I never thought I’d see the day when someone would find a reason to build a wee tiny foldable 3D printer that can make things about as big as a few matchboxes. This printer, called the LumiFold, is a 3D printer with a build envelope of 90x90x90mm and uses UV sensitive resin to print fairly high-quality objects in a few minutes.
I personally am at a loss to explain why exactly you’d want a portable, small-format 3D printer but I’m sure someone out there can set me straight. The creators are looking for a teeny-weenie $1,500 to fund the project and they’re selling the printer for $429. You can also buy parts kits for a bit less.
The creator, Marin Davide of Italy, explains his reasoning thusly:
It was first designed when a customer asked for a small, portable 3D printer that he wanted ot use for printing dentals molds. He wanted the printer to be cheap and easy to use too. We started developing the LumiFold, and after some months of designing, building prototypes, going back to design again we came up with the current design of the LumiFold. And it proved to be so good, we decided to launch a crowdfounding campaign to provide everyone interested a cheap, portable and easy to use 3d printer!
If television has taught us anything it’s that it takes different strokes to move the world. That said, this compact little resin printer seems to be filling a niche I never knew existed. Portable 3D printers could help designers build prototypes in the field and artists to create projects on the fly. It could also be a way to build replacement parts far from a machine shop. The possibilities, while beguiling, are endless.