Well, we have to admit, we never saw this coming… A 3D printed lawn mower? What? Why? Huh? How? Those were at least a few of the thoughts running through our head when we saw this come in on the tips line.
[Hans Fouche] has a giant 3D printer that takes up most of the space in his garage, and after printing several large vases, a briefcase, bowls, and even a wind turbine blade — he decided to try printing a lawnmower. A freaking lawnmower.
To do so, he reverse engineered his old rusty lawn mower, and redesigned it to be printable. Apart from the steel axles, some fastening hardware, and of course the motor and blade, the entire thing is 3D printed. And it looks like it works pretty good too.
According to the article, [Fouche] has been 3D printing stuff for the past 18 years — using hot glue, icing sugar, and even chocolate. But when he bought a 3D printer with a standard 0.5mm nozzle, he got frustrated with how slow it was, so he decided to build his own.
He calls the gigantic 3D printer the Cheetah, and with good cause — it’s capable of spewing out 1kg of plastic per hour. This equates to a layer height of about 2.5-3mm, which is pretty impressive considering the hot-end actually processes plastic pellets, not filament. He’s even planning on manufacturing and selling it, after he tidies up the design a little bit.
Large format 3D printing certainly opens up some interesting possibilities for things you wouldn’t think could be 3D printed… After all, do you remember that life-size 3D printed concrete castle?