What to do when you are asked by your university to cough up a complex project crafted from bio-degradable filaments with three-dimensional printer attributes? Well, if you are Vimal Patel, you improvise. Basing his resultant project on ‘Momomateriality’ – a scope which espouses products to be made from a single material to save carbon output (and make them recyclable), he started out by using UP 3D printers that could make use of 3D printer filaments. However as it turned out – unfortunately, these conventional machines were only suitable for layer-by-layer deposition of material, thus limiting the extrusion to a single axis.
But our resourceful designer was more interested in a free-form deposition technique that could flexibly aid in extrusion from multiples axes simultaneously. Such levels of complexity are only possible with commercial setups contrived with 6-axis robotic arms. So, as a groovy solution, Patel decided to go DIY and craft his own custom attachment with actual LEGO parts. The resultant glue gun-like gizmo looks like a bulky version of the 3Doodler, and acts like a 3D printer that can extrude biodegradable filaments of just 3 mm diameter.
The designer has also showcased his 3D printed helmet design, which doesn’t look like much now. But the conceptual product is more than made up for by the incredible LEGO custom extruder that proves that complex printing angles can be made accessible by using ‘modified’ devices. And, in case you are interested, Patel has conscientiously made his LEGO 3D printer digital files available for download here at Rebrickable.