As you may recall from Rapid Ready’s coverage of RAPID 2014, materials is a topic of a fair number of conversations these days among the additive manufacturing (AM) crowd. AM customers seem less than sanguine about 3D printers following the path blazed by their 2D cousins when it comes to material costs. There seems to be a growing feeling that people should be able to use whatever material they like in their AM systems, assuming that material is compatible.
Sculptify seems to have heard the mutterings about materials and is responding by developing its first desktop AM system, named David. In place of filament, David uses plastic pellets to fuel its material extrusion process. This will not only give users a broader choice of materials, it will reduce the cost of those materials. Even better, many pellets are certified for quality and purity, meaning no fillers and materials that perform as advertised.
The company is still at work testing which pellets work best with David. The current list of materials that are in the testing process include ABS and PLA, the usual suspects for materials extrusion, along with HDPE, EVA, nylon, TPU, HIPS, PC, and wood composites.
If David seems like an odd choice of a name for a 3D printer (why not Jeff or Greg?), Sculptify has an answer for you.
“We came up with the name David after being inspired by the famous sculpture created by Michelangelo. It’s one of the most recognized works of art in the world, and reminds us that with the right tools, anything is possible,” said Slade Simpson, CEO of Sculptify, “We have poured our hearts and souls into this printer for the past year and a half, and we are really excited to get it into people’s hands.”
Specs for David have yet to be released, but Sculptify isn’t making any outlandish claims about build envelope or print speed. The company is claiming David has an “excellent” print resolution, which, for material extrusion systems, could be anywhere from 40µ to 100µ. The system is professional in appearance and features a removable print platform, but those are the only real details released thus far.
Like many startups these days (maybe even most startups), Sculptify will be turning to Kickstarter for initial funding late in Q2. Below you’ll find a video discussing the merits of printing with pellets.