(Tech Xplore)—The 3D printer is an item that has been attracting makers for some years now. As time advances, along with technological ingenuity, it is apparent that we are not just stuck with lots of goblins and keychains as a result.
Innovation is making its way in 3D printing for a number of sophisticated applications beyond gift and toy items.
Next Dynamics is a case in point. They have turned to Kickstarter to get their "multi-material" and "electronic circuit" 3D Printer in people's hands—well, on their desks, to be exact.
This is a high-end printer and the Kickstarter page said with this machine you can "Print circuit boards, flexible materials, and full color."
The name of the printer is NexD1 (not pronounced as Nex-Dee-1 but as Next-one).
They are attempting to bring e-printing to the next level.
TechCrunch had an article on it; the Next Dynamics team brought the printer to the TechCrunch office. Brian Heater said, "It sports a 20 cm x 20 cm build platform and operates surprisingly quietly—really not much more than a low hum in the demo I got."
Heater noticed the top slots for material cartridges—"simple cardboard boxes full of liquid resin with nozzles that look a bit like milk cartons." A small door on the front is to access the bed and print heads.
The team said on the Kickstarter page that they have their own proprietary printhead, and they developed other elements of the machine from scratch.
In the video, Ludwig said, "I've been using 3D printers for the past six years and these are amazing tools for creating objects right on your desk. But, as an engineer, I really wanted to have those capabilities for electronics as well."
Johannes, lead engineer and co founder, said, "We wanted to optimize rapid prototyping in a big way, by making a stable and reliable machine." It can be precisely calibrated to print materials of many different characteristics, he said.
Brian Heater in TechCrunch wrote about the materials feature: "The six cartridge/six print head system (each sporting 200 tiny nozzles) is capable of printing up to six materials at once with a precision of up to 10 microns. That means different colors, different malleability and, perhaps most interesting of all, the ability to embed circuitry directly into a project."
Alexander, another team co-founder, said that the NexD1 was affordable. How affordable?
Like a lot of other campaigns, there are changes as days go by within the window the fund-seekers set. In this case, some earlybird price offers may not be available after the time of this posting, but it is best to check on the campaign page.
On Wednesday, 3Ders.org offered a bigger picture of the impact that crowdfunding has had on 3D printing.
"Kickstarter played a large part in bringing the cost of 3D printing down and into the hands of thousands over the last few years," said the article authored by Andre.
"Starting from early filament based success stories like Printrbot to affordable SLA resin 3D printing with the Form-1 to similarly successful DLP projector based units, crowd-funding has certainly helped the technology forward."
He said, "As someone that works with commercial grade polyjet 3D printing on a daily basis, I can attest to the technology's secure place in the sector. Multi-material blending with a range of material options is incredibly important in product development and beyond. So seeing this campaign off to an early success is great news."
Apparently he is not alone in welcoming their offer. They have already exceeded their goal of $210,238 goal.
About the company: Next Dynamics is Germany-based. The team works out of the Fab Lab in Berlin, described on their Kickstarter page as an open digital fabrication space."
They said they are working with "trusted German manufacturing partners with whom we have already signed agreements."