Designed for the LulzBot TAZ 3D printer, the new Dual Extruder and FlexyDually tool heads are aimed at providing advanced users a method of printing in two colors of the same material, or printing two different types of material.
LulzBot says these new advanced accessories are recommended for expert users because the software and hardware aspects of the upgrades require a high level of technical capabilities.
The Dual Extruder is essentially one standard tool head for materials like ABS, PLA, and HIPS. The FlexyDually can print with both flexible and standard materials during a single print run to make parts with features like built-in dampeners or grips, stretchable straps with built-in buckles or even fittings which include gaskets.
Both extruders can heat up to and are mounted on a single carriage, and each standard nozzle is .5mm, which is optimized for flexible filaments.
The FlexyDually features one standard tool head for materials like ABS, PLA, and HIPS, and a second Flexystruder Tool Head that allows you to print with flexible filaments like NinjaFlex. Both of these extruders can heat up to 240° Celsius and are mounted on a single carriage. Each standard nozzle is .5mm which is optimized for flexible filaments, but this also limits the resolution that can be achieved with this tool head.
James Bruton, the founder of XRobots and a LulzBot expert user, says the new upgrades have helped him solve some complex mechanical problems in his 3D printing projects.
"Fusing rubber-like and rigid plastic together opens up many possibilities for manufacturing compliant joints for robotics, prosthetics and prop building," Bruton says. "It really pushes the envelope in 3D printing innovation."
The new additions to the LulzBot TAZ's architecture and its modular carriage design means the Dual Extruder and FlexyDually Tool Head can be installed with a few short steps on the TAZ 4 and that earlier versions of the LulzBot TAZ can be upgraded with a few additional steps.
Aleph Objects, Inc. says that the Dual Extruder and FlexyDually Tool Head are both fully Open Source Hardware, and that means users can view the source files to make and share their modifications and improvements.
"We are proud to offer the new LulzBot Dual Extruder and FlexyDually Tool Heads that make the LulzBot TAZ more versatile than ever," says LulzBot founder and CEO, Jeff Moe. "These products are a direct result of collaboration within the thriving Open Source Hardware community, especially on the LulzBot Forum, and we can't wait to see what our users do with them."