Peachy Printer – The world’s first $100 3D Printer

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Unlike most low cost 3D printers on the market which focus on using cheap component but similiar 3D printer design, Saskatchewan, Canada based Rylan Grayson invented his own: the Peachy Printer, the world’s first $100 3D printer.

The peachy printer is a Photolithographic printer which uses a controlled beam of light to cure light sensitive resin into hard objects. The peachy moves a laser beam along the X and Y axes to create the shape of the object, while using a drip system to control the level of the resin on the Z axis which determines the height of the object.

Grayson wrote an add-on to blender which translate 3D model into an audio waveform. It then plays the audio file out to the printer through the headphone jack in your computer. This waveform drives a pair of electro magnetic mirrors which reflect and control the path of the laser beam. The higher the volume, the higher the voltage, the more the mirrors move. The laser beam can then draw out the shape of the object along the X and Y axes. You can also uses smartphones, radios, stereos, and mp3 players that have DC coupled audio to control the X and Y axises of the printer.

The drip system: the salt water in the top container syphons down to a drip feed. The rate of this drip feed is controlled by a valve. As each drip leaves the feed, it passes through two contact points creating an electrical connection that is detected by your computers microphone jack. The drip continues to fall into the bottom container where it causes the resin floating atop it to rise. The software listens to the microphone level, counting each drip that falls and calculates the resultant level of the resin. This allows the software to send the layer that corresponds with the current Z-level of the resin. This process continues until the print is complete.

Have a look at the video below for a look at the internal workings of the Peachy Printer.

When combined with a camera, the Peachy Printer also functions as a 3D scanner. The Peachy repeats a back and forth laser pattern that simulates a line laser. When you rotate the object a full 360 degrees, your video camera, webcam, or DSLR will capture images and the Blender add-on then searches through each pixel in every frame looking for the point where the laser is hitting the object. Next it calculates the distance of those pixels from the objects rotational centre and plots the points and mesh accordingly in 3D space. You now have a 3D model of the real life object you scanned.

This illuminates the profile of the object you are scanning. Your video camera, webcam, or DSLR will capture this happening while you rotate the object a full 360 degrees. The software we wrote in Blender then searches through each pixel in every frame looking for the point where the laser is hitting the object. Next it calculates the distance of those pixels from the objects rotational centre and plots the points and mesh accordingly in 3D space. You now have a 3D model of the real life object you scanned.

The current beta version of the kit and assembled Peachy Printers can print with 0.2 mm of minimum wall thickness. The print speed depends on the complexity of the object, for example, it take around 20 miniutes to print the cube below. The little cube is about 2 cubic centimetres, so with one litre of resin you could print approximately 500 of them, each costing around $0.12 to make, notes Grayson.

This extremely unique design has resulted in a very affordable 3D printer. Peachy Printer Kit is available on Kickstarter for $100, and Grayson says you only need about one hour to assemble the whole kit, no prior experience with electronics is required. But you will need tools such as 2 containers for liquid, and a pipe. Check out more information and other options for backers here on Kickstarter.