Aug 18, 2016 | By Benedict

Voxel8, the hotly tipped 3D printer manufacturer founded by Harvard professor Jennifer A. Lewis, is giving away free 3D printed electronics samples made using its Developer’s Kit 3D printer. Each sample contains an embedded resistor and LED printed in Voxel8’s Standard Silver Ink.

The 3D printed sample component

Electronics 3D printing pioneer Voxel 8, long touted as one of the most exciting names in the additive manufacturing industry, has been shipping its stunning Developer’s Kit 3D printer for a couple of months now. Early recipients of the machine have included Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), and a fair degree of hype was given to the product’s initial release. In spite of this, the company is still coming up with novel ways to entice prospective customers, and has now made a 3D printed sample component available to order for free. 3Ders readers can get a free sample piece with coupon code "3DERS" (the discount code makes it free shipping).

The part in question is a 3D printed LED light, consisting of a single-loop circuit and an embedded surface mount LED and resistor connected in series. The component can be fabricated in a matter of minutes, with the embedded electronics inserted as the housing is being printed. The printed area of the component is made from Voxel8's Standard Silver Ink, which is sufficiently abrasion-resistant to withstand multiple connection cycles without losing its conductive properties.

Voxel8’s Silver Ink 3D printing material, the first to be developed by the fledgling company, has a bulk electrical resistivity below 5.0x10-7 Ω-m. It is 20,000 times more conductive than conductive filled-thermoplastic filaments and over 5,000 times more conductive than carbon-based inks., making it suitable for 3D printed electronics with large operating currents. The ink is self-supporting and dries quickly at room temperature, yielding highly conductive electrode traces and interconnects without requiring thermal annealing. The 3D printable ink is formulated specially for pneumatic deposition through a 250 micron nozzle.

3D printing with Silver Ink

The Voxel8 Developer’s Kit 3D printer has already been used for projects of greater complexity than the LED sample component being given away by the company. For example, before the 3D printer even hit the market, Voxel8 worked with robotic gripper manufacturer RightHand Labs for a special project. Using the Developer’s Kit, RightHand Labs was able to create an electronic test fixture for its robotic fingers. The fixture consisted of an electronic circuit that could mechanically and electrically connect a microcontroller board and a series of wires attached to an untested robotic finger. Once connected, an embedded LED would light up to indicate that the finger was working.

In order to demonstrate how electronic components can be embedded into a printed housing to form a complete, functioning device, Voxel8 staff used the Developer’s Kit 3D printer to create an “Embedded Watch.” The watch consists of just two printed parts, but contains a microcontroller, button, LEDs, magnets, and pogo pins, all inserted into the watch during the printing process. A simple coin battery powers the circuit, and the watch “blinks” the time in hours and minutes whenever the button is pressed.

RightHand Labs text fixture (above) and Embedded Watch

Voxel8 founder Jennifer A. Lewis is the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Voxel8’s core technologies are the result of a decade’s worth of research by Lewis and her Harvard-based team, whose work was listed as one of the top 10 “breakthrough technologies” by the MIT Technology Review in 2014.

The Voxel8 Developer's Kit 3D printer

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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Scott Janousek wrote at 8/24/2016 8:46:57 PM:

Hi Cos-Truction Zone and Robert McLean. I work for Voxel8. We have started a discount code called "3DERS" for anyone that wants samples and reads this article. You use that during checkout, and the sample should be free after you enter in all your shipping info, etc. http://www.voxel8.co/order-a-sample-part/ We apologize for any confusion! Thanks. -sj

Former "serious" customer wrote at 8/23/2016 2:59:04 PM:

No one cares if you are a "startup", buddy. Don't use shady phrasing and wording to mislead folks. I assure you, this will put off a lot of the "serious" customers you claim to seek. No one wants to do business with shady folks in 2016, there are too many options out there and what your "startup" is doing is absolutely not that innovative or unique.

USPS wrote at 8/22/2016 3:31:11 AM:

They should try flat rate shipping

Ace_Ban_Dage wrote at 8/21/2016 1:39:19 AM:

People in these comments can't seem to be bothered to read the article to see how to get free shipping.

Scott Janousek wrote at 8/20/2016 2:18:45 AM:

Hi Cost-Truction Zone and Robert, I am the Community Manager at Voxel8. I'm glad to hear your feedback about our new offering. We kind of expected it from some, but we have valid reasoning behind the associated costs for the sample print. We are very happy with the response and excitement about our recently launched Developer's Kit Platform, and now our sample offering! Cos-Truction Zone's assessment is a good one. Yes, we don't just want anyone to order one, since each one takes a certain amount of time to print, demand is high, and we are a startup. Thus, we charge for printing allocation in the queue & S/H costs to get it to interested parties, no matter where you might be. Yes, shipping overseas is not inexpensive, even for tiny 3d printed things! However, we do offer discount codes on checkout for potential customers we believe are serious about purchasing one or more of our Developer's Kit Printers. If you believe you fall into that category, please reach out to our support team via the main Voxel8 corporate site and we'll evaluate your request. Thank you, and thanks to 3ders for posting this article. We really appreciate it. We're big fans of the community, and many at Voxel8 read it very often. If anyone has any other questions about our Developer's Kit Platform, do reach out to us at: hello AT voxel8 DOT co Best Regards, -sj

Aaron Levinson wrote at 8/19/2016 7:17:17 PM:

$14.22 shipping minimum for me...all for a part that probably costs <$2 to make. I'll pass for now. It would be great if they offered them as a leave-behind after a sales engagement.

Seriously wrote at 8/19/2016 5:30:55 PM:

all the complaining about price just confirms the reason to have it so "high" in the first place -- to limit the collectors and lookie loo's from wasting time and resources and clear a way for those of us actually interested in the machine and technology a way to get a tangible example.

Cos-Truction Zone wrote at 8/18/2016 9:10:18 PM:

Would be an awesome sample for people interested in getting into 3d circuit printing... One part they neglected is the $12.95 USD for ground shipping 1-5 days. Anything higher requires a payment of ~$30. The markup for shipping is outrageous... But I guess it ensures that the basic "lay-man" can be deterred from trying to buy one from them...

LED wrote at 8/18/2016 8:19:09 PM:

Lol...$12.50 for shipping...

Robert McLean wrote at 8/18/2016 7:47:15 PM:

I attempted to order the free sample mentioned in the article and was dismayed to discover that Voxel8 wants $40 usd to ship the tiny little 3D Printed component. tisk tisk tisk shabby. lol Robert McLean



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