Oct 8, 2015 | By Benedict

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. When 3D printing a variety of objects in a variety of colours and materials, one often ends up with a large and sometimes unmanageable collection of individual print heads. For those who need to conduct their 3D printing work in a restricted space, this multiplicity of heads can be a problem. To solve this very problem, a team of additive manufacturing engineers have built an innovative multi-filament 3D print head, launching a Kickstarter to help take their product into production.

Advanced Automated Multi-Tools, the company behind the project, have named their avant-garde multi-filament 3D print head the CollideOScope. The component is so named because of the ‘collision’ of colours and materials involved in the process. After noticing that the majority of their clients wanted to 3D print with multiple filaments to implement multiple colours and materials, the team set about building a single print head which could connect to several filaments.

The current version of the CollideOScope has been made exclusively for 1.75mm filament and is equipped with a .3 mm nozzle. The unique print head is made from a single piece of aluminium and comes with a bespoke hot end. The aluminium version of the print head weighs 272g without the hot end installed, whilst the upcoming plastic version will weigh ~50g without the hot end installed.

The clever gizmo, which requires some minor coding script changes, works through seven push motors being multiplexed to one motor driver. A maximum of seven filaments can be used at a time, which should provide ample variation in colour and material.

As well as developing the CollideOScope filament multiplexer, the Advanced Automated Multi-Tools gang have also been working on software. In collaboration with Newfangled Solutions, the team have developed a version of Mach4 (pictured below), the CNC motion controller interface. The AAM-T version of Mach4 is able to turn any milling machine into a 3D printer, and has the ability to multiplex motor drives. This feature enables a single motor driver to drive many different motors, which is the essential principle behind CollideOscope.

The project is currently in its final test phase, and the team are planning to set up a website for news and products. They are actively seeking backers for their Kickstarter. A $10 contribution will receive thanks from the team. $25 will see donators’ names listed on the company website. A $185 pledge will see the benefactor receive a license for Mach4, the software developed by Newfangled Solutions which can turn your CNC mill into a 3D printer. $187 will see the investor rewarded with a CollideOScope Filament Multiplexer with ‘K’ type TC, at an early bird price. $205 is enough to receive the ‘K’ type complete with 24Vdc electronics. An $830 donation will entitle the generous bidder to the CollideOScope Filament Multiplexer complete with all goodies, including the hot end, with all fitting and electronics installed, plus motor box with 7 remote stepper motors. $900 gets the previous item, with a personalised engraving on the motor box. Estimated delivery for the physical products is January 2016. Watch this space.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories





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Jered wrote at 10/20/2015 7:21:51 PM:

You could always just buy 2, then you would have 14 colors :)

rukidding wrote at 10/8/2015 4:57:02 PM:

wow really brilliant. sadly i'm looking for 8 color. maybe next time..

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