Apr. 23, 2015 | By Simon

When it comes to advancements in 3D printing, it doesn’t always come down to what the latest and greatest technology is - nor does it come down to how fast a 3D print was made.  Sometimes, the best advancements involve putting the most amount of reliable capability into the hands of a consumer in a very low-cost package that is capable of standing the test of time.  Sure - the technologies that have been announced by larger companies and startups are great...but what do they really mean to the common hobbyist who may not be interested in spending more than $3,000 on a 3D printer?

Among other 3D printers that pack a punch with low price tags include those made by engineer Bogdan Diaconescu under his brand ShapingBits.  Although Bogdan has years of experience building 3D printers, he has yet to try launching one on Kickstarter....until now.   

“Build functional objects in engineering thermoplastics with material properties matching your applications,” says the Kickstarter page.   

“High-strength, flexible, rubbery, renewable or dissolvable parts can all be 3D printed with our universal extruder system. It can even print FDA approved materials.”

In total, Bogdan is selling two distinct 3D printer models on his Kickstarter page including the 3FXtrud 20 Uno and the 3FXtrud 25 Duo.  While the 3FXtrud 20 Uno is a single extruder 3D printer built with features to “make it user friendly for easy setup and reliable printing again and again in a multitude of materials”, the beefier 3FXtrud 25 Duo is a dual extruder, free-form fabrication 3D printer with “advanced features to allow 3D printing in the largest variety of engineering thermoplastic materials”.  

While the 3FXtrud 20 Uno is made for the casual hobbyist, the 3FXtrud 25 Duo is made for professionals who are looking for the most amount of capability within a single 3D printing system.  

“The true potential of 3D printing technology can be reached only by accessing a variety of materials with properties matching given applications,” says Bogdan.   

“We have designed 3FXtrud Uno with the intent of creating a versatile and reliable platform, ready to print in a large number of engineering and renewable thermoplastics. Thus, hard, flexible, and soft (compressible) thermoplastics can all be printed by one machine”.

According to Bogdan, true freeform fabrication (3F) can only be achieved when any shape can be printed.  However due to the layer-by-layer build process that provides the backbone for the technology, single extruder machines aren’t capable of building certain shapes including those that have overhangs, bridges, certain internal spaces and other fine model details.  Since the 3FXtrud Duo uses a dual extruder however, it is capable of printing with any two combinations of materials including dissolvable support materials.


Both the 3FXtrud Uno and the 3FXtrud Duo are equipped with universal high-temperature, all-metal extruders that can print a wide range of materials.  Among others that have been extensively tested include ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), Nylon blends, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), PC (polycarbonate), PC-ABS (polycarbonate ABS blends), HIPS (high impact polystyrene), PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol), PLA (polylactic acid), HIPS-ABS blends and PETG.

“We have spent the better part of the last two years developing, testing, and having short run production of previous and this generation of 3D printers,” adds Bogdan.  

“Some of our previous printers are in use by makers and engineers in their homes, research labs, companies, and universities. These professionals and tinkerers provided us with excellent feedback which was used to improve and create 3FXtrud printers.  We are confident that this generation is ready for you since we've covered extensively every material we support.”

Since Bogdan has already established a credible supply chain with his suppliers for earlier 3D printer models, it’s safe to say that anybody interested in funding the Kickstarter campaign could expect to receive their 3D printer in a timely manner.  

The 3FXtrud Uno starts at $848 while the 3FXtrud Duo starts at $1,399 over on Kickstarter.  


Posted in 3D Printers


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Hosed Backer wrote at 3/29/2016 11:07:57 PM:

Wanted to thank Bogdan for taking the funding money and decided to disappear since November 2015 and only sent out a handful of his promised 3d printer. I hope Karma finds its way to his house.

Bogdan wrote at 4/27/2015 7:54:05 PM:

Hello everyone, I'm Bogdan, from ShapingBits. I appreciate you taking the time and reading about our products. Our printers do support a very large range of materials, and you can see movies with that. I think most people will appreciate proofs rather than words, and it is what we have tried to do by presenting a lot of images and movies online. We are of course open for comments and we do take people opinions seriously. That being said, there seem to be a lot of (intentional?) misinformation in some of the comments. That's all right, any challenge is an opportunity. :-) These are answers to Crying Monkey (a perfect name I would say:-) ). To clarify, the extruder is a all metal extruder. The nozzles might look the same like e3d's, but is independently designed and made. Some times independent designs that start with the same constrains end up looking alike. A metal frame i quite important if one wants to have a dimensionally stable construction. One of the problems of the printers of the past is just that, poor material choices. There are two 3D printers. 3FXtrud Duo is completely enclosed, you won't be able to reach inside without opening a door, please see the second picture in the article. 3FXtrud Uno is an open frame design, so yes, you can have access to the moving parts for this one. Regarding fully enclosed printers, there are a few already with that. Regarding long term support, well, a simple whois on shapingbits.com will tell you how long we have been around. Regarding your last comment about the front support bar, you are right it is important to have a proper design, which is what we did. That is where having dimensionally stable materials used in the construction of the load bearing parts matters. Metals in general have significantly better thermal and environmental stability than wood which was used in the printers you mentioned that failed. That being said, please see the pictures on KS and our site, I'm sure you will see the facts speaking for themselves. Best regards, Bogdan Diaconescu

reprapper wrote at 4/27/2015 6:10:33 PM:

No regulatory at all... No CE ???

Crying Monkey wrote at 4/26/2015 8:47:22 PM:

Wow!! How such a printer can still have that amount of publicity? It is 3 years late!! This printer does nothing about material that other printer can't do. No descriptive picture of their "super extruder" which has the same nozzle as the E3D... which is good and available for any printer. About the aerospace aluminum alloy frame... just a dumb aeronautic buzzword, nothing special that could improve 3dp performances. Also the heavy mass of the extruder generate x and y vibrations that are not blocked by the frame (parallelogram without diagonal strength). It is equivalent to the stiffness of the mendel... What is the speed and quality? And because some mechanisms are outside of the aluminum box, it cannot be certified and people will put their fingers there. It display a transparent envelope to fully enclose the box. Which mean two layer of material for max weight and cost. Fully enclosed box, there is a patent from stratasys on that which mean it will not be sustainable company when they will be charged in court. Forget long term support. About reliability... some picture include a vertical smooth rod in the front and other in the back I already made a printer with the same z axis system (look at the ultimaker original) and I can tell the quality is going low when the print platform move down. The reason: The coaxiality of the coupling. I bet the front vertical smooth rod try to solve it without much success. Lots of buzzword without proof and explanation. Late and backward design. I feel bad for both customers and inventor that will engage with bad design at low cost.

Timur wrote at 4/26/2015 6:32:06 AM:

To me it looks all right, dual extruder, high temperature hot end, and I like the full enclosure and the internal air heater, though the way they say that last one is kind of convoluted. Also the build looks solid. I think the main point is that if you want more than usual materials (ABS and PLA) you definitely need a way to heat up the air around the print. And I don't know many options on the market with all these features and at this price. Plus, they show the prints for those materials, which many times I didn't see with other printers. Maybe other guys can comment here.

Wes wrote at 4/24/2015 4:28:27 PM:

Any opinions on the 3d printer? Looks like they have already have several working units and isn't a work in progress. The dual extruder head price point looks good when compared to other finer resolution printers that offer only a single head. I am currently backing it for the full option and dual head. I was looking around for a printer that could do .05 mm and one that I could receive soon for when I had funds around mid-May. So hoping their time frame is realistic and not become 6 months to 2 years behind schedule.

Jay wrote at 4/24/2015 2:22:20 PM:

Ok..is it just me or is this whole long write-up just another pitch for ANOTHER 3D printer. I kept reading waiting for HOW it was a multi-material printer...thinking it could do it seamlessly...but it's just another printer. *meh*

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