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A Unique Material Mixing Application with Technology from Slice Engineering

Up-and-coming YouTuber Deckingman also maintains a blog titled I3Deas, with the facetious tagline “old man's 3D printing thoughts, ideas, [and more importantly] experiments.” His most recent blog post details an experiment that involves a unique multi-material 3D printing application of the Bimetallic Heat Break™ from the Mosquito™ by Slice Engineering®.

In 2019, Deckingman began a design for a multi-temperature, multi-material mixing hot end that would be distinct from what is currently available. The idea was to create a hot end with separate thermal chambers for different filament types which would focus on truly mixing the colors and materials, rather than layering them on top of each other resembling a “stripey toothpaste,” as Deckingman calls it. With separate chambers, the temperature at which each individual material is heated can be controlled individually. To do this, a 6 input (5+1) design combining six separate heat breaks was created.

Deckingman knew he was in need of a ready-made heat break; however, he also knew most heat breaks tend to be structural elements made from one material causing their walls to be thicker, thus decreasing thermal efficiency. The only exception to this is the BiMetallic Heat Break™ Mosquito™ by Slice Engineering®. The lightweight, adaptable heat break is constructed from ultrathin, cold-worked stainless steel surgical tubing and sheathed in hardened copper alloy. Slice Engineering® helped to sponsor the innovative project by providing six Bimetallic Heat Breaks™, and a few other pertinent items, along with a free consultation to help speed the design process.


BiMetallic Heat Break™Mosquito™ by Slice Engineering®

Deckingman used the six BiMetallic Heat Breaks™ to create a 6 input mixing hot end assembly with a fan weighing 23% less than the commercially available Diamond 5 Colour without shrouds or fan. While full product testing has not been completed, and there are still factors like firmware to sort out, it is exciting to see the 6 Input (5+1) Mixing Hot End come to life! At Slice Engineering, we love to support innovation within the 3D Printing Community, and are excited for the future of multi-temperature and multi-material printing.

Read Deckingman’s full article detailing his design process here.