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OCC News: Not just your average printer, 3D printing for the masses


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Take a look at this printer:




As you can obviously see, this isn't your "run of the mill" printer, which is good, because thats exactly what it's not. If all goes to plan, eventually, you could use this printer to actually print a new printer! While the current "fabber" is a long way away from that feat, in the long run, it certainly is possible. What Hod Lipson (director of Cornell University's Computational Synthesis Lab) and his graduate student Evan Malone have created is an affordable rapid prototyping machine aka a 3D printer.


You're probably wondering how "affordable" this machine really is... well it costs about $2,300 to assemble. Now before you step back in shock, you should take a look at the going rate for other "professional" 3D printers:







After looking at those, $2,300 looks like a bargain!


Regarding the most extreme use for this technology, Lipson had the following to say:

I want a printer to be all we need to send on long-term space explorations. After landing, it would print a robot that could walk out of the printer, batteries included. If the robot discovers a cave that requires a special tool to explore with, it could head back to the printer to make the right gadget. And if the robot breaks, just print another one.


And of course, like every good product now-a-days, they have webpage: [email protected]. What may surprise you though, is that the page contains complete instructions, tools, materials, etc on what you'll need to build your own Fabber! In addition to that, it also contains examples of other Fabbers around the world, with all the pictures and even video you could desire.


So if you've got the time (and the money) then this could definitely be a great project for you.



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A printer that prints mini printers. Kinda like giving birth except for machines. Plus the whole being able to make your own tools thing is cool. I'd totally buy that just to be able to say "My printer can print spoons, what can yours do?" if I had $2,300 to spare.

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we have a 3D printer in the factory and you won't believe the amazing models that come out. the machine is not too big, I would say smaller than a regular photocopier.

We manufacture digital audio/visual products and this printer has helped us to eliminate post molding polishing as well as reduction in development time.

These models come out so precise and they really do ressemble the target product.

It uses a PolyJet technology where very thin layers of photopolymer resin drops are jetted in super-thin layers (16 microns) and the end product comes up as an ultra-smooth surface, even with the most complex geometrical models.

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