This $99 Box Turns Any Smartphone Into A Legit 3D Printer (Video)

“Imagine being able to print 3D objects directly from your smartphone…for just $99.”

That’s the idea behind OLO, a mini 3D printer that connects to (and is powered by) your smartphone. The first step is to select a 3D image on OLO’s mobile app. This can be an object from the built-in gallery, an image you capture using the app’s 3D scanning feature, an image you create using 3D design software, or any other 3D image.

Once you’ve chosen your image and hit print, all you have to do is place the OLO box on top of your phone and pour in a specialized photopolymer resin that comes included in the kit. The coolest part: OLO actually uses the light on your phone to to print your object. Here’s a great explanation from Digital Trends:

Basically, once you place the lid on top and the printer starts going, the app makes your phone’s screen light up with a specific pattern. The polarized glass then takes all this light … and redirects it so that all the photons are traveling straight upward. So as your phone’s screen beams light up into the reservoir, the directed light causes a layer of resin to harden onto the build plate, which slowly moves upward as each new layer is created.  

OLO’s designers recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money and spread the word about their innovative new device. Within hours, the OLO had smashed its funding goal of $80,000; at the time of writing, the campaign is approaching $2 million in pledges from more than 13,600 individual backers. Check out OLO’s Kickstarter video below to learn more about the device:

OLO 3D Inc., the company that designed the OLO, describes itself as a “digital factory”. For the past 15 years, the company has been leading design and product engineering projects for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Calvin Klein, Coca-Cola and Viacom.

During that time, the OLO team acquired valuable knowledge about 3D printing technologies and the 3D printing market — knowledge they would later use to design the ultimate handheld 3D printer.

“OLO has been created, designed and engineered to give everyone access to 3D print technology and make it user-friendly, mobile driven and, more importantly, easily affordable,”

the company writes in its Kickstarter bio.

If you’re interested in reserving an OLO for yourself, you can do so by making a pledge on Kickstarter (the campaign runs until Apr. 20). The company plans to begin shipping out orders this June.

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