DIY Friday: 3D Printer

Solid Freeform Fabricators- the future of printmaking? In undergrad, my sculpture professor always referred to the printmaking majors as “frustrated sculptors” because we were working with three-dimensional materials (wood, copper, stone, etc.) to make two-dimensional artwork. It sounds like something from The Jetsons, but the ability to “print” sculpture is just around the corner. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “yeah sure, that technology has been available for years but who can afford it?” Enter Fab@Home

Fabbers (a.k.a. 3D printers or rapid prototyping machines) are a relatively new form of manufacturing that builds 3D objects by carefully depositing materials drop by drop, layer by layer. With the right set of materials and a geometric blueprint, you can fabricate complex objects that would normally take special resources, tools and skills if produced using conventional manufacturing techniques.

Our goal with this open-source, multi-material printing is to explore the potential of universal fabrication: Machines that can use multiple materials to fabricate complete, active systems.

The basic kit costs $2300. This may seem expensive but compared spending tens of thousands of dollars for a commercially-made 3D Printer, the Model 1 from Fab@Home is really quite economical. Plus, this way you get the satisfaction of having made it yourself.

Welcome to the twenty-first century, printmaking!

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Categories: DIY, Resources, Technology

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