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Cash-strapped engineering student creates 3D printer out of LEGO

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 7.28.40 AM [1]

People have made some stupid things [2] with 3D printers, while other people have made some pretty awesome things [3]. The common link between those things are the 3D printers themselves, which don’t come very cheap. Some are cheaper than others, but most cost well over $1000.

Because of these typically high prices, Matthew Krueger, an engineering student that has been wanting a Makerbot ever since its release, decided that he would just make one for himself. But instead of purchasing most of the parts needed, he relied on things that he already owned: a box of Legos.

The LEGObot 3D Printer, as Matthew calls it, is composed almost entirely out of Legos. Other components include a Lego Mindstorms NXT brick, an extruder motor (made out of a repurposed lens adjustment motor from an old VHS camera), a fan, a hot glue gun, gear racks 3D-printed by a friend and some coins to balance the motor.

While Matthew’s Lego 3D printer definitely works, it’s not exactly meant to replace the functions of a more expensive printer. Because hot glue is used instead of plastics, the printed objects aren’t as rigid and actually has few applications and is best at best suitable for window stickers, according to CNET.

Work on the LEGObot doesn’t end there, however. “While it does print, I would call this more of a prototype than a finished project,” Matthew says. Now he plans on experimenting with wax and resin to improve the capabilities of his 3D printer, built almost entirely out of Lego.

[via CNET [4]]