3D Printing

Go Bananas — Windows 8 3DP App Released by South African Teens

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3D printing from your smartphone may soon be a ubiquitous part of life, with an increasing number of companies releasing smartphone 3DP apps, such as MakerBot’s new MakerBot Mobile app. Most of these apps weren’t developed by fifteen-year-olds.

We previously covered Gerhard de Clercq and Pieter Scholtz of Pretoria, South Africa who wrote their own Windows Phone app to make for Bluetooth-enabled 3D printing. Their app has finally been released to the public and it offers an innovation distinct from other smartphone 3D printing apps. Gerhard has created his own 3D printing slicer called Bananna Chopper, which allows users to slice an .stl file within the app itself. Bananna Chopper processes 3D models as toolpaths/GCodes so that you can slice your .stl and start printing, rather than forcing you to pre-generate your own GCode separately.

The app relies on a Bluetooth connection, for which not all 3D printers are equipped. In the case that your 3D printer does not already have Bluetooth compatibility, you’ll need a Bluetooth serial bridge, which requires a bit of DIY work. Gerhard and Pieter are considering selling their own kits to make the Bluetooth integration a bit easier. You can contact Gerhard to ask about purchasing one at [email protected]. Once you’re set up, though, you’ll be able to upload your .stl files and can get printing.  Watch the app in action below:

I’m happy with the way that today’s young’uns have taken to the Maker movement. Gerhard designs the electronics and software, while Pieter performs the mechanical design work, really the work of people twice their age. If an adolescent in your home refuses to get away from Facebook and start building stuff, maybe these teens will give them the kick in the ass they need to start living!