Thursday, August 21, 2014

David: The Next Step in 3D Printing

This is one of the best 3d printers I have seen on kickstarter! If I had the money I would pledge for one night now! Printing directly from pellets gives you freedom like never before, you can mix colors, or change colors mid print. from this looks of the video and campaign this is a solid built machine and I would be happy to own one! If you decide to back them, please leave a comment on their campaigns comment page that you found their project through , Thank you.

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Cut the cord on filament forever — print with hundreds of pelletized materials using the next generation of 3D printer technology.

David is a next-generation desktop 3D printer that can create with a rapidly expanding library of pelletized materials. David features both groundbreaking technology and industrial-grade components, all specifically designed to provide versatility, precision, and consistency.

Watch David In Action:

Industry-inspired technology, on your desktop.

Unable to utilize the full power of pelletized materials with current 3D printing technology, we decided to develop our own, which we call FLEX (Fused Layer Extrusion). At its core, FLEX is inspired by proven technology from the plastics industry, but with new features and innovations that make it great for 3D printing.
Using FLEX technology offers many distinct advantages:
  • An expanded selection of materials.
  • Increased material quality for better prints.
  • Reduced material cost per kilogram.

Plastic is Everywhere

Every plastic product, even filament, starts out in pellet form. Because of this, raw pellets are readily available in thousands of different materials, colors, and grades. By printing directly with plastic pellets, David can print with many more materials than traditional 3D printers - making him useful to many more people and industries. 

Reduced processing, increased quality and value

There are many additional engineering and manufacturing steps that are involved in turning pellets into filament. These layers of cost add up, and are forwarded directly to your wallet. Additionally, with all of this processing, the likelihood of contamination and reduced quality become very high. Printing with pellets also prevents many issues that currently plague filament-ready 3D printers, including poor tolerances, air bubbles, and contamination.
Finally, using pellets allows for access to a wide variety of unadulterated materials, stripped of several layers of cost and time. In short, you get to print with higher quality materials, for less money.
Manufacturing comparison:

Sample Prints Directly from Pellets

We are constantly testing and optimizing new materials to work with FLEX technology. David can currently print soft and flexible materials, like TPU and EVA, standard hard materials, like PLA and ABS, and even some interesting composites, like wood. With a successful campaign, our material library will rapidly grow to include a wider selection of unique and useful materials.

All of the materials that we have certified to work with David will be available for pre-order through our website store after the campaign. These materials will ship at the same time as the Kickstarter rewards. 

BYOP — Bring Your Own Pellets

David does not require proprietary materials from Sculptify — it’s your machine, and you should be able to use it how you want. Since pellets are widely available, they can be found on many 3D printing and plastic supply websites in varying types and sizes.
Why Sculptify Pellets?
There are certain grades, sizes, and shapes that are optimal for use with David, and there are some that simply won’t work with the system. Because of this, pellets will also be available through the Sculptify store to give those who do not want to experiment proven material options for everyday printing.

With your support: 

We will continue to certify more FLEX-compatible materials and colors, and make them available for purchase in the future.  

Our vision is to make our technology both powerful and easy-to-use, and with a successful campaign, we will reduce David’s printing and material change processes to the following steps:

This unique loading system allows for some serious experimentation — there is potential for mid-print color/material changes, color blending, and even part recycling.  These are features that we plan to refine and fully develop in the future.

David is designed to be manufactured.

A significant portion of the prototype you see today came right from the mass production tooling.  David’s mechanical hardware can be made 100% production ready with minimal design changes, and with the purchase of remaining tooling.


David utilizes high-quality materials both inside and out. The entire exterior is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized for a long-lasting finish.  The side and rear windows are made from virtually unbreakable polycarbonate, and offer a great view of your print from every angle.

Under the hood

Only precision components can make precision prints. 
Using high-quality, high-tolerance parts allows David to print smoothly, quietly, and accurately. A unique lead screw design allows for excellent print resolution and consistency.  Using a steep-threaded lead screw system, rather than belts, provides a great balance between speed, precision, and durability.

Built to compete with the best:

David is designed to offer not only new technology, but also great performance and reliability. In addition to competitive specs, David includes features that add industrial-grade capability. 

Watch David Printing Close-Up: 

Removable heated bed

Not only is David’s aluminum print surface easy to remove, but it’s also extremely durable and resistant to warping. It can also be heated to 200C, for added capability.  

With your support:

We will finalize all mechanical hardware and purchase minimal remaining tooling for mass production David. We will also be able to further refine features, so that David is as capable as possible when shipped.

David supports open source software, and we intend to keep it that way.

Great mechanical hardware is nothing without sophisticated electronics - David is driven by powerful ARM architecture.  We are also developing source code and software that will provide as much open access as possible.  We believe that sharing this with the community is the best way to take this incredible hardware to the next level.

With your support: 

We will continue developing and optimizing David’s firmware, software, and electronics.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a term rarely discussed in the desktop 3D printing market. Daily users including enthusiasts, professionals, educators, and commercial entities consume large quantities of 3D printing materials on a yearly basis. Combined with pellets, David offers a considerable reduction in TCO over just 2 years when compared to filament-based 3D printers.
Estimated Total Cost of Ownership after 2 Years:

Your support will help David be the most capable and powerful machine possible. 

With your support:
  • David will be assembled in Columbus, Ohio.

    David is nearly mass-production ready, and suppliers are prepped for manufacturing. Your support will help us lease a design and assembly facility right here in Central Ohio.  Performing engineering, design, and assembly in-house, will allow us to closely control the build quality of each machine, and ensure that you get the best device possible.
  • An expanded selection of pelletized materials will become available.
    In order to build a large material library, we need to continue testing and optimizing different materials.  As new materials are certified to work with David and FLEX technology, they will be made available through the Sculptify store.
  • The user experience will be optimized.
    Making David the most capable 3D printer on the market is our ultimate goal. Your support will help us make every feature as powerful and flexible possible.
  • Development of David’s open-source software will progress.
    The open-source community is extremely important to us, and with a successful campaign, we’ll be able to continue to develop both robust, and production-ready, open-source software.
  • David will be certified for international sale.
    Certifications are extremely important, but also very expensive. Your contribution will help us certify David for sale in North America and Internationally.
  • David will be 100% mass-production ready.
    We have been able to bring the David project very far with limited resources, but we need your help to finalize designs, establish remaining supply chains, and develop assembly operations.  
  • David will finally get into the hands of the 3D printing community!
    We think that this technology could be the next standard in 3D printing, but we need the community’s help to take David and FLEX technology to the next level.  

Commemorate the Sculptify Kickstarter campaign with this special edition.
This unique edition includes an anodized exterior in a stunning satin black finish. Each Limited Edition Black is signed by the Sculptify team, and includes a distinct limited edition badge indicating its production number in the series.

We have received an incredible amount of support from around the world, and are excited to offer David internationally.  Unfortunately, different prices must be set for these orders. Additional support, logistics, handling, and regulatory requirements, are among the main drivers for this increased price.  That being said, we believe that David is still the most versatile and advanced printer that you can get for your money.  

Before you place your international order, please read the International Shipping and Use Disclaimer in the Shipping & Delivery section of this campaign page.   

Vinyl Die-Cut Sculptify Sticker

From April 2013 - August 2014, the Sculptify team has passed the following milestones:
  • Developed an entirely new print system that utilizes pellets effectively, consistently, and accurately
  • Acquired, tested, and optimized materials that have never been 3D printed before
  • Designed and sourced all mechanical components, including supply chain and mass-production tooling
  • Designed a complete printed circuit board, based around ARM architecture, and began production sourcing
  • Began developing open-source software 
  • Developed and maintained a professional and robust website 
  • Developed complete business plan to ensure sustained growth
  • Selected a facility to support Operations, R&D, and Assembly

Sculptify after Kickstarter

Here's what you can expect from Sculptify following a successful Kickstarter campaign:

The Backstory.

The development of David began after we found ourselves frustrated with current filament-based 3D printers. We wanted to use 3D printing in many different applications, but found that it was ultimately limited by spools of hard, expensive filament. We realized that there are currently no 3D printers on the market that support a variety of material types right out of the box, so we decided to create David.
We began the project in a couple basements with little more than the five of us, our personal savings, and a few loans from family and friends. Fast forward about 16 months, and we have taken David from a few drawings to a mass production level prototype (yes, we are still in the basements) - now we are ready to get David into the hands of the community.

Sculptify West & East 

The Vision.

David is the first step of many for Sculptify. Our long-term goal is to offer a complete ecosystem that provides the tools to print with a wide variety of materials, while also making it easy and enjoyable. We think that David and our new technology will push 3D printing into many new sectors, while also offering extreme value to many different people - consumers, prosumers, small businesses, rapid prototypers, educators, emerging economies… the list goes on. We want to eventually offer a full product line of printers and devices that expand the capability and usefulness of 3D printing.
Your support goes far beyond a single project. We are more than just a group of people that love 3D printing - we are a company that is ready to take on the industry.

Passion and Experience.

The five team members of Sculptify share both experience and expertise in computer science and engineering, computer aided design, business development, marketing, material science, mechanical engineering, physics, rapid prototyping, thermodynamics, and web development. This variety of skills, combined with a passion for pushing technology forward, gives our team the tools necessary to sustainably and effectively grow our business.
In just 16 months, we have taken a concept  from drawings, through eight iterations (virtual and physical), and finally, to a mass-production-ready machine. The development of this new technology has been supported solely by our personal savings and loans from family and friends - all from a couple small basements in Columbus, OH.  
To learn more about each member, visit our About Us page.

 Friends and Family.

None of this would have been possible without the unyielding support of our family and friends - their time, financial help, and basements, have been instrumental in the success of this project, and we are extremely grateful.  

We would also like to thank the Columbus Idea Foundry for allowing us to use their facility for our Kickstarter video shoot.

Backers in the State of Ohio are required to pay Sales Tax

If you are from Ohio, you must add an additional 7.5% sales tax to your pledge amount. The total amount needed to cover Ohio sales tax is listed in each reward description. If you haven’t added this additional sales tax yet, you can edit the amount you pledge right up until the campaign ends.

Shipping Costs Paid Separately

Shipping costs vary by location and country. Before your David can be shipped, you will receive an email inviting you to visit the Sculptify website, and confirm your shipping information. You will then be prompted to pay the calculated shipping.

DISCLAIMER: International Shipping and Use

We want Sculptify products to be as widely available as legally possible. Because of this, Sculptify will ship to any international address, however you, the customer, are responsible for the estimation and payment of any additional fees. These post-purchase fees may include, but are not limited to, customs and clearance, duties, handling and shipping, tariffs, taxes, value-added taxes, and any other fee associated with getting a Sculptify product to your location. Sculptify is not responsible for any of stated or unstated fees/costs. Additionally, Sculptify is not responsible for facilitating entrance, delivery, or returns with your local authorities. Said fees are dependent on your location, so Sculptify will not provide estimates for cost or timing. If a product is held by local authorities for any reason, Sculptify is not responsible for the fees associated with the release of any product. Please check with your countries import and shipping authorities if you have any questions regarding these issues.
By purchasing any Sculptify product from any location outside of the USA, you are assuming any and all responsibilities to conform with your country’s local laws and regulations. These laws and regulations may include, but are not limited to, the import and export of Sculptify products, the use of Sculptify products both personally and commercially, and any other actions involved in using/owning a Sculptify product. Although regulations and certifications will be met in many countries, Sculptify does not assume responsibility for meeting all regulations and certifications for every country to which products are shipped.

Why are printer rewards limited to 410 Printers? 
We want to be able to stand behind our campaign promises, and limiting our first production run is just one of the ways that we are doing this. We have planned out what we need to support sustainable growth for our company, and 410 initial printer sales meets the criteria. We are not on Kickstarter to break records — we are here to get the footing necessary to change the 3D printing industry.
Why no stretch goals rewards?
In another effort to ensure that we can deliver on our promises, we will not be offering stretch goals. Add-ons will stretch what this small team is capable of, and we are focused and delivering the best printer possible, without unnecessary gadgets and gizmos.
Does David include a warranty?
Although we would love to offer a full warranty right out of the gate, it takes time and resources to do so. We plan on adding warranties to backed Davids, and believe that it is very important to provide support to those that support us.
What is the maximum print time you have on any of your printers? 
Since we’ve built our prototypes, we’ve been running them daily with prints over 12 hours without issue.
Does Sculptify have any plans to offer a recycling service or machine to process bad prints, old milk jugs, or disposable utensils? 
This is something we’re considering and are very interested in, but do not have any specific plans to do so.
Why do you only have a few materials marked as ‘pre-order’? 
Acquiring and determining optimal grades of each new material takes a large amount of time and money. Obtaining small orders of sample materials is extremely expensive, as pelletized materials are typically only discounted with larger order quantities. A successful Kickstarter campaign will allow us to optimize print settings for the listed materials, plus many additional new and never before printed ones.
Will David’s electronics and software be open-source? 
How are you dealing with retraction? 
Although David's extrusion method is considerably different that filament-based 3D printers, we have had success with different types of retraction and drool control measures, these will be implemented prior to shipping.
Do you have a heated bed?
How are you cooling the print? 
David has a controllable centrifugal fan that blows across the nozzle tip for print cooling.
Are there any plans to make filament adaptors for extruding?
There are no current plans to include a filament adaptor with David, but it’s your printer, so there is nothing stopping you from expanding David’s skills.
If David runs out of material during a print, does it stop the job and wait?
No, the current David prototype does not have this capability.
Are the pellets that work with David proprietary?
No. Feel free to use any pellets you want with David — it is your device and you should be able to use it how you want. However, to help make David as useful as possible, we are certifying grades of materials that will print correctly right out of the bag. They will be for sale in the Sculptify store.
Music in this video is used under license from the rights holder.

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