consumer 3D printer prototype consumer 3D printer prototype
may 19, 2011

consumer 3D printer prototype

the 3D printer developed by klaus stadlmann and markus hatzenbichler at the vienna institute of technology

engineers klaus stadlmann and markus hatzenbichler at the vienna institute of technology have announced a prototype 3D printer small and lightweight enough to provide a viable option for at-home 3D printing.

‘no bigger than a carton of milk’, the device weighs 1.5kg (3.3lb) and was produced at a cost of only 1200 euro (approximately 1700 USD). like other 3D printers, the device utilizes additive manufacturing technology: intense beams of light illuminate points on a small tub of synthetic resin, hardening the material in specific locations and compiling layers onto each other until the desired object is printed. novelly, the printer uses LEDs for illumination, generating a high ‘resolution’ and hardening layers at one twentieth of a millimeter thick for extreme precision.

the university’s additive manufacturing research group is working on expanding the range of techniques and materials to use for the device, stating: ‘with the versatile and cheap devices and materials developed in vienna, highly complex 3D objects can now be built from a variety of materials with very different mechanical, optical and thermal properties.’ while the printer would not be efficient for mass production of articles, it enables the at-home production of small, custom-designed and tailor-made pieces, from jewelry to hearing aid parts.

the engineers with their printer

closer view of the device

via yoctomy

  • This is ridiculous. Open source solutions are much more affordable and have a bigger build size. This thing can’t even print a thimble.

    Zee says:
  • hm, would be nice to at least see a printed piece.

    ._. says:
  • what kind of pieces it could be made??..size?.. so limited for dimensions.

    m&m says:
  • “it enables the at-home production of small,
    custom-designed and tailor-made pieces, from jewelry to hearing aid parts”

    Narrow market, but a market nonetheless…

    yomomma says:
  • Zee if you check out the page on the university site, they say specifically that they agree that this is not designed as an alternative to open source printers, even the article says that it’s not meant for mass production. like yomomma points out, what it CAN provide that shapeways etc. can’t is instant, custom parts. the instant factor alone probably makes it useful to a certain market. med-tech might be another market. maybe your pharmacy would have one, to do the custom-hearing-aid thing it mentions, so it’s like “local open source”, retaining some of the benefits of both sides.

    i don’t know if i personally would buy one but there are those for whom this could be really useful, so i think it’s pretty exciting to see how low they’ve brought the size and price already.

    alphabro says:

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