One of the coolest inventions in the tech world is the 3D printer. This is so cool because it can take any design you can dream up in your favorite drafting application and then print it in the real world for you to touch and use for whatever you need. Generally, these 3D printers are very large devices that take up lots of space. A team of researchers at Vienna University of Technology has announced that it has built the world's smallest 3D printer.
The new printer is about eh size of a carton of milk and it is designed to make 3D objects in the home using blueprints sourced for the web. The prototype printer weighs 1.5 kilograms and can be built for about 1200 euros. The team is still working on making the 3D printer even smaller and the price will be reduced over time as well. The printer "ink" is a small tub of resin.
The resin hardens when hit with an intense beam of light and then the next layer is hardened on top of that one and so on. The individual layers of resin are only 1/20th of a millimeter thick according to the team. That means that the parts created can be used in applications that require extreme precision. The team is also working on printing with other materials like ceramics and polymers.