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KAIST students develop low-noise, low-cost 3D printer

Posted: 24 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:KAIST? 3D printer? smartphone?

A team of undergraduate students from KAIST Research Institute for Social Technology and Innovations has developed their own 3D printer that has caught the attention of various institutions and corporations, local and abroad. Not only were they able to reduce the noise of the 3D printer; they also managed to factor in significant cost savings.

A 3D printer uses blueprints of products such as toys, mug cups and chairs to make 3D objects and is thought to be revolutionary technology in manufacturing industry. The interest has grown as recent printers could print even fruits and cosmetics.

The printing structure of a 3D printer can be divided roughly into horizontal Mendel method and Delta method. KAIST students focused on the Delta method to give a differentiated product from 90 per cent of commercial products that use Mendel method.

3D printer

First, the students focused on lowering the cost of unit price by using self-developed components. The carriage (transport machine) of the product is replaced by self-developed components instead of bearing to reduce the noise and the linking method was changed to beads from loop guide to increase the completeness of the printed product. Also, an auto-levelling is loaded to ensure the nozzle and the bed is parallel and hence increasing convenience for the users. Further, the printer, designed by a product designer in Germany, is linked to a smartphone application for blueprints.

A student in the development team, Seokhyeon Seo said, "The biggest merits of the product are lowering the price to a 1/3 by using self-developed components and reducing the noise. By using a smartphone application, anyone can easily design the product. So it is applicable to use for education or at home."

3D-printed products

In the exhibit, "3D Printing Korea 2014," in Coex, Seoul the printer had a preview demonstration, and received more than 100 pre-orders from educational and business training institutions. Further, buyers from Canada and the US requested opening agencies in their countries.

KAIST Research Institute for Social Technology and Innovations head Hong-Kyu Lee said, "3D printing is an innovative technology that could bring the 3rd industrial revolution. It is still early days but the demand will increase exponentially."

KAIST research team

Won-Hoi Kim (department of mechanical engineering), Sung-Hyun Cho (department of mechanical engineering) and Suk-Hyun Seo (department of computer science) from left to right

This project was a research project of KAIST Research Institute for Social Technology and Innovations led by a development team consisting of four undergraduate students of KAIST, one student from University of Oxford and one German product designer.

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