When engineering student Matthew Krueger couldn’t afford to buy a MakerBot 3D printer he decided to make one himself, out of Lego.
After a year’s work the LEGObot was born. It only prints objects in hot glue, not ABS or PLA plastic, but Matthew does intend to experiment with printing using wax and heat-melting resins in the future. While you’re not going to get print results as good as you would from a “real” 3D printer, the LEGObot does operate in the same way.
It’s mainly made from Lego blocks, Technic pieces, gears and some 3D printed gear racks and is driven by a Lego Mindstorms NXT brick and has four separate power supplies. A 3V supply for the extruder, 7.2V for the NXT brick, 12V for the fan and 115 volts for the hot glue gun.
“While it does print, I would call this more of a prototype than a finished project,” Matthew commented on his LEGObot.
The extruder motor is a repurposed lens adjustment motor out of an old VHS camera and several coins were used to counterbalance the weight of the motor on each side.
Matthew is sharing the plans for the LEGObot on Instrucables so anyone can download them and build their own LEGO 3D printer. Check out this video of the LEGObot in action, which might inspire you go dig your box of Lego out from the basement.