As 3D printing becomes more widespread and entrepreneurs become more familiar with its possibilities and especially with its limitations, new products are beginning to emerge as answers to common issues, such as that of fixing errors and removing supports. That is what Retouch3D is going to do, if it achieves its Kickstarter funding goal of $30,000 (at the time of this writing, it stands at about 30%).
That is what 3D 2.0, the company behind Retouch3D, was probably referring to when it chose its name: a second evolution, where 3D printing is now established and users are looking for new ways to improve the products they make, thus inspiring new products that complement and expand on 3D printing’s potential.
While 3D printers are getting more and more precise, users are starting to experiment with more challenging shapes and geometries, and errors remain common as they push the limits of their machines. Many times these errors are just thin hairs of filament, due to the extruder moving too rapidly or not extruding perfectly. They seem like they would just come right off, but they don’t and taking a lighter to it to burn it off just ruins the print. Other devices, such as soldering irons and power grinders, are just a bit too much for many amateur 3D printing adopters.
Retouch3D has been calibrated to make the process extremely easy and it will be a very welcome product for a large number of users. It will work on most thermoplastics, with an operating temperature ranging from 50° to 300°, and it will also work on resins. After testing, the design team selected five different tips for material removal.
The first is the Macro remover tip, which is used for large supports and rafts. Then, there is a Macro refiner tip for layer imperfections, such as blobs, overhangs and stringing (you know you hate those). The Micro refiner tip is used to improve on detail and curved layer imperfections, while the Micro remover tip is for fixing the final leftovers after removing the supports. The final Blender tip is used to smooth out the surface of the 3D print where imperfections occurred.
I am fairly sure most 3D printing users will not need much further convincing that this device will prove quite useful. The super early bird units, priced at $149, are still available. The prototype looks solid and the design, somewhat reminiscent of the first 3Doodler, is quite elegant. Though, not having to fume over the small 3D printing imperfections of your masterpieces is priceless.