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OLO 3D Printer: Frequently Asked Questions

Picture of Bulent Yusuf
by Bulent Yusuf
Apr 8, 2016

Curious about the OLO smartphone 3D printer on Kickstarter? Of course you are! Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Don’t miss: Interview with OLO Co-Founder Filippo Moroni

With over 14,000 backers and $2 million dollars raised in the first week of its Kickstarter campaign, the OLO smartphone 3D printer is nothing short of a phenomenon. Kicktraq, a site dedicated to monitoring Kickstarter campaigns, projects the OLO 3D printer to finish with a whopping $3.3 million dollars.

But with so much interest, there also comes questions. Lots and lots of them. Provided by the OLO 3D team on their campaign page, these are the answers to the most frequently asked questions from backers.

Want to know where to buy the resins? How durable the models are? Whether OLO 3D printer will be shipping to your country? Read on and find out:

General Questions

OLO smartphone 3D Printer

What does the OLO 3D printer look like?


What are the key features of the OLO Smartphone 3D Printer?

1. The OLO 3D printer works with liquid resin (SLA 3D printer) instead of plastic filament (FDM technology). It operates with daylight photopolymers in four materials and five colors.

2. You need a smartphone. It will be inserted in the OLO 3D printer case and can’t be used during the printing pricess.

3. It is battery powered, allowing you to print wherever you want to. Also, the OLO 3D printer is highy portable, weighing just over a pound. It‘s supposed to have a noiseless mechanism.

4. It aims both at 3D printing professionals and 3d printing beginners.

Who manufactures the OLO 3D printer?

OLO 3D Inc. – 1355 Market St #488, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States.

What are the max phone dimensions that work with OLO Smartphone 3D printer?

The OLO 3D Printer will fit phones up to the maximum dimensions of 162mm x 82mm x 10mm, or 6.37″ x 3.2″ x 0.39″

Can OLO 3D printer fit smartphones with protruding cameras?

Yes. OLO 3D printer has a universal soft adapter in which the phone is placed before the printer is placed on top of it. This creates a rim which raises the body of the printer above the phone’s protruding camera.

Is the OLO 3D printer only battery operated? Does it have a cord?

OLO 3D printer is only battery operated. It uses an algorithm to determine if you have enough battery power for the print you selected and will let you know if you have enough power before you print.

Why does OLO 3D printer have a case around the phone?

The case is a universal adaptor that helps the phone to remain stable, it is especially useful when the bottom of the phone is curved or if the phone’s camera sits above the level of the phone’s surface.

How long will a set of batteries last?

OLO 3D printer requires 4 AA batteries and should be able to print about 100 times before the batteries need to be replaced. OLO 3D printer will let you know if its batteries need to be replaced before you start printing.

Which countries is OLO 3D printer shipping to?

The OLO 3D printer ships to Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, UAE, Albania, Armenia, Andorra, America Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Anguilla, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Belgium, Bangladesh, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bolivia, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cambodia, China, Chile, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Curacao, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, El Salvador, EU, French Guiana, Finland, Fiji, French Polynesia, France, Georgia, Gibraltar, Grenada, Greenland, Germany, Guadeloupe, Guam, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Libya, Madagascar, Martinique, Marshall Islands, Moldova, Montserrat, Macedonia, Mali, Monaco, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Malta, Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar, Malaysia, Namibia, New Caledonia, Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Pakistan, Poland, Panama, Portugal, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sint Maarten, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Island, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad, Tobago, Tunisia, East Timor, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, British Virgin Islands, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

Where will Olo 3D Printer ship from? Will I need to pay customs fees for the EU?

OLO will be shipping from three regional locations:

USA: Our regional center in the USA will ship to the USA, Canada, and Latin America.
ITALY: Our regional center in Italy will ship to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
JAPAN: Our regional center in Japan will ship to Asia and Australia

OLO Kickstarter Campaign Questions

Olo Kickstarter Campaign

How can I pledge more than one reward? I am interested in adding a resin pack but I don’t want to lose the first pledge I made.

Kickstarter allows you to back a project only once, however we have teamed with BackerKit to allow backers to add additional items to their pledges. Once the campaign has ended all backers will receive an email with a link to add additional products to their pledge.

Do you plan to have Stretch Goals?

No. The OLO 3D printer campaign is a huge success, and we want to use all of our time and energy to fulfill our backers’ expectations and ship a perfect OLO 3D printer within our promised time frames.

Can I see more detailed pictures and videos of the building process and printed objects?

Yes. There are some pictures and videos of 3D printed objects on the OLO 3D printer website now.

Can you provide us more information about your daylight resin?

In the next few days, Olo will be publishing a comparison between our DayLight resin and other common UV resins already on the market.

Why did you opt for standard AA batteries rather than a rechargeable built-in battery?

Because lithium ion batteries are more expensive both to implement and to ship we decided to use AA batteries to keep OLO’s cost down. We want to do all we can to make OLO 3D printer affordable for everyone.

What about an OLO Smartphone 3D printer for tablets?

Due to the amazing success of OLO’s Kickstarter campaign, we want to focus all of our efforts on ensuring we deliver the best product we can, and in the time frame we’ve promised. As a result, we have decided to push back the launch for OLO TAB, the tablet version of the OLO, for a pre-release date of March 2017.

OLO 3D Printing Questions

The most practical printer ever? (Image: OLO)
The most practical printer ever? (Image: OLO)

What do the prints look like?

Currently, there’s only a handful of 3D prints available on the OLO website. Here is one of them:


What is the average speed / layers per minute of the OLO 3D printer?

The OLO can print a single layer of a thickness of 0.035mm to 0.2mm (and of any width or length -OLO print times are independent of the XY dimensions of the object being printed) in 20-32 seconds. The time is determined by the brightness of the screen of your smartphone. For example, an iPhone 6 can print a 1cm tall object in approximately 46 minutes, or 1 inch in approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Will I need a darkroom for OLO 3D printer?

No! OLO uses a universal adapter, a frame in which you place your phone and upon which the printer is placed. This creates a sort of “mini darkroom” to ensure that the only light that reaches the resin will be the light coming from the screen of your smartphone. There is a small gap in the adapter frame that allows you to run a power cord to your phone during printing.

Is there a special chemical needed to clean the object after printing?

No. No special chemicals are needed to clean a printed object. Just rinse your object in warm, filtered water. While the OLO completely cures the model as it prints it, a deeper, more durable cure of your model can be achieved by exposing the printed object to sunlight for 5 minutes. You can also refine the finish of your printed object by swabbing it with rubbing alcohol.

How durable are the models made by OLO 3D printer? Some model plastics are “firm but biodegradable over 10 years”.

Resin durability if comparable to other standard UV resins.

Does the print precision of OLO 3D printer depend on the smartphone display resolution?

Yes, print precision depends on the resolution and the contrast of your smartphone.

Do I have to use proprietary resins or can I use other resins? Why?

OLO printers work only with OLO resins. This is because we want to make sure you experience the highest quality prints using safe and tested materials.

How can I buy resin after the campaign and how much will it cost?

In addition to the option of adding resins and other gear to your pledge at the end of the campaign using BackerKit (a link to which will be emailed to all backers when the campaign ends), we will also sell the resins, printers, gear, and accessories on our website. Additionally, we are currently considering other distributors for the OLO and its resins. We will keep all Kickstarter backers up to date on where they can buy resins after the Kickstarter ends.

Resin will be available for $15 per 100mL bottle (not including local taxes and import costs if applicable).

Can I mix resin colors of the same type to get a new color?

No, but we are working to make it possible in the future.

Can you reuse the resin that is leftover in the chamber?

Yes, simply filter any partially hardened material and pour the resin back in the bottle.

How sensitive is the resin to light? Does it need to be stored in a special way?

Yes, the resin is light sensitive so it needs to be stored in a cool, dry place, and be kept at room temperature (50 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 – 35 degrees Celsius).

What is the shelf life of the resin?

It is best to use the resin within 1 year of purchase.

Can you switch resins when printing to get a multi-material object?


What is the suggested range temperature for the resin?

Resin temperature ranges between 10 and 35 degree Celsius.

How would you know how much resin is needed for a given model so as not to waste resin by over pouring?

The OLO 3D printer tells you how much resin to pour into the printing chamber. Once you select your model for printing OLO automatically determines algorithmically how much resin is required based on the file.

Can materials be ordered without being part of a kit, i.e. just wax, or just black?

Yes. In addition to the option of adding resins and other gear individually to your pledge at the end of the campaign using BackerKit, a link to which will be emailed to all backers, we will also sell the resins, printers, gear, and accessories on our website. Additionally, we are currently considering other distributors for the OLO and its resins. We will keep all Kickstarter backers up to date on where they can buy resins after the Kickstarter ends.

Can OLO printed objects be painted?

Yes. OLO objects can be painted with standard acrylic-based paints.

Does the printer bed need to be replaced?

No. However, the build film (a .15 mm thick film within a plastic that seals against the interior resin tank to avoid spilling) does occasionally need to be replaced. The film can be cleaned and re-used up to three times, but also thrown out and replaced after each print. Each resin bottle comes with 3 films, and more can be purchased in packs of 20 for $5 per 20-pack.

Are the resins non-toxic?

No. Our uncured resins safety and use guidelines are in line with many other 3D resins on the market. The resin is intended for ages 12 years and up. It can irritate the skin, and may cause damage if it comes in contact with the eyes. The resin is not edible and is not for use with items that come in contact with food.

How do you dispose of the resin?

While paper towels used to clean out the printer can be thrown in the garbage, resin disposal regulations vary state by state. Please check with the refuse agency in your community for proper disposal.

Besides resin, what else does OLO 3D printer use?

OLO 3D printer uses a building film, a thin plastic sheet to seal the tank to avoid spills. These sheets can be cleaned and re-used up to three times before being replaced. Each bottle of resin comes with three films and additional films can be purchased in packs of 20, and will cost $5 per 20-pack.

What is the “build film” between the phone and the resin?

The build film is a 0.15mm thick film that that seals the interior resin tank to avoid spilling. The film can be cleaned and reused up to three times or it can be discarded and replaced after each printing. Each bottle of resin comes with 3 films, additional films can be purchased in packs of 20, and will cost $5 per 20-pack.

Smartphone Questions

olo smartphone 3D printer

What happens when I get a phone call or text while printing?

The phone must be in airplane mode, Wifi must be disconnected, and alerts must be turned off during printing.

Can I print on another device other than a phone?


What if my smartphone has the charge port on the side?

OLO 3D printer will work with smartphones whose charging ports are located on the side of the device.

Does the smartphone need to be attached to an AC adapter?

Yes. The smartphone must be charging while OLO is printing. There is a gap in the universal adaptor base to accommodate a cord.

What are the print area dimensions and max print size?

The print volume is 76mm x 128mm x 52mm or 3 x 5 x 2 inches.

What is the process for OlO 3D printer clean up?

Cleaning OLO is simple. First, wipe out any excess resin with a paper towel, then wipe down the interior with rubbing alcohol.

Software Questions

What file types does OLO 3D printer accept? obj/stl/ply?

Yes, OLO 3D printer supports obj/stl/ply files.

How is OLO Smartphone 3D printer synced to the phone?

OLO syncs with your phone via audio (20/18 kHz frequency).

Will the OLO 3D printer software be compatible with older versions of iOS (7.x?) and with Android versions for Kindle?


Is the printer compatible with smartphones with curved screens, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge?

No! OLO uses a universal adapter, a frame in which you place your phone and upon which the printer is placed. This creates a sort of “mini darkroom” to ensure that the only light that reaches the resin will be the light coming from the screen of your smartphone. There is a small gap in the adapter frame that allows you to run a power cord to your phone during printing.

Why doesn’t OLO 3D printer work with devices other than a smartphone?

OLO 3D printer uses sound to communicate between the printer and the phone. Because smartphones have an upward pointing earpiece which conveys sound directly to the sensor they are especially suited for this mode of communication. Other hardware systems have not been tested with OLO 3D printer.

Will screen protectors effect 3D printing?

Screen protectors up to 0.2 mm thick will not affect printing. Screen protectors thicker than 0.2mm will still produce prints, but they will have a poorer resolution.

How does the optical system handle the varying sizes of screen pixels on different smartphones?

OLO 3D printer uses a vector based filetype to scale and correctly adjust to any size or ppi density smartphone screen. While the image projected will be the same on higher and lower resolution screens, lower resolution screens will print objects with lower definition. In other words: the higher the definition of the screen, the higher the definition of the print.

Will OLO 3D printer work with Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print or Windows 3D?

While we have not yet tested this as a feature, theoretically our web services should be able to communicate with 3rd party services via an API. We will be exploring this further and will update the campaign as we have more information. Thanks for this excellent question!

OLO’s app is cloud-based, does it have its own servers?

No. OLO 3D is using Amazon and Google servers.

Is the cloud-based OLO 3D printer software going to be subscription based?

While you will need to set up an account, OLO’s app will always be free.

Will OLO’s app be free? Will there be any add-ons available for purchase?

Yes, OLO’s app will be always free. Some 3rd party 3D libraries may be available for purchase at a later date.

How does OLO’s app work?

Once you have selected a model that you would like to print from withing the app it will be sent as an STL file to our cloud servers. There, it will be processed into the individual layers required to create the model. It is then converted into a .olo file, a vector layer file format with a synchronized audio component. It is a small file is only about 1/6 the size of a normal STL file. This file is then downloaded from the servers and saved locally on the phone. The phone must have notifications turned off, disconnected from wifi, and be placed in Airplane Mode so as not to cause interruptions to the print job. Then the printing begins!

Then the printing begins!

How does a file get from the PC to OLO Smartphone 3D printer?

PC > 3D file > stl file > cloud > slice > svg > olo > smartphone > OLO > final print.

How can I protect or share the designs I create with other OLO 3D printer users?

All designs will be stored on a secure 3rd party server.

There will be 4 settings for sharing or restricting your uploaded designs:
Private: only you are able to access your design.
Group: you and a group of users specified by you are able to access the model.
Public: all OLO users will be able to access you design for free
Revenue: your model is visible to everyone but is only downloadable by users who pay to use your design.

License: The text of "OLO 3D Printer: Frequently Asked Questions" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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