LEGO has proven its versatility time and time again with projects as impressive as a working jet engine to a complex ball delivery machine that still blows my mind to this day. One thing that LEGO has not yet conquered, however, is the 3D printer. One 15-year-old boy is ready to change that.
Marios Papachristou, a high school student from Greece, is working on an open source 3D printer made completely out of LEGO bricks. As expected, the machine is being built with LEGO Mindstorm parts. Here’s some additional details on the project:
This is a project aims to develop a special 3D printer made of LEGO Mindstorms(R) pieces. Inspired by the GNU RepRap Printer (open-source based 3D printer) and Arthur Sacek’s Milling Machine, this project combines both techniques resulting in a machine that, even though resembles the RepRap design, it drills floral foam so as to make three dimensional objects. The chosen programming language is about to be LeJOS NXJ (GNU). Currently in development stage (designing and building)….
Here’s a video of an early digital prototype:
Of course, the video only features a 3D model of the printer. Here’s what the actual LEGO printer looks like in its current, unfinished form:
According to the Google Code page for the printer, Papachristou’s plans for his LEGO 3D printer is to first complete it, and then build software to operate it. After that, he’ll write some documentation so that anybody can build their own.