MIT students create small multi-purpose 3D printer
Until relatively recently, 3D printers were a practical option only for major manufacturers and corporations. The machines required a huge amount of available space and could cost hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars.
In the past few years, though, the 3D printing has advanced significantly. The technology is now accessible even to amateurs and enthusiasts, as the typical cost and size of the hardware have reducd dramatically.
These trends are particularly apparent in a new project from several talented MIT students.
A multi-pronged device
The Verge reported that students from MIT's Little Device lab have created a new type of multi-function device. Called PopFab, the creation includes a 3D printer, CNC milling machine, programmable drawing tool and vinyl cutter. Notably, the machine fits inside a standard-sized briefcase.
The news source reported that the students created a video demonstrating the PopFab's 3D printing capabilities. In a short amount of time, the device was able to produce a small model goldfish.
"The underlying goal is to support the romantic dream of the 'nomadic designer' traveling the world while designing and making things possibly inspired by spontaneous experiences on the road," one of the creators, Ilan Moyer, explained to Core77.
The PopFab is only the latest customized 3D printer developed by student enthusiasts. Another recent example, highlighted by TG Daily, is the BurritoBot. The machine was created by Marko Manriquez, a graduate student at New York University. Something of a variation from the standard 3D printing model, this device allows the user to use an iPhone app to input his or her preferred condiments and toppings for a burrito. The device then essentially "prints" the dish.