Feb. 23, 2015

Legos and 3D printing are a natural fit for each other. Maker like Marios Papachristou has used Legos to build a special 3D printer that ressembles the design of RepRap Mendel 3D printer. Researcher Stefanie Mueller has started using Legos in their program called faBrickator, a software program which allows users to 'legofy' their designs.

And recently one Instructables user named William has created a Lego 3D printer using the Lego EV3 Mindstorms system and a glue gun. Instead of plastic, William's Mindstorms EV3 Lego 3D Printer 2.0 prints with hot glue.

"A few months ago, I built my first 3D printer with the EV3. It was a prototype and the result wasn't that great." notes Willam. "This is my second version. Unlike the first printer, its' X and Y axis follow a racked track; that makes it more precise. I also modified the extruder, which is much more efficient now. This printer is a lot better than the first one, but it's far from good enough."

As you can see in the images below, the glue gun is used as the 3D printing nozzle. Before starting your program, you need to first wait until the glue gun's hot enough. Every layer of hot glue nees approximately 30 seconds to cool down and harden enough to support the next layer. 30 seconds later, the machine lays down the next layer. "Depending on the glue gun you used, the extruders' motors' speed will vary form program to program." Willam said.

So far William only has the printer extruding hot glue. Fortunately, he has shared a tutorial for making it, so you can try it yourself at home to build your very own Lego 3D printer. Makers can also switch from hot glue to wax or resin, or simple just use sugar sticks in place of glue sticks to print your own candy.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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