Wednesday, 11 May 2016

3D Printing Community news and update MAY 2016

3D Printing Community news and update 
MAY 2016

Another community and 3D printing news and views update -

Video update for May - Or watch here in HD over on YouTube.

Hi Everyone, another update from the 3D Printing community, I hope you like it. Please leave me a comment - Thanks.

Here is what I'm discussing, and to make it easier to navigate, check these timecodes and jump to a point that interests you -

Start - Thank you for your Feedback
2:08 - Makerbot Going to China
2:48 - LulzBot Taz 6 Launch - (Not Going to China)'
4:32 - Kickstarting OLO
5:19 - Kickstarter - Two more Delta Printers
7:17 - Kickstarter - Polymaker Polysher & Polysmooth
9:21 - Kickstarter - Mr Beam II
10:30 - Kickstarter - FormBox
11:51 - Patreon - OctoPrint & Toms3DP
13:03 - Community  * Drama *
15:23 - Development & Innovation
17:15 - Materials - eSun Cleaning Filament
19:40 - Things I'm doing...

It's mostly all in the video above, but I have also included a few further notes below for anyone that wants to read. Also some images of what I have been doing with the E3D Titan extruder and a new design of a quick-fit carriage for the BigBox.

Firstly thank you for all your comments and feedback, it's really helpful for me. I have limited time to do 3D printing, and don't have adverts on my channel or blog for any sort of income. It's good to know what I post and share is worthwhile doing and still of interest to you.

Generally I had similar feedback and comments on Youtube, blogger and Google+

I have taken the general feedback to be - that you like my development projects, and want to see more - like in the early days of 3D Printing.

No one commented about facebook, so that's great - I'll continue to totally ignore that.

April turned out to be quite a turning point for some in the 3D printing community.


Image from the Pinshape blog.

We found out who saved Pinshape and that turned out to be Formlabs. Interesting as I really expected Shapeways or one of the other 3D Printing services to snap them up.

Time will tell what Formlabs brings to the model sharing community and what this means for designers using Pinshape. It looks like the original Pinshape founders are now out of the company, so maybe we will see some new direction being applied by Formlabs soon. Read more about the news on the Pinshape blog here.


Makerbot declared itself unable to manufacture in the US, and now plan to offshore manufacturing of desktop 3D printers to a Chinese company. They seem set on death by 1000 cuts. The wider 3D Printing community continues to ignore them. Makerbot blog post here. Enough said.


As an alternative and more positive view, Lulzbot announced the Taz 6 -

Lulzbot still manages to be the most open-source 3D printing company, anywhere.

Matterhackers have them on pre-order for $2.5K. More info should be available on the Taz 6 in a few weeks when the embargo is lifted.

I have not seen any recent comments from Printrbot, but I expect Brook is also still planning to do as much as possible with self-manufacturing and worldwide expansion. Looking forward to some updates from other global 3D Printing manufacturers in May.

I'm really interested in seeing how the US and European 3DP manufacturers navigate through the next 18 months. I have a feeling we are now in the productive phase of desktop 3DP, and even the temptation of ultra low-cost machines from China is starting to subside.

I just wish the RepRap Pro had managed to last out another 6 months, things seem to be turning as long as you are still innovating.

So many Kickstarters -


OLO got funded to the tune of $2.3M - over 3000 comments on Kickstarter and not a great deal of response from the creators. I actually think this could be the last big 'low cost 3D printer campaign' People are finally going to get smart that a 'very good, reliable and easy to operate' 3D printer is still some long way off, and you need to spend more than $99 to get something worthwhile even trying to use.

I wish them all the luck, but I'm also predicting this one is not going to go smoothly at all. We will check back before the September deadline to see...

Polygon Delta

Billy Zelsnack Polygon Delta 3D printer kit over on Kickstarter - $24K - all sold out - well done Billy, this has been one really interesting development to watch over the past 18 months.

Spatial One Delta

Andrew Wade - Spatial One - Delta Printer has just started over on Kickstarter. If you are looking for a rock solid Delta printer kit, than do investigate the Spatial One


Polymaker - Launched the Polysmooth and Polysher - over on Kickstarter. It's had a tremendous response and is currently at $320k - I have backed this project and look forward to seeing the end result.

Mr Beam 2 

Mr Beam 2 - just got funded, reaching almost 1M Euros over on Kickstarter. Well done!


Formbox - $245K for a vacuum forming box - key selling point seems to be that by using your own vacume cleaner make this machine possible. Very disappointed this is planned to take yet another year to be shipped to any backers, you could literally design and make one in a single weekend. Maybe I'm missing something, but what's with the 12 month timescale?


Gina managed to get a successful Patreon campaign up and running so she can try to support the open-source Octoprint a while longer. Gina is still looking for sponsorship, contract work and generally anything that can help keep her in work and food.

Tom's 3DP

Tom has also decided to go for 3D printing full time - well done and good luck with the adventure. Anything I can do to help, just let me know.
Community drama - This is the calm down and chill out section of the news.

E3D and the BigBox crew caused some fuss over on Reddit with a recent mascot competition. It looks like a poor choice of wording in the competition rules (about not having to give away the BigBox as a prize if they didn't have any suitable entries) made a few people leap to the idea that designers were being used to provide free services etc. Read as much as you wan over on Reddit.

Innovation and materials -

I visited E3D last week, they are in the middle of another big expansion. This time Unit 3 is being kitted out for a monster research and development lab. Packed full of tradesmen, fitting the rooms for science. Plenty of new developments, materials and projects.

And the EDGE filament will be coming soon...

I also checked to see if they really did have the worlds supply of Haribo :)

This was Nozzle world.

I didn't take the peanut scoop... Honest!

They handed me one of their new silicone boots, this wraps around the hot-end heater block and both helps stop material build-up on the nozzle and also insulates the heater so part cooling fans can be more aggressive while also keeping the

I tried out some dedicated hot-end cleaning materials - by Esun filament, You can buy it over on the E3D website or Printedsolid - Anyone else stocking it, let me know and I'll add a link.

Some of the stuff I'm doing -

Project snowflake is finished, look out for an update on that project, done with my daughter.

The steampunk octopus is also finished, another one done with my daughter. I requested an interview with her, but was 'far too busy' out playing to comment.

I seem to be in an ever state of testing out new materials at the moment. Really interesting but also quite time consuming.

Testing out some colour gradated filament - interesting, but inconsistent and not quite as exciting as first thought.

Lots more work on paste extrusion and bioprinting applications - more on that soon.

I'm also trying to clear out all the projects, posts and video's I have not had time to finish. I'll get them all done over the next month and then get onto even more new developments.

Titan is performing well - and so is the new E3D Edge filament.

 Decided to re-design everything on the X carriage, extruder mount and 360 Degree fan cooling duct.

I have made a new quick-fit extruder carriage for the BigBox. I wanted it to fit the Titan well and also allow easy switching of extruders.

I had to jiggle (technical term) the heated bed forwards and up by around 30mm to allow the now much lower Titan setup to reach the build platform.

And for ideas and inspiration, here is a short 60 second video on what to do with all those spare ends and samples of 3D Printing filament - It was my youngest daughter's idea. Great fun.

Yea, That was April!

May is already looking interesting, see you next time.