Alternative uses for the gantry-and-moving-bed set-up of a 3D printer: Mechanical engineer Yuto Kuroki has hacked the arrangement so that it can make sandwiches. Watch the clever way he gets it to slice bread, versus the way it cuts the cucumber:
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He’s also rigged it up to fold T-shirts:
And to assemble a toy vehicle:
While the first two projects seem frivolous, the third reveals that Kuroki has a purposeful goal:
“The reason for making this app as a prototype is a strange story, but from the idea that if you send a 3D printer to a remote place like space, it will generate what you need on the spot.
“I chose a car because I wanted a vehicle to do exploration. At present, it does not run on its own, but I think that [if a battery is loaded onto it] it can run.
“If you explore the moon and your car breaks, I think that you can procure it on the spot again if you have a 3D printer, even if you do not have specialized knowledge, dedicated machines, or even human hands.”