Useful stuff with Kickstarter

    In this review, we will look at several projects with Kickstarter that will help make your 3D printing a little better. Some of these projects have already been completed within the framework of Kickstarter and have moved to the mass production stage, others have not taken off for one reason or another, but they can throw a little bit of something else, and some are still at the crowdfunding stage and can participate in it.

    The 3D Printer Shield

    For whom: for any owner of a 3D printer.

    The 3D Printer Shield is an easy way to increase print quality. We all know how the temperature drop can harm the quality - a simple draft from the wrong time to open a window or door is enough to disrupt the structure of the printed part.

    The 3D Printer Shield is a composite screen of transparent panels that protects the printer from drafts, sudden changes in temperature, dust, children, cats and other surprises that can prevent printing. And surrounding people are partially protected from the noise of the printer itself and the vapor of the material during printing.

    The device is easy to install and is available in three sizes suitable for various 3D printers.

    Small - 30 x 30 x 31 cm
    Medium - 53.5 x 54 x 54 cm
    Large - 68 x 77 x 67 cm

    The cost of such boxing, when it goes into a series, is not yet indicated, but on pre-order it is from $ 60 to $ 175 - depending on the size chosen and the date of the order (the earlier, the cheaper).

    It is unlikely that the project will collect the necessary $ 10,000 by January 21, but the idea is interesting and you can think about creating such a thing on your own, good - there is nothing complicated here.

    The creators of 3D Printer Shield also produce cases.for storage and protection of the filament. It is unlikely that someone will order them from the USA, but this is a good reason for the printer to think about how his working material is kept with him and what can be done about it. Temperature drops, improper moisture levels, direct sunlight — all of these factors can be great at spoiling plastic if you don’t use it all at once and store it for a while just by folding it where necessary.


    For whom: for owners of homemade 3D-printers and those who want to improve purchased ones.

    Wembi is an upgrade kit for an improvised 3D printer. The set is designed to make any simplest 3D printer quieter, faster and more efficiently using the elements contained in it: a feedback controller, engines optimized for working with it, adapters, cables and access to special software.

    According to the creators, the controller receives a response from the engines and adjusts their work by amending, which prevents printing errors.

    The accuracy of conventional stepper motors decreases with increasing speed, Wembi also allows you to increase the accuracy even at high speeds. This is achieved by the fact that Wembi emulates the work of a stepper motor with the help of a collector motor, with greater accuracy - at 2650 or even 3500 steps per revolution, depending on the settings. The system is equipped with active cooling of the motors and the control unit - there are small quiet coolers.

    Together with the device comes software that allows you to fine-tune the controller and engines.


    For whom: for anyone who does not want to follow the printing process for hours and control the flow of material.

    RhinoSmart - filament stopping detector. The device is designed to prevent consequences when a filament in a 3D printer is stuck or running out. Such a nuisance can occur for various reasons and threatens to seal the marriage, and sometimes it can lead to malfunctions.

    In case of difficulty in the receipt of material in the extruder, RhinoSmart suspends the operation of the 3D printer to correct the problem and further resume printing.
    Some manufacturers of 3D printers are preoccupied with the creation of such a module, but their detectors are only suitable for their printers.

    The device is quite simple and consists of several 3D-printed parts, a switch Arduino, a pair of bearings and a set of connecting wires. In a complete set of 3 sets of wires in length from 20 to 80 centimeters.

    The use of RhinoSmart is especially important in cases where printing is carried out simultaneously on several 3D printers and it can be difficult to keep track of everything.

    3D printer filament spool holder & storage case system

    For whom: for any 3D printer using a filament in coils.

    System for storing and using filaments. It is a specially designed containers that protect materials for 3D printing during storage from dust and other external influences and allow you to use them with great convenience. Also inside there is a compartment with silica gel, which absorbs excess moisture and prevents it from affecting the filament.

    The container is interesting because it can be placed next to the printer in any position and at any angle, and it will regularly feed the print material.

    An additional plus is that such a case is much more convenient to carry and transport than bare material coils or boxes with them.


    For whom: for anyone creating their own 3D printer or CNC milling machine by themselves.

    Smoothieboard is still a “fresh” project of 2013, but that’s why, perhaps, not everyone knows about it, but something interesting and may be useful for many. This is the CNC controller board.

    What makes her interesting? This is a specially designed universal board for controlling any CNC-devices - 3D-printers, milling machines, laser installations. This is an Open Source project - a team of developers and enthusiastic users is a project community that is constantly working together to improve and support it.
    Any changes to the settings and firmware of the board can be made via a regular USB cable. The modular structure of the software allows you to add the blocks of the program necessary for your device, without the need to edit existing ones.

    In addition, the board software is friendly to common editing programs and the lamination of 3D objects and works great with them.

    Most other open source projects in this area use eight-bit AVR microcontrollers (like those used in the Arduino), while the Smoothieboard runs on the more powerful 32-bit ARM microcontroller LPC1768 Cortex-M3.

    This is a completely different power, which gives a more accurate and smooth control of work processes, with a similar cost of the “iron” itself.

    Years have passed, but the project continues to successfully develop releasing software updates, continuing sales and supporting users , which most likely indicates its relevance.

    3D Printer Filament Storage Stand that Dries Filament

    Stand storage for multiple filament coils with moisture control.

    Failed to Kickstarter, but interesting in principle, the project is storage and drying for several filament coils, from which plastic can be directly fed into a 3D printer (and with some slight refinement, into several printers standing side by side).

    The main reason for the failure is most likely that everyone can assemble a similar design on their own or order for less than the requested 219-319 dollars, therefore the demand for it, as a product, was not enough. However, the idea itself is very good, you can adopt it and do something similar.

    PolySmooth & Polysher

    PolySmooth & Polysher is a complete solution for printing without visible layers, which includes:

    Printing material PolySmooth, soluble with conventional technical alcohols (ethanol and isopropyl) and the Polysher polishing / glossing machine, which is an automatic bath where alcohol is fine mist affects printed products.

    The project is remarkable in that it allows to do without toxic and very fragrant acetone. This makes the creation of smooth 3D-printed surfaces a matter far less troublesome than before.

    “Polishing” takes only 10 minutes.

    On Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms often appear very efficient things, many of which then begin an independent life in mass production and free sale. And some, even if they do not find a response on Kickstarter itself, may push the idea to create something of their own, even more interesting.

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