Work/Play

DIY 3D Printer “Curiosity”: If You Can’t Buy One… Make One

DIY 3D Printer

Fancy making your own 3D Printer? This cheap DIY 3D Printer uses eWaste and was designed to give underprivileged kids the chance to print.

Kids need technology. It’s the only way to learn all the skills they may need in the future. Unfortunately, technology can be very expensive. Parents and educators seldom have the money to buy new gear. One printer alone can cost several hundreds of dollars.

This is why the DIY 3D printer Curiosity Printer was created.

F91FCV5IGQW8FYJ.MEDIUM

The idea behind the Curiosity is simple: every kid should have access to a 3D printer. Moreover, their plan to make this a reality involves up-cycling and getting kids and educators to learn, first hand, about invention:

“Co-developed with the Poly University of Hong Kong, the Curiosity is an easy-to-assemble educational 3D printer which offers a super low-cost platform for educational purposes. 3D printing closes the gap between an idea or inspiration and the first prototype and enables people of all ages and backgrounds to make the leap to become an inventor!”

By capitalizing on eWaste and sharing instructions for how to build the machine, the Curiosity printer means saving money, and a hands-on educational session on “how to build a printer.” The re-use of old DVD drives and PC power supplies means that much less waste is creating. Plus, it even helps kids see what happens to eWaste—a very hot, though largely forgotten, topic.

Making a Maker’s Printer

Curiosity, the Curious DIY 3D Printer
Curiosity, the Curious DIY 3D Printer

Making the printer is a game in its own. You get to dismantle DVD drives, and play with a floppy drive. If you can’t find all the parts yourself, you can even buy a kit here. Free step-by-step instructions for building can be found on Instructables.

Instructions feature an entire section on safety, so be sure to read before playing with knives and power supplies!

The next phase of the project is still up in the air. There may be a crowdfunding campaign in the Curiosity’s future. The printer costs less than $150 to assemble, and they have to bring it down to $100. The team’s goal is to do much more than just sell printer kits or instructions: every kit purchased and every printer made means one more child gets the chance to print.

The team also has a Facebook group to bring 3D prototypers together and talking.