OLO Smartphone 3D Printer

Every other day we hear about some or the other new invention in 3D printing space. Some of those inventions are incremental whereas few others are so disruptive that they have the potential to change the 3D printing technology development track. One such invention, OLO was unveiled at Maker Faire New York last week. OLO is designed to take any smartphone and transform it into fully-functional 3D printer. Open the app, put the phone into the device and pull out a completed part a few minutes later. It was created by an Italian startup called Solido3D.

Below is how OLO works:

In total, the printer consists of three main parts

The printer consists of three main parts: a reservoir, a special photopolymer resin and a mechanised lid that contains the build plate and control electronics. There is a piece of polarised glass at the bottom of the reservoir. You place the phone underneath the reservoir facing upwards.

Once the lid is placed and the printer starts going, the app makes the phone screen light up with a specific pattern. The polarised glass then takes all this light and redirects it at a wider angle so that all the photons are travelling straight upward. As the 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. It is basically a DLP system that uses phone screen instead of projector to solidify the liquid layer.

With smartphone replacing the DLP projector, OLO is democratising 3D printing technology as smartphone availability is ubiquitous now.

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