Aug 17, 2016 | By Tess

Makers of all walks of life will know the frustration and feeling of defeat that comes after finding a failed print, especially when it was caused by an easily avoidable mistake like a filament clog or run-out. To help makers overcome these filament-based problems, Australian 3D printing company 3D Printing Systems has developed the “Bunker”, a smart filament cartridge that monitors and stores filaments in optimal conditions. The product, which effectively works as a sort of smart protective bunker for filament roles, will be launched through a Kickstarter campaign as of September 1, 2016.

3D Printing Systems first conceived of the filament Bunker in February 2015 and it has since prototyped and worked on the 3D printing accessory until its current iteration. According to the company, they went through three different prototypes before arriving at the Bunker’s current design and functions, which have been vigorously tested. By providing makers with a sort of filament companion, 3D Printing Systems is hoping to let makers focus on other parts of the 3D printing process without worrying about filament jams and the like.

If you’re wondering what exactly the Bunker does, it has a number of features all geared towards making your print go as smoothly as possible (on the filament front at least). Not only does it monitor the filament and printing process, but it provides a moisture and dust-free environment to keep your filaments as clean and pure as possible. It can also keep track of statistics related to your print times and duration, print successes or failures, and the overall mileage of your 3D printer.

To use the Bunker smart filament cartridge, you simply have to scan your filament’s barcode with the accompanying Bunker app (which also helps you monitor your prints), place the spool into the cartridge, and feed the end of the filament into your 3D printer. From there the Bunker will take care of nearly everything and will even suggest optimal print settings for the filament. If you have more than one 3D printer operating in your lab or have a dual extrusion 3D printer, no need to worry either, as the Bunker  is equipped with a dual feeder mechanism that can be used for multiple printers.

The Bunker is also extremely versatile and can house virtually any filament, including PLA, ABS, Wood, Copper, Flexible, HIPS, PETG, PC and more. According to the company, the Bunker works especially well with hydroscopic materials like PVA, PC, and Nylon and is built to fit any size filaments from 1.75mm to 3mm.

Bruce Jackson, Founder of 3D Printing Systems, said of the new product, “I've helped hundreds of people 3D print since 2011 and there are so many variables for getting that perfect print. When 3D printers work they are great. Tackling these common issues can be a real pain, so our team thought how we can make it easier for 3d printer users and that's why we developed Bunker. It works with any 3d printer and any filament - we'll just about any!”

The Kickstarter campaign, which will be launching on September 1st, 2016, will seek to raise $75,000 in order to bring the innovative product to production. Be sure to stay tuned for the crowdfunding campaign’s imminent launch! We'll have to wait until then to see how much the 3D printer filament accessory will cost.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories



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Graham Wright wrote at 8/21/2016 10:00:50 AM:

Or you could just work out what weight of filament is needed. Weigh the spool you intend to use and subtract the weight of an empty spool - gets my vote!

3D Printing Systems wrote at 8/19/2016 12:14:29 AM:

@Doggy - Yes the UP mini 2 3d printer does have an external cartridge (love this printer), but it is just for 500g spools and it does not have all the smarts that the Bunker has. We started development of a smart external cartridge back in Feb 2015.

Doggy wrote at 8/18/2016 1:17:39 AM:

3d Printing Systems (not 3d Systems) are the Australian and New Zealand distributors of Tiertime. Tiertime (manufacturers of UP printers) have just released the UP Mini 2 that also has a spool holder that is very similar to this. 3d Printing Systems (not 3d Systems) may have known what Tiertime had been planning and have launched their own version of this product at the same time that Tiertime have announced their own finished product.

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