DIY 3D silicone printer 2003

DIY 3D silicone printer 2003

Posted On: November 24, 2009
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This project is about designing tools to make design with. Innovation in this project is not technological because all elements are already well known. This innovation is more in the new way of using well known industrial technologies. This kind of 3D printer has all characteristics of rapid prototyping printers and “serial production of unique objects”. Usage is simple and adapted for designers. Every Illustrator file can be send via special program to the printer. Special program assures that everything is going well, prepares drawing for printing and making simulation of the final product (just like any other printer driver). Designer is drawing curves in Illustrator in 2D world (working area is just like developed cylinder), printer driver is making a simulation of the final object on the cylinder.

It’s possible to use any liquid material that becomes hard after printing (silicone, ceramics, rubber, latex, resin,…). This project founds usage in new type of textile materials, protection materials, jewelry,…

I’m using hacking as “engine” to making innovation. It was made using classical Epson InkJet printer and pneumatic pistol for silicone. At époque (2003) It was built with Director & programmed in Lingo. In the moment of inspiration I wrote parser for .AI files (such a mess, abracadabra code with interpolation of bezier curves). Code is not really usable today, electronics is inexistent, but I’m doing a revival of this project with open source hardware and soft right now