low cost 3D printing – using a common laser printer?

low cost 3D printing instructions

Low cost 3D printing using a common laser printer? Impossible you say. Our experiments demonstrate that – with some limitations – it is possible to create a realistic 3D model using a common laser printer. Simply download this file and follow the instructions.

We demonstrated the approach with by scanning and printing a classic Apple Macintosh Plus computer. Where contemporary software packages and approaches require you to make 360 degree movie of the object to be scanned or at minimum 30 images from different angles, we needed only 8 images. To print we used a standard laser printer. Further polishing and completion could be completed using tools and technologies common in any modern house-hold.

Clearly, refraining from using state of the art technology brings limitations requiring additional finishing process. First, some polishing is required. The using a laser printer to produce a 3D object has limitations in the accuracy of the printed object. State in the art technology produces a model that is already quite accurate, and that requires at best slight polishing. With the approach taken here there still is some serious cutting involved to arrive at the required dimensions. Second, additional gluing is required. Not all connection between the elements can be achieved when taken a common laser printer to produce a 3D object. We performed various experiments exploring the possibility to combine toner and glue but did not bring the expected results and was abandoned the approach in favor of a manual process.

To finish the 3D print you have to polish off the edges (recommended is to use scissors) and to glue the blue parts. The image on the right indicates the expected results.

Download the demonstration sheet and try it yourself. low cost 3D printing with a laser printer!