Discover Mosaic’s Open Materials Platform
Mosaic is taking an open approach to materials, allowing for any compatible 3rd party material to be used on any Mosaic printers. We believe this approach will give our users the most flexibility and value out of their Mosaic system.
For a long time we have seen the industry choose one of two options:
1) Provide a plug and play experience with closed materials and charge a steep mark-up on them, or
2) Not prioritize user experience and reliability when it comes to materials and make the system open to use any compatible materials on the market.
The issue this places on users of 3D printing is that they are left with choosing to either pay a high price for their materials, or be left to fend for themselves when it comes to print settings and quality optimization.
The current approaches work for customers at polar opposite ends of the spectrum, but it leaves a lot to be desired for the vast majority who fall in the middle. Those who fall in the middle value ease of use and high quality output, but may not be able to (or want to) pay the steep mark-up that some companies charge for their branded materials.
At Mosaic, we are taking a different approach to materials. Our guiding philosophy is simple:
“Offer high quality, accessibly priced materials that our users don’t need to use, but want to use.”
With this approach, we are able to enter a competitive market and give users the ultimate flexibility: a curated plug and play experience at a reasonable price, or access to any compatible external material that they can get their hands on.
Reliability, ease of use, and cost effectiveness are top priorities for the majority of users. To address these wants, we have invested heavily in the Mosaic Materials line of products. Mosaic Materials makes a wide variety of high quality materials accessible to all users.
We appreciate that material advancements will persist at a rapid rate, and we strive to provide an avenue for experimentation with our products. Our open approach towards materials is intended to remove any restrictions. With that being said, due to the inherent variability of 3rd party materials, they may not provide the same level of performance and benefits that users expect from Mosaic printers alongside the streamlined workflows built into our material line.
To help bridge this gap, we have developed the “3rd Party Material Tag” which will be commercially available in Q1 2024. This is a tag for Element and Array customers that can be placed on any 3rd party spool to bring benefits of Mosaic Materials to 3rd party spools when connected to our cloud ecosystem. Some of these benefits include:
1) Material Identification
Assigning a material type, color, and brand will tether it digitally to the physical spool. You can move material spools between different Material Pods, and printers and the material information will move alongside the spool. This provides a seamless and flexible experience, while maintaining accurate information of what you're printing at all times and ensuring the correct material is used.
2) Filament Amount Tracking
As material is used, this is logged on the tag. This logging takes the guesswork out of tracking filament to help with inventory management and predictability during prints.
3) Slicer Profile Linking
Slicer settings that are material dependent can be linked to the material type on your spool. Once you set up your material profile in Canvas, any time you tag a new material of the same type it will also be linked with the same material profile and printing settings.
4) Rapid Material Changes
Thanks to material identification, the printer is able to identify the material type and automatically load it when needed. This means that as long as you have one of the correct materials plugged into Element / Array, your printer will automatically select that material for your print.
When using 3rd party materials on the Mosaic Element 3D printer, the use of a 3rd Party Material NFC Tag is optional. It unlocks additional functionality and improves the user workflow but without it, the screen on the Element may be used to select a material for the print.
When using 3rd party materials on the Mosaic Array 3D printing system, the use of a 3rd Party Material NFC Tag is required. The workflows on Array are designed for higher volume and lower touch interactions as each Array may have up to 32 materials.
In cases where many Arrays are present, it is common to have over 100 materials to manage. After several customer trials, it was determined that automated material identification is critical to the reliability, consistency and scalability of working with Array.
One requirement for 3rd party materials used with Element and Array is that the spools physically fit inside of Mosaic’s Material Pods. Most standard sized filament spools will fit. Generally, spools within the dimension range in Table A will work with Mosaic Material Pods. If you have questions on whether or not your spool / material will fit, please contact us at email@example.com.
Before using a 3rd party material it is also important to check that it is compatible with the printer. TPE, as well as many flexible materials at or below 95A shore hardness are not compatible with Element or Array. Not all flexible filaments will work reliably on Element or Array and will require testing to determine the suitability and reliability. The extrusion temperature of the filament must also be in line with the type of print head installed on the printer.
Mosaic is committed to an open materials ecosystem and is working on improving the experience with Mosaic products for using any type of compatible materials.
Do you have questions about Mosaic’s Open Materials platform, or want to learn more about Mosaic’s selection of materials? If so, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.