What if we could reduce the cost of a photopolymer resin-based 3D printer by taking out the most expensive components — and replacing it with something we already have? A smartphone. That’s exactly what OLO hopes to do.
A resin-based 3D printer, at least on the mechanical side of things, is quite simple. It’s just a z-axis really. Which means if you can use the processing power and the high-resolution screen of your smart phone then you’ve just eliminated 90% of the costs involved with the manufacturing of a resin-based 3D printer. There are a ton of designs out there that use DLP projectors to do just this. (And there have been open-source designs since at least 2012.)
The question is, does it work with a cellphone’s relatively weak light source?
Honestly, we can’t see why it wouldn’t, but we’re not chemists and the secret is going to be in the sauce. That being said we’re excited at the concept of such an inexpensive resin 3D printer. OLO also promises inexpensive photopolymers, which is a big deal because cost-per-volume has been Achilles’ heel of resin printers.
What do you think? Too good to be true? Will you be content with a build surface that’s limited to the size of your phablet’s screen? As with all crowd-funding projects, you should do some serious research before you back anything — especially when it comes to 3D printers. But for only $99…
[via Digital Trends]