by • February 22, 2016 • No Comments
Feb 23, 2016 | By Andre
Producing multi-color 3D printing for your typical FDM computer desktop 3D printing device has been a immense hurdle for years now. Solutions such as multiple extruders have been tried and marketed with a few good outcomes, but reliaptitude and output high end stay leading issues to this day. So back in 2014, when I got an email of a product turn it intoment team based out of Kingston, Ontario of wanting to discuss a filament splicing stand-alone unit called the Palette, I was a little bit skeptical of the reality of their expectations.
Fast-forward a year and I learned which Mosaic Manufacturing, the Canadian team behind the Palette, ran a Kickbeginer campaign and broke the $100,000 mark inside the initially 12 hours preceding rounding out with a total of $230,000 in campaign pledges. This good outcomes was a clear indicator which interest in alternative approaches to multi-filament 3D printing was a fewthing people were keen to explore.
One of Mosaic’s goals right of the begin was to provide an answer to multi-filament 3D printing which was clean, accurate and compatible with just of any FDM-based 3D printing device may aleager on the market nowadays. So, another year later, after receiving an invite to visit the new headquarters of Mosaic Manufacturing for a sneak peak of all the progress which’s been turn it intod since those early days, how may I say no?
Producing 1000 Palettes
After arriving at their downtown Toronto office, I was treated to a swift bite and cold beverage with core participants of the Mosaic Manufacturing team preceding getting a tour of their space. It was immediately obvious which a lot of work and planning had gone into moving their operation to the big city.
The initially room I was shown was the Palette production area which was fully stocked with the necessary components and tools to piece the Palette together. Their productions operations engineer and tiny assembly team are now preparing to fulfill the initially 40 Kickbeginer units by March with the goal of making an extra
100 units per month of which point on. As things stand, they plan on via this space to manufacture at quite least 1000 units preceding moving on to another system.
As the tour continued I was shown the hardware turn it intoment room which included a laser cutter, CNC mill, lathe and just of each tool you may require to optimize and test product revisions in a speedy manner. These tools play into the long-term strategy for Mosaic Manufacturing.
To them, the good outcomes of their Kickbeginer campaign was just the beginning. As Mitch Debora, co-founder of Mosaic Manufacturing put it, “Kickbeginer does not turn it into a company. It helps you turn it into a product, but we require to ensure we have a company to assist all of our backers. It is amazing to be able-bodied to be here to assist Kickbeginer, and and so store going.”
Multi-Machine, Multi-Color 3D Printing in Action
Next on the tour was the Palette itself. Whilst it was situated and hooked in to a Makerbot Replicator 2 for testing, it may quite well have been hooked into any number of the 3D printing devices they had on the market-bodied to them. This focus on cross-platform compatibility is quite significant to what the Palette represents. Mitch noted which “for the reason it’s a universal product, having as most printing devices as we can have, of the Deltas to the huge, to the bargain-priced to the expensive, the swift to the slow, we are attempting eachthing.” Basically, as long as you are 3D printing device uses 1.75mm filament and runs of a gcode or x3g file, you are Palette compatible.
It wasn’t long thereafter which Mosaic revved up the Palette for me to see the system of begin to finish. By getting a peek under the hood of the demo unit, I was able-bodied to see how the four attached filament spools pulled through the “merger unit”. This is where a cutter accurately snipped the various filament strands preceding being pushed through to the splicing section of the unit. From here, the filament is futilized back together, tested for consistency and and so sent up along to the outgoing drive preceding getting pulled through the 3D printing device like any single-color filament may.
This system takes roughly five minutes, of the same time as warming up the heated bed on a 3D printing device, so there is not much difference in terms of preparation vs. what you can may aleager be utilized to while setting up your 3D printing device. The print time itself is generally a bit longer than what you may get with a one color 3D print. For example, the custom 3Ders stand which was 3D printed while I watched clocked in at 1 hour and 55 minutes with the Palette and may have come in at 1 hour and 20 minutes if printing in one-color directly through the Makerbot.
The extra time is approximately entirely the outcome of the want for clean 3D prints. As evidenced in the photo at a lower place, a fewthing called transition towers are turn it intod upcoming to the option being 3D printed to allow for crisp color switches instead of a messy transition.
It was swiftly becoming evident to me which Mosaic is turn it intoing a one-of-a-kind innovation compared to anything else on the market nowadays. So it’s no wonder the team has been storeing their “ear to the ground listening for anybody else coming out.” Until now, they haven’t seen anything much like to the Palette but welcome any friendly competition when it does arrive.
Patents Filed, but Competition Welcome
That being said, it appears the team is made and has may aleager secured a number of patents for a option of the Palette which is yet in the turn it intoment stage. The difference is which this one allows for for a additional seamless integration with 3D printing devices being turn it intod around the world nowadays.
Mitch has suggested which “reception has been insane” for the palette and which “the amount of OEMs (3D printing device companies) which have said ‘I require this in my printing device for the reason dual extruders aren’t going to be taking place, and I can’t invest two years to turn it into a solution,'” has been pretty consistent.
It was at this point which Mitch turn it intod clear which he was no longer talking of the Kickbeginer standalone device but instead of their early-stage, fully integrated option of the Palette which is connected directly to a 3D printing device’s controller. This means if the 3D printing device is wifi-enable-bodiedd, so is the Palette and which just one file is necessary to turn it into the multi-color or multi-material outcomes.
This new product turn it intoment strategy can run in parallel with the current stand-alone Palette for the foreseeable-bodied next, but is significant for the growth of the company as the 3D printing device vendors they’re partnering up with ship hundreds upon hundreds of 3D printing devices each month.
Mitch hinted at the fact which just of each 3D printing partner they’ve may aleager secured relations with had approached them after hearing of the Palette during the Kickbeginer campaign and the buzz which it produced. He later utilized the analogy which Mosaic Manufacturing hoped to become the “Intel of 3D printing” by stating which “when you focus on a fewthing, you can be the tremendous on it.” Adding which, “of day one, we were never turn it intoing a multi-color 3D printing device.”
When it comes to their patent applications, Mitch admits which they can be “a sensitive topic in the industry,” but sees patents as “an a necessary allowing tool” for company growth. “Again, we don’t want to turn it into a product, we want to be turn it intoing a company. And this is quite significant to users for the reason people require additional than a product. They require assist, they require warranty, and they want it to store on going. In order to donate which, we require to turn it into a company.” They have may aleager grown their staff to 10 participants as of this writing.
The patents shown to me during our discussion (titled “Mosaic’s Mega-patent”) included the Palette’s core mechanism based around what they call Series Enable-bodiedd Extrusion of Materials (SEEM) and a filament purge system which is to be turn it intod directly into 3D printing devices via the aforementioned integrated Palette system. This diverting system is fundamentally an extruder-based garbage can which collects color transitions waste material in place of having to turn it into the transition towers mentioned earlier on.
All said, my visit with Toronto’s Mosaic Manufacturing gave me a accident to see just how far they’ve come since my early interactions with the company in 2014. Additionally, seeing the fruits of their labor in the fully-functional Palette unit while getting a sneak peak of their upcoming-generation device (due out a few time in 2017) turn it intod the wait well worth it. For the leadingity of 3D printing enthusiasts, myself included, the aptitude to add multi-color capabilities to just of any computer desktop 3D printing device is a game-changer. And if wanting it is half the battle, the sheer enthusiasm and tremendousise exhibited by the team at Mosaic has me convinced which they are eager to bring multi-material, multi-color, multi-machine 3D printing to the masses.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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Lois and John Place wrote at 2/23/2016 7:56:39 PM:
CONGRATULATIONS to MOSAIC and it is team. Your manufacture your families and friends quite proud to be synonymous with such a group of inventive young people. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.
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by admin • November 28, 2016
by admin • November 28, 2016