Oct.4, 2013

Lionhead, a 3D printer with eight extruders and built-in scanning system, is seeking funds on Kickstarter to start production of the device. "We started Radiant Fabrication when we realized that there were a lot of problems with 3D printing," explains Nathan Patterson, President of Radiant Fabrication, the company behind Lionhead.

The company wanted to create a 3D printer as easy to use as possible. The printers they are releasing come with integrated software and hardware that's easily accessible to the average user. The system uses the print bed to both hold printed objects and to rotate items to be scanned. To make it easy to use, the printer connects directly to a self-developed 3D modeling software — Radiant Li so when users finish with modeling, they could just click Print.

The Radiant Li software is inspired by the simplicity of video game interfaces. "Our 3D modeling software uses voxels, and we use a first-person interface. You essentially walk around as a character in the environment and can place blocks, or take them away," explains Patterson. "You can create and edit models as if you were building a virtual Lego creation." After completing your design, you can print it using up to eight colors thanks to a pair of four-extruder printheads.

In its fully grown form the Lionhead features eight printheads, compared to the typical one or two, which operate one at a time as employed by other desktop 3D printers. Multiple printheads working simultaneously means the Lionhead can print more material faster and use different materials simultaneously so your 3D object can be built faster.

The company is selling Lionhead Bunny for $1,649 for early backers, and the Lionhead begins at $2,099. "We've tried to create this end-to-end experience, and my fear is that there are enough low-cost solutions already out there. Even though we've created something unique, I fear that we will still get passed over because it's another 3D printer." says Patterson.

Watch below PD&D's interview with the creator of the Lionhead 3D printer, to learn more about the design process, and the biggest fears of bringing a new product to market.


Posted in 3D Printers



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jd90 wrote at 10/5/2013 3:57:24 AM:

I just don't see how the quality will match that of parts designed with other modeling software, or parts made with other machines. Speed and ease of use doesn't seem to make sense when there is no way to fix inherent problems in the system that prevent the "next step up", without replacing the device or unlearning bad design practices learned from the software.

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