June 26, 2014

Back in May, we reported that Columbus, Ohio based Sculptify is developing an innovative personal 3D printer, which allows users to "print with limitless material options." Sculptify today introduced David, an innovative 3D Printer that works directly with pelletized materials.

The David 3D Printer features a durable anodized aluminum enclosure. It utilizes Sculptify-developed Fused Layer Extrusion (FLEX) technology, a printing method which allows users to create objects from a wide range of pelletized materials - each with their own unique properties. It also features precision components which allows David to print smoothly, quietly, and accurately. A unique lead screw design allows for excellent print resolution and speed. The David is also equipped with a removable print platform and easy loading system which makes David easy to use.

"David is an incredibly versatile device, that can be used by both consumers and prosumers alike," said Slade Simpson, Sculptify Co-Founder and CEO. "Sculptify believes that for 3D printing to reach its fullest potential, printers need to be able to serve hundreds of different purposes. We think that FLEX technology is the next logical step in making this possible."

The FLEX technology allows users to print with a wide variety of materials which range from hard and durable to soft and flexible. One of these materials is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which allows for the printing of flexible, bendable, and super durable objects. It is traditionally found in shoes, athletic gear, and smartphone cases. Some other uses of TPU include tool grips, RC tires, and flexible fabrics.

"We think that FLEX printing is going to open the door to hundreds of new applications in both the consumer and commercial sectors because of the unique, and growing material library — we are venturing into a new realm of 3D printing," said Todd Linthicum, President and Co-Founder.

So why named the 3D printer David? "We came up with the name David after being inspired by the famous sculpture created by Michelangelo. It's one of the most recognized works of art in the world, and reminds us that with the right tools, anything is possible," said Simpson, "We have poured our hearts and souls into this printer for the past year and a half, and we are really excited to get it into people's hands."

Sculptify plans to go live on Kickstarter soon. The company will offer production units to Kickstarter backers in exchange for funding contributions.


Source: Sculptify

Posted in 3D Printers

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CNK wrote at 6/28/2014 2:23:48 AM:

Last time I looked, the main problem with printing directly from "pelets" (in the industry known as plastic "resin") is stopping the flow quickly. Current FDM 3D printers just reverse the filament, but without a solid mass to pull against, it takes longer to stop and print quality naturally suffers. I believe that a solenoid actuated blocker on the nossle has been suggested to avoid this, and perhaps negative pressure at the extruder head. These options might be easier to realise using specificly mass-produced components (think of trying to make an Ink-Jet print head using DIY Re-Rap tecniques! (not that I have anything against Rep-Rap)). As it is, these pictures show a printed object with no features that would require stopping the flow of plastic through the extruder, so whether they have mastered the challenge seems unlikely. In short, when they print a miniature version of Michelangelo's David, I'll be impressed.

Bri wrote at 6/28/2014 1:05:23 AM:

Looks promising, but too much of a risk on kickstrtr. I'll pay the extra $100 to get a fully working printer when it's actually ready.

TheCleaner wrote at 6/27/2014 9:24:01 PM:

Yet another "product" that seems to hide all the interesting bits in a black box. If they don't provide a video of someone taking the extruder apart for cleaning/reparing/unglogging I would not spend a single dollar on that project. I all looks nice and shiny on digital pictures, but as soon as you have a problem with that thing you're left alone to figure out a solution or just have a new 2000$ piece of decorative art in your office...

3dbleh wrote at 6/27/2014 1:25:20 PM:

3d printing is complex on it's own...As is making your own filament. Fusing the 2 processes into one machine? For sure, there will be compromises. I'm skeptical. Too many potential trade offs. If it was possible, someone would have already done it. Why not just buy a roll of filament ???

TK wrote at 6/27/2014 4:53:25 AM:

How do they measure the filament/melted pellets for staging to the 3d printer extruder part? Can it pause printing if top runs out of melted material, or does it prompt for more/open a chute etc when it needs more... It would be helpful to grasp basic control sensors or such to understand its limitations? Can one fill, start a print job and reliably leave the machine w/o further intervention...?

David wrote at 6/27/2014 2:19:53 AM:

I am waiting for details on this thing. I am skeptical of anything that can print with so many different materials, and it looks like a small volume which limits its usefulness for me. I hope they give lots of closeup pictures on the Kickstarter.

Tomek wrote at 6/26/2014 7:55:42 PM:

This needs some proof it works. It's a very ambitious idea for FDM. Sometimes there's a benefit to seperating stages of production (filament and printing.)

ReDeTec wrote at 6/26/2014 4:09:43 PM:

It would be so cool if this works, but I feel like there's just too many tech hurdles...a video of it in action / explaining the tech would really ease my mind!

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