3Dfeedy is an add-on feeder that expands your extruder system capabilities of any 3D printer. It allows you to boost your creativity to print complex multi-color and multi-material objects - simple and easy.
Whatever (filament) 3D printer you use, never mind if one of the cheapest or a more expensive one – 3Dfeedy will boost the performance of your printer by extending the capabilities.
No „Firlefanz“ – electronics are vulnerable – that is why we stick with the simple. We focus on reliable, mechanical solutions. Precise as a clockwork.
Looking for a plug ’n’ play solution? Here you go. A few small steps and you are done. Fallen in love with this new world of possibilities? Go ahead and try even more… our 3Dfeedy could be extended to nine units!
A HELL OF A LOT COOL FEATURES
For more information hover the picture.
Manual adjustment fixture
Manual adjustment wheel
Material selection unit (triggered by the stepper motor of your 3D-printer)
1.75 or 2.85mm
Conveying direction display
Standard or premium drive gear
Standard or premium drive gear
Standard or premium drive gear
Stand can be adapted to your needs
Mounting for the stepper motor of your 3D-Printer
Status display (0 open; 1 closed)
Expandable from 2 to 9 units
Expandable from 2 to 9 units
Expandable from 2 to 9 units
Tension display (top small tension; bottom high tension)
HOW TO GET STARTED
We are enthusiasts experiencing the same needs you have when it comes to research and development, rapid prototyping and unleashing our inventing spirits. Our story is as simple as that. In the middle of the experimental phase of a project, we were fed up with the limitations of the mono material processing of our 3D printer. As the frustration level grew, so did the motivation to take the search for a solution into our own hands.
That’s when it came to developing our 3Dfeedy.
What could be a vision about 3D printing? Times are changing fast and our team has also lots of experience in polymer technologies and polymer manufacturing processes like injection moulding. We know how important it is to never stop innovating and being fast in adapting new ideas. That is why we think our world of innovation is not to be imagined without 3D printing anymore. The possibilities are so much larger than ever before, it is essential. For this reasons we need to remove barriers and open the additive manufacturing for even more. Allowing our printers to process multi material is only one step further. We already think about the sustainability questions of additive manufacturing. Looking for new technologies for recycling waste and reusing it for 3D printing will be our next mission. Stay tuned we are not even at the beginning of our path to a sustainable 3D printing future.
Thinking about new solutions we always stick to our key pillars.
The trends in many industries show, that solutions get always more and more high sophisticated. Sure technologies are amazing in many ways, but the downside often is the susceptibility to errors. By reducing complexity we are able to ensure quality and reliability. These factors are even more important than the costs which will also stay grounded when reducing or even eliminating electronic components.
Trying to make our world a bit more sustainable every day is part of our vision. Recycling and reusability of resources and materials is our contribution to this goal. Therefore we constantly think about solutions which enable us to process different materials which also includes recycled materials.
We don’t want to focus on ourselves, but make our solutions accessible for everyone. Don’t invent a product what is only relevant to a few, but something that could be used by everyone, making no difference in how professional the basics are people want to build on. We want to contribute to a better world, this is not by focusing on just the own needs.
This is Florian. He is our Gyro Gearloose. While working on other R&D projects he was facing the challenge of printing with different materials. And be sure he was really annoyed by getting up every few minutes to change material with our simple 3D printer we used for prototyping.
That’s when he started his personal research about multi material printer, multi material extruder and multi material feeder. The result: there is nothing available satisfying his needs. And here we are. Numerous months later and we are ready to help you out as well, because we are sure: we share the same vision.
Why do developers never work alone? Even if they don’t like to think about anything else, nothing works without business strategy. That’s when Caro comes to the picture. Raining up a new business from scratch is not as easy as it appears in the beginning. Especially when it comes to product development, production, sales and marketing. When you kept reading until now, we are proud that we made you interested in our story. Innovation and product development is our passion. Our innovation and business specialists like Caro are the ones to wonder about the business opportunities that arise from these ideas.
No matter how important the hardware is, there is no project at our company in which software does not play an equally important role. Whether it's product optimization, design optimization or efficiency improvement. Or simply the user friendly operation. Luca takes care of all software and AI issues - the bridge between all our projects.
Wondering who did all that creative work around our website, campaigns and corporate identity? Andrea colors our world. While we try to build up a vision in our mind, she already puts it on the ground. With high speed, she is our allround talent in Marketing and Design, managing all our platforms and communication channels. You’ve questions regarding our team and products? Be sure, you will get to know her soon.
If you are interested in our 3Dfeedy we can inform you as soon as 3Dfeedy is available.
How many material units do I need?
That depends on how many materials you want to use within one printing process. You may start with 3 units. If you’d like to extend it, you can reorder additional units. Maximum we can provide at the moment is 9 units in a row.
How do I get a 3Dfeedy?
We are still in the pre-launch phase. Currently, our 3Dfeedy is only available for purchase via Kickstarter. As soon as general availability is given, we will announce this via our website.
What are key features of 3Dfeedy?
- only one stepper motor is needed for feeding the material and switching the material unit in use
- existing feeding stepper motor of your 3D-printer can be used for 3Dfeedy
- material unit selection is triggered by the one stepper motor
- module based design, enabling easy upgrades from 2 to 9 units
- availlable for 1.75mm and 2.85mm filaments
- availlable with a standard drive and a premium drive unit
- tension of the material unit can be adapted to the filament properties
- tension of the material unit can be adjusted individually
- tension display for every material unit
- status display on every material unit (0 for open/non driving state and 1 for closed state)
- material display on every material unit
- including direction display on every material unit
- material unit selection can be adjusted manually by pulling the manual adjustment fixture and rotating the manual adjustment wheel
- stand can be adapted to your need
What are the advantages of the premium 3Dfeedy?
The premium 3Dfeedy has a more powerful driving gear to process a wider range of materials more reliable, which in particular additionally addresses soft materials just like TPUs, TPEs or TPCs, as well as smooth materials like PA and hard and brittle materials like carbon fibre reinforced filaments. Furthermore, the processing speed can be increased due to an increase in driving force compared to the standard 3Dfeedy.
How is the material switching process triggered?
The material switching is triggered by the feeding stepper motor through an automatically mechanical switching unit. The switching unit of 3Dfeedy is triggered by the retraction of the filament. But don’t be afraid, standard retractions induced during the printing are not causing a switching of the material unit.
How much time does one filament switch take?
One single filament switch does take approximately 10 to 15s. But the single filament switch is usually not the most time consuming part of the multi-material printing process. If more than one material unit leads to one single nozzle, the automated cleaning process of the nozzle usually takes much more time. For the cleaning process of the nozzle, on the one hand, different methods can be applied, which increase the processing time in different ways, and on the other hand, the hot end configuration of each printer affects the increase of the processing time on a large extend. Further information about that topic can be found in the question below. If the filaments additionally have different processing temperatures, further increase in process time at every filament switch due to heating or cooling of the nozzle is introduced.
What materials can be used with 3Dfeedy?
The limiting part of the list of processable materials is your printer. 3Dfeedy can feed any material that your printer can process. The advantage of the premium 3Dfeedy is the more reliable material feeding of soft materials like TPUs, TPEs or TPCs, as well as smooth materials like PA and hard and brittle materials like carbon fiber reinforced filaments. For the actual printing process, the compatibility of the materials has to be considered.
What kind of printing can be performed?
With 3Dfeedy you can do the same printing as before, only with more colors and more features. The only limiting factor is your drawing skills and the capabilities of the slicer. If you are able to draw (or download) a multi-material part and the multi-material slicer is able to process it, the multi-material print can be performed. For the actual printing process, the compatibility of the materials must also be taken into account.
What can be upgraded at 3Dfeedy?
After the launch, the upgrade will be available for additional material units. This will expand the current 3 units available to up to 9 units in a row. Further upgrades for the 3Dfeedy are planned. More details on our roadmap will be found in the following Q&As.
What is the difference to other multi-material units?
The most important difference to other multi-material units is the automatically mechanical driven switching unit, which makes it possible to process the feeding of the material and the switching of the material units with only one stepper motor. This makes 3Dfeedy compatible with any 3D-printer, since every 3D-printer needs a stepper motor for material feeding anyway.
Is it possible to combine different feeding units (standard/premium, 1.75/2.85mm) in one 3Dfeedy?
The different feeding units are fully compatible and can therefore be combined individually according to your needs in one 3Dfeedy. However, the 3D-printer’s hotend, as well as the inner diameter of the Bowden tube, is usually optimized for one filament diameter. It is preferable to separate different filament diameter versions to avoid a clogged nozzle and feeding problems.
What are your future plans for 3Dfeedy?
Immediately after the launch, we will provide additional material units to upgrade 3Dfeedy from 3 to 9 units.
After that, we plan to provide additional retraction ratios to allow you to optimize the material switching for your printer and needs, which further improve the switching time early within next year.
Later on, we are planning to provide a quick-change unit to further speed up the switching process.
In the meantime, we plan to design more stands and mounting plates for different attachment options on the 3D-printer.
Further improvements will be community driven and thus planned according to your feedback and reactions on 3Dfeedy.
All these improvements will be fully compatible to this version of 3Dfeedy.
The software will be successively improved with new 3Dfeedy enhancements and an offline version will be released in addition to the online version. Also our roadmap includes Plug-Ins and Add-Ons for the most common Slicers.
How to perform the cleaning of the nozzle?
Nozzle cleaning (when more than one filament leads to one single nozzle) can be performed in at least following ways:
- Using a prime tower to perform nozzle cleaning with predefined volumes for each material. This method usually results in the longest amount of time to clean the nozzle. Unfortunately, this method results in a large amount of wasted material.
- Approach a predefined location preferably next to the build plate and ideally purge the material into a container for cleaning the nozzle. This method usually results in significantly reduced cleaning times compared to the prime tower method. Unfortunately, this method results in a large amount of wasted material.
- Perform cleaning of the nozzle within the infill of the model. This method is actually the fastest option, since the printing of the infill already results in a material change in the nozzle. In addition, this method results in a very little or even no wasted material. Unfortunately, only a color change and no material change can be performed with this method, since the material properties within the infill should be consistent. In addition, the volume of the infill in each layer must be taken into account to prevent a material change not being finished within the infill.
- The combination of at least two of the above variants leads to an optimized increase of printing time in combination with a low amount of wasted material, however this method is quite difficult to calibrate and perform.
Why is the 3Dfeedy not available worldwide?
We are very happy about the worldwide interest in our 3Dfeedy and are overwhelmed by your feedback.
Now, the question has often come up why we are currently limited to Europe and the USA. The answer is that we are a start-up which has no experience in worldwide trade yet. Logistics and freight, customs and legal requirements, as well as regulations seemed difficult for us to manage in the first step. That's why we initially decided on a first launch wave for Europe and the USA. Other countries will certainly follow as soon as we have successfully completed the go-to-market countries of the first wave. We will try to create a roadmap as soon as possible, which will keep you up to date about the further launch plans.
I ordered a 3Dfeedy, how can I implement it to my printer?
We provide instructions at our 3DBIZZ portal. Go and have a look here.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a bowden tube 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy was originally developed for a bowden tube 3D-printer (Ultimaker 2+) and is therefore optimized for bowden tube 3D-printers. Unfortunately, there are still some restrictions with 3D-printer with a closed material system as well as a closed system with no access to the filament drive.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a direct driven 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy was originally developed for a bowden tube 3D-printer, but is also compatible to a direct driven 3D-printer. It’s not as easy for the direct driven system as it is for a bowden tube 3D-printer because you facing some more difficulties, however you have a lot more possibilities to use 3Dfeedy with your direct driven 3D-printer:
- If you are able to mount a second stepper motor on your 3D-printer and control both stepper motors individually, you could use one stepper motor to control the direct drive in your 3D-printer and the second stepper motor to feed filament to the direct driven feeder and to switch the filament.
- If you are able to mount a second stepper motor on your 3D-printer and drive both stepper motors in parallel, you can use one stepper motor for controlling the direct drive in your 3D-printer and the second stepper motor for feeding filament to the direct driven feeder and switching the filament.
- If you able to connect the drive of your direct drive with the drive of 3Dfeedy, you can use one stepper motor to control the direct drive, to control the feeding of the direct drive and to switch the filament.
- If you can only use one stepper motor, you can abandon the direct drive and use 3Dfeedy for feeding the hotend and switching the filament.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a single nozzle 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy is compatible with a single nozzle 3D-printer by combining the bowden tube right before the entry to the printhead. Thus, all filaments are guided to one hotend and processed by one printer nozzle. Different processing temperatures of the filaments have to be observed and a “cleaning” process of the nozzle due to the residual filament in the nozzle has to be performed. The use of filaments with different processing temperatures is possible, but must be carefully checked. For more information about the cleaning process of the nozzle, please refer to the FAQs.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a dual nozzle 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy is compatible with a dual nozzle 3D-printer by splitting all the filament strands into two strands. This results, for example, in a 3Dfeedy with 3 material units, in a combination of two filament strands in the first hotend and a single filament strand in the second hotend. The first hotend must be used like a single nozzle system and the second hotend can be treated independently. Preferably, filaments with the same or at least similar process temperatures should be combined to reduce the printing time due to the heating and cooling process of the hotend.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a multi nozzle 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy is compatible with a multi nozzle 3D-printer where all the filament strands are divided into a number of strands less than or equal to the number of nozzles. If each Bowden tube leads to a single nozzle, each filament can be handled individually in terms of temperature control and no cleaning of the nozzles is required. If more than one Bowden tube is combined into at least one nozzle, that nozzle must be cleaned before using the following filament, which is described further in the FAQs.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a switching head 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy is fully compatible with a switching head 3D-printer, which can be handled in the same way as a dual nozzle or multi nozzle 3D-printer.
Is 3Dfeedy compatible to a diamond nozzle 3D-printer?
3Dfeedy is fully compatible with a diamond nozzle where each filament leads to a single input of the nozzle. Since a cleaning process of the nozzle due to a residual material is necessary, this must be handled similar to a single nozzle (at least with mostly reduced cleaning volume).
What stepper motors are supported?
Currently, stepper motors with the frame size of NEMA 11, NEMA 14 and NEMA 17 are supported, but the connection plates can easily be adapted to your specific motor.
Does 3Dfeedy work with a filament sensor?
If your 3D-printer has a filament sensor, you can choose one of the following steps:
- If a material transport is supported while the filament sensor is activated (because of the removed material) and the printing process continues automatically after the next material is loaded, you can use your filament sensor as before.
- If filament sensor activation causes a pause or a problem of the printing process, there are other options you can work with:
o The filament sensor can be deactivated (e.g. unplugged) and 3Dfeedy is used without a filament sensor.
o The filament sensor can be removed from the bowden tube leading through the hotend and some material is inserted into the filament sensor, which actually deactivates the filament sensor and 3Dfeedy is used without a filament sensor.
o The filament sensor is plugged into the beginning of one of the bowden tubes, which results in measuring the feed of only one material strand with the filament sensor, but is still better than disabling or removing the filament sensor.
Does 3Dfeedy work on a Snapmaker 3D-printer?
Snapmaker is actually a direct driven 3D-printer, where all the methods of the direct driven 3D-printers can be applied. Unfortunately, Snapmaker is using a special design of the printhead for being compatible with the laser and the cnc unit as well as no Bowden connection on top of the hotend. Furthermore, the stepper motor is controlled via a can bus. Therefore, it makes it a bit more difficult to implement 3Dfeedy to a Snapmaker 3D-printer, but for sure not impossible. We are trying to find a way with the community to implement 3Dfeedy perfectly for Snapmaker.
To which 3D-printers is 3Dfeedy not compatible?
3Dfeedy is not compatible to 3Dprinters with a closed material system and with a system not upgradeable by the user, since 3Dfeedy is replacing the current feeding system of the printer or has to be implemented to the feeding unit of the printer.
Do I need a specific slicer?
No you can use whatever slicer you are used to. The only restriction right now is, that the slicer must support multi material slicing. In future, we are planning to provide Add-Ons or Plug-Ins for the most popular slicers, to make it even easier for you to work with.
How will the software be published?
Immediately after launch, the software will be released as an online tool to make it independent of the local operating system.
During the next year, we plan to release an offline version of the software, followed by Add-Ons and Plug-Ins for the most popular slicing software.
How does the software modify the GCODE?
The software is searching for the material/ tool change sections of the GCODE file and is changing that section with specific individual procedures to trigger the change of the material unit.