LEGO Based 3Doodler Uses Regular Filament


As part of a university research project, [Vimal Patel] was asked to make something out of biodegradable 3D printer filament. The theme of the project is called Monomateriality — making products out of a single material to aid the manufacturing process, and after the product is used, ease of recycling.

He started by experimenting with the 3D printer filament in the UP 3D printers the university had on hand. But he wasn’t content with the layer-by-layer deposition method that all FDM printers use. He was more curious about free form deposition modeling — extruding material along multiple axes at once.

Unfortunately the project budget didn’t afford him a 6-axis robotic arm 3D printing setup like this to complete the project. But he was able to build his own custom extruder using a hot glue gun, and some LEGO. It’s kind of like a 3Doodler, but much more bulky.

gun-revolve-culledframesUsing standard LEGO parts he was able to build an attachment for the hot glue gun to feed the 3mm diameter biodegradable filament through the nozzle. He’s uploaded the design files over at to share with the world.

While the end product he designed (a bicycle helmet) isn’t too realistic, [Vimal’s] more excited at the accessibility of the making process — after all, you just need a hot glue gun and some LEGO.

9 thoughts on “LEGO Based 3Doodler Uses Regular Filament

  1. Is that bicycle lid Snell-DOT approved? No, the road is just as hard and cars just as tough as with motorcycles as on a bike.
    Just don’t give anyone that helmet stuff till it’s the real thing. Certified!
    Any biodegradable plastic that is not a lie will be useless as a stable materiel. It won’t be food safe.
    It will just turn into goo or dust.
    We have been able to do both for decades now, but plastics will be the end of the living ocean if not contained.

    1. This is a stupid hack but pla, a biodegradable plastic, is used all the time in the food industry. The place that I get coffee from uses cup lids made from pla (replete with biodegradability logo). They’re not meant to last for years and years, they’re meant to last a few months or so and then be recycled or biodegraded in the ground (or some landfills).

      Do some more research on pla and other BD plastics, pls.

    1. Guessing you never heard of this little thing called Lego Technic that has been around since 1977. It’s the same stuff that connects up to the Lego Mindstorm (robotics).

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