Meet OLO: A $99 device that will turn your smartphone into a 3D printer

A US-based company has designed a portable device that lets you turn any smartphone into a 3D printer.

By: IANS | New York | Updated: March 28, 2016 11:30 am
3D printer, smartphones, 3D printing, OLO, Olo app, 3D printing via phone, what is 3D printer, technology, technology news A US-based company has designed a portable device that lets you turn any smartphone into a 3D printer using the light from the touchscreen to process your plastic creations. (Source: olo3d)

A US-based company has designed a portable device that lets you turn any smartphone into a 3D printer using the light from the touchscreen to process your plastic creations, a media report said.

The gadget called OLO is designed to be simple to understand and operate, and is battery-operated and fully portable, weighing just 780 grams, ScienceAlert reported citing Kickstarter, the company which helped develop the creative device.

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The device consists of three parts: A reservoir, which holds 400 cubic cm of printing volume; 100-gram bottles of coloured photopolymer resin to build your objects with; and a mechanised lid, under which the build plate and control electronics are tightly arranged.

First, you have to load a schematic of your object into the OLO mobile app (available for iOS, Android, and Windows) and then fit your smartphone into the base under the reservoir. A piece of polarised glass is installed into the base, which your phone’s touchscreen will be facing when set in place.

Once you place the lid on top and the printer starts going, the app makes your phone’s screen light up with a specific pattern. The polarised glass then takes all this light (which shines outwardly to give your phone a wider viewing angle) and redirects it so that all the photons are travelling straight upward.

So as your phone’s screen beams light up into the reservoir, the directed light causes a layer of resin to harden onto the build plate, which slowly moves upward as each new layer is created.

The gadget is priced at $99 and its first shipments are expected to start in September.