IC3D‘s Michael Cao and Larry Knopp are seeking to solve some common plastic filament-related problems that face 3D printers. Avid users of 3D printers themselves and tired of clogged nozzles, malformed prints and exorbitant costs associated with current available filaments, Cao and Knopp are busy raising funds through crowdfunding site indiegogo for their own ABS filament manufacturing operation that they say would optimize 3D printing for both the casual and frequent user of 3D printers.
Cao (project leader) and Knopp (“jack of all trades”) found that some of the main problems in 3D desktop printing are inconsistencies in plastic filament diameter, debris, bubble-causing moisture and the plastic formula itself. To prevent clogs, jams and poor bonds associated with these problems, Cao and Knopp implement a 2-way laser gauge to check filament diameters, ensure debris and moisture-free plastic through drying and cleaning systems and use a type of raw ABS plastic formulated to best suit their needs. Their plan, upon reaching their $20,000 goal, is to manufacture high-quality 3mm ABS filament in natural, black, red, blue, orange and green colors and make them available to the consumer by August 2013.
Also, while this project is specifically focused on ABS, the guys are aware of the popularity of PLA, saying: “we will not rule out producing this material in the future, perhaps with a second extruder to guarantee material purity.”
If you are interested in making a contribution to IC3D’s campaign, consider some of the perks that they offer at six contribution levels:
– at $25, the “I don’t print, but wanna help” contribution receives a 4GB flash drive with the IC3D logo.
– at $35, the “I print stuff for me!” contribution receives one (1) 2lb spool of high-quality ABS filament.
– at $50, the “I wanna help more!” contribution receives the 4GB flash drive plus a 3D printed bottle opener.
– at $130, the “I print stuff for friends!” contribution receives four (4) 2lb spools of ABS filament.
– at $300, the “I print stuff for everyone!” contribution receives ten (10) 2lbs spools of ABS filament.
– at $685, the “Botfarm & Hackspace Package” contribution receives thirty (30) 2lb spools of ABS filament.
The campaign fund-drive closes on Saturday, June 15th.
Launched over a year ago, Ohio-based IC3D also sells 3D printers that “are based on the open-source RepRap project and utilize a MendleMax-type aluminum extrusion frame.” Their printers “will arrive at your doorstep completely, tested and tuned,” including free software and a variety of support options.