This 3D Printer Lets You Get Hands-On

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[Photo: Joong Han Lee]
3D printing is fun and all, but it’s just so impersonal when you let the computer do all the work. Joong Han Lee, a masters student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, wants to change this and bring a level of craftsmanship to 3D printing, and his creation does so in a very unique way.

For his thesis project, , Joong decided to build a machine that lets you get hands-on with 3D printing. You have to pick up a glue gun-like device that spews out modeling material and, guided by the tactile feedback arm it’s attached to, feel out and print the 3D model yourself.

When the tip of the gun intersects a position where a surface should be, the arm provides physical feedback, which acts as a guide, albeit not a very stern one.

The amount of material you use it up to you, which allows for more variation and more often than not results in a final product that looks like it was created with dripping wax. Everybody that tries his or her hand at it creates a unique item, all based on the same guide, due to his or her personal touch.

I must say that I love the box with the glove holes; I imagine it makes you feel like you’re working with a deadly super virus that could wipe out the Earth's population.

This definitely makes 3D printing a lot more personal, albeit less accurate, but I’m sure accuracy isn’t what he was going for in this project. It’s more about the experience than anything, and it actually looks like fun. I’m sure that with some time and a bit of practice you could get quite good, but I can’t seem to imagine anything you could create with this machine that you couldn’t with a normal 3D printer. Can you? Let us know in the comments!

[Studio Homunculus via Fast Co. Design]

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