Crowdfunding campaigns are a great and very popular way to raise funds for new technologies, projects, and products. One of the top sites for these campaigns is Kickstarter, and as we regularly hear about more promising startups we work to keep up-to-date on the latest 3D printing-related Kickstarter campaigns, whether it’s for a 3D printed product or an innovative new 3D printer.

In today’s Kickstarter campaign update, 3D printer manufacturer Natural Robotics, based in Barcelona, recently launched a campaign for its VIT SLS 3D printer, which was fully funded less than 30 minutes after the campaign opened. Now, with a little less than a month left, the campaign has already made more than double its original goal.

[Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief Sarah Goehrke had a chance to see the affordable VIT printer, and some sample prints, first-hand at the recent IN(3D)USTRY event in Barcelona, which is where the company “confirmed there is a need for a low cost Laser Sintering 3D printer.”

The VIT prints strong pieces with polyamide PA12 powder that are similar in quality and hardness to those created by injection molding. No supports are needed with the SLS printing process, and VIT users can “maximize production by filling completely the build volume with models even in Z axis.”

The company works with open materials, so you can purchase them from whichever provider you prefer; Natural Robotics notes on the campaign that the printer will even work with sugar.

The VIT is listed as ready to use, with a 7″ touchscreen display, an LED strip that indicates what the printer is doing, and easy web-based software, developed by Natural Robotics, that reads both .stl and .obj 3D files. The printer also offers remote technical support, which is helped by the presence of a webcam – also used for remote monitoring of print jobs.

Technical specs include:

  • Dimensions: 800 x 600 x 950 mm
  • Print volume: 250 x 250 x 250 mm
  • Print speed: 20 mm per hour
  • CO2 40W laser for diverse materials

[Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

Natural Robotics also designed a custom 112MHz electronics board – with 64KB of RAM and an ATSAM4S2B ARM microcontroller – that does everything from controlling the temperature of the chamber and powder and driving the motors and laser to communicating with the internal computer.

The Early Bird rewards are all gone, but you can get the VIT 3D printer, plus a 10 kg package of PA12 powder, for €5,999 – a discount of 45% off the printer’s actual retail price.

 

There’s no doubt that 3D printers are wonderful machines, and Paris-based Zimple is on a mission to make them safer with its affordable Zimpure plug-and-play filtering solution, which was available on Kickstarter this spring. Now, the company has launched a new version of its air purifier.

“It’s a new version of Zimpure, more professional, quieter and well-packaged,” Zimple COO Antoine Franz told 3DPrint.com.

“We’ve shipped the first version this summer and our clients are very happy.”

Regardless of how great they are, 3D printers do release fumes, and there have been studies to determine how harmful they really are.

The campaign asks, “Have you noticed this strange and irritating smell when you’re near your 3D Printer? It’s actually a mix of harmful gases and nanoparticles. This is due to thermoplastic fusion. Professionals in the thermoplastic industry and folks with an average sense of smell, you have already smelled this odor of melted plastic and you know it can’t be good for your health.”

The discreet Zimpure air purifier filters potentially toxic chemicals near a 3D printer’s extrusion nozzle, before they have time to spread around the room. It actually vacuums up the fumes right from the source, and filters 99% of the nanoparticles, and over 90% of gases, released into the atmosphere by your 3D printer.

According to the Kickstarter, when plastic melts it releases two agents that are potentially toxic – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC gases) and nanoparticles, which could cause a myriad of health issues down the line.

“If we consider one 3D printer operating continuously in a well-mixed 45 m3 (1600 ft3)  furnished and conditioned office space (complete air renewal rate of once every hour), we observe an ultrafine particles concentration of 58 000 particles/cm3. This is 11 times more than what can be found in the ambient air of a typical home, office or school,” they say.

“That is not acceptable!”

To combat these potential toxins and make 3D printing safer, just download and print out the special suction head, plug in the new and improved Zimpure, and let it vacuum up all of those harmful fumes.

The company worked with a specialized laboratory to test, improve, and certify the Zimpure, which is made up of two filters and a powerful, but quiet, fan. The new version comes with an injection molded case, filled with acoustic foam, to make the product even quieter.

After its first successful Kickstarter campaign, Zimple was able to move into its production facility in France, which is now completely set up and “ready to produce.”

There are about 20 Zimpure suction heads for some of the most popular 3D printers on the market – just visit the company’s website and search for yours. The campaign has reached well over half of its goal now, and with 19 days to go, there are still plenty of Super Early Bird rewards available – only €99 for one Zimpure, which is €90 off of the product’s retail price.

 

Are you interested in either of these Kickstarter campaigns? Let us know, and discuss other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

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