3D-Printing Vending Machine Dispenses Designs On The Spot
The DreamVendor is a kiosk where anybody can create ready-made objects.
Talk that 3D printing will spark a revolution in manufacturing is common these days. Soon that could very well be the case, but for now most 3D printers still require a grasp on some technical ins and outs that make them a hard sell to the average consumer. The DreamVendor is not a new type of 3D printer. It’s a new way to use them, and it’s pretty clever at that.
Originally created in 2012 by Dr. Chris Williams, Director of Virginia Tech’s DREAMS Lab, and designed by student Amy Elliot, the DreamVendor project intended to bring 3D printing technology to a more casual audience. The whole thing is set up to be as easy to use as possible. There’s still the matter of correctly configuring the file you want printed, but once you’ve got that down just save it onto an SD card, insert it into the DreamVendor, and wait patiently while your design is printed.
The latest iteration is the DreamVendor 2.0, a single printer kiosk that has added a touchscreen and now supports USB:
For now you’d still have to go to Virginia Tech to use one, but that may not be the case for long. According to The Tribune-Democrat, David Pierce, CEO of 3D Box and the former CEO of Atari, will use technology spun-off from the DreamVendor to put 3D printing vending machines in retail locations so that anybody with a design on their thumb drive can just walk up and print it out.
It’s an exciting concept that could do much to bring about that manufacturing revolution we’ve heard so much about. Considering the amount of designs already distributed freely on the Internet, and with more being released every day, a world where every supermarket has 3D printer by the soda machines would be a huge step toward bringing a hugely empowering technology to the public.
[h/t] The Tribune-Democrat