While 3D printing has proven to be a truly powerful technology for producing customized objects right in the place where they're needed, helping scientists, doctors and other professionals perform their jobs even better, it can also take some finessing to get the product you want.
A lot of that comes down to creating a good design before printing, but even with a perfect design, some flaws can still happen in the printing process. Excess material like supporting structures or extra filament have to be removed even in perfect prints, but by cutting into the object you can introduce new mistakes. In some cases, these flaws can mean having to toss the object and print it again.
A new gadget on Kickstarter wants to change all that and give 3D printer users a way to precisely correct mistakes and cut down on waste.
The Retouch3D uses heat to smooth out imperfections and erase or fix other flaws. 3D printer users have previously used razor blades, soldering irons and other tools to scrape and mold objects after they are printed, but those tools aren't always fit for the job. The Retouch3D can be set to the right heat level depending on the type of plastic filament used. ABS plastic needs a different temperature than PLA and wax or resin respond best to specific heat ranges as well.
The gadget can be set to the different levels and can also be fine-tuned up or down depending on the task. It comes with five different heads that each accomplish different goals from smoothing to shaving to shaping, letting you make the perfect object the first time.
The Kickstarter campaign is still active and while the creators have already surpassed their goal, a pledge of $149 will get you a first run of the gadget.
You can watch the Kickstarter pitch video below.