How to Create a 3D Printer in 3 Weeks

Last Thursday was the launch of 3D printers created by senior Victoria University of Wellington Design students , who were set the challenge of creating 3D printers in three weeks. While many may think of a commercial model from ZCorp or a home-made one as on fab@home, the results from these innovative students were three very unique solutions:

MIGME used a mig welder to deposit layers of weld to create a product. MIGME combined the violent explosive nature of mig welding with the more sedate features of potting to create magically fluid shapes.

MIGME via Flickr

MIGME via Flickr

entangled wove objects from thread. Products created using entangled are woven from a single thread – a nod to the natural processes used by spiders and silk caterpillars.

entangled via Flickr

entangled via Flickr

pure imagination used candy as its raw product. The outputs of the pure imagination machine are edible, colourful 3D products that challenge the assumptions about materials and their roles.

pure imagination via Flickr

pure imagination via Flickr

Given the very tight deadlines the final machines are amazing and a real tribute to the innovative, artistic and technical skills of the students. The project is a fantastic example of the amazing work being done at the VUW Design School in the area of materials and manufacturing, where students are empowered to initiate meaningful change in the design and manufacturing industries.

We definitely will be featuring VUW a lot more in the future.

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