Finding success on Kickstarter, the Autolift retracting hot end boasts a simple design and is said to be able to improve performance, increase print resolution and help eliminate clogging issues.
The concept for the patent pending Autolift hot end came about as Dglass 3D was developing their Rugged HPX line of extruders which were successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year. The team at Dglass 3D says that, following hundreds of hours of testing, they found that while rigid mounted hot ends could create quality prints, they were limited in their ability to render fine detail and resolution when printing with 2 colors.
They say the lack of detail and quality are a limitation of hot ends which won't fully retract, and that results in plastic stringing and deposits left on the print. So they set out to create a high performance hot end aimed at preventing dragging and eliminating stringing.
The Autolift hot ends automatically lift the nozzle during filament retraction, and that eliminates dragging and prevents extra plastic from being deposited on the print. Comprised of a micro linear bearing and spring meant to activate the retracted nozzle position, the system doesn't require special electronics or servo actuation, and it's designed to function as part of the standard filament retraction operation. The Autolift system is adjustable, allowing the user to fine tune the retraction amount depending on the particular project, material or printing objectives.
Autolift Hot Ends feature groove style mounting, an all-metal design for high temperatures, micro linear bearing for maximum durability and performance and a compact design to allow for simplified adaptability. They are available for either 1.75mm or 3mm filament and include a 40w cartridge heater.
Carl and Brian Douglass, the Co-Founders of Dglass 3D and creators of the Autolift Hot End, say their experience in the plastics and electro-mechanical engineering fields have helped them "spark innovative solutions to problems that have been limiting the potential of consumer 3D printer users."
"As relative newcomers to consumer grade 3D printing, we were quickly frustrated with the capabilities of the available technology, the quality of parts, and the constant "tinkering" required to print high resolution prints," they say. "We wanted something better – not just for us – but for the entire 3D printing community we had joined. We felt we shared and understood their frustrations, and had the passion, vision and experience to take our ideas for a solution from concept to reality."
The brothers and their team have tested ABS, PLA, PVA, Nylon, HDPE and a few custom materials with the Autolift system, and they add that they've experienced outstanding results with each.
"We are thrilled with the results and feel confident that we've not only reached our target, but surpassed even our own expectations,"
You get an Autolift Hot End for a commitment to their campaign starting at $129.