In my last post, we read about CATIA/DS and their Project Bleu. Today I have discovered another such marvel. A mobile human operated 3D printer, which can turn garbage into something worthy.
Mobile Fab – an ordinary bike kitted out with a computer and 3D printer.
Festooned with pumps, wires, tubes and display panels, the Mobile Fab cuts the plastic into strips before grinding it into fine powder. The operators feed the powder into the 3D printer on the front of the bike, using it as the “ink” to create a small medallion they attach to a colored light.
Kamm Kai-yu, co-founder of the Taipei-based company and maker of Mobile Fab, Fabraft, said – “We wanted to do something to bring both recycling and 3D printing closer to average people.”
Cycling through the streets of Taiwan’s capital, staff from Fabcraft, turned discarded plastic cups and bottles into pieces of art on the spot with Mobile Fab, and then gifted the outputs to their owners. Taking Mobile Fab to the bustling streets of Taipei, Kamm and his colleagues said they have been bombarded with interest from curious bystanders – so much so that they plan to build a bigger version with more printing power.
The standard output at the moment is a medallion, however almost any design can be printed. The Mobile Fab, does have a few limitations to the type of plastic or garbage it can recycle. Especially in the case of plastic, it can only use Polypropylene, due the variance in melting points of different types of plastic.
Mobile Fab’s concept of combining environmental awareness with cutting-edge technology has raised Fabraft in the ultra-competitive Taiwan tech scene. The contraption was partly funded by the government in line with efforts to foster homegrown talent as Taipei gets set to become the World Design Capital for 2016, an annual designation by the Montreal-based International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.