A new, open source 3D printer has just been introduced, and before you take a deep breath and exhale slowly and click on, this one is a little different to the many other 3D printer launches from start-ups in the last couple of years.
For a start it does not begin with “two people in a garage,” Nectar3D is not a small start-up — the team is already 27-strong and gathers together experts and professionals from around the world bringing their specific talents with them. [As an aside – I am most fascinated to learn more about Bob the Software Engineer – he seems a little shy …… and fond of filament spools!]
These specific talents are being pooled to realize Nectar3D’s primary vision for 3D printing — that of simplification. This involved the team collectively tearing down all of the problems generally associated with 3D printing, and working together on solutions that have resulted in the Nectar One 3D Printer. The other key values being versatility and safety.
The eagle-eyed among you, that followed the team link above, may have spotted a familiar face. That of Richard Horne (aka RichRap), who is Nectar3D’s Chief Technical Advisor. Rich’s involvement alone should speak volumes in terms of what Nectar3D is all about. Rich’s ethos, hands-on experience, vast knowledge and comprehensive understanding of desktop 3D printers is hard to beat. He’s also one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. But, this company is about much more than one person — its about building an open source 3D printer for an open source community and making it as simple as possible to 3D print and make.
And it’s not just for home hobbyists, Rich tells me that the Nectar One 3D printer is also aimed at the pro / business markets with features that product designers, architects & SMEs will like. A key goal is to make people happy (not frustrated) when using a 3D printer. Rich says: “We know and understand [people] don’t want to fight with the tools used for creation, they simply need to work, and work really well.”
Rich continues: “One of the founding values [of Nectar3D] is open innovation within all aspects of 3D Printing. We are building on years of open-community development and adding back with all that we do. The outcome is an automatic professional 3D Printer with a robust tool-chain, that’s easy to use. For the smoothest experience and ease of use, the refined software and firmware behind Nectar One will handle most of the complexity for you, currently found with 3D printing today. Alternatively if you wish to find your own path it’s compatible with many open-source programs and also wide choice of building materials from many suppliers.”
The branding of the company is also rather lovely, it is based on bees such that they are “together, building a safe place to work, communicate and grow. Bees take the world’s wonderful Nectar and transform it into something even more amazing — honey.”
The Nectar3D vision of a 3D printing community and eco-system is built around the efficiency and cooperation programmed into every little bee in the community — to allow users of the Nectar One to transform their idea into something real and amazing.
Details on the 3D printer itself are still pretty thin on the ground — it is based on a delta construction, and utilizes the extrusion printing process — but that is fully intentional. The feature image above shows the second iteration of the prototype, but the final version is still under wraps. The full reveal of the Nectar One will take place at the TCT show in less than two weeks time. Some time after that, the 3D printer will hit Kickstarter. The promise is great though: “With every aspect of development and implementation, we select, evolve and refine the technology used, nothing is added without a purpose. Many of the features are designed to make workflow easier and ensure great results without the experimentation.”
If you’re liking the sound of the Nectar One, you are invited to become a “Nectarian.”