Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away the LEGO Deathstar is silently weeping laser tears as it hides under the blanket. Yes, the LEGO Deathstar has been dethroned as the coolest lego project ever…by a DIY project that yes, YOU can build if you feel so inclined. The LEGObot is the brainchild of engineering student Matthew Krueger (aka Mastermind) who found himself without enough money to buy one of those coveted MakerBot thingies. Further proving the point that frugality leads to heightened creativity, Matthew built his own 3D printer with his childhood LEGO parts. Can we get a ‘Rock-Awesome!’ over here?
”I pulled out my old box of LEGOS and started building”
“Ever since I saw the first makerbot, I have been obsessed with 3D printing, but I am an engineering student so I don’t have an extra $800-$2500, and have been doing my best to create one out of what I have on hand. I tried arduino with easy drivers, and parallel port, but neither one gave results, I always needed a tool or part that I couldn’t get. So I pulled out my old box of legos and started building.”
-LEGObot Designer Matthew Krueger
Based on the first version of the MakerBot, the LEGObot is made completely out of LEGOs, with the exception of a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit and four power supplies (3v Extruder, 7.2v for NXT, 12v Fan, and 155v for hot glue gun):
“This is a project I have been working on for the past year, it prints in hot glue and made almost completely out of legos. Based roughly on the first version of the makerbot, while it does print, I would call this more of a prototype than a finished project. I am using 4 power supplies (3v extruder, 7.2v for nxt, 12v fan, and 115 for hot glue gun) and having to manually turn the extruder on and off, (although i am working on that one) . Unfortunately, due to my lack of computer programming skills, every move has to be manually programmed from the NXT programming software, I have yet to find a g-code interpreter for the NXT.”
While the LEGObot may not have the same resolution as other 3D printers, it makes up for it with its DIY awesomeness–and to be fair, it is still in ‘prototype’ stage. Currently, Matthew is fine-tuning some details such as wobbling and experimenting with other materials that will bring the resolution down.
Be sure to head over to Matt’s Instructables page to vote for him in the Instructables 3D Printing Month Contest, where he has the chance of winning a MakerBot Replicator 2.
…and it goes without saying…great work Matthew! Who knows what you’ll be able to come up with when you finally get that MakerBot!