As the 3D printing revolution continues, prices of 3D printers have continued to fall, with devices such as the Buccaneer 3D printer set to sell for under US$400.
But even that is still too expensive for many people – students in particular. That’s why Matthew Krueger, also known asmatstermind at instructables.com, has created a 3D printer for next to nothing from everyone’s favorite childhood toy, LEGO.
Krueger has had an obsession with 3D printing since he first came upon the original Makerbot Thing-O-Matic, but as a student, he lacked the funds to purchase a 3D printer of his own. Since his education was based in engineering, Krueger started making attempts at creating his own 3D printer with limited funds and what he had on hand. After attempts with an Arduino and parallel port, 3D printing on the cheap seemed like it would remain out of reach, but then Krueger pulled out his LEGOs and started building.
What he created is the LEGObot, an NXT-powered 3D printer that is roughly based on the original Makerbot. Instead of plastic, the LEGObot currently prints with hot glue, which although a usable medium, has a rubbery consistency that leads to a lack of practical uses.
Krueger tells Gizmag, “I am currently building a machine to recycle milk bottles into filament, based off of Lyman’s designs. Once I am able to make filament, then I will try to adapt my LEGO printer to use the filament.”
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3D printing on the cheap
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