We’ve reported many times before about the need for costs of 3D printing to fall before we see true adoption in the market. After shelling out for a consumer printer, or even a 3Doodler, consumers will probably be slightly shocked at the price of filament. It is the same in the inkjet printing world; the cost of cartridges is astronomically unparalleled to the cost of the actual printer.
In the inkjet world we’ve seen companies like Cartridge World make a small fortune by refilling used cartridges and selling them on again. It is also possible to buy a kit and refill at home. The 3D printing equivalent to this has arrived, Filament extruders.
Last month we saw 83-year-old Hugh Lyman win the $40,000 Desktop Fabrication Competition prize for his Lyman Filament Extruder II, turning cheap ABS pellets into ABS filament suitable for desktop 3D printers. This month we’ve seen almost an exact replica of his invention spring up on Kickstarter.
With a very flashy pitch video and personable co-founders the Filastruder intends to take Lyman’s product head on and from the looks of their funding levels on Kickstarter they are almost certainly succeeding. After just three days since launch the Filastruder has achieved $75,000 of funding, they were only after $5,000!
Filastruder’s creator Tim Elmore, a PhD student at the University of Florida studying Mechanical Engineering, is joined on the project by PR graduate Allen Haynes. The pair say that using a Filastruder is upwards of ten times cheaper than buying normal filament.
It’s hard to see many differences in the Lyman Filament Extruder and the Filatruder so it will be interesting to see if either face any patent issues that mirror a previous Kickstarter project, FormLabs.