Want a 3D printer? Build your own with Lego

The printer base rotates in order to build the file layer by layer and make objects up to 12 bricks tall

This summer GeekTech told you about a cool felt tip printer, which was made out of Lego bricks. Now another hacker has come up with an even more advanced Lego printer, using a three Mindstorm NXT bricks and nine NXT motors. A 3D Lego printer!

The printer, dubbed the MakerLegoBot, is made from a giant 2400 Lego bricks and uses a Java application. You submit a MLCAD file (that's Mike's Lego Computer-Aided Design) of what you want to "print" to the Java application, and it will convert the file into something the printer can build (out of Lego, of course). The instructions are sent via USB.

The printer base rotates in order to build the file layer by layer and make objects up to 12 bricks tall. The big grey wall on the back is for storing all its bricks, ready for building. It works with 1x2, 2x2, 3x2, 4x2, and 8x2 Lego bricks so far.

The BattleBricks creator also points out that it took so many bricks to complete this project that he ran out at one point (the good people of Lego sent him a "ton" of additional bricks so he could finish it off).

Check out the video, and if you want to give it a go, the instructions are also available on the MakerLegoBot website.

Even though you can't do any of your serious work with the printer, at least making things like houses or spaceships with your Lego blocks is less time consuming.

BattleBricks via Hack A Day

Like this? You might also enjoy...

* Behold the Robotic Future of Cake Decoration

* All Hail the Open-Source Time Machine!

* Control Your Mindstorms Creations With Lego's New Android App

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Elizabeth Fish

PC World (US online)
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