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Tell me again, why do I need one of these things?

Dosk is backing a crowd-funded 3d printer that operates using a smart…

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animal: omg llamas!
Dosk is backing a crowd-funded 3d printer that operates using a smart phone.

It uses the phone screen to cure the 3d resin. That makes it so much clearer
  • It uses the phone screen to cure the 3d resin

    Huh, I understand all the words in that sentence individually, yet it makes no sense to me at all!
  • The brother is making noises about writing an explanation.

    You want to make an object using a normal printer.

    You scan/ design the object you want
    The object is turned into a series of cross sections.
    These are then printed on separate sheets of thick paper
    You cut the layers out and then stack them on top of each other.
    You glue them together.
    Ta - Da!
    You have a very chunky object with stepped edges.

    A 3d printer works a bit like that. Except not quite. This is the brain-bending bit.

    A normal printer prints one layer of ink on to paper. The print head (where the ink comes out) moves laterally (left-right) as the paper is moved (front-back). This makes a two dimensional (left/right is a dimension and front-back is a dimension) image. It is a 2-d printer.

    A 3d printer has an extra dimension. It moves laterally (left-right) and front-back. It adds another dimension: up-down. It prints in layers. When the print head has created a 2-d (flat) image, it then rises (i.e. up-down) and prints a new layer of "ink" on top of the previous layer, then it rises and prints the next layer and it just keeps going.

    There a range of different "ink" options for printing your object. There's abs plastic (while plumbing pipes), monofilament, sugar (I'm not kidding) and resin. Light-curing resin. It needs to be exposed to bright light to harden. What have you got that is small, computer controllable, extremely well-lit and you-have-it-already? A smart-phone.

    This removes a lot of the really-expensive element. A "hobby" type printer can come in at about £1000. Dosk does not have £1000 (and is tight). So he has put up the money to develop the smart-phone machine. (This is crowd-funding, you get lots of people to invest a small amount of money and then you do it). He is going to get a discount/freebie when it comes out.

    This makes dosk very happy. It makes me very happy because it means no more concept-drawings of dosk's budget dream machine ideas. When I am up to my nose in 1.5" sqr plastic woojits, I will probably be less happy.

    There are oodles of you-tube videos I have been subjected to. If you want to do some self-subjection the main manufacturer is called maker-bot and this is what my brother dreams of.

    ETA: this is my explanation, not his.

    Edited at 2016-06-05 05:26 pm (UTC)
  • I just missed my core analogy.

    Do you remember those awful 3-d jigsaws where you had to stack the layer/pieces/slices in the right sequence to get a shape?

    If that's no, then I haven't got an analogy.
    • Yes, I do remember them and I loathe them!

      I know the basics of how 3D printers work, just wasn't sure how smartphones fit in - I didn't realise there was light-curing resin involved. Is there going to be some kind of extruder attached to it? I would have thought the moveable print head was a large part of the expense, rather than the light source - surely it still needs that?
      • The answer is this: there is no extruder! There's simply a vat of liquid resin which is spread onto the print bed very thinly. The print bed is see-through and you put your light-source underneath it and it cooks each layer. It needs to be a very bright, high resolution light source and that's where the smart phone is excellent as it is high resolution, small and bright. This is pretty much been the one reason that my brother has bought a smart phone.


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