will allow higher speeds with more reliability although it is not required.

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  • Yes, the shipping version will have the improved geometry from the MK8 nozzle.

    Last updated:
763
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    13 backers

    You'll receive one of our CNC machined .35mm nozzles. With an M6 thread, they are compatible with most extruders currently on the market!

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    4 backers

    A stainless steel high-temp 12v heater cartridge for use with ours or any other 3D printer extruder. Get the ultra-clean look and extra temperature control with one of these!

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    17 backers

    A Single Extruder kit with power resistor heating element. Just add your own NEMA 17 motor and you're off to printing!

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    53 backers

    A Single Extruder kit with 12v HEATER CARTRIDGE element. Just add your own NEMA 17 motor and you're off to printing!

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  • Pledge $49 or more
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    33 backers

    A COMPLETE Single Extruder kit (as above) with everything you need including an extra torquey NEMA 17 motor. (International customers please add $7.00 for shipping)

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    159 backers

    A complete HEATER CARTRIDGE Single Extruder kit with everything you need including an extra torquey NEMA 17 motor. (International customers please add $7.00 for shipping)

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    23 backers

    Two Extruder kits to mount at the same time...that's right, DUAL EXTRUSION!!! Includes two of everything except for the mount (you just need one!). Just add two of your own NEMA 17 motors and get to printing in two colors or materials at the same time!

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    38 backers

    A DUAL EXTRUDER KIT with DUAL CARTRIDGE HEATERS. Two NEMA 17 Motors required but NOT INCLUDED.

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  • Pledge $98 or more
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    94 backers

    A complete DUAL EXTRUDER kit AND two extra torquey NEMA 17 motors for your printing pleasure! (International customers please add $12.00 for shipping)

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  • Pledge $129 or more
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    301 backers

    A fully assembled DUAL EXTRUDER with DUAL HEATER CARTRIDGES. Plug it up and get printing! (International customers please add $12.00 for shipping)

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Funding period

- (29 days)