Unlike most low cost 3D printers on the market which focus on using cheap component but similiar 3D printer design, Saskatchewan, Canada based Rylan Grayson invented his own: the Peachy Printer, the world's first $100 3D printer.
The peachy printer is a Photolithographic printer which uses a controlled beam of light to cure light sensitive resin into hard objects. The peachy moves a laser beam along the X and Y axes to create the shape of the object, while using a drip system to control the level of the resin on the Z axis which determines the height of the object.
How does it work?
Grayson wrote an add-on to blender which translate 3D model into an audio waveform. It then plays the audio file out to the printer through the headphone jack in your computer. This waveform drives a pair of electro magnetic mirrors which reflect and control the path of the laser beam. The higher the volume, the higher the voltage, the more the mirrors move. The laser beam can then draw out the shape of the object along the X and Y axes. You can also uses smartphones, radios, stereos, and mp3 players that have DC coupled audio to control the X and Y axises of the printer.
The drip system: the salt water in the top container syphons down to a drip feed. The rate of this drip feed is controlled by a valve. As each drip leaves the feed, it passes through two contact points creating an electrical connection that is detected by your computers microphone jack. The drip continues to fall into the bottom container where it causes the resin floating atop it to rise. The software listens to the microphone level, counting each drip that falls and calculates the resultant level of the resin. This allows the software to send the layer that corresponds with the current Z-level of the resin. This process continues until the print is complete.
Have a look at the video below for a look at the internal workings of the Peachy Printer.
When combined with a camera, the Peachy Printer also functions as a 3D scanner. The Peachy repeats a back and forth laser pattern that simulates a line laser. When you rotate the object a full 360 degrees, your video camera, webcam, or DSLR will capture images and the Blender add-on then searches through each pixel in every frame looking for the point where the laser is hitting the object. Next it calculates the distance of those pixels from the objects rotational centre and plots the points and mesh accordingly in 3D space. You now have a 3D model of the real life object you scanned.
This illuminates the profile of the object you are scanning. Your video camera, webcam, or DSLR will capture this happening while you rotate the object a full 360 degrees. The software we wrote in Blender then searches through each pixel in every frame looking for the point where the laser is hitting the object. Next it calculates the distance of those pixels from the objects rotational centre and plots the points and mesh accordingly in 3D space. You now have a 3D model of the real life object you scanned.
The current beta version of the kit and assembled Peachy Printers can print with 0.2 mm of minimum wall thickness. The print speed depends on the complexity of the object, for example, it take around 20 miniutes to print the cube below. The little cube is about 2 cubic centimetres, so with one litre of resin you could print approximately 500 of them, each costing around $0.12 to make, notes Grayson.
This extremely unique design has resulted in a very affordable 3D printer. Peachy Printer Kit is available on Kickstarter for $100, and Grayson says you only need about one hour to assemble the whole kit, no prior experience with electronics is required. But you will need tools such as 2 containers for liquid, and a pipe. Check out more information and other options for backers here on Kickstarter.
Posted in 3D Printers
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Alex wrote at 11/10/2013 8:50:42 PM:
"Translate 3D model into an audio waveform. It then plays the audio file out to the printer through the headphone jack in your computer. This waveform drives a pair of electro magnetic mirrors which reflect and control the path of the laser beam" Are there any more details on the above? How do you translate a 3D model into an audio wave form (what does that even mean, audio wave forms and 3D models seem to be 2 entirely different things). Also how does an audio wave form drive a pair or electromagnetic mirrors? Just curious, because i've never heard of technology like this, sounds really innovative technically.
Bálint wrote at 9/29/2013 2:31:34 PM:
I have one question though. I see how this can be used with hollow objects, but solid ones require more exposure time per layer hight, how is that dealt with if the drip count is constant? Also what switches the laser?
Bálint wrote at 9/29/2013 2:16:41 PM:
Wow. Finally someone uses "my" idea of salt water bed. The drip level elevation is genius! And using the sound-card is also a neat move! Now we only need the most powerful laser we can lay our hands on!
alidan wrote at 9/24/2013 12:54:22 PM:
@KnightFire not every country likes kickstarter. @Icanhaz3Dprinter cost, the way they keep it cheap is using the soundcard as a controller instead of having actual electronics. because the sound cards are for the most part good enough, why not?
Anja wrote at 9/23/2013 11:46:43 PM:
@Rylan Grayston: Yes more than 100,000 people read this post within the first 24 hours. Wish you a lot of success with this project.
Rylan Grayston wrote at 9/23/2013 2:50:43 PM:
Just wanted to post a huge thankyou! to 3ders.org not only for this article but for all your hard work in the community! You run an amazingly valuable site ! The numbers really show it .. according to my kick starter stats as of right now 20 percent of my backers come from this article! People from 3ders.org have funded me for a combined total of 34 thousand dollars! I also love the conversation in this forum ... full of strong opinions and free speech. Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!! Rylan Grayston
Bha wrote at 9/23/2013 12:41:36 PM:
Mentioned build volume is approx as 3'x3'x16' = 3feet x 3feet x 16feet ? Or they have wrongly written as 3'x3'x16' instate of 3"x3"x16" = 3Inc x 3Inc x 16Inc ? Check out the web site with spec @ http://www.peachyprinter.com/#!printer-specs/c1gk6 They wrote as "Build volume: There is no certain limit on build volume. In the same way that a flashlight beam gets bigger the further it shines, so does the build volume of the Peachy Printer. Although this has not been tested, we have high hopes to print a full size canoe! This will require a build volume of approximately 3'x3'x16'. The real limiting factor in build volume is time... It could be possible to calibrate the Peachy Printer to print a house, but it would take years!"
Adam wrote at 9/23/2013 1:30:47 AM:
come on some of you people are not being nice this was only 100$ you are not going to get a form 1 for that price. this is not my only printer but it will serve its purpose well enough.
JaRule wrote at 9/22/2013 8:39:23 PM:
piece of crap
Rob Donat wrote at 9/22/2013 8:12:24 PM:
I just pledged but have 2 requests -- for my "first 10" original prints/makers I would love that twisted cube AND you guys need to stop spelling its with an apostrophe! It's its, not it's when it's possessive!. All over your marketing materials.
Icanhaz3Dprinter? wrote at 9/22/2013 5:48:32 PM:
Isn't the frequency of the drip count out of wack with the actual water level given that water collects and randomly drips down the tube to the lower reservoir? And why sound waves/audio jack and not usb? Ps love it obviously ....should have opened with that.
Osolodo wrote at 9/22/2013 1:08:30 PM:
The price tag is appealing, but the print volume looks tiny. The reduced price is just a result of the reduced size.
Anja wrote at 9/22/2013 11:04:38 AM:
@Joana: Yes we know a lot of sites have copied our content. Thanks for the information.
Brandon C. wrote at 9/22/2013 8:32:59 AM:
I'll buy one! You guys are geniuses!!
KnightFire wrote at 9/22/2013 1:50:31 AM:
When I first saw this Kickstarter it was at 220 funders and $15,000, now it's fully funded at $50,000! One thing though: why is he running an Indiegogo campaign too? http://igg.me/at/peachyprinter
ADAM wrote at 9/22/2013 12:10:03 AM:
FOR 100$ COME ON WHAT A STEAL
Joana wrote at 9/21/2013 4:52:21 PM:
Do You know that xxx has just copied your full text from your site ( including links )??!!!