New tendencies: turn a smartphone in a 3D printer

The World Maker Faire is a great event to find out new emerging Do It Yourself technologies. 

Last October, OLO was announced in New York: OLO is a new 3D printer for smartphones. OLO hardens the photosensitive resin inside OLO's build chamber to print the 3D model, using the light released by the flat screen of the smartphone. 

The idea is born by two Italians, Filippo Moroni e Pietro Gabriele, reaching more than 2mln of funding to date.

The printer consists of three main parts: a reservoir, a special photopolymer resin, and a mechanized lid that contains the build plate and control electronics. A polarize glass is on the bottom of the reservoir. The user just puts OLO over the smartphone, with the lid on top, and the printer starts going.

The OLO app makes your phone’s screen light up with a specific pattern and the polarized glass takes all this light, redirecting it, so that all the photons travel straight upward. The 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 use of the flat screen instead of a projector is an innovative solution that can save manufacturing costs. Indeed, OLO is a great opportunity to bring the 3D printing easy and accessible for everyone. However, it is possible to print only objects with a maximum dimension of 76x128x52mm. 

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