Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Printer Build Hardware

Dreambox: the World's First 3D Printing Vending Machine 97

Posted by timothy
from the wake-up-covered-in-plastic-goo dept.
coolnumbr12 writes "Frustrated by the lack of access to 3D printers at their school, three recent graduates from UC Berkeley have installed Dreambox, the world's first '3D printing vending machine,' on their campus. Dreambox gives everyone access to the 3D printer for a small fee, allowing them to print objects from their own designs or from an online store. The creators hope that it will help democratize 3D printing and help more people realize the technology's potential."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dreambox: the World's First 3D Printing Vending Machine

Comments Filter:
  • There already exists a popular Linux based satellite receiver called Dreambox.

  • by Svartalf (2997)

    They're already offering a printer in the class shown in the "Dreambox" promo video for $1200.

    Go to select Staples and buy it. If your Staples isn't one of the select ones, you can have it ordered site-to-store with no shipping from their web site.

    I see it being something "useful" for students and people that can't afford that printer- but it's not such the big deal as people are making of it here.

    • Re:Meh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:56AM (#43904221) Journal

      You're crazy. How often does the average person have a true need for a 3d printed object? Rarely, I would say. So the while the cost isn't in and of itself an issue, the benefit to owning a printer is low. Why shouldn't staples, kinkos, and others just allow you to print your object on a one off basis? If there is money to be made, that's where it is.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        This.
        I do not own any printer, I use the local fedex store. That way I can pay just pennies and get far better quality output.

        A photo printer is another thing that is this way. You simply cannot get as good a prints from a home photo printer as I can get for $0.10 per print from rite aid. Nor will you likely ever print enough to get the cost that low. 3d printers would be the same, I could get a higher quality and lower cost print out by using one owned by someone else who rents it out. I would support putt

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Agree totally.

          Over the years I've found that the cost of the consumables for any form of color or photo printing just isn't worth it. You can get someone to print you those things incredibly cheap these days.

          I still have a laser printer/scanner/photocopier combo that I use for some stuff. But for anything else, it's cheaper to just get it printed for a relatively tiny cost.

        • by boristdog (133725)

          Yeah...I print things out at um...Kinkos. I totally don't use the fancy printers at work for this at all.

          • by JazzLad (935151)
            ^This. The day my office goes paperless is the day I have to go printer shopping ...
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I agree. Except that I bought a $50 black and white laser printer from Walmart. Because sometimes it's just more convenient to print something out at home. Color prints, photos, all those go off to the print shop, but if I want to print off a recipe for my mom, or some directions from Google Maps, I can do that without having to run to the store. And I choose a laser printer because I got tired of ink drying up or the print heads being jammed or dirty every time I needed to print something which was about
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            My mom has a tablet so I send her an email. We all have GPS or smartphones so directions are something I never consider.

            A laser is really the only way to go.

        • by AJH16 (940784)

          If you have very small quantities this may be true, but I picked up a color laser jet that costs me less than a cent per page from home and I have a professional photo printer that costs me less than 50 cents for a 4 by 6 or $6 for a 13 by 19 and the quality far exceeds anything that Rite Aid could do. It's more on par with what would cost $5 to $50 from a pro lab. Now granted, for smaller, cheaper consumer photo printers, the quality isn't as good and the ink is more expensive so Rite Aid or Costco might

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            You can find a local photographer/camera store with an even better setup who will print for those kinds of prices.

            Unless you are a pro photographer you simply are not going to get those economies of scale.

            • by AJH16 (940784)

              If you are a pro photographer or an avid consumer, you can end up with similar quantities of prints. I happen to be a little of both. I've actually got a Pixma Pro-1 which is a professional printer. The costs don't get significantly cheaper as you move up scale from that point since it's already using large ink cartridges with cheap per ml costs. You do need a certain amount of base printing though since you need to go through a set of fairly large cartridges every year or two do to shelf life (if you a

          • by Macgrrl (762836)

            I'm a little skeptical of a 'Professional' photo printer at that price for image, especially once you take into account the capital cost of the printer, unless you are doing significant volume of images.

            Inkjet printers rarely result in good long life images as the inks fade from exposure to UV (usually the reds first - which is why old billboards sometimes start to get a cyan tint to them).

            Images you get printed at a photography outlet generally use a better grade of paper and inks for a longer life image.[

            • by AJH16 (940784)

              I was not factoring in the cost of the printer for the prints. The way I did my cost calculations was material costs per print and then calculated capital payoff based on the price difference between equivalent prolab quality. I went into more details of my analysis on it in my response to h4rr4r. I own a PIXMA Pro-1 which is a gallery quality 13x19 printer. It uses Lucia 12 pigments and I'm printing on Chromalife 100+ papers. That gives it 150 to 200 year album life combined with the pigment ink and o

      • Re:Meh... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @10:33AM (#43904627)

        You're crazy. How often does the average person have a true need for a 3d printed object? Rarely, I would say. So the while the cost isn't in and of itself an issue, the benefit to owning a printer is low.

        Haven't you been paying attention? Everyone needs one so they can print their own "gunz". How are you supposed to defend yourself against the Jones? What do you think is going to happen when your neighbors have an arsenal and you don't? They will come and take your shit, burn your wife and rape your pets. Do you have any idea of the emotional trauma your children will go through at school? How's little Johnny going to feel eating lunch from a brown paper bag every day when all of his friends have the latest daily fad lunchbox? Or poor Suzy with the same lame ass book bag she had last week? We must think of the children. It should be obvious that lack of a 3D printer is the single biggest threat to the American way of life since; well nothing. There's never been a bigger threat to our existence.

        • That's a good point. I should sell my Metal and wood working tools capabile of building durable long lasting weapons, and buy a printer capable of building crappy plastic ones. The future is Plastic

        • by SB2020 (1814172)
          How's little Johnny going to feel eating lunch from a brown paper bag every day when all of his friends have the latest daily fad lunchbox?
          That a great idea - I'm going to print my kids some sliced bread shaped sandwich cosys. I built myself a RepRap Mendel in April - after the initial thrill of building it and calibrating to get good prints, I haven't used it much. The reality is designing/slicing/printing/iterating takes a *lot* of time and there are great limitations/challenges to printing with FDM sty
      • by enjerth (892959)

        Meh... planned obsolescence?

        How about those things in your house that would be perfectly functional if not for a little stupid broken piece of plastic?

        No need to throw away a printer just because one of the paper feed gears stripped a tooth or broke. I can think of about a dozen things I've thrown out over the years, totaling several hundred dollars to replace, that I wouldn't have had to if I could print a piece for a few bucks.

        Yeah, it doesn't quite add up to savings if I ran my own 3d printer, but the be

        • I could also refurb things if I could get Kinkos to print out the part I needed. As time goes on, they'd updat their printer to compete with staples so the next time I need something it will be printed to even higher tolerances at the same price. I'd be stupid to buy, if this was the case.

  • by dinfinity (2300094) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:48AM (#43904141)

    This is as much a vending machine as the printers at the repro desk are.

    I'd be fine with calling it this, if the newsworthyness wasn't solely based on the alledged 'vending machine'-ness.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yeah..
      and there's plenty of print services popping around.

      but after actually watching the video, it does some have some automation in the box.

      now, I'm wondering how many prints it will do before it needs someone to reset the build platform, change the filament etc. it has just a makerbot replicator in it and I wouldn't rate them for vending machine use - or fire safety unattended for long times.. I have one printing right now behind the couch I'm on. I certainly wouldn't dare to ask money fro prints I didn'

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Jeez give it a rest, there are people on this planet who'd do anything to live in our democracy and you cheapen the word with your trinket dispenser.
    • by Rob Riggs (6418)

      Jeez give it a rest, there are people on this planet who'd do anything to live in our democracy and you cheapen the word with your trinket dispenser.

      No one is cheapening the word -- it's its usage in this form predates your absurdist politically correct world view.

      Google, tell us what "democratizing" means. [google.com]

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        how far into bullshit do you have to go in the results before you find a meaning that fits this?
        I don't see the system having a popular opinion voting on what is going to be printed next...

        socializing would be more like giving access to it for everyone. but I guess that sounds unpatriotic.

        • by Rob Riggs (6418)

          how far into bullshit do you have to go in the results before you find a meaning that fits this?

          If you didn't see it immediately upon following the link, then I guess you will find the bullshit deeper than most.

        • It's the second definition from the link.

          Verb
          1. Introduce a democratic system or democratic principles to: "public institutions need to be democratized".
          2. Make (something) accessible to everyone: "mass production has not democratized fashion".

  • All well until (Score:4, Informative)

    by leuk_he (194174) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#43904449) Homepage Journal

    Someone starts printing out controversial things.
    - Sex toys.
    - Weapons.
    - Copyrighted stuff (like Mickey Mouses)
    x all of the above.....

    As long this stays small it will stay under the radar. But if the scale is increased there will be more rules about this.

    • Per TFA, the Dreambox is apparently incapable of printing the infamous Liberator firearm.

      Mind you, not because it violates the ToS (which it totally does), but because the printer "isn’t able to print some of the complex parts required for the gun."

    • "But if the scale is increased there will be more rules about this."

      There are already probably hundreds of thousands of RP machines worldwide. So much for staying small. A hobby RP machine is going to be just that, for a nominally small price and that is OK for PR purposes.

      When your business depends on it to get the best RP parts for what your needs are in prototyping or short run production you go to the best you can find. Those machines (a half dozen different types with different materials from titan

    • Well at my highschool, college, local library and workplace we have 2D printers and people have been printing controversial things on them forever.

      -Sex toys? porn/erotica, I've seen it printed in all of the above locations.
      -Weapons? well, instructions to build them; printed some myself, which are probably more dangerous than the plastic shanks you could print on this thing.
      - Copyrighted stuff? books, pictures, etc. all the time, I've printed these things frequently in many locations.

      People are just worried

  • Soon we'll be living in a Charles Stross world with machines creating fountains of brightly coloured plastic utensils just because they can!
  • Why isn't there a co-operative set up around the idea of these machines self-replicating?

    Buy a machine kit --- get a rebate against the cost of the machine if you then print / mill the parts for 2 more kits and deliver them to the next 2 people who order kits and live near you (so as to save on shipping)

    • "Why isn't there a co-operative set up around the idea of these machines self-replicating?"

      Because there is not even a set of machines capable of reproducing all the parts needed, even if you throw away the electronics.

      There is also not a single RP machine in existance that can produce parts accurate enough with good enough surface finish to make a true "production quality part." All RP parts need hand or machine cleanup and polishing to look like a production part, forgetting whether they are stable enoug

    • by ajlitt (19055)

      /r/reprapPIF [reddit.com]. No incentives, and it's only for plastic components and not wiring/electronics/metal. Unfortunately it's pretty dead in there.

      There are a number of people that subsidize their printing habit by printing and eBaying plastics kits like those.

    • by gr8_phk (621180)

      Why isn't there a co-operative set up around the idea of these machines self-replicating?

      There is. The RepRap was supposed to be a self replicating 3D printer and seems to be at the epicenter of all these cheap 3d printers. The problem is that they can only replicate certain kinds of parts, and not by any means the most difficult parts.

      Putting a cutting head on them - instead of a plastic extruder - would give you a 3-axis mill that could cut metal (structural) or wood parts, as well as laminations used

  • will become a legislative nightmare, after all, now, there will have to be restrictions on what can be printed if it's copyrighted or not, etc.. Won't be long before someone prints something which someone holds a functional patent. Fun fun fun..
    • by biodata (1981610)
      What's the problem? If I used my penknife to carve an exact replica of Mickey Mouse sitting on an iPhone out of wood I guess I wouldn't be breaking any laws, I don't think this is any different, unless someone is selling the finished object. I assume the printing service is selling materials and service, not finished objects, since the purchaser must supply the design. IANAL though.
  • This doesn't really sound like a vending machine experience. This feels more like an automated service bureau. As yourself, is the Dreambox experience more like buying a bag of chips from a true vending machine, or is it like sending a PDF to FedEx (Kinkos) and picking up your prints later?
  • I wonder how long it will take for this to be banned. Is this unregulated 3D printing or are projects approved by the owners of the device? Imagine a student printing out dorm keys to steal computers. One of them already tried to print a gun. This would only be preventable if the items to be printed are being approved by a human being or an insanely accurate 'safety' algorithm. But at what point does that become a privacy concern? Then the data on what we're 3d printing will be farmed out to the big c
    • by fufufang (2603203)

      I wonder how long it will take for this to be banned. Is this unregulated 3D printing or are projects approved by the owners of the device? Imagine a student printing out dorm keys to steal computers. One of them already tried to print a gun. This would only be preventable if the items to be printed are being approved by a human being or an insanely accurate 'safety' algorithm. But at what point does that become a privacy concern? Then the data on what we're 3d printing will be farmed out to the big corporations!

      With respect to copyright, people have been some students have photocopying/scanning whole books in the library. There is a notice saying that doing this kind of thing is illegal. But people still do it. I think the situation for this kind of 3D printing will be similar in the future.

  • Between graphene, 3d printing, and a very short list of other emerging technologies that represent an impending new era of technological wizardry, this is a great idea but I think it would most likely be limited to schools. Any commercialization of the technology would likely die within a few short years. The problem being the prolific uptake of home 3d printers by consumers combined with their quickly lowering cost. Economies of Scales in motion: The more people who purchase 3d printers, the more rapid
  • by Gripp (1969738)
    Step 1: use 3d printer to make more 3d printers.
    Step 2: stop paying to use first 3c printer.
    Step 3: managerial: ?????
    Step 4: profit.
    • Other than the issue of what exactly the 3D printer uses to make more printers, you forgot Step 1a:

      - figure out how to coax metal and functional electronics out of a 3D printer

      as well as Step 3b:

      Abort, Retry, Fail?

      • by Gripp (1969738)
        You seem like you might be surprised to learn that they can already print electronics. They can even print at the nano scale, too. Making the possibility of printed processors and micro-chips not that far off.

        And I think the managerial: ???? covers "Abort, Retry, Fail?" - as , in my experience, managers never understand that part of the process. ;)
        • Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think there are any commercial printers that can print circuits at the nano scale.

          And we have printers who can do one type of metal at a time, others that can do plastic, and some that can do circuits – but none can do all 3. So you can get parts, but a lot of assemble is still required.

          • by Gripp (1969738)
            Yes, I thought about this after having already posted my comment. Printers that can do electronics != printers that can do nano scale. My point was that once combined microchips wouldn't be far behind.
            As for multimaterial, yes, they can. I'm not real sure how well/readily they switch from on to the other, but they do exist. But even if they couldn't, a series of 3d printers could be used to make a new one. The chips are the only sticking point, that I can think of.
    • You would need a metaprinter to print a new printer.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can it print me a slice of pizza?
    Then I'm interested...

    • There are already 3d printers for food. Some are somewhat frivolous, some can print confectionary, some are serious. There's a company in the Netherlands teaming up with major food producers to produce printed steaks and vegetables. These printed foods are for older people who have to eat liquidized food which isn't very appetizing, and these people are often undernourished. The idea is to provide food printed from liquidized components that looks and tastes like proper food, has to be eaten with knife
  • A lot of disappointed dreams coming out of this thing, just like what comes out of a dollar store.

  • So far, 3D printing seems like a solution in search of a problem. To date, what's the most useful item made by 3D printing? Clips for firearms? But all that really does is demonstrate the ineffectiveness of laws against weapons. Maybe customized medical implants are the most useful items? Even if they can design it themselves, no one is able to put an item like that to use by themselves, need lots of medical help. No reason to employ a vending machine in that process.

    How about prototypes? Maybe, bu

    • by Shados (741919)

      If you extend the definition of 3d printer a little bit, it goes farther than that.

      My wisdom teeth (that i still have because I lost a lot of other teeth in a failed surgery) were repaired/rebuilt using a mix of CAD 3d cameras and software along with a porcelaine "3d printer". The dentist takes pictures of the teeth, use a CAD software to design the filling, then push a button, wait 10 minutes, and end up with a perfect fitting piece to repair the tooth that is generally better than a crown would have been

    • So far, 3D printing seems like a solution in search of a problem.

      Then you lack imagination.

      To date, what's the most useful item made by 3D printing?

      How about prototypes? Maybe, but while good for the start, a 3D printer could not be a serious contributor to the end of a design process that started with a scaled down prototype. It's not so good for full sized models of even modestly sized items, as most machines are limited to about 25 cm^3 (1 cubic foot).

      Even in cases where the 3D printer could make the f

    • by Guano_Jim (157555)

      I'd say the most useful item made by 3d printing was probably that trachea they printed for a sick kid a couple of weeks ago.

      http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/25/3d-printed-tracheal-splint-saved-newborns-life/ [dailycaller.com]

    • Medical devices like hip replacements. If you are looking to bang out a 1,000 identical parts, then yeah, there are better options.

      Aircraft and other high performance parts. Additive manufacturing can make much lighter parts that subtractive manufacturing – or then can make parts that subtractive manufacturing just can’t do.

      No, it not looking for a solution. It is just a bit expensive today.

  • I'm not sure what "democratizing 3D printing" means.

    Does he mean free people in a free society seeing a potential mass and low-cost market addressing the issue because, the society being free, one doesn't need permission of government to pursue one's interests?

  • how many dildos or related items will be printed?

  • I think this is great. Sure, the 2013 Dreambox is only going to print you a piece of plastic crap. But they've got to start somewhere, and they're first in the space. That counts for something, haters opinions notwithstanding.

    At the rate we're going, the 2017 Dreambox will be able to print you a functional circuit board to go with your plastic, and that's when things get really, really interesting.

    But for now, yeah, plastic crap. Stay tuned.

  • I give it five years, max, until we see at least one unit like this in every Home Depot. It's unlikely to accept user-created models, but it would have an immense database of odds and ends that are hard to maintain an inventory of because they take up so much space and sell so little. Even better would be going to Home Depot's (for instance) site, ordering something printed, paying for it, and they'll hold it until the next time you go there so you're not having to wait at the machine for it to print.

    Could

  • I;m sorry, but anyone who wants to get 3D designs can go to Autodesk for FREE (as in beer) 3D modeling tools, then shoot them off to Cubify's cloud printing service. The open folks can use Blender and a wide host of other tools to create STLs from their various 3B models (of which there are huge numbers online, the Sketchup Library alone is chock full of 3D model goodness.)

    I don't know a single Maker who hasn't got 8 ways to skin this cat, and there are a plethora of groups forming daily sharing information

  • Virginia Tech has had a similar machine up and running in a lobby of one of the engineering buildings since at least Aug 2012...similar name, too. http://www.vt.edu/spotlight/innovation/2012-08-13-3d/dreams.html [vt.edu]

All constants are variables.

Working...