Since we’ve been focusing on filaments in our Special Monthly Focus we are also taking this opportunity to look at an accessory that can help filaments work better. When I was in Malta to speak at the ZEST conference last September I caught up with Andy Linnas, co-founder of Thought 3D, makers of the Magigoo pen, about the young tech startup’s projects and business model.
Why did you decide to create a product to improve print performance?
“Initially we started off as prototyping and development lab using 3d printing for providing services and for our own internal projects. We were printing constantly and got really frustrated with prints constantly failing and warping. We tried available products on the market and weren’t satisfied. Some stuck too much, others not enough, some were annoyng to apply or toxic or not consistent in results and so on. Testing everything else gave us many ideas on what we really wanted. Keith, one of our founders, is PhD in materials sciences and he decided to make his own smart glue – something that would be easy to apply and release prints easily, at the same time allowing easy cleaning. Initially it was used internally, a goo in a nutella jar and it worked. It was only later we decided to share it with others and transformed it from nutella jar into market ready product.”
What materials and printers is Magigoo compatible with?
“In 3D Printing you never know, but as far as we are concerned, Magigoo should work on all heated surfaces of FDM/FFF desktop printers. We have tested it extensively on the glass and aluminium plates. Our users are reporting it working well also on ceramic bed and even in some cases perforated beds. Our product is also often hired on top of other surfaces e.g. PEI for additional reliability and easy release, as in most cases it helps the print to pop off and no scraper is needed. We haven’t tried ceramic and perforated beds or use on PEI sheets ourselves though. We have many requests for Magigoo working with cold beds, which we cannot guarantee, but we have some users reporting it works for them – most probably the easy release mechanism will not work in that case. For materials, our product covers most of the PLA, ABS, HIPS and PETG brands. In most cases results are really wonderful and prints pop off like magic. Mostly because of this it is reported by many users that our product is also really good as release agent with TPU or other plastics that stick too much. Then again, as anything in 3D printing, we cannot provide for every case out there – Magigoo may work less reliably with mixed materials e.g. where PLA and ABS are mixed with other materials for extra effect, such as ABS/PC. Also we remind that probably no product will save you in case of bad quality material or materials that are full of moisture.”
How does Magigoo compare to other products to facilitate print sticking and detaching?
“Magigoo is specially designed for 3d printing in mind. It has gone through 3 iterative designs and current product on the market is based on 3 years of feedback and constant improvement. It brings together best features from all of other products. Its easy to apply, just quick spread with a sponge like material in areas of printing. It sticks at least as well as any other. It releases really easily at the end of print. Print bottom finish stays almost seamless. Magigoo is water soluble, which makes it easy to clean with water. It has no hazardous materials, which makes it odourless and easy to ship. Magigoo is economical, as it will last most users for really long, mostly because they will reprint on the same spot multiple times. Finally it comes with a customer support. Should anyone have hard time with their Magigoo, all they need is to reach out and get some advice.”
What is your business model?
“Our business is simple – selling Magigoo through network of resellers world wide and reinvesting revenue into keeping our end clients happy and coming up with new satisfying products. We are interested in working together with many 3D filament and printer manufacturers to be included in their product offerings. In parallel we continue coming up with new adhesive formulas targeting engineering and hard to print plastics. Finally, we look into other areas of 3D printing for ideas and opportunities for new products to make 3D printing easier and more accessible.”
How do you go about forming partnership with filament companies and how can they benefit from working with you?
“Filament manufacturers, we think are really interested in serving their users well, coming up with more reliable materials, stronger materials, with rich colours etc. We can be partners in case of need for very specific adhesive, volumes permitting. We also provide Magigoo sample pacs as a bundling insert to be added in the boxes so that the users get the best value of two worlds – printing and trying out an adhesive that increases the printing reliability. The latter is really well received, based on the feedback from subscription boxes, where users get to try filaments and our product together. Its often a really positive surprise.”