3D printing is changing the world around us right before our eyes. No, seriously. Did you ever think we, the humans, could be able to 3D print human organs? That happened along with so much more, all thanks to 3D printing. Despite all these feats that have been achieved, it’s very rare to actually find someone around you who uses a 3D printer. Don’t you find that odd?
That’s exactly what the company behind OLO thought and decided to change it. The OLO is a gadget that will cost you only $99 and transforms your smartphone into a 3D printer that employs the use of light being emitted from the touchscreen for 3D printing plastic creations.
The gadget has been designed so that it can be used without undergoing any learning course whatsoever. It is very simple to understand and the operation is seamless as well. It is battery powered and completely portable while weighing in at merely 780 grams. It measures in at 17.2 x 11.5 x 14.8 cm.
It is comprised of three components; a reservoir that features 400 cubic cm of printing volume, 100-gram bottles of colored photopolymer resin that is used for building objects and a mechanized lid that houses a build plate and control electronics under it.
Let’s move on to the question of the hour; how does it work? As mentioned earlier, it is quite simple to use. Allow us to explain even further. All that you have to do is to load the schematic of desired object into the OLO mobile app that is available for iOS, Android and Windows. Once you’ve done that, place your smartphone into the OLO’s base under the reservoir. A small piece of polarized glass is installed into the base that your smartphone’s touchscreen will be facing once it has been set in place. According to the makers, even the iPhone6S+ will fit here as well.
The printing part is best explained by Drew Prindle, “Basically, once you place the lid on top and the printer starts going, the app makes your phone’s screen light up with a specific pattern. The polarised glass then takes all this light (which shines outwardly to give your phone a wider viewing angle) and redirects it so that all the photons are travelling straight upward. So as your phone’s screen beams light up into the reservoir, the directed light causes a layer of resin to harden onto the build plate, which slowly moves upward as each new layer is created.”
Prindle further says that the gadget makes use of the very same basic functions that are employed by a Digital Light Projection (DLP) Printer however does so while replacing the huge and expensive projector with the smartphone screen. The manufacturing team also developed a new form of resin that is to be used with OLO and is being called ‘daylight resin’. It has been designed specifically to make it react with white light that is emitted by smartphone screens.
As of right now, it is raising funds on Kickstarter and has already surpassed its $80,000 goal by a huge margin. The first shipment of the OLO are slated for September.