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Can the Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work? 90

szczys (3402149) writes "Brian Benchoff used science and math to prove that the performance shown in the Lix Kickstarter video is questionable at best. Check his evidence and see if he's done an appropriate job of debunking the functionality presented." From the Hackaday post: "While we know the video is an outright misrepresentation of what any USB 3 powered device can do, We can’t figure out if the Lix is a viable product. We’re turning to you. Can you figure out if the Lix pen actually works? All we know is the Lix pen has a 4.5 Watt power supply from a USB 3 port. It’s possible for a USB 3 powered 3D printing pen to work, albeit slowly, but the engineering is difficult and we don’t know if the Lix team has the chops."
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Can the Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work?

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  • yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @04:01PM (#46909513)

    Ok, I don't know if USB3 has enough wattage to do that. I've no idea what kind of plastic they're using, and that's going to be the most important factor here. As far as we know the things they created will melt if left in the window on a warm day. If that were the case, I'm fairly sure USB3 would have enough wattage.

    When I was much younger I worked for a time running injection molding machines. As with most things in a factory the machines were getting old and had issues. One of them was that they'd leak after they were put into standby. 2 very heavy steel molds would come together and a nozzle would come forward and put 30 tons of pressure behind hot plastic. When it was break time I'd put the machine in standby which would keep the plastic and nozzle hot but relieve the pressure. Well, not all the pressure was gone so the nozzle would leak rather slowly. I quickly learned that if I took a piece of cardboard I could manipulate the flow of plastic out of the nozzle and make neat shapes. They looked almost exactly what they made in those videos. I find that a bit too much of a coincidences, so I'd have to say there's at least some credibility to what they're doing.

    That being said, notice you can never see their other hand? I believe they are having to manually feed the plastic. Also, I don't think they are building vertically as it appears. The plastic probably wouldn't cool fast enough to allow that. I believe they are laying the plastic out on the paper, letting it could, then moving its position and tacking it there with a spot of new plastic. This was what I'd do. I made screwy flow pots, vases, coasters, etc... Finally, I want to point on that the ability to make stuff pretty much ends with what you see in the video. There wasn't much else you could do with it. Making anything that was robust enough for actual use would be nearly impossible.

  • by xclr8r ( 658786 ) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @04:02PM (#46909517)
    Other than the power charging elements.. this doesn't seem too much more complicated than a "hot glue gun sculpture" . Search engine it.

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