Noztek: A Short History
Since the invention of the Noztek Pro 8 years ago. we’ve developed no less than 12 machines to help you achive the best filament results possible.
In this blog we take a deeper look into our story so far. Learn when and why we made the products that you know and love!
We’ll be reminding you of some early, retro images of the original builds, and links to the up to date products!
December definitely has a way of sparking reflection. Today we look back on the year, but on the Noztek journey so far, over many years! We have always insisted on growing organically, being customer-led and reinvesting only what we generate. This means we stay grounded and stick to our mission of creating the right products for our customers’ needs (to make the best filament).
Over the years there have been many creative breakthroughs that have lead to really impressive products. There have also been a good handful of deadends too, but for the purposes of this post, we will focus on what worked – perhaps in the next we will reveal those that were not so successful!.
#1 | 2014 – The Noztek Pro: The Original Extruder
The first extruder Noztek developed 8 years ago in 2014, was the Noztek Pro. Back then spooled retail filament was really expensive, so the idea was to supply an analogue extruder for makers to create their own filament for a fraction of the price. This pilot product was a huge learning, and although it’s had its obvious upgrades over the years, it remains a very popular entry level machine.
#2 | 2014 – The Winder 1
Ater launching our first product adn haing the brand get off to a great start, this was soon followed by the release of the Winder 1, the first extrusion-supporting machine we invented. You could say this was a fairly obvious move as our customers found themselves with tangles of extruded filament! And so came along this simple spooler to wind the extruded filament neatly onto a 1Kg spool. This humble unit hasn’t changed much over the years. The laser has been upgraded and the sensors are now due to be upgraded too to provide more accuracy. Again it remains a favourite among budget or entry-level users.
#3 | 2014 – The Noztek Pro goes HT
The Noztek Pro proved to be very successful, especially within the University environment. One customer who wanted to 3D print structures asked if we could upgrade to Pro so it could extrude at higher temperatures (standard Pro is limited to 300c). We then added HT heater band capable of reaching 600C, thus enabling customers to extrude high temperature thermoplastics such as PEEK and Ultem.
#4 | 2014 – A Digital Leap with The Noztek Touch
Customers were soon asking us to add more variables to the Pro analogue unit. With this in mind we developed a digital version of the Pro which we called the Noztek Touch. We added features such as independent heater band and motor speed control. This is now our most popular machine. Watch out for a brand new version with updated User Interface in early 2023.
#5 | 2015 – The Xcalibur makes an Entrance
Then came the idea (it was actually sparked by Airbus) to create a much larger extruder, with a more powerful motor and three HT heater bands, allowing customers to extrude a wider range of materials at much faster speeds. The Xcalibur was born and has been very popular since its’ launch. This machine has been a key for many working on larger projects where the smaller extruders just wouldn’t keep up, and many other newer inventions of ours owe to its success.
#6 | 2016 – A professional alternative: The Noztek Resin & Spool Dehydrator
When it comes to optimising filament quality, removing any moisture is essential. We found that many hobbyists were using domestic food dehydrators, and we saw there was a gap for a purpose buillt professional alternative. With similar principles but far more key attention to detail, this gap was filled by the Noztek Resin and Spool Dehydrator. We designed this so that you either dry resin pellets in the perferated drum, or you can connect a loaded spool inside and have it rotate. Both ways ensure evn drying and work far better than the makeshift alternatives.
#7 | 2018 – A 2nd Generation Filament Winder
Due to the enhanced extrusion rate of the increasingly popular Xcalibur, we were of course finding that the Winder 1 was not fast enough to spool the extruded filament, and so designed a faster winder. Enter The Winder 2.
#8 | 2018 – Our biggest challenge yet – The Tolerance Puller
The next project for the team was to create a pulling system, to allow customers to consistently produce accurate filament diameters before spooling. This proved to be quite a challenge and took many years to develop something effective that could speedily correct fluctuations in the extruded filament. The Noztek Tolerance Puller has been a remarkable achievement, with many revisions on error correction making the latest version a very successful and one of a kind product!
#9 | 2021 – A Breakthrough for pharma: The fusionX
A large and ever-increasing percentage of our customers over the last 4 – 5 years have been involved in the pharmaceutical industry. A number of these have asked us if we were able to produce an extruder that could mix different specific composite materials in a melted state. Given the nature of their work, it was also important to split the barrel for easy and thorough, cleaning. This proved to be one of our toughest challenges to date, taking extruder design back to the drawing board. Eventually after many prototypes, we developed the revolutionary fusionX. Probably the most advanced single screw mixing extruder in the world.
#10 | 2021 – The Pelletiser closes up the loop
After converting our Kuka robot into a 3D printer, we started to think about the possibility of mixing a composite of carbon fibre, grahene and ABS in either the fusionX or the Xcalibur, then cutting the filament into small pieces that could be fed into the robot hopper. After some research (and to our surprise) we realised there were no real precision desktop componders on the market, so we designed the Noztek Pelletiser from scratch. This powerful unique machine serves many purposes and the parts and settings can be switched to reflect the use – from pharmaceutical applications to mass pellet production!
#11 & #12 | 2023 …
Our next couple of big ideas are now well under development. We have a prototype for a new cooling system and another extruder in protoype stage… watch this space because 2023 is going to be a really significant year for Noztek!