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The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!

Posted by RP Iron Man 
The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 04, 2016 09:27PM
I have some exciting news about a new product that we have been working on smiling smiley

The Prometheus System!



DisTech Automation has developed a new solution for multi-filament 3D printing called The Prometheus System which allows you to print 2 different filaments from a single nozzle. It works by pulling one filament out of the hot end and feeding another filament into the same hot end to switch between filaments. This new product builds off of our existing Prometheus V2 Hot End.

Using a combination of custom filament switching G-code, precision machined parts, the 1-piece internally polished Prometheus V2 nozzle, and powerful geared extruder stepper motors, we are able to reliably print objects with hundreds of filament switches in a single print!



This enables you to print multi-color objects, print with support material, or create multi-material prints!


Multi-Color Worlds printed in ABS plastic.


Propellers: Yellow PLA with PolySupport support material on the left; Nylon Alloy 910 with Guidel!ne PETG support material on the right.


Composite wrench printed with Colorfabb XT-CF20 Carbon Fiber perimeters and Colorfabb XT Clear infill.


Glow-in-the-dark objects printed with Colorfabb Glowfill

The objective with this new product is to eliminate the difficulties and quality issues associated with conventional methods of dual extrusion (calibration, nozzle dripping, color contamination, extrusion pressure, etc...).

The Prometheus System is a unique approach to multi-filament 3D printing that is designed to solve all of these issues! By using a single nozzle, The Prometheus System eliminates the calibration and nozzle dripping issues that affect dual nozzle configurations. In addition, by feeding one filament at a time into a single hot end, The Prometheus System prevents the problems with color contamination and increased extrusion pressure that are associated with recently popularized color mixing hot ends. This results in clean color transitions and flawless printed parts:





I am really excited to hear what you all think of this new product! We have been working hard to find the optimal solution for multi-filament 3D printing and we think this is it! Please use this thread to share your thoughts on our new product and our unique approach. We are committed to working with the open source community and we will be releasing this product under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Creative Commons license.

Our Kickstarter campaign for The Prometheus System will launch on September 6th. You can sign up at [distechinnovations.com] to receive a Kickstarter launch notification and get the first pick of the discounted Early Bird rewards.

Happy Printing!

Eric


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 01:47AM
Looks nice! Could you also post some close-ups of those prints?
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 01:59AM
Sounds great, I liked the look of your prometheus hot end but put off by lack of UK distributors.

One thing I can say though, Please use less GIF's and more details and pictures of the internals of the extruder. The GIF's are very distracting, and make it annoying to read the post.
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 05:34AM
RifRaf was doing this with 3 extruders back in 2014..

eg [i.imgur.com]
eg [i.imgur.com] (admittedly poorly tuned machine)

some details [www.thingiverse.com]
but looks like it may be been lost in time... I sure he posted it somewhere else...

ah here is it [repables.com]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2016 05:36AM by Dust.
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 10:39AM
@Frans@France

Here are some up close pics. It was difficult to keep them in focus since I zoomed in so close.





@Origamib

I am sorry that you find the GIFs distracting! I was using them to showcase the different type of objects you can create. I'll try to explain the system a bit more with detailed pics.

The customizable design of the Prometheus V2 hot end allows you to configure the length of the “melt-zone” to your specific needs. Using a short 12mm “melt-zone” increases precision and minimizes filament waste with multi-filament 3D printing.


The extruders are a very important part of the system and are required for it to work reliably. The extruders have a 5:1 gear ratio so that they can reliably execute the rapid movements required for filament switching. In addition, they are designed to effectively guide the filament in and out of the extruders for long retractions of about 150mm for filament switching since they have bowden inserts on the top and bottom. Finally, the drive gear is very sharp and does not have a concave so it does not eat away at the filament with rapid movements like some hobbed gears do.


The ProFeeder directs the filament path from the 2 extruders into a single filament guide that feeds into the hot end.The precision machined KETRON HPV – Bearing Grade PEEK Guide that connects the feeder to the hot end is the secret sauce of the Prometheus System. It reshapes the filament tip with each retraction so that it can be reinserted into the hot end without getting stuck.


@Dust

People have indeed been trying to do this method of filament switching for a long time. The reason it has never caught on is because nobody could get it working consistently enough to make it a viable product. That is the problem we are trying to tackle with The Prometheus System!

Cheers,
Eric


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 12:12PM

Was playing with a similar idea myself, but the version I had in mind would cut the filament as it changed over, how does your system negate the need for that? Does it have a large retraction on every change over.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2016 12:15PM by MechaBits.
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 12:25PM
@MechaBits

The Prometheus System does have a large (~150mm) retraction on each filament switch. It uses 5:1 geared steppers though so it can pull the filament in and out quickly.

We also use custom G-code and machined parts to minimize stringing and reshape the plug that forms at the filament tip to ensure reliable filament switching.


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 02:58PM
Here are some recent news articles about The Prometheus System!

[3dprint.com]

[www.3ders.org]

[www.fabbaloo.com]

[3dprintingindustry.com]

[www.3printr.com]

[3druck.com]

[www.cantechletter.com]

[www.htxt.co.za]

Cheers,
Eric


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 05, 2016 10:09PM
Though I designed the above before ever changing a roll, and the cut wouldnt have been in the ideal place, so bravo for realizing it could be done without cutting, some funky results there.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2016 10:11PM by MechaBits.
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 06, 2016 07:25AM
We just launched our Kickstarter campaign for The Prometheus System!

Click on the link below to visit the Kickstarter page:

[www.kickstarter.com]

We would really appreciate your support! smiling smiley

@MechaBits Thanks!

Cheers,
Eric


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 12, 2016 02:41AM
Quote
RP Iron Man
@Frans@France

Here are some up close pics. It was difficult to keep them in focus since I zoomed in so close.

Eric,

Thank you. Looking good!
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 25, 2016 10:33PM
Hi Eric,

Any issues with kinked Filament in the Pro Feeder? As it is two in and one out i expect you will have an area where the filamemts are not fully guided on each side. Do you have tests done with more brittle Filaments like wood or metal filled ones??

Also, i guess it is not possible to print flexible Material because of this.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2016 03:36AM by Starscream83.
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
September 28, 2016 02:52PM
@Starscream83

No issues with kinked filament in the ProFeeder. There is only a small section where the filament is unconstrained. I have printed semiflexible materials like TAULMAN PCTPE (Flexible Nylon) without issues. However, I would not recommend printing super flexible filaments like Ninjaflex. As for brittle materials, I have not had issues with material breaking. The radius is a very gentle curve so it does not put extra stress on the filament as it passes into the ProFeeder.

Cheers,
Eric


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
June 26, 2017 06:48AM
It’s been a while since the last update. We have been working hard over the past few months since fulfilling the remaining Kickstarter rewards in March, and we have some exciting news!

We are proud to announce the release of the Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade)!

You can view the promo video by clicking the link below:

[www.youtube.com]

This upgrade kit allows E3D V6 Hot End users to create multi-color and multi-material objects. The Prometheus System solution simplifies the multi-extrusion process and expands the capabilities of 3D printers using the E3D V6.



The original Prometheus System was specifically designed to work with our Prometheus V2 Hot End. However, with the success of the Kickstarter campaign and hundreds of active users around the world, many people have requested system compatibility with the E3D V6 Hot End.

To enable reliable multi-filament 3D printing using the Prometheus System with the E3D V6, we had to develop the "Prometheus Heat Break". This is a precision machined and polished component that replaces the standard E3D V6 heat break to facilitate reliable filament switching with the Prometheus System.



The Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade) solves all of the issues associated with conventional methods of dual extrusion. We believe that this new product will be a popular upgrade for E3D V6 users who want to print multi-color and multi-material objects.

The Prometheus System (E3D V6 Upgrade) is available for order and ships immediately. The upgrade kit can be purchased by following the link below:

[www.distechautomation.com]

In addition to the release of the E3D V6 Upgrade kit, we wanted to provide a quick update on Simplify3D software compatibility with the Prometheus System. This is something that many people have been asking about, and unfortunately, it has been delayed for a long time due to ongoing bugs in the Simplify3D software.

However, one of our Kickstarter backers named Pekka, (aka. “spegelius” on our forum) recently began working on a post-processing script called “FilaSwitch” to allow Simplify3D to work with the Prometheus System. We are supporting his efforts and he has made a lot of progress! You can view his development thread on our forum by clicking on the link below. Feel free to post in that thread to offer him encouragement or suggestions for his script.

[distechforum.com]

We will be sure to post an update as soon as the S3D post-processing script is ready for beta-testing smiling smiley It’s almost ready!

Stay tuned!


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
July 20, 2017 07:29AM
After a few weeks of beta testing, the Prometheus System is now officially compatible with Simplify3D!

"FilaSwitch": Simplify3D G-Code Post-Processor

We would like to give special thanks to our Kickstarter backer named Pekka (aka. “spegelius” on our forum) for developing the "FilaSwitch" post-processor! [github.com] Pekka has worked very hard on this script and he deserves full credit. You can follow his FilaSwitch development thread here on our forum:

[distechforum.com]

FilaSwitch is a Python script that processes the S3D G-code output and adds a smart purge tower to enable compatibility with the Prometheus System. This smart purge tower has some very neat features to optimize the filament switching process.

As seen in the preview below, FilaSwitch eliminates unnecessary filament switches on single color layers by printing a support structure on the tower. This saves a lot of time and filament.



FilaSwitch also generates a perimeter around the tower to keep the purge lines clean and contained and stops printing the purge tower when there are no more filament switches required for the print.

By incorporating the above features with the wipe setting and carefully controlled purging, FilaSwitch is truly a work of art. This is a Benchy boat that we printed using S3D and FilaSwitch:





Once again, a huge thank you to Pekka, our Kickstarter backer, for developing FilaSwitch. Based on our testing, we think that there are no more bugs remaining in the script. However, if you do happen to find a bug, please post it in the GitHub issue tracker:

[github.com]

You can find instructions for using S3D and FilaSwitch in our User Guide:

[www.distechautomation.com]

Happy printing!


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
July 20, 2017 03:45PM
Quote
RP Iron Man
FilaSwitch ... stops printing the purge tower when there are no more filament switches required for the print.

Uh, the photos of the Benchy don't appear to show that... the purge tower appears to be almost the same height as the boat, including the top part of the chimney which is all blue. ???
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
July 20, 2017 03:48PM
It's hard to tell, but for the last few solid blue layer, there is actually no filament switch. This feature is more apparent with models with a solid color for the last several layers. Keep in mind that the dual color Benchy model has both blue and brown colors right up to the last few layers.


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
Re: The Prometheus System - Intuitive Multi-Filament 3D Printing!
November 24, 2017 09:08AM
Just a heads up:

We are offering a 15% discount on all orders during this Black Friday weekend!

If you have been waiting to purchase a Prometheus System or Prometheus V2 for your printer, now is your chance. Use the discount code BF2017 at checkout to receive 15% off your order: [www.distechautomation.com]

Sale ends Monday, November 27!

Check out our Prometheus System - Product Feature video below:

[www.youtube.com]

Happy printing!


**Intuitive MULTI-FILAMENT 3D Printing** -- Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!

I designed the Prometheus V2 Customizable All-Metal Hot End. Buy online
Prometheus Hot End discussion thread
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