Kingston, Ontario’s DisTech Automation is launching a Kickstarter campaign which will be live on September 6 for their open source Prometheus System, a multi-filament 3D printing extrusion system that plugs directly into an existing open source 3D printing motherboard, meaning that multi-colour and multi-material 3D printing can be done with an existing 3D printer.
The Kickstarter campaign is aiming to raise C$10,000, with supporter rewards starting at a cost of $19, which will get backers a two-color 3D printed keychain.
An early bird pledge of C$259 will get you the full Prometheus System, with the regular pledge costing C$299. A C$2,449 pledge gets a full “3D factory”, with 10 Prometheus System kits.
For a few dollars more, a pledge of C$2,999 can get a backer a tour of DisTech Automation’s development lab in Kingston, Ontario, and the company will not only give this backer the first fully assembled Prometheus System, but will also take them to dinner.
All rewards except the highest level will be shipped in unassembled kit form, estimated to begin shipping in October.
“Single color and single material 3D printing has always been the standard for low-cost printers,” says DisTech Automation CEO Eric Sammut. “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.”
While low-cost 3D printing has been a remarkable innovation in recent years, it has also usually been limited on most printers to the printing of single-colour objects, using a single material.
The Prometheus System will be able to expand the capabilities of existing 3D printers, enabling any low-cost FFF/FDM 3D printer to produce multi-colour objects, as well as to print with support material, and create multi-material printed objects.
Multi-colour 3D printing on existing desktop filament-based printers has also been limited by a dual extruder technology that has been prone to jams and sloppy transitions between colours.
By contrast, the Prometheus System works with a single extruder nozzle, meaning that you can get multi-colour 3D prints out of a single extruder head, which works by feeding two separate filament strands into a single hot end at interchanging rates.
The Prometheus System solves the issue of sloppy colour transitions by building a separate tower alongside the part being printed, meaning that the colour transition happens more smoothly.
The end result is that the capabilities of existing lower cost 3D printers can be expanded to emulate those of commercial-grade multi-material machines.
DisTech already sells the Prometheus V2 all-metal, fully customizable hot end nozzle that works with any 3D printer, capable of printing at extremely high temperatures and maintaining excellent consistency.
The Prometheus System is compatible with both Marlin and Repetier firmware, and uses Cura to generate G-code to automatically control filament switching and purge for multi-colour and multi-material printed objects.
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