Look at this amazing analog rube goldbergian looking 3D printer. It uses no electricity, no computers, has no automation of any kind and is constructed entirely from spare parts and other low cost materials. And the fact that I’ve made zero hipster jokes at this point should tell you how very cool I think it is.
The device was constructed by visual arts student Daniel de Bruin to be powered with minimal effort, he only needs to release a 15 kilogram weight and start the automated pulley system. De Bruin designed the machine because he wanted to play a larger part in what it created, rather than leave everything up to programmers and ‘soulless’ machines.
“The weight allows me to be still connected with the process. Because there is no external force involved like electricity it’s still me that’s making the print,” said de Bruin “By physically building and powering the machine the products that come out of it are the result of all the energy that has gone into it.”
The 3D printer is about as low-fi as you can get. The printer uses a plastic syringe filled with a quick-drying clay, creating a rough yet organic texture that ensures each printed object will be unique. The clay “filament” is extruded with a press that’s attached to the weight system. As the weight drops it depresses the syringe and extrudes more filament onto the round build platform. As the platform spins, the machine will create a cylinder shaped object, a small guide wire moves the build platform while the machine is printing in order to create variations in the shape.
Take a look at his machine in action:
De Bruin has experimented with adding pigment and colour to the clay material, and is also experimenting with using different materials to build with. He says that you can 3D print with his machine using clay, spackle, some bio plastics and even food products like pasta. Essentially, you can extrude anything that will fit through the 2mm print nozzle that doesn’t require a heating mechanism.
The analog 3D printer will be on display at the Dutch design week in Eindhoven this year, so if you’re local you can find out more about the printer on de Bruin’s blog before you go check it out in person.