GeckoTek, a Cincinnati-based startup company, has innovated an integral part for 3D printers that had yet to be perfected.
GeckoTek presents the first build plate with “a permanent coating that is scientifically developed for 3D printing,” according to their Kickstarter campaign page. The “build plate” is the base on which three-dimensional objects are printed. Their Kickstarter goal of $15,000 was met on June 18, one day after it was launched. They currently have $28,009 in pledges.
“3D Printers offer the ability to create new materials at a lower cost with greater accuracy,” co-founder Aniket Vyas said.
AT&T is looking into the future marketplace 3D printers with the idea that they could become a household item. They offer individuals the unique ability to customize jewelry, household tools and office items, all from one machine. Many other companies still view the machines as a novelty for their time-consuming process and high price.
GeckoTek may have changed that.
“We believe GeckoTek has solved the last major problem that is preventing 3D printers from going completely mainstream and having one in every home,” co-founder Brad Ruff said. Their design ensures less production time and more reliable printing.
“One problem [current build plates] have is the plastic comes out hot and when it cools it tends to shrink and warp and peel away from the platform it builds on,” Ruff told Upstart Business Journal. “There’s a number of things you can do like hairspray or blue painter’s tape to keep it stuck to the bed,” but these methods are tedious, costly and unreliable.
“Kapton tape is expensive, hard to apply, and requires a heated bed. Blue tape doesn’t work with [all 3D printers], and doesn’t last very long. Hairspray is messy to apply and can make the part impossible to remove,” Ruff said on their promotional video.
Vyas’ Ph.D in polymer science and Ruff’s background in nanotechnology enabled GeckoTek to develop a coating material that “has the perfect level of adhesion to [the] printed parts while remaining extremely durable.”
Their easy-to-use prototype works for all 3D printers and most popular extrusion materials. Ruff believes their prototype can “add fuel to the fire that is the 3D printing revolution.”