Nowadays smartphone has got the power to handle easily some mainstream computing. This is very handy for 3D printing, and it is also fairly easy to connect it to a monitor, hook up a keyboard and a mouse/trackpad. And now, two 15 year old South Africans, Gerhard de Clercq and Pieter Sholtz, has written a Windows mobile phone app to let users to print from a mobile phone to a home-built RepRap 3D printer.
The two students managed to 3D print a Nokia Lumia 820 case from a Nokia Lumia 920, where the case's 3D model was sent via Bluetooth using their app. The app is able to slice the model on the phone and send the command directly to the printer.
The intend is to develop an affordable 3D printing system with operational ease of access for the consumer market, especially to make 3D printing more accessible in Africa through mobile.
The 3D printer they use is a homemade variant of the "Printrbot" which prints using Fused Filament Fabrication technology. The printer costs less than R5000(about $500) and can print models with a maximum size of 145mm x 168mm x 145mm with a layer height of 50~100microns. Along with the low cost 3D printer they also plan to bring out more expensive versions but with a larger printing space. In the future they want to find more suppliers for low-cost standard components, maybe even set up their own filament manufacturing pipeline in South Africa which they hope to bring down the cost of filament.
Both students have won a gold medal at the Northern Gauteng Science Expo for their "Printing in the next dimension" project.
Watch the video below, Gerhard de Clercq and Pieter Sholtz talk about their innovation:
Posted in 3D Software
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Jeff B (AptPupil) wrote at 11/6/2013 5:05:58 PM:
Wow! 15!?! You guys have a bright future!!! Keep up the amazing work!!!