Having a great idea for a 3D print, or even actually printing out your brainchild, is only part of the story.
That's why Christopher LoBello and J.F. Brandon have created an accessories package for 3D printers that helps you finish the job.
First in the package is the Makeraser. It is essentially a felt tip pen used for applying acetone to prints to give them a smooth, finished look. The pen has a marble in it to keep the ABS and acetone mixture homogenous and an intuitive means of measuring out the right amount of ABS filament to get the right ratio.
"We take out the guess work for your ABS slurry," LoBello said.
Some common uses for the tool include touching up and smoothing out bumpy prints, preventing curling or warping of ABS prints, and sealing holes or cracks to make a water-tight print.
It also comes with a handy scrapper to assist with removing prints from the build plate.
Makeraser only works for ABS though, so the two started looking around for something that would smooth prints made from PLA, and stumbled onto a chemical combination that turns PLA into a soft, pliable consistency.
Makelastic is a mixture of Ethyl lactate and other alcohols that get in between PLA molecules and loosens their bonds. The result: it rubberizes PLA prints, making previously rigid prints soft and malleable.
The mixture is good for printing things like tires, shoes, gloves, gears, hinges, gaskets, squeeze toys, joints, moulds for casting, buttons, feet numbs, cases or bumpers.
"We were working with a guy who has a Ph.D. in chemistry from MIT," Brandon said. "He kind of gave of some information about what was going on with the chemicals."
LoBello and Brandon have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial offering of the package. They have raised more than half their $10,000 goal in a little less than 24 hours. The donation levels run from $5 to $500, but $99 will get you the complete set.
LoBello and Brandon took the accessories package to the 2013 World Makerfaire 2013 in New York City and were finalists in the Pitch Your Prototype competition.
"I think a good invention is something you would want to use yourself," LoBello said.