A group of students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University at Albany in New York have developed a 3-D printer that could produce books in just hours.
The students, who are in the process of applying for a grant from the U.S. Army, have used the printer to print out books and documents in three dimensions.
The printers have been in use for at least two years.
The 3-d printer is a new kind of printer that can print objects that can be easily stacked and assembled into an entire object, said Daniel Dolan, a doctoral student in computer science at the University, who co-led the project with two other students, senior Ivan Lipsky and senior Alexei Popov.
The team has been using the printer for about a month to print books.
It can print in three-dimensional space, making it easier to assemble objects like books.
The printer works by attaching a 3,000-degree-Celsius (5,000°F) filament to a sheet of plastic and then using a thin, flexible filament to extrude the objects.
The team was able to print just under a gram of the material in less than 10 minutes, Lipski said.
The printable objects, called micro-machines, were used by the Army to design and test a new generation of mobile, lightweight 3D printers.
In this way, the Army can make 3-dimensional models for troops on the battlefield, which could be used to develop new tools and devices, such as mobile 3-axis elevators that could enable soldiers to operate remotely.
The military has been testing these machines, as well as 3-DP printers, on the front lines in Afghanistan.
Lipskys project has not yet been submitted to the Army’s manufacturing test lab for commercial use.
The research team is also working on a different printer that is designed to print small, custom objects, but they have not yet decided on that printer.
The three students have not announced their plans for the next step, but Lipskin said that the students are working on that project.
“We don’t want to be the first to do something,” he said.
“We’re not the first students to do this.
We are working very hard to prove that we’re ready for this.”
The printer could make a printed book in less time than a yearIf you want to learn more about how to print a book in three dimensional space, check out the 3-point printable paper project from the Army.