Jan 12, 2015 | By Simon

While some schools are still figuring out how to best implement a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum to help inspire tomorrow’s generation of forward-thinkers, 15-year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Saurez has already developed a portfolio of apps and is set to release his first 3D printer design later this year.

The teenager, who has also delivered a TED presentation and founded a company, CarrotCorp, announced a 3D printer design this morning that he thinks will “revolutionize 3D printing”.

Called the Orb, the spherical 3D printer design is being promoted as a modular 3D printer consisting of an open source platform that allows users to build of of the design and customize per their 3D printing needs.

While the website shows little more than a rendering, CarrotCorp has highlighted the some unique features that make the Orb standout from other 3D printers on the market.

Aside from the unique transparent ‘fishbowl’-like industrial design, the Orb features a “Spinning Disc Architecture” that, similar to a vinyl record player, spins in revolutions while the Orb extruder moves over it.  According to CarrotCorp, when rotating at high velocity, the Spinning Disc Architecture allows for objected to be printed much more quickly than existing 3D printing methods.  While the system sounds good in theory, there are no videos or images at this time that highlight the quality of the prints when using this method.

Additionally, the printer combines the use of “MultiHeat Technology” with magnetic filament to help aid in the extrusion-based process.  The MultiHeat Technology operates by stacking multiple heater elements on top of each other with a small air gap, which allows for the fast-moving plastic to be heated faster while the custom-made magnetic plastic filament includes tiny metal flakes that allow heat to be dispersed more evenly throughout the the object while remaining stationary and connected to the electromagnetic spinning disc.

Perhaps one of the more interesting highlights of the Orb Modular Architecture though are in its ability to be expanded for multiple print functions with a simple Plug and Play setup that, according to CarrotCorp, “Just Works”.  The independent printer elements feature specific functions including extrusion and disc rotation, which are all handled by the individual modules.  When combined with the included Open Development Kit, the Orb 3D printer becomes a fully-customizable high-speed 3D printer capable of producing small and medium-sized objects.     

In order to operate the printer, CarrotCorp also reverse-engineered the building blocks of GCode to create their own language of code designed to be “human-readable”.  In one such example that allows for the same 3D object to be printed, CarrotCorp reduced 321 lines of GCode into 24 lines of Orb Print Code:

rpm 60;
home all;
heat extruder 230;
slide 0;
spin 100;
slide 20;
spin 100;
slide 40;
spin 100;
slide 60;
spin 100;
slide 100;
spin 100;

While we’re still yet to see the Orb printer in action, Saurez is planning on launching the printer via crowdfunding later this year.  Whether the Orb takes off or not, one thing is clear: the young and inventive Saurez certainly has a bright future ahead of him.  In the meantime, you can stay updated over at the CarrotCorp Facebook page.  


Posted in 3D Printers


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Tankapotamus wrote at 9/4/2015 5:57:26 PM:

I wonder how much of this is the parents trying to profit off their kid? Google glass for a 10 year old, SMH! I doubt he cares about any of this!

Tankapotamus wrote at 9/4/2015 5:53:35 PM:

Another pipe dream that will never be in production!

Weej wrote at 3/25/2015 3:09:47 AM:

I call BS.

Steve wrote at 1/26/2015 5:35:58 PM:

There are so many problems with this design it's not even funny. This "ORB-CODE" works nicely when you're printing a revolved solid aligned with the centre of the turn table. For anything else, it's going to turn into bloatware very quickly - especially with all the "slide" and "spin" commands. Wait, let's do something completely novel and replace these keywords with single letters... Then there's the problem that even simple models will require the revolving platform to change directions multiple times per revolution. I don't even want to think about the problems that will occur there. Then you have to adjust the RPM based on radius to get a constant print speed - or adjust the extrusion speed based on the radius, either way, it's gonna create a head-ache. Then, onto the magnetic filament. This is clearly a kid who's still fascinated by magnets and is yet to realise their limitations. Unless the filament is almost entirely comprised of magnetic material, the air gaps in the material will cause the magnetic field to dissipate to a point where it's no longer practical. And then finally, I don't see where the 10x print speed improvement comes from. Anyone who's actually built a 3D printer will know that the limiting factor when it comes to print speed is not how fast you can move the print head, but what the quality of the extruded plastic is at that speed. Not to mention the fancy fluid- and thermo-dynamics that comes into play with high speed printing of filament. Perhaps he'll con a couple of people into donating on KickStarter and employ an actual engineer with 3D printing experience to design a working printer - but until then, we'll just have to build models in simulation...

nggha wrote at 1/14/2015 9:25:54 AM:

It doesn't reduce the g-code at all. First off; THe code he provided isnt 381 lines, its way shorter. All the code between () is a comment (and NOT a part of the code). Without the comments, it's only 64 lines. There are also a ton of g-codes that a normal 3D printer doesn't even accept.

Faktuu wrote at 1/13/2015 9:12:36 PM:

I hear about this 10x times fater printer for 2 years now and still nothing. There is no documentation of the orb code so its only a guess to whats its doing. The example of the g code is artificialy extended at least 4 times. and a gcode itself is perfectly human redable after all it was used long before the era of PC a gcode`s ware created by and for humans. So this whole Orb thing is just general marketing BS and EMPTY claims of marketing people that hide behind this youngster. P.S. why would you want separate modules for controling printer ? why to reinvent the wheel and how is it going to hold against the new Marvell libertas 88PA6120 chip ?

TomMcBaum wrote at 1/13/2015 12:07:54 AM:

Modular, with magical invisible wires leading to the hot end. Worst 3D printer rendering ever.

serge wrote at 1/12/2015 7:34:26 PM:

patents patents...dedicaced filament.. the business model is not an invention , that is certain :) old world

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