The World's Smallest 3D Printer Is Only a Little Bigger Than a Milk Carton

Illustration for article titled The World's Smallest 3D Printer Is Only a Little Bigger Than a Milk Carton

3D printers are typically behemoth-type machines that can spit out crazy things like houses, cars and titanium balls. The world's smallest 3D printer is too puny to do any of that but it could be more useful than any other 3D printer.


The 3D printer was built by engineers from the Vienna Institute of Technology and it's much lighter and cheaper than previous 3D printers. The idea is to make this 3D printer the one that people could actually use, instead of being another tall tale and fable that we've heard 3D printers do. Priced at about $1,700, it's still ridiculously expensive but it could possibly be cheaper if there ever is a mass demand for such a device

The engineers are using the same technology behind typical 3D printers: a synthetic resin that hardens when a beam hits it but this runty 3D printer uses "light beams are just a twentieth of a millimeter thick" which gives it the ability to print things in better detail. I'm not sure what use I have for a portable 3D printer, but I sure as hell wouldn't mind one. [TUWIEN via Pop Sci]



I'm truly fascinated by the 3D printer concept. It will create a fully decentralized manufacturing process. That means no more going to the store to get a product. Instead you buy the raw materials (resins, metals, glass, rubbers, etc), download a 3D product model and print your own. Voila.

We're another step closer to a true universal assembler (I.e., "Tea. Earl grey. Hot.") which would literally change the entire course of human history.

The future isn't just bright. It's blinding.