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Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:31 pm
by RP Iron Man
Hey guys,

Check out the Prometheus Hot End, my new customizable all metal hot end is now on Indiegogo!

http://igg.me/at/Prometheus-Hot-End/x/6004956

I have been involved in development work within the RepRap community for quite some time and this hot end is my way of contributing to the community :) I am only active over on the RepRap forums but I thought I should post here in case any of you guys are interested in my new hot end. The Indiegogo campaign just went up so if you are quick you can grab one of the Early Bird perks!

Let me know what you guys think and just ask if you have any questions.

I would really appreciate your support!

Even if you can't directly support his project, it would be really helpful if you could tell all of your 3D printing buddies about my campaign and spread the word ;)

Happy printing!

PS. I am sorry if this is too much advertising... I posted here because I though some people would be genuinely interested in this new hot end :)

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:01 am
by Glacian22
I was prepared to be unimpressed by yet-another-hotend, but that actually looks like a really well thought out design. Having had my E3D leak PLA through the internal junctions, that long threaded nozzle looks pretty tempting.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:25 pm
by RP Iron Man
Yeah, it was definitely very well thought out and it works great. However, I now realize that I really failed on the marketing end of things :( I started out as a developer withing the RepRap community and I decided to bring this design to market, but unfortunately there are a lot of things that I have yet to learn about the marketing side of business and I really did not properly market my work :( Despite the technical merits of my work, this project is not a success because I did not spend enough time on marketing.

Unfortunately, I am going to have to shut down this project (I am refunding people who contributed) because it did not reach enough people. Developers out there should learn from my mistakes, in order to be successful you must understand that developing a product requires about 20% technical work, and 80% marketing. I really did not know that before I started this. No matter how good your technical work is, your product will not be successful if you cannot find someone who can market your work to the community :(

I have lots of product ideas, but I need to find a marketing kind of person who I can work with first.

Anyway, I am glad you liked it :) Maybe in a few years when I have more experience with this stuff I will try again... but unfortunately this hot end will not make it to the market :(

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:25 pm
by mhackney
And you realized that in 24 hours? You still have 59 days on your campaign and your goal of $3000 is very modest. I'd be surprised if you couldn't raise that. What's the real story?

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:30 pm
by JohnStack
mhackney wrote:And you realized that in 24 hours? You still have 59 days on your campaign and your goal of $3000 is very modest. I'd be surprised if you couldn't raise that. What's the real story?


Ow. Dude...

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:35 pm
by mhackney
Just saying... How do you start a campaign on 3.31.2014, raise a bit of money towards your $3000 goal that you have 60 days to reach and then pull the plug because "I did not reach enough people". I now know that this individual is 18 years old so he probably realized that it was going to cost more to make these than he would get from the sales. It certainly isn't from lack of interest. I was about ready to throw my hat into the ring, not now. Also, he has not terminated his campaign so what's up with that?

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:49 pm
by RP Iron Man
mhackney wrote:Just saying... How do you start a campaign on 3.31.2014, raise a bit of money towards your $3000 goal that you have 60 days to reach and then pull the plug because "I did not reach enough people". I now know that this individual is 18 years old so he probably realized that it was going to cost more to make these than he would get from the sales. It certainly isn't from lack of interest. I was about ready to throw my hat into the ring, not now. Also, he has not terminated his campaign so what's up with that?


I can assure you that the cost are not an issue at all. All of the financial and technical details are in good order as planned. I was simply concerned with the slow response to my campaign as admittedly I have never run an Indiegogo campaign before. There was more support for my project than I realized and I am now working on a few things to build some momentum.

I really appreciate the support everyone has provided on this forum and the RepRap forum and I am now back on track :)

This campaign is staying active and will be carried out to completion.

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:00 pm
by Flateric
myhotend.jpg
I like the direction that you are heading with this hotend, look just like my own design I was pursuing.

A shorter (better for deltas) but wider footprint.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:16 pm
by joecnc2006
I like the shape of it and how the fan just attaches to the side no need for a shroud, good thinking.

God any left over? :)

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:33 pm
by Glacian22
Hey, don't beat yourself up RP! You're only a day in, and sure you've had a slow start, but now's the time to get out there and promote yourself! Maybe send an email to 3ders.com, they general post when new 3d printer related campaigns start crowdfunding.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:43 pm
by Glacian22
Maybe also see if you can send Rich Horne (ie Richrap) a sample? He's tested basically ever hotend ever, so he'd be a good guy to have saying nice things about yours.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:37 am
by McSlappy
Are you nuts? Carry this out until the 60 days are up! The indiegogo campaign is the marketing test and if you don't make the goal, that's when you reconsider your marketing skills - not after 1 day.
Sheesh, it might be day 43 before it gets shared in just the right way and takes off! You could hit the last day and suddenly overfund it by 10k.

Keep going, there's always room for innovation and you lose nothing by "failing" to reach your fund goal :)

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:17 pm
by McSlappy
Oh.. From a marketing standpoint...

Get your killer feature front and centre - that long threaded nozzle is the part which sold me, this is what needs to be at the top! Make a short video and just talk about the awesome customization possibilities! Show people and talk about the polished internals on that sucker, this is the feature that MAKES this hot end amazing right? As someone who prints mainly PLA, this is the killer feature and I honestly almost missed it.

Get 3 hot ends assembled with 3 different configurations. Firstly show off the nozzle and talk about how long it is (yeah you could have some fun with this), how smooth the bore is and why. Then talk about each hot end config. Pick one up, do a closeup, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ, the materials they might be running.. Pick up the second, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ and a long TZ... and so on.

I'm telling you this because if it works like you say it does (and based on your design decisions and geometry choices, I believe it does), then it's a very good hot end. It also has a clear differentiating feature with the customization options and long nozzle. Great product + unique differentiator is a great recipe for success. Just trust that and show it off!

...Also, don't offer free shipping worldwide - or at least do a flat rate of $10 or something... No reason to sell the farm :)

...I went ahead and got one :)

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:36 pm
by Eaglezsoar
McSlappy wrote:Oh.. From a marketing standpoint...

Get your killer feature front and centre - that long threaded nozzle is the part which sold me, this is what needs to be at the top! Make a short video and just talk about the awesome customization possibilities! Show people and talk about the polished internals on that sucker, this is the feature that MAKES this hot end amazing right? As someone who prints mainly PLA, this is the killer feature and I honestly almost missed it.

Get 3 hot ends assembled with 3 different configurations. Firstly show off the nozzle and talk about how long it is (yeah you could have some fun with this), how smooth the bore is and why. Then talk about each hot end config. Pick one up, do a closeup, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ, the materials they might be running.. Pick up the second, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ and a long TZ... and so on.

I'm telling you this because if it works like you say it does (and based on your design decisions and geometry choices, I believe it does), then it's a very good hot end. It also has a clear differentiating feature with the customization options and long nozzle. Great product + unique differentiator is a great recipe for success. Just trust that and show it off!

...Also, don't offer free shipping worldwide - or at least do a flat rate of $10 or something... No reason to sell the farm :)

...I went ahead and got one :)

I did not find the info on the nozzle hole size. Did you find that info?

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:28 pm
by Glacian22
I think he said it has a .4mm aperature, if that's what you're looking for.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:04 pm
by Eaglezsoar
Glacian22 wrote:I think he said it has a .4mm aperature, if that's what you're looking for.

That is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:52 pm
by McSlappy
Yeah it's a .4mm - and I'm guessing it would be one of the more expensive nozzles to replace, what with being full stainless, threaded and polished :)

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:43 am
by RP Iron Man
Hey guys,

First of all, thank you to those who have contributed! Your support is very much appreciated :)

While this has definitely been a slow start I am now working on several things to increase exposure. Admittedly, the marketing of this project has been a bit of a stumbling block for me. However, I have received lots of great advice from people on the forums and I am now working to get this campaign noticed!

I have contacted publications including 3ders, 3D Printer World, and Hack-A-Day so they should be able to bring some press exposure to this campaign. I have also contacted RichRap (Richard Horne) about doing an objective review of the Prometheus Hot End. RichRap is a RepRap core developer and is well respected throughout the 3D printer community. A RichRap review of the Prometheus Hot End will show everyone how well this hot end performs and also help people understand why it performs so well and what sets it apart from other hot ends.

Within the next two weeks I am going to go ahead and order the Early Bird production batch of parts from my suppliers using a combination of private funds and Indiegogo contributions. I have realized that the key here is just getting my hot end out there ASAP so that people can see how well it performs. At this point the campaign will be carried out to completion regardless of the funding success so don't be afraid to contribute!

Once I make the Early Bird production order and receive all of the components, I will start shipping the kits out to people who have backed this project. I expect to begin shipping Early Bird perks before the projected June shipping date :) This project is going to happen no matter how successful the campaign is, so there is nothing stopping you from grabbing your Prometheus Hot End Early Bird perk right now!

Also, remember to spread the word to everyone you know so that we can put this funding goal behind us!

---------------------
@ Eaglezsoar

I did not find the info on the nozzle hole size. Did you find that info?


Yup, it's a standard 0.4mm Nozzle orifice. I am going to be coming out with different nozzle orifice sizes in the near future (0.25 and 0.6 most likely) but 0.4 seemed like the best size to start with. I found that I could easily print from 50 microns to 400 microns with the 0.4mm Nozzle. I also only use wobbly Prusa I2s so if you guys have more accurate modern printers you should be able to go down to 20 microns without issues :)

@McSlappy

Yeah it's a .4mm - and I'm guessing it would be one of the more expensive nozzles to replace, what with being full stainless, threaded and polished :)


While the 1-Piece SS nozzles will be a bit more expensive than the standard brass nozzles the only time you will have to buy another nozzle is if you want to try a different nozzle orifice size. The SS Nozzles are extremely durable and do not get damaged easily at all. I have found that brass and aluminium nozzle get very soft at high temperatures and are much more easily deformed or even broken. I have had the aluminium nozzle on my old J-Head get deformed and the nozzle orifice diameter partially obscured (the 0.35mm orifice was no longer circular!) by simply using tweezers to pick the "ooze" off the nozzle between prints :shock: I have also twisted the head completely off a brass nozzle when tightening it at 300C! (and I am no superman, lol). The other small advantage is that the very low thermal expansion of SS eliminates the issues of resetting layer height when switching between plastics of different temperatures.

Finally, the most significant advantage to the 1-piece SS nozzle is that leaks and clogs are completely eliminated! No internal "melt-zone" junctions for the plastic to leak from or get stuck and burnt and cause clogs in the nozzle. The 1-piece nozzle is kind of "self cleaning" since what goes in can only come out the orifice. Of course, there is nothing stopping a clog caused my foreign debris. To solve that problem just don't buy junk filament :D

I think 1-piece SS nozzles are the way to go and we are going to start seeing a lot more 1-piece designs in the future ;)

@McSlappy

Oh.. From a marketing standpoint...

Get your killer feature front and centre - that long threaded nozzle is the part which sold me, this is what needs to be at the top! Make a short video and just talk about the awesome customization possibilities! Show people and talk about the polished internals on that sucker, this is the feature that MAKES this hot end amazing right? As someone who prints mainly PLA, this is the killer feature and I honestly almost missed it.

Get 3 hot ends assembled with 3 different configurations. Firstly show off the nozzle and talk about how long it is (yeah you could have some fun with this), how smooth the bore is and why. Then talk about each hot end config. Pick one up, do a closeup, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ, the materials they might be running.. Pick up the second, talk about why someone might choose a short MZ and a long TZ... and so on.

I'm telling you this because if it works like you say it does (and based on your design decisions and geometry choices, I believe it does), then it's a very good hot end. It also has a clear differentiating feature with the customization options and long nozzle. Great product + unique differentiator is a great recipe for success. Just trust that and show it off!

...Also, don't offer free shipping worldwide - or at least do a flat rate of $10 or something... No reason to sell the farm :)

...I went ahead and got one :)


Thanks a lot for the support!

I have to admit that marketing has been by far the hardest part of the project for me. I can design stuff that works and I know how to get things manufactured, but somehow I can't even manage to bring attention to my work :roll: As for the campaign page, there was so much info to include that I ended up burying some important points (I now realize that few people will actually read everything that I wrote...) I tried to put all of the key features at the top but there was so much to include that I may not have properly highlighted the most salient features as you mentioned.

The lack of a pro video is the result of my inexperience with marketing and my lack of marketing tools. I used my DSLR Camera for all of the nice high resolution printed object pictures that you can see on my Flickr account, but unfortunately this camera does not have a good video function at all. I don't have a proper Camcorder so I used the DSLR camera for the videos of the hot end printing, and if you watch those videos you can see how bad the video quality is, lol. The audio sounds like white noise :cry: and the camera does not focus properly while taping a moving object! I experimented with recording a video of myself but it was just such a fail on so many levels :mrgreen: The sound quality on my camera is so off that I could not properly hear my voice while I could hear the children playing next door :? Also it was impossible to focus... The video would have just turned people away so I decided to go with nice pictures and lots of explanation ;)

I am trying to get the word out there and I really hope the publications can bring some press coverage of this project. I now realize that I should have contacted the press BEFORE I launched my campaign as this is what any reasonable person would do but unfortunately I was completely clueless...Anyway, its better late than never!

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the support and advice.

Happy printing!

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:09 am
by RP Iron Man
@McSlappy

...Also, don't offer free shipping worldwide - or at least do a flat rate of $10 or something... No reason to sell the farm :)


Forgot to answer this.

Yeah, I definitely could have charged an extra $10 for shipping but I am not that kind of guy :)

I have all of the costs sorted out and I am still making a profit though it is not a very large margin to be honest. My cut will be enough to cover any possible screw ups along the way with suppliers, and it will pay off my prototyping investment (assuming that this project at least surpasses the 3000 USD goal). Hopefully, the project will really start to pick up with my new-and-improved-marketing techniques ;) and then the extra profits will help fund my future prototyping/business expansion.

I hope you guys appreciate the low prices because I did that just for you :)

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:19 pm
by McSlappy
Thanks for the replies RP and yes I do appreciate the low cost of the early bird kits, I think they're good value :)

Don't be afraid of making a low quality video. There's something appealing in having a real human talk about his real passion for cool tech. The video of the prints was fine too. A cool tip for getting awesome sound is to use an iphone (or phone with decent audio recording) and set it up just out of frame and point it's mic towards you. Film on the camera with the bad sound, but then replace it with the iphone audio in editing. It's very cheap to do and makes a VERY big difference.

These guys are great - http://wistia.com/ they have a selection of awesome free tutorials on making your videos look great using whatever tools you have. It's from them that I got the iphone mic tip. Just look at the 'learning' page.

Don't get me wrong, me saying that the nozzle would be more expensive to replace - this isn't a negative. I think this is truly your 'killer feature' and I like it a lot. All the benefits that your nozzle has are not lost on me. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Keep going, you'll reach your goal no problems.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:56 pm
by RP Iron Man
I am glad you like the 1-piece nozzle :) That is really the heart of my hot end and it is responsible for much of the performance of the hot end as a whole.

I am definitely looking into making a video with whatever tools I can get my hands on. I am trying to figure out the best way to do this. I realized that my campaign does not say much about me and I think I should give people some background in the video as well.

I completely forgot to mention this on the campaign, but despite my age (just turned 19) I actually have quite a bit of experience with Project Management and real-world design and manufacturing. Before I got into entrepreneurial 3d printer stuff, I had a job at a staging company where I did CAD, CAM, CNC Programming, and Industrial CNC Router Operation. I did a lot of design-for-manufacturing, and I managed $8000 projects for real world clients from start to finish on timelines MUCH shorter than this campaign. I also have experience with custom CNC manufacturing with my suppliers for over a year on a bunch of related 3d printer projects.

I now realize that I really should have mentioned this stuff as it helps people understand that I am easily overqualified to pull off this campaign, I am going to work on getting together an intro video that includes stuff about me and explains my hot end design.

Also, I just got some press coverage by 3D Printer World yesterday! Check it out here: http://www.3dprinterworld.com/article/p ... -indiegogo

If anyone here has any questions, don't be afraid to ask!

Thanks,
Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:04 pm
by McSlappy
I don't doubt your skills as a designer - the though that you've put into your hot-end is evident. I don't think anyone else would doubt it by looking at it either.

I do have a question: What does the top of the hot-end look like? Is there a thread of some kind? I have a bowden setup and I'm thinking how I might attach it.

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:06 pm
by McSlappy
Oh good article too!

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:02 pm
by RP Iron Man
Thanks for the reply!

The heat sink is actually threaded all the way from top to bottom.

The 1.74mm version has an M4 (4mm) thread and the 3mm version has as M5 (5mm) thread. I am sure that you could find an M4 or M5 threaded coupler and drill it out to 2mm for 1.75mm filament and 3.15mm (or 1/8") for 3mm filament. I was going to look into this later on for people who want a directly integrated bowden solution, but I won't have time to do this any time in the near future.

The way it works is the nozzle is threaded into the bottom of the heat sink and secured my an aluminium hex nut at the bottom. Then a PTFE tube is inserted into the top and meets with the nozzle to facilitate a smooth filament path directly into the nozzle. NOTE* Keep in mind that this PTFE insert is in the actively cooled heat sink so it IS NOT subjected to high temperatures. If you wanted to integrate the bowden system using an M4/M5 coupler, you would cut a length of PTFE tube (included in the kit) and insert it in the heat sink so that when you screw in the coupler, the filament passes through the coupler, into the PTFE tube, and into the 1-piece nozzle.

This is my idea for bowden coupler integration, but I don't have a bowden fed printer so of course I have not tested this, but I don't think it is too hard to find M4/M5 couplers.

Eric

Re: Prometheus Hot End: Customizable All Metal Hot End!

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:40 pm
by RP Iron Man
Hey guys,

Thanks to all the newest contributors for supporting this project. I really appreciate the support.

I just recently got some great press on 3D Hacker and 3D Printer World. Check out those articles! I am now reaching out to several more 3D printing publications to spread the word and get this campaign rolling.

I also started a Twitter account so follow me to see all of my ongoing updates. I am now updating my Google Plus account so you can also follow me there for future developments.

I am also in contact with "Sublime" on the RepRap Forum (Brad M, Designer of Tantillus 3D printer) and he is going to do a review of Prometheus in the next week so stay tuned for that!

I am now working on putting together a video to help explain a bit more about me and my hot end. I'll try to get this up within the next week as well.

Lots of stuff on the go so be sure to check back here for updates. Remember to share this with all of your 3D printer buddies so we can get this campaign funded!

I'll keep you all informed.

Happy printing :D

Eric