The need for a truly user-friendly desktop extruder to pair up with intensive desktop 3D printing use in makerspaces and studios has been clear from the onset of the desktop 3D printing era. Now, Dutch company Devoteq, founded in 2012 by mechanical engineers Tim Wesselink and Lucas van Leeuwen, feels it is time to usher in a new era, with their Devo NEXT 1.0 desktop extruder.
Launched on Kickstarter, the Devo NEXT 1.0 truly looks like a next generation device: easy and intuitive to use, fully enclosed, elegant and stylish. “3devo has dedicated the past year and a half to turning the idea of everyone’s personal high quality filament factory into concrete reality,” Luca van Leeuwen told 3DPI. “[we feel we have just] created the world’s first high-end consumer friendly filament extruder that will put high quality 3D printing filament extrusion within reach of any maker.”
What sets 3devo apart from the other models that have been appearing on the market is the attention to detail and quality of the end product. Devoteq emphasized that the NEXT 1.0 is designed to extrude professional grade product, ensuring that the filament it extrudes can be perfectly wound onto the spool of a 3D printer for optimum results.
Devoteq found that the primary issue with most consumer filament extruders today is that they use a standard wood auger drill bit as the extruder screw. This drill bit, on account of insufficient pressure build-up and poor fabrication tolerance, adversely affects precision and leads to inconsistencies in the filament produced.
The Dutch company developed the NEXT 1.0 in consultation with specialists in the extruder production industry. It introduced an industrial strength extruder screw, with specifically designed pressure zones. Machined with the same precision as industrial extruders, the screw was hardened by nitriding to maximize durability. The extruder is powered by a regulated drive system, which allows for precise RPM control and perfectly consistent filament.
The NEXT 1.0 also features a high-torque DC electro motor. The motor, combined with the gearbox is able to deliver an impressive torque range of 160Nm to 24,8Nm with an rpm range of 1 Rpm to 35 Rpm. The drive train has an RPM feedback system where the microcontroller measures the extruder screw RPM with a precision of 300 pulses per rotation. It then adjusts the power going to the electro motor to ensure a consistent Rpm even when the resistance changes.
Development of the Devo extruder required five different prototypes to be made and they, in turn, required large amounts of filament, to further justify the need for a functional desktop extrusion system which can both create any size spool from granules and recycle failed prints. The machine can also sense when the granules run out and allows for easy swap of any size spool.
For sure, the two engineers at Devoteq, that actually use 3D printing in their projects for a living, have put a huge amount of attention to the details of the campaign and media content. If that is any indication, the Devo NEXT 1.0 could really open to doors to the next phase of desktop 3D printing.