While the price of 3D printers continues to plummet, for some the cost is still too high. To help solve this problem, Instructables author Matthew Krueger, also known as Mastermind, created a 3D printer from LEGOs he found lying around his house.
Krueger’s project started as a practical exercise. During college Matthew became interested in 3D printing after an encounter with a Makerbot. Unfortunately, as a student he didn’t have the scratch to buy a premade 3D printer. So what does an engineering student do in this situation?
They build their own 3D printer, of course.
Created within LEGOs Digital Designer software, Krueger built a completely operational 3D printer from a few hundred LEGOs, an old VCR motor and a hot glue gun. To keep itself on course, the LEGObot takes directions from a LEGO NXT control module that drives the VCR motor and activates the print head.
Admittedly, Krueger calls his LEGObot “more of a prototype than a finished project.” In future iterations Matthew hopes to drive the LEGObot by using G-code, while also making mechanical improvements to the print platform.
Even though the LEGObot doesn’t have the largest build volume, and it doesn’t create high resolution prints, it’s still a stroke of genius. I hope Kreuger keeps developing it. Projects like these are incredible because they inspire the imagination, show off ingenuity and, in this case, have the opportunity to open the world of advanced technology to anyone with some time and bunch of LEGO on hand.
Watch a Video of the LEGObot 3D Printer in Action:
Image and Video Courtesy of Matstermind & Instructables