Portable 3D Printing

in STEMGeeks2 months ago

I've seen some small 3D printers with a carrying handle like the Monoprice MP Mini Delta which is supposed to make the 3D printer as easy to transfer from one place to another as possible. Just how portable can a small and lightweight 3D printer be?

I recently came across this video on the Naomi 'SexyCyborg' Wu YouTube channel. The YouTuber made a rig of a BIQU Magician Delta 3D printer and some batteries so she could carry the 3D printer on her back while traveling in public. Surprisingly she was able to 3D print models as she was out and about in China. The video was posted on YouTube in late 2017 so this was during the "before times" of the coronavirus pandemic.

The video is edited so I don't know if there were breaks to recharge the batteries. The printer doesn't have a heat bed which must help make it more energy efficient for the purpose of being worn as a "backpack". Apparently even with the fans, stepper motors, extruder heating chamber and the printer's circuitry the 3D printer can be battery powered for several hours. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised since the specifications rate the print head power at 40 watts and a typical laptop can be roughly around 50 watts. I've seen a lot of other 3D printer videos but they were stationary and I assume plugged into a nearby outlet.

Watching this one video has had me rethinking some of the possibilities of 3D printing. For example, 3D printing food. If one went out to give food to the homeless it's uncertain how much to bring. If one has paste-type ingredients and a battery powered 3D printer food could be printed as needed. Also a battery powered 3D printer could be part of emergency supplies like a hand-cranked generator for phones and laptops...and a 3D printer! Oh, wow! This video demonstrates that a 3D printer can be capable of printing objects while walking. I could probably be running from zombies AND be printing something I downloaded from Thingiverse at the same time. Now that's multitasking.

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I could probably be running from zombies AND be printing something I downloaded from Thingiverse at the same time

I wouldn't mind a game using this premise. The general games tend to have you scavenge for items then go to a work bench to make items. Being able to collect materials and using them anytime due to something like this flows well with technology improving.