3D Printing is changing the way we build the world around us. I've been navigating the 3D printing landscape for the past 5 years and have started developing my own printing systems. I'm taking the next giant leap by designing and building my own 1.5 cubic meter 3D printing hybrid from scratch. This printer would allow me to create some incredible projects and breathtaking works of art. This project is the intermediary step of my ultimate goal of developing robotic housing construction systems.
I’m a 20-year-old undergraduate student studying physics and chemistry at the University of Cape Town. I first got involved with 3D printing in high school. I instantly fell in love with the concept of taking an idea, and formalizing it into a physical, tangible object. The potential of this technology is limitless! Beyond just printing plastic figurines and accessories, advanced additive manufacturing systems can produce industrial metal components used in rockets, biological human replacement parts and even entire buildings. I decided to learn all there is to know about this field.
Through design freelancing, I raised enough money to get my first open source printer: The Prusa i3. I’ve been through a lot with this trusty friend; countless flights back and forth from Johannesburg to Cape Town; hundreds of hours of printing; and let’s not forget the hundreds of hours of troubleshooting!
I had done just about everything with my Prusa i3, so it was time to take the next big step: Design and build my own! But why stop at a printer? Why not make it a laser engraver too? While you’re at it, add a drill bit and make it a CNC machine. That’s just what I did! I spent a few months designing and assembling my first printing hybrid. It was an incredible (and stressful) process to go through, but in the end, it was worth it.
I had created a machine that could not only 3D print, but could laser engrave surfaces and cut through certain woods and thin aluminium. Not to mention that it had a volume 6 times greater than that of my first printer.
Once again, I spent months improving and perfecting my creation. But there was only so much that it could do. It was time for the next big step… and I mean BIG!
I’m designing and building a 1.5 cubic meter 3D printing hybrid from scratch. It will boast a massive working volume of at least 1 cubic meter. That is over 20 times the volume of my first printer I built. It will consist of interchangeable heads allowing it to, once again, become a laser cutter and CNC machine. But this time it could produce incredibly large products.
A printer of this scale could produce life-sized prototypes such as small wind turbine blades or furniture etc. It could also produce intricate sculptures and other breath-taking works of art. As you can imagine, a project of this scale requires not only a lot of time and effort, but funding. That is why I need your help. Help me on this journey of demystifying 3D printing. This is a very significant project in my life and I would love for you to form a special part of it.
If you do not have the capacity to donate, that’s perfectly fine! Support comes in many forms. Send your support through emails or find me on social media. I would love to interact and see how you feel about this project. Nothing means more to me than feedback from the community. Advice is also incredibly valuable!
If you are having trouble contributing through this platform and would still like to donate, send me an email at [email protected] where we can arrange an alternative method for transacting, which I shall then transfer to this platform.
Thank you very much for checking out my project! It means a great deal to me. Feel free to share with anyone you think might be interested in following the process or contributing to the project. If you would like to follow along the process, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube or social media account (links at bottom of page).