back to article Pint-sized 3D printer produced

3D printers are generally so large, that even if you had a daily use for one, it would be an implausible prospect to set up beside your home PC. This could be about to change. A team from the Vienna University of Technology has developed a machine much smaller, lighter and cheaper than a standard 3D printer. The concept draws …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow, excellent

    < pair in the photo look a bit dodgy though ... /unkind>

  2. sgb


    They clearly don't know anything about the printer business. You sell the printer for 50 quid, then charge €1200 a pop for the toner.

    Cable? That's extra.

    1. DrXym

      And if you're EPSON

      You make sure your printer throws up mysterious "unrecognized cartridge" errors forcing you to change the ink even when there is plenty left. Buying an EPSON printer is one of the most seriously bad decisions I've made in a long time.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Epson theft

        We had one in the last site office I used to use.

        We printed about 30 black/white pages per day, and perhaps one colour. It used to run out of yellow ink twice a week.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why the yellow ink disappears

      2. Kevin 6


        Epson is sill up to that?

        Last epson I owned was around 13 or so years ago and did that BS

        Worked beautifully the 1st cartridge.

        Put a new cartridge in print 2 pages it said out of ink

        Had it serviced the serviced (was under warranty) 5 pages later out of ink...

        After that it went into the garbage can where epson's belong

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      Don't tell them....

      WTF have you done now?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the future

    Where your teenager needs a MUCH BIGGER SUITCASE to hide the porn he's printed off.

    1. DrXym

      Overlooking the obvious

      I think the first thing most 3D printers would be used for would be to print off a copy of the owner's privates.

      1. Mitch Kent

        Too true...

        ... though not only for themselves ...

        Look forward to all new sorts of harrassment charges...

  4. Thomas 4

    It's alright, I guess

    ...but can it print an actual pint?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I enjoy this new-sized pint at the old price-per-pint.

      Though I'm a bit shocked by a unit of "about a milk carton". What's that in Bulgarian airbags (most relevant for pron printing obviously)?!

  5. Lonesome Twin

    We're all doomed - doomed I tell you

    When these things can print copies of themselves will that make them lifeforms? 'Tis the beginning of the end...

    1. Gabor Laszlo
      Thumb Up


      Look it up and weep

  6. Nigel 11
    Thumb Up

    Jewellery revolution

    This might revolutionize the jewellery business, if they can print in wax or a acceptable plastic alternative for "lost wax" casting in gold or silver. (You need something that can be burned without toxic fumes or any solid residues).

    3D graphic designing is a lot easier than sculpting tiny details in wax, and some geometries would be possible that are all but impossible to sculpt from a solid lump.

  7. Mike Brown

    this will kill model companies

    i play table top stratagy games, and to be honest cant wait for these things to get to a stage where i can print my own models. the flip side to this is that downloading space marines from the piratebay will take off in a huge way, and kill games workshop/mantic/airfix et al.

    1. L.B

      maybe...maby not

      Don't forget that once the big printer boys have taken all the patents to stop all but HP, Cannon, Epson, etc... building them, the Ink will cost so much that it will still be cheaper to buy any mass produced items, probably by a large margin.

      Though nearly all of those high street shops will probably go and you will have to buy everything online.

  8. BenR


    If the model companies have any sense whatsoever, they'll just make the relevant files available online (for a price). Saves them a cock-load in manufacturing and distribution costs.

    Also, in the case of GW etc., if they were really really smart, they'd send stuff out with a suitable application that let's you pose said models on the computer (what's it called where you give movement node points to 3D computer models so you can drag parts to change position? Can't remember). They'd be able to make money off that!

    Once they sort out the freetard issue to stop people taking the latest model round to their mates on disc that is.

    1. Canecutter

      Regarding animation

      The process of fixing your model so that it may be posed is called by practitioners, "the Fine Art of Rigging". It is the process whereby you specify the "bones" of the model, thus enabling either posing the model directly, or associating various rules of Physics to allow the model to exhibit realistic behaviour under various conditions.

  9. JoeH 1
    Thumb Up

    Jewellery revolution

    started some time ago.


    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @JoeH 1


      And an inspiration to showing what *can* be done within the limitations of this newish technology.

  10. Graham Bartlett

    @Mike Brown

    Given how much of a rip-off GW products have always been, I don't have a right lot of sympathy TBH. When me and my friends used to play WH and WH40K at school, GW ripped the rules apart to dumb the whole thing down for 10-year-olds, whilst simultaneously adding hugely unbalanced new characters which cost a fortune to buy. We stuck with the old rules, mostly stopped buying new models, and branched out into historical gaming instead.

    1. Kevin 6

      @Graham Bartlett

      Sounds like what they did to BattleTech, and MtG when I was in school

      Released a dumbed down version of the rules for BT guys I played with just ignored it was ever released.

      Glad I was out of MtG way before the rules got simplified to idiot level

  11. Torben Mogensen


    I have wondered if it might not be an idea to make a 3d printer that uses cement (standard construction cement). You dust a thin layer of cement and spray tiny droplets of water where you want the object. You then dust another layer on top, and so on. You then leave to settle overnight and then shake off the excess cement. If you add colour to the water, you can even make coloured items.

    Cement is dirt cheap and fine-grained enough to make fine details. Water is also quite cheap, so it is mainly a matter of making something that can control the dusting and the spray finely enough. Inkjet technology seems suitable for spraying, so what is needed is something that can add an even layer of cement on top of what is already there. That doesn't sound too difficult.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Covered here...

      I honestly don't know the difference between concrete and cement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Cement (aka Portland Cement) is the chemical glue and useless on its own.

        Concrete is generally a mixture of sand, cement and some kind of rubble filler (and water of course) and is what they make your drive and pavements out of.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Concrete is cement

        that has other stuff in it

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Very clever

    But can it do a convincing human ear:?

    You know what John Woo DVD is in my pocket.

  13. handle
    Dead Vulture

    Significant figures

    "€1200 (£1056)"

    I thought not understanding significant figures was the BBC's job.

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