$900 NIX full-color 3D printer hits Kickstarter

Jan 16, 2017 | By Tess

London-based 3D printing startup Nixtek is hoping to make its mark on the 3D printing world with its full-color NIX 3D printer. The 3D printer, which may not look like much at first, does have one feature that sets it apart from many other FDM machines: it has color-blending capabilities. In other words, using three filament colors, the NIX 3D printer has ability to mix them (much like how we learned to make new colors in Kindergarten using paint) to create a much wider range of hues.

Nixtek founder Felix Chan has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the NIX, and is hoping to raise £20,000 to put the 3D printer into production. Those who follow 3D printer startups closely might remember Nixtek from last year, as the startup unsuccessfully ran a crowdfunding campaign for its Tomato full-color 3D printer. Since then, it seems the 3D printer model has undergone some changes (most notably that the NIX 3D printer features three-color blending rather than 4, as the Tomato did), which make the machine more accessible in terms of cost.

According to the Kickstarter campaign, Nixtek was also able to bring down the cost of the printer by using smart engineering design and mostly laser-cut parts to build the 3D printer’s structure. “Most parts are made by high precision CNC and Laser Cut technology. High quality Brushed Aluminum is used to ensure high resolution printing,” the company states.

Other specs for the new 3D printer include a relatively standard build envelope of 20 x 20 x 14 cm (8 x 8 x 5.5 inches), and a high printing resolution of up to 5 microns (1/20th the thickness of a piece of paper). The NIX comes equipped with a 0.5 mm nozzle, but can be fitted with any size nozzle between 0.4 and 0.7 mm. It is only compatible with 1.75 mm diameter filaments, which are easy to get a hold of.

Of course, what is most impressive about the NIX 3D printer is not its build volume or its design, but its nearly unrivalled ability to print in multiple colors. As you can see in the test prints photographed, the 3D printer can print a variety of colors in a single print—a highly sought after feature. Let’s take a look at how the technology works.

The Kickstarter campaign explains that “three independently controlled Bowden extruders deliver a certain percentage of each color filament into the mixing chamber…Then the filaments will be melted and mixed in the unique mixing chamber, and extruded through the nozzle to build an object.” Similar to mixing paints, the user will be able to determine what percentage of each color filament will go into the print, and can even integrate multiple color profiles into a single object. NIX is also compatible with Repetier software, which offers users a number of pre-set color profiles, as well as user-friendly interface for creating custom colors.

So, how much is the NIX full-color 3D printer going for? On the lowest end of the spectrum, early bird backers can get a DIY kit of the NIX for a pledge of £749 ($900), while the full-color, already assembled printer (not early bird) will cost £899 ($1,085), or £999 ($1,205) with 4 rolls of CMYK filament. So far, NixTek has already raised more than half its £20,000 goal, and with just over 20 days left of the campaign, it seems like a promising start for the colorful 3D printer.

Posted in 3D Printer

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