3D printers operating on the fused layer deposition (FLD) principle are fed with plastic filament to generate objects. But as is the case with the traditional 2D ink jet printer, cartridges tend to be costly. Now, a Columbus-based startup is planning to transform the status quo with a new type of printer that can operate using standard plastic pellets fed from a continuously fillable hopper.
The David 3D printer from Sculptify (Columbus, OH) utilizes fused layer extrusion (FLEX) technology to create objects from a wide range of pelletized materials including polylactide (PLA), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and ABS. According to Sculptify, the 1-kg bags of PLA pellets optimized for use with David will ship for $18, whereas a 1-kg spool of plastic normally costs roughly $48.