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OLO, World's First Portable 3D Printer Prints On Top Of Smartphones (hothardware.com) 80

MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: The OLO 3D Printer was first announced in October at the World Maker Faire in New York, where it earned itself an Editor's Choice award and accolades. The developers behind OLO call it a "smartphone 3D printer" as it requires a smartphone to operate. Designs can either be downloaded from the internet from the device, or copied over from a computer once it's created. When placed on a desk, the OLO looks like an inconspicuous little box, but inside, it can craft items up to 400 cm3 in volume. Its developers call the OLO "portable," and it has the specs to match at 1.7 lbs with a physical size of only 6.8" x 4.5" x 5.8." OLO is a unique printer not only because of its small form factor and low price point ($99), but because of its operation. Once the 3D model is loaded, the bottom section of OLO can be placed on top of your phone, and then the resin of your choice is poured inside that structure. You then place the top half of OLO on top and wait a few hours for it to do its thing. The resin hardens by using the light emitted from the smartphone it sits on top of, generated from the OLO app.
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OLO, World's First Portable 3D Printer Prints On Top Of Smartphones

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  • Using a smartphone screen is clever, but I wonder how much resolution you would really get since the pixels on a phone are purposely non-directional. Also, Wouldn't the resin harden on it's own inside the bottle under ambient light?
    • > wouldn't the resin harden on it's own inside the bottle under ambient light?

      If the bottle were clear it would.

      For those who don't care to do cube roots and metric- imperial conversions in their head at the moment , 400cm3 is about 2.9 inches cubed. (Not 2.9 cubic inches)

      For those freaked out about leaving their phone on the desk for a few hours, you can use one of the old phones you hae in the junk drawer. No phones in junk drawer? You can find one on ebay for about $20.

      • In their print demo video they have an opaque bottle, but all the promo materials including the main video show clear bottles. So it seems there is some difference between the promo materials and the actual product.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who is going to leave their phone under this thing for a few hours? And what happens if I get a call mid-print?

    • What do you mean? Use your other phone. Everybody knows hipsters own at least two phones!

      (that as meant to be a joke, if you feel offended take a humor pill)

    • Re:A few hours? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @06:57PM (#51765303)

      Exactly. For 3-6 hours while this this is being used, my phone is unusable for anything else, even if there is an emergency call or text.

      Also, what's the point, other than a novelty value? I can get a 3D printer with a larger printing volume. It may not be as cool looking, but it likely will have a heated tray and almost assuredly, better precision than this model. Plus, using filament is a lot easier to deal with than guesstimating how much liquid I squirt on the phone's surface.

      The only real use I can see with this is having a dedicated smartphone or iPod Touch, and using it in the field, due to the portability.

      • Exactly. For 3-6 hours while this this is being used, my phone is unusable for anything else,

        I don't know about you but my phone is unused for 7-8 hours every day. Its usually plugged in during that time as well. Apologies to those that only sleep 2.5 hours at a time. Anyway, $100 is absolutely a novelty value. It blew my mind when I found out a smartphone camera can measure heart rate, and now they can be an integral part of a 3D printer?! Holy shit!

        Obviously you can buy a better, bigger purpose built tool. But how hard is it to scale this up to a tablet? Or a monitor? Can't you appreciate the awe

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      And what happens if I get a call mid-print?

      Voicemail?

      • Well it's finished ... hey, why is that bit all jagged?

        Oh bugger, I must have left it on vibrate!

      • by robi5 ( 1261542 )

        Is there still such a thing as voicemail? It's so annoying when someone leaves on this 80's dinosaur. You get to pay for the privilege of hearing a beep and a robotic reading of the number (never the person's greeting) and on the off-chance you assume the dear callee has his voicemail on because he uses it and you leave a message, it never gets heard.

        Voicemail is scam by phone companies, they leave it on and make it bothersome to opt out of it, because they exploit the human weakness of procrastination and

      • by ryanmc1 ( 682957 )
        Airplane mode
    • by SumDog ( 466607 )

      I don't understand why they didn't add $150 to the price tag and include a heat source powered by an Audrino or other micro controller. That would give you consistency. I imagine their testing base of this has to have a huge variety of devices.

      But I guess it does help with the "cool" and "marketing" factor...plus being $100 sounds neat. Really the box is probably pennies. The $100 is really for the software and the initial resin. Then they just...keep making money off the resin.

      • by c ( 8461 )

        Really the box is probably pennies.

        The "box" has the (moving) build platform and apparently some kind of resin peel mechanism, so there's a bit more to it.

        But yeah, the phone thing seems pretty gimmicky. On the other hand, building in a decent pico projector would've really spiked the price.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        I don't understand why they didn't add $150 to the price tag and include a heat source powered by an Audrino or other micro controller..

        It looks like from their time line that they are doing exactly this in 12 months time. The photopolymers and the print mechanism are the novel parts with the greatest risk, so why waste time and money putting together a dedicated screen right now, when you can put it off for 12 months and either the company has crashed and burned .. so no need. Or now you have a market that wants more. I think its a great strategy and shows that they are thinking how to scale their business and still mitigate risk.

        OLO / HDM
        best in class oled 22 micron / 6 inches XY size
        release: March 2017

        OLO / PRO
        modified super amoled 6K / 18 inches XY size
        release: September 2017

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This reads like a story on paid publication sties for marketing.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @07:03PM (#51765331) Homepage

    There are a LOT of things that dont make sense to me. smartphones dont put out a lot of light and it varies based on phone, it's not like 1000 lumen projectors used for real photometric 3d printers. so a print would take insane amounts of time..... so what happens when I get a call during a print?

    they really dont give any good details for someone to make a good decision on.

    • by qvatch ( 576224 )
      or if you get notifications with vibration :)
      • by robi5 ( 1261542 )

        Or the caller's image gets imprinted... 'honey, you have a mistress? I can't peel off this woman's face from the rubber broche you printed for me. Oh here's her number"

    • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @08:16PM (#51765785)

      You just make sure that the first thing you print is another smartphone. Set your phone to airplane mode while doing so. Once you have the duplicate phone, since it's not on a plan, you don't need to worry about it getting any calls; use it to print subsequent models.

      Don't forget to take your phone back out of airplane mode. Once you start selling all those duplicate phones, you'll want to make sure your customers can reach you.

      • You just make sure that the first thing you print is another smartphone

        Ah then the second thing you print can be another printer...

    • What do you mean, 'a call'? Who uses their smartphone for calling people? Absurd. People show them off, twit and twat on them, chatroulette on them, Facebook, wechat, fiber, whatsup, tinder, etc, nobody calls or picksup anymore.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        chatroulette

        Does that even still exist?

        • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

          chatroulette

          Does that even still exist?

          Chatroulette and OLO should partner up. You could print your favorite chatroulette penises right on the spot!

      • by hawkfish ( 8978 )

        What do you mean, 'a call'? Who uses their smartphone for calling people? Absurd. People show them off, twit and twat on them, chatroulette on them, Facebook, wechat, fiber, whatsup, tinder, etc, nobody calls or picksup anymore.

        Especially my darn kids!

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @07:03PM (#51765335) Journal

    If you add in the cost of a smart phone it's not so low anymore. Sounds like a gimmick.

  • by dohzer ( 867770 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @07:18PM (#51765435) Homepage

    Now I can print all kinds of low-res plastic crap on a whim at the beach and send it straight into the ocean where it was headed anyway.

  • This is stupid. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @07:58PM (#51765665)

    1. Bleed. Lots of bleed.
    2. Cannot calibrate properly because different phone screens have different intensities and spectra. Even within the same model of phone.
    3. Occupies your phone.
    4. What advantage does this have over a cheap LCD panel anyway?
    5. Resin can offer a superior print quality, if you weren't dealing with photons escaping in the wrong direction, but it's also expensive and hard to get.
    6. And offers no consistency in quality control, so good luck using cheap stuff off ebay.
    7. Oh, and it has a shelf life.
    8. Did they mention it's also moderately toxic when liquid?
    9. And that you have to clean those printers out if you want to leave them unused for a while to keep the resin from setting inside them?
    10. That's the smallest build area of any printer I've ever seen.

    It's a gimmick. I hope that one day a cheaper, more practical resin printer will be introduced for the masses - but this is not that printer. It is certainly an interesting approach though, using an LCD rather than the usual elaborate and expensive multi-laser setup. It just needs to be done in a form that isn't quite so ridiculously cheap - corners are cut getting a design that cheap to manufacture that you can't even afford an LCD panel, and have to instead pretend the omission of a vital component is somehow a feature.

    • by JazzLad ( 935151 )

      4. What advantage does this have over a cheap LCD panel anyway?

      I'll let everyone else deal with the other points, but even my 4k monitor (24") has a smaller ppi than my cell phone.

      What I don't get is why so many people on a tech site seem to only have their current phone (no old phone, spare, etc).

    • No, it's not a gimmick. It's a joke. What's stupid, is that so many people can fall for this. Even if it was possible and real, it wouldn't even be practical.
  • Since when did "doesn't really exist yet" equate to "First"? And I'm comfortable in saying it doesn't exist yet because I looked for the app on the Google App store and it isn't there. No app, no product. No product, no "first" claim can be valid.

    • by ( 4413031 )
      It's not available to the public yet, but working models have been produced and the thing won a prize at some design fair. Just because you can't have one doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The reason that it's on Kickstarter isn't because they have an idea they want to develop, it's so that they can produce injection molds in order to sell the thing at a reasonable price.
  • I routinely avoid any products that require a smartphone to operate. Why? Because in practice the longevity of the device depends on the vendors continuously updating the software to support new operating systems - this is especially true for iOS.

    In 10 years, you're almost guaranteed there's no way to make it work.

  • This year will see the first lawsuits against 3D printers (and software) for IP piracy.

    You wouldn't print a car, would you?
  • . . . .of a 2013 [kickstarter.com] (which still hasn't shipped [peachyprinter.com]). The only real innovation here seems to be the feed system (pedestal-pull rather than float the resin on salt-water) and a wider variety of resins. . .
    • Indeed, the Peachy Printer is incredibly late. I've always thought their "floating" idea was a bit strange. At least they're not using the sound output of a computer to control the laser anymore.

      If you want to see amazing follow-ups about the production of a Kickstarted 3D printer, look at the Tiko 3D printer. [kickstarter.com]

      • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )
        Looks interesting. A bit late as well, but one expects that from Kickstarters. I should know, first Kickstarter I was in on, was Star Citizen. Now 2 1/2 years late. . .
  • Maybe I'm missing everybody's humor, because it looks to me like you people actually think this is real. Come on, it's obviously a joke. There isn't one single good thing about the idea. It's not practical and it's not possible. Think about what date is coming up in a few days.

HOLY MACRO!

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