Discov3ry Paste Extruder: Affordable Add-on for 3D Printers
July 15 update: Pricing will increase after the campaign has ended.
Extrude. Experiment. Explore.
We want to enable you to get more use out of the 3D printer you already have at home, by expanding the range of materials that you can print with it.
Introducing new materials will make 3D printing far more relevant to everyday uses, and real world applications. We have some ideas in mind for those applications, but what we're really excited about, is letting the community of makers explore the new possibilities.
The Discov3ry is an affordable paste extruder that can easily be added to almost any existing 3D printer. It will expand the range of materials beyond molten plastic, to include a wide range of pastes.
We have created several working prototypes, which were used to print the samples shown below.
We are looking to the community to raise $30,000 to fund a production run of at least 100 units of the Discov3ry.
$100,000 Update: We will ask our backers to choose 3 colors to for the Discov3ry's shell, and each backer will be given their choice of color.
Stretch Goal: If we raise $150,000, we will create 20 different designs optimized for various pastes and provide project tutorials so that you can quickly and easily start printing things like:
- Custom orthotic insoles with silicone
- Cake decorations with icing sugar
- Flexible phone cases with silicone and latex
- Water soluble supports for complex designs with icing sugar
- Fun images with Nutella
- Custom o-rings and gaskets with polyurethane
- and more...
Feel free to suggest a project that you'd like to see included!
3D Printed Paste Samples
Are you tired of printing plastic Yoda heads? We love Yoda too, but we want to push 3D printers towards printing more objects with real world value.
Here are some examples of what we've done with our own printers. What would you do?
Some other materials that can be 3D Printed (click for more image examples): Silicone, Polyurethane, Wood Filler, Clay, Ceramics, Icing Sugar, Nutella, Conductive Paint ... and many pastes that we haven't even thought of trying to print with yet.
Paste printing is a difficult problem. Many attempts at an affordable paste extruder have been made previously. The team, with Andrew and Charles being materials engineers, are approaching the problem from a different perspective. Focusing on reinventing only the parts of the printer that are involved with the delivery and extrusion of the material means that we're able to move faster, and develop a better, more user friendly product which more people can make use of.
What people are saying
"As a man who loves things that come out of tubes, I am excited about the Discov3ry Extruder. ...Full disclosure: I would totally 3D print a big blob of Nutella and eat it."
- John Biggs, East Coast Editor @ Tech Crunch
"Suddenly 3D printing makes perfect sense."
- Michael Arrington, Founder Tech Crunch
Compatibility with Existing 3D Printers
The Discov3ry Paste Extruder will work with any stepper motor based, fused deposition modeling (FDM) desktop 3D printer system. If your printer uses plastic filament, it is almost certainly compatible with the Discov3ry.
We've designed the extruder to be plug-and-play, you can integrate with your existing printer in just three steps:
i. Switch out the printing tip to connect the material feed tube and extruder tip.
ii. Connect the Discov3ry's wiring into your existing printers electronics.
iii. Make a simple modification to you printer's software
The Discov3ry extruder is compatible with filament based, desktop 3D Printers from manufacturers including:
Also see, "Will the Discov3ry work with my 3D printer?" in the FAQs.
Setting up the Discov3ry on your printer is very simple. All you have to do is set up the print parameters to account for the specific properties of each material.
Don't worry, we will provide guidance on what the proper print parameters would be for most of the materials you'll want to work with. For materials that we haven't worked with yet, we're excited to build a community forum where we collaborate with makers, to share experiences with new materials, and of course the projects and models they create with the Discov3ry.
There have been 3D printers specifically designed to print different types of food or silicone. Our product is different, because we're allowing you to make use of the printer you already have at home. One of our major innovations is in separating the "pastruder" from the print head carriage.
The Print Material Cartridges
The Discov3ry system works by forcing material out of reusable, affordable and easily available syringes, through a feed tube, and finally an extruder tip mounted to the printer head carriage.
We will be providing a 3 cartridge starter kit with each Discov3ry extruder. Each starter kit will contain:
- 3 x 60cc reloadable food-grade syringes;
- 3 x 30cm reusable foodsafe plastic tubing;
- 3 x male luer lock / tubing connectors;
3 x female luer lock / tubing connectors;
- and an assortment of Luer lock tips.
All printing consumables are easy to source and will also be available for order on our website, structur3d.io, following the Kickstarter campaign.
There are many pledge levels available for all different types of backers. We have summarized the different perks below. Choose the corresponding menu option to the right to make a pledge.
Want to support us, but don't have a 3D printer? For any pledges over $33 you'll receive one of these t-shirts. Look good, and display your pride as an early backer of Structur3D Printing.
If you're already getting a Discov3ry extruder, just add $33 to your pledge, and we'll ship it to you in the same package.
The Stretch(y) Goals
Although the campaign goal is $30000, the rewards do not stop there. We want to encourage you to continue to contribute and help out ALL of the backers. This is why we have implemented some campaign stretch goals, rewards that will unlock when a new total pledge level is met.
We have set up the first stretch goal for $65000, when this pledge level is met, all backers will receive an expanded cartridge kit (from 3 to 6 cartridges) for their Discov3ry extruder.
- $30 000 - Our Campaign Goal - The project goal is met and the Discov3ry will go to production. UNLOCKED
- $65 000 - More Cartridges - You will receive 6 complete cartridge kits, from syringes to tips, instead of the original 3. UNLOCKED
- $100 000 - More Colours - 3 colour options will be available for the Discov3ry extruder
- $150 000 - Paste Optimized 3D CAD Designs - The Discov3ry will ship with at least 20+ various paste optimized CAD models to get you up and running ASAP.
$300 000 - ??? - Unlock the $150K level to open this stretch goal.
Who we are
Structur3D Printing was founded by Charles Mire and Andrew Finkle in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Structur3D Printing is currently a member company in the 4th cohort of Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE Startup Incubator.
Charles Mire received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wollongong in Australia. For his research project, he developed a custom 3D printer based on a Sherline tabletop CNC milling machine in order to study 3D printing using conducting polymers and structural biopolymers. He became hooked on 3D printing as a result of this project.
Andrew Finkle is currently working towards his PhD in Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology) at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo. His academic research is in the area of incorporation of renewable nanomaterials into thermoplastics for performance enhancements in 3D printing applications. Andrew built his first RepRap in 2010.
John Mardlin holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University by training, who also happens to be pretty awesome in business and marketing. He has a history of leadership roles in startup technology companies and community building including co-founding and directing the TEDxVictoria event series. His writing on technology has been published on Forbes.com and earned him recognition as a Quora Top Writer in 2013. He plays the banjo, and lots of board games.
Our friend Alan Quarry did a series of interviews with us about our company and our product. This bit of the interview might give you some sense of why we created the Discov3ry, and why we're excited about it.
Our Production Plan
The Discov3ry units will be produced in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON by the Structur3D Printing team.
All of the materials for the build can be sourced locally except for 3 items where we have suppliers from China.
Risks and challenges
We've already created multiple working prototypes of the Discov3ry, and we've set conservative dates for delivery, so we're very confident that we can reliably deliver the Discov3ry to backers within the timelines we've promised.
We have a finalized bill of materials, meaning we know what the fixed costs will be for parts.
In the event of a highly successful campaign with a large volume of orders there is a risk of delays in fulfillment as we scale up our manufacturing capacity. In order to address this risk, we have provided conservative timelines for delivery, and staged delivery of different batches across a period of several months.
These risks are also mitigated by our participation in the Hyperdrive Accelerator program. Through this program, we have close access to world class mentorship from manufacturing experts, who we can call upon for guidance if we run into challenges with fulfillment.
Every project has risks. We feel we've done what we can to manage them and are completely confident in our ability to meet our commitments to our backers.
Charles, Andrew, and John
- (35 days)