Relied upon by some of the biggest names in the industry, it's really the team behind it all that makes the key difference.
The E3D story told through our biggest milestones.
Location: Dave’s bedroom, Isle of Wight. Full time teachers Sanjay and Dave got hold of one of the first Mendel 90s heralding from Adrian Bowyer and Rep Rap Pro. Falling in love with the hobby, they immediately begin making their own modifications and parts, noticing a lack of well-made HotEnds for RepRappers and home 3D printing enthusiasts.
Putting their engineering and technical knowledge to work, the guys make use of the machining tools at the school where they work to make some prototype HotEnds. After tooling around with a few designs they make a handful of V4 HotEnds and announce them online, ‘just to see’. They sell out within 48 hours, and the guys realise there might be something in this whole 3D printing business. Dave and Sanjay decide to give teaching a break to focus on E3D.
Realising that they might have started something a bit big, Sanjay and Dave convince their old friend Josh (an engineering and coding genius) to leave his regular, well paid job and join them in founding a proper website and company.
Working from what was formerly a chicken shed (pictured), the growing team along with all their stock and equipment squeeze into a tiny business unit on the Isle of Wight. To keep costs down they also live together and import their girlfriends from the mainland to help as the shipment numbers grow.
With Kraken, Cyclops, and Chimera, E3D adds multi-extrusion to what is rapidly becoming a full ecosystem of modular and cross-compatible HotEnds and parts.
Perfecting the design they’ve been working on for years, E3D releases the V6. Compared to V5 it offers decreased bulk by bringing fin spacing closer together, a slimmer design, a smaller heater block, and improved performance. The V6 HotEnd (or e3d-v6 as it’s known at the time) goes on to be a huge success and sets the standard for consumer HotEnds.
With the success of the V6, the team decide that we could probably do with a proper road network for couriers and a decent Internet connection (it is E3D Online after all). After careful consideration E3D ups and moves to the mainland, upgrading to a much larger ex-chicken shed in the Oxford area of England. The first proper paid employees join the team, bringing the numbers up to 6.
It's around this time that poor-quality cloned products calling themselves ‘V6’ begin cropping up. E3D launches Lite6 as a low-cost alternative HotEnd that opens 3D printing possibilities at a lower price point (without being a fire hazard). Read more about it here.
Local professional maker and engineer Greg shows the boys his latest brainchild: a large-volume, hackable 3D printer for enthusiasts and tinkerers! Realising its potential, the guys work together to set up the BigBox Kickstarter. To everyone’s surprise the project is funded within 5 hours and reaches an incredible £262,143. With a need for a much larger building and packing staff to cope with the project, the personnel total reaches 16.
As 3D printing filaments become more readily available, the team notices that many of those entering the market are cheaply-made and poorly-toleranced, leading to jams and clogs while printing. SpoolWorks is launched by E3D to provide high-quality filaments in a range of vibrant colours. The range grows to include Scaffold, a dedicated soluble support filament (pictured).
Josef Prusa takes on the V6 as the HotEnd for i3 MK2, rapidly becoming the biggest 3D printer-manufacturer to include the V6 as standard. This prompts another flurry of growth, pushing our numbers into the twenties.
By the end of 2016 the addition of plated copper nozzles and an experimental high-resolution nozzle with a 0.15mm diameter brings our range to almost 100 options.
Since smashing into the world of extruders with Titan back in March 2016 the next logical step for E3D was to integrate a Hot End into it, compress it as much as possible and make an ultra-compact all-in-one extruder and hotend. Read more about it here.
Before the end of 2017, the only water-cooled HotEnd available from E3D was the Kraken – a powerful four-headed monster only suitable for advanced users. December brings a complete, compact water-cooling kit as well as the Titan Aqua: a water-cooled cousin to the Titan Aero. These parts bring water-cooling for 3D printing within reach for many hobbyists. Read more about it here.
At some point in 2017 we realised that we were sprawled across 5 buildings in our little business park. We even had a golf buggy to transport hotends from the assembly line across the business park to the packing department. A new large space became available, and after 5 months of renovations including building mezzanine office floors we managed to move the entire business all under one roof.
At TCT 2019 we unveiled our latest HotEnd/Extruder. Dual-drive Hemera has a game-changing design and offers flawless flexible performance. Read more about it here.
Revealed at MRRF 2018 and after 2 years in the making, including an awesome Beta testing programme, our advanced tool-changing research platform is now available to purchase here.