Mar. 6, 2015 | By Alec

Remember the upcoming modular and multi-head Stacker 3D printer? When we first reported on it in February, things were already looking very promising. Not only would this 3D printer be very efficient and quick – in part for being able to 3D print up to four parts at once, it is also shaping up to be an excellent machine for working with composite filaments.

Despite these many advantages, the Stacker 3D Printer was also a tremendous hit. Launched as a Kickstarter campaign in late February to gather the funds to take their designs into production, the necessary $100,000 was raised in just a single day. The campaign is still ongoing for another three weeks, until the 27th of March, and has currently gathered more than double the original target with $204,000 in pledges.

While that might be the sign for many start-ups to kick back and relax, Stacker 3D and their partners ColorFabb are already working to shift focus to other options and expansions to get the most out of their product. Their new addition: the HYBRID hot end, that is as easy and quick to use for composite filaments as it is for regular ABS.

As the Stacker 3D team explain, "We did this for two reasons. First, too many 3D printers suffer from filament jams and other hot end related problems. The HYBRID was specifically engineered to solve jamming and these other problems. Second, some next generation composite filaments are abrasive, and can wear out some hot end nozzles, especially those made from brass. The HYBRID uses a special grade of stainless steel to dramatically improve nozzle life when using composites, like our incredible new carbon fiber XT-CF20 filament, by ColorFabb."

"This hot end just works so well, and it's just so important an upgrade to printers in our market."

While regular 3D printer nozzles tend to clog up with leftover filament when switching from the one to the other, or even get damaged by abrasive filaments like carbon fiber, that won’t be a problem with the HYBRID. One of its secrets is interchangable nozzles.

Now you might think that changing nozzles doesn’t solve much problem at all, but the HYBRID nozzles have been specifically designed to be easily and quickly replaced whenever you need to. "The great thing about this new technology is that the hot-end can be replaced within just 30 seconds, and even comes in different nozzle sizes for all your printing needs. Composite filaments are the future of 3D printing, rather than unfilled regular filaments. That means that brass nozzles are simply outdated for 2015. The market demands more functionality, and that’s why we need this new technology," they explain to 3ders.org.

As you can see in the video above, it definitely looks very easy to replace and could therefore be a very important addition to a professional 3D printing setup.

Additionally the HYBRID uses two nozzle types optimized for the melting temperature of your filament. This reduces internal extrusion pressure, and eliminates almost all jamming. Its stainless steel nozzles are highly resistant to wear. They also require no special sealers or hot "burn-in" procedure for internal sealing purposes.

"Low melt filaments and higher melt filaments have very different viscosity, surface tension and flow characteristic." notes Stacker 3D. "The HYBRID's quick change nozzles allow you to use one hot end for both low melt and high melt filaments. Our low melt nozzle is optimized for lower melt filaments, like PLA and ABS. Our high melt nozzle is optimized for higher melt filaments like Nylons and high Tg Co-polyesters."

The compact HYBRID also features an integrated cooling fan for the heat sink, and super powerful blower for cooling your filament. The industrial compatible J-Mount allows HYBRID to fit most printers with little or no modifications.

The HYBRID is standard equipment on all STACKER 3D printers, and will be offered in kit form as an upgrade for most other 3D printers. Currently, the HYBRID is available on STACKER Kickstarter campaign, at the $99 pledge level. Just like the 3D printers themselves, they can be shipped as early as May 2015.

HYBRID Hot End SPECS

  • Filament size: 1.75mm only, no 3mm version available
  • Temperature MAX: 300 degrees C
  • Temp Sensor: Semitec 104GT-2 thermistor
  • Height: 78mm
  • Mount: Industry standard 16mm groove mount
  • Heater: Premium quality cartridge type, 40watt, available in 12VDC or 24VDC models, made in USA
  • Nozzles: Low or high melt types
  • Nozzle sizes available: 0.30-0.40-0.50-0.60-0.80-1mm
  • Standard size: ships with 0.50mm in low and high temp
  • Bowden compatible: yes
  • Direct drive compatible: yes, comes with short section of 4mm OD PTFE tubing for this purpose

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Accessories

 

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