Aleph Objects, makers of LulzBot 3D Printers, and IC3D Industries, a leading producer of premium 3D print materials, jointly announce availability of the world’s first- ever certified OSHWA (Open Source Hardware Association) 3D Printing Filament.
The desktop 3D printing industry exists thanks to Open Source Hardware projects such as Arduino and RepRap, and Open Source 3D printers lead the desktop 3D printer market. But until today, all 3D printer filament remained restricted by proprietary or secret processes. IC3D released a 16-page white paper documenting their manufacturing process, parameters, material grades, and more.
“Proprietary materials should not be an impediment to advancing the use of 3D printed objects for certified parts and other industrial applications,” said IC3D Founder and CEO Michael Cao. “IC3D is committed to open source 3D printing consumables. LulzBot and Aleph Objects’ focus on open source has been an inspiration to IC3D and we’re pleased that they will be reselling IC3D consumables.”
IC3D, founded in 2012 as a RepRap 3D printer manufacturer, now operates a large format 3D printing service bureau alongside their filament production business. IC3D’s filament white paper and other documentation is hosted on GitHub, a popular file sharing and collaboration website. Using GitHub will allow IC3D to easily update documentation as their processes evolve. Aleph Objects, a proven leader in Free, Libre and Open Source development, worked closely with IC3D, imparting best practices in file and process sharing.
“The future of the 3D printing industry is open,” Aleph Objects President Harris Kenny said. “IC3D is demonstrating impressive vision by bringing the Philosophy of User Freedom to filament manufacturing, and we are proud to be working alongside them.”
In October 2016 OSHWA established a program allowing self-certification of Open Source Hardware products based on stringent community-established guidelines. Each certified product receives a unique identifier that is used to identify the product as certified Open Source Hardware. LulzBot 3D printers are not only OSHWA-certified as Open Source Hardware, but also are the only 3D printers with Respects Your Freedom certification from the Free Software Foundation. For the first time in history, when printing IC3D filament with LulzBot 3D printers, it will be possible to have a 100% Free/Libre/Open Source tool chain for additive manufacturing, from software to hardware to end product.
3D printing hardware, software, and content have seen a tremendous pace of innovation thanks to Free/Libre/Open Source development. Filament has also thrived under open standards, but this new level of sharing is unprecedented and opens up more possibilities for users, educators, and businesses. Open Source Hardware Certified 3D printing filament promises to allow more individuals to participate in process improvement and more producers to entering the space to focus on innovative materials rather than elementary process development. Further, Open Source filament may lead to certification of 3D printed parts, since the materials and processes by which they are produced are entirely transparent.