…the DreamVendor is home to the physical examples of the latest research by the members of the DREAMS Lab. The force behind this project is Chris Williams, Director of Virginia Tech’s DREAMS Lab, and student Amy Elliot. The lab opened its doors in Spring of 2012 and ever since students have been using it for school projects and personal designs. In the Fall of 2013, DreamVendor 2 came about when eight Virginia Tech mechanical engineering students were given the task of creating the next-gen.
Here are some of the key features that were introduced in the new machine:
- The DreamVendor 2 is redesigned specifically for the 3D Printing vending machine application.
- The off-the-shelf, closed-source printers system is replaced by an extensively modified Kossel Deltabot-style extrusion printer.
- As a result dependence on any specific 3D printer OEM was removed. All of the printer’s parts are either purchased from a common supplier or are custom-designed and 3D Printed.
- The new machine is easier to maintain.
- Inspired by Werner Berry’s Berrybot3D design, this new printer’s entire extrusion head assembly is attached through a series of magnetic ball joints.
- As a result, all data is sent using a single Cat5 cable; high current power is provided using a single cable with a TX-60 quick-connector.
- Because of this method, print head assemblies can be exchanged out almost instantly, thus reducing downtime.
- The printer now uses STL files on a USB drive and takes inputs via the touch-screen user interface….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!