DisTech Automation, a 3D printing company based in Canada, announced the release of its latest product, The Prometheus System. It is a unique product that enables intuitive multi-filament 3D printing, transforming low-cost 3D printers into commercial grade machines. We recently had the opportunity to chat to Eric Sammut, CEO of DisTech Automation about the extrusion system, and the upcoming Kickstarter.

What sets this Kickstarter apart from others?

“We have a unique solution for multi-filament 3D printing. The Prometheus System is an upgrade for any FDM 3D Printer and allows it to produce multi-color or multi-material parts from a single hot end. This results in unmatched quality by eliminating the issues that affect other methods of dual extrusion. It does not require any calibration and produces parts without any issues with color contamination or nozzle dripping.”

The Prometheus switches between 2 different filaments that feed into a single hot end. Image: Kickstarter

The Prometheus switches between 2 different filaments that feed into a single hot end. Image: Kickstarter

Why is this machine better than others, and how is color contamination prevented?

“By using a single nozzle, The Prometheus System eliminates the calibration and nozzle dripping issues that affect dual nozzle configurations. In addition, by feeding one filament at a time into a single hot end, The Prometheus System prevents the problems with color contamination and increased extrusion pressure that are associated with recently popularized color mixing hot ends. The Prometheus System allows you to print complex multi-color and multi-material parts with the simplicity of a single hot end.”

Profeeder Prometheus

The ProFeeder (multi-filament feeder): directs the filament path from the 2 extruders into a single filament guide that feeds into the hot end. Image: Kickstarter

“By using a single hot end with only 1 filament path leading into the melt-zone, only one color is extruded at a time. On each filament switch, the current color is retracted from the hot end, and the next color is pushed into the hot end. The previous color is completely purged from the melt zone with each filament switch to eliminate color contamination. This results in flawless printed parts with clean color transitions and is one of the major advantages to our design.”

How is the filament changed? 

“The Prometheus System automatically generates filament changes using G-code generated by the CURA slicer software. Pictures of prints that you see on the Kickstarter page have hundreds of color switches that are automatically generated in the G-code!”

What software and firmware is used for the printer?

“We currently use CURA Slicer software to slice our multi-color and multi-material STLs because it supports the use of a purge tower for clean color transitions. The Prometheus System will work with any standard firmware (including Marlin and Repetier Firmware) and does not require any calibration.”

Prometheus

The Prometheus System should work with any firmware that can control dual extruders. Image: Kickstarter

Single color and single material 3D printing has always been the standard for low-cost printers. The Prometheus System will expand the capabilities of these 3D printers and enable them to produce vibrant multi-color objects, print with support material, and create unique multi-material prints.”

– Eric Sammut, CEO of DisTech Automation

The specs

  • The Prometheus System is a state-of-the-art extrusion system that is a drop-in replacement for any desktop FDM/FFF 3D printer. It plugs directly into existing motherboards (like the RAMPS, RAMBO, etc…) and can be used with both Marlin and Repetier firmware. Using the popular CURA slicing software, G-code is easily generated to automatically control filament switching and purging for multi-color and multi-material prints.
The Prometheus System. Image: Kickstarter

The Prometheus System. Image: Kickstarter

  • The Prometheus System has a modular design that consists of 3 key components: the hot end, the extruders, and the feeder. The Prometheus V2 all-metal hot end is the core component and features a polished 1-piece nozzle that ensures reliable printing with any material. The ProStruder is the essential extruder component and boasts a powerful geared stepper motor giving it 5 times the torque of conventional extruders. The ProFeeder takes 2 filament inputs from the extruders and directs them into a single output that feeds into the hot end. This unique solution allows your 3D printer to switch between filaments and print different filaments from a single nozzle.
Prometheus

Composite wrench printed with Colorfabb XT-CF20 Carbon Fiber perimeters and Colorfabb XT Clear infill. Image: Kickstarter

  • When compared to conventional methods of dual extrusion, The Prometheus System has several advantages. By using a single nozzle, The Prometheus System eliminates the calibration and nozzle dripping issues that affect dual nozzle configurations. In addition, by feeding one filament at a time into a single hot end, The Prometheus System prevents the problems with color contamination and increased extrusion pressure that are associated with recently popularized color mixing hot ends.
By minimizing stringing, reducing the plug diameter, preventing cold-zone jamming, and providing extra torque, The Prometheus System is able to reliably print objects with hundreds of filament switches in a single print. Image: Kickstarter.

By minimizing stringing, reducing the plug diameter, preventing cold-zone jamming, and providing extra torque, The Prometheus System is able to reliably print objects with hundreds of filament switches in a single print. Image: Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter for the Prometheus System goes live on September 6, until then you can preview the campaign here.

About DisTech Automation

DisTech Automation is a 3D printer company based in Canada that manufactures high-performance products to push the limits of desktop 3D printing. In 2014, they released the original Prometheus Hot End, a high-performance customizable all-metal hot end for 3D printers. A year later they released the Prometheus V2, an optimized and improved version of the original Prometheus Hot End. With the success of the Prometheus V2 all-metal hot end and hundreds of happy customers around the world, DisTech is now excited to introduce its latest revolutionary product to the 3D printing community.

DisTech is committed to working with the open source community to accelerate the development of desktop 3D printing. The Prometheus System will be released as open source hardware under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Creative Commons license.

Featured image: Multi-color, multi-material prints. Image: Kickstarter

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