Award winning British OEM E3D Online is running a design competition for its ToolChanger technology. Makers are encouraged to submit STL design models to demonstrate the multi-material capabilities of the E3D’s ToolChanger technology.
The winning models will be printed by E3D at upcoming trade shows, including the Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF) 2019 and Rapid + TCT. Winners will be announced on Saturday 30th March at MRRF19, with varying prizes for first place and runners up (shown below), or they can opt for equivalent store credit at E3D. The deadline for the competition is Friday, 27th March.
Submitted models must include the use of 3 or 4 materials, which may include the use of the same material but in different colours (materials used in scaffold support is included as well). Inventive use of different material types is encouraged by E3D, with the criteria of the judging centering on the creative use of materials and colours, as well as rigidness and printability of the model. Extra points will be allocated to models with an aesthetic quality or an innovative functionality. However, the overall theme of the submissions are up to the designers, be it functional or aesthetic, ultimately E3D is on the lookout for the use of multiple materials.
E3D specify that entries must be broken down into multi-material STL files, with a screenshot of the assembled card part included in the submission. Entries should be uploaded under a permissive open source license to a 3D print file sharing platform of the designers choice. They should then be submitted to [email protected] with the subject line ‘ToolChanger Model Competition’ together with attached printing instructions, which must include what materials and/or colours are included in the design and where they are used.
The winners will be decided by judges 3D model maker Loubie, Joel Telling AKA the 3D Printing Nerd, Gregory Holloway, who is the creator of the ToolChanger and Sanjay Mortimer, Commercial Director of E3D.
Multi-material 3D printing
E3D’s ToolChanger technology aims to offer a multi-material 3D printing solution, working exclusively with FFF extrusion technology. Development for the ToolChanger system is currently in the beta stages, with several ToolChanger 3D printing machines having been shipped to various beta testers, who have reported feedback to E3D.
The ToolChanger can operate with up to four different printheads (and more), while overcoming many of the challenges associated with multi-material 3D printing, including nozzle oozing, filament purging, and slower print speeds due to a heavier (i.e. dual nozzle) head. E3D plan to sell the ToolChanger head separately, however the company is working to re-engineer the technology to make it mountable onto other 3D printers before it does so.
Enter the E3D design competition here.
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Featured image shows the ToolChanger machine. Photo via E3D.