A smaller, lighter and cheaper 3-D printers has been developed at the Vienna University of Technology. It weighs 1.5 kilograms and only cost 1200 Euros. With this small thing everyone could make 3-D objects like keys, special spare parts, medical parts or something like a self-designed bling jewellery in their own home.
“The basic principle of the 3D-printer is quite simple: The desired object is printed in a small tub filled with synthetic resin. The resin has a very special property: It hardens precisely where it is illuminated with intense beams of light. Layer for layer, the synthetic resin is irradiated at exactly the right spots. When one layer hardens, the next layer can be attached to it, until the object is completed. This method is called “additive manufacturing technology”. “This way, we can even produce complicated geometrical objects with an intricate inner structure, which could never be made using casting techniques”, said Klaus Stadlmann, one of its creators. He developed the prototype together with Markus Hatzenbichler.
“We will continue to reduce the size of the printer, and the price will definitely decrease too, if it is produced in large quantities”, Klaus Stadlmann added.
The individual layers hardened by the light beams are just a twentieth of a millimetre thick that enables the printer to be used for applications which require extraordinary precision – such as construction parts for hearing aids.