Design of the Week: Wearable 3D Printer

A wearable 3D printer - that actually prints!

A wearable 3D printer - that actually prints!

This week’s selection is the incredible Wearable 3D Printer by Naomi Wu. 

Normally we select a 3D printed object as design of the week, but this project is literally a 3D printer itself. It’s a totally mobile 3D printer that you can wear - while it operates! 

Shenzhen-based Wu (aka “SexyCyborg”) is one of those incredible people that can make practically anything if asked. She frequently publishes instructional videos for all kinds of making projects she undertakes. The most recent is a wearable 3D printer. 

The 3D printer is literally mounted on Naomi Wu's back

The 3D printer is literally mounted on Naomi Wu's back

Wu was approached by BIQU, manufacturers of a desktop delta-style 3D printer, the BIQU MAGICIAN, to produce a promotional video for their equipment. Wu decided to see if it would be possible to make a truly portable version of this machine. 

The first step was to obtain a modifiable and strong backpack, which she found on TaoBao, a large Asian electronic marketplace where you can find basically anything. After removing unessential parts, the backpack was ready to accept the 3D printer. 

But could it actually operate? I’ve personally seen delta style 3D printers operate sideways and even upside down, so it is certainly possible if provided with sufficient power to do so. 

Mounting the batteries in the wearable 3D printer harness

Mounting the batteries in the wearable 3D printer harness

That’s where Wu went next: select large batteries able to power the machine, which would soak up a fair bit of power due to heating of the hot end during printing operations. 

Attaching it all together required a number of brackets and hold-downs, but that’s all easy stuff for Wu. Eventually the BIQU 3D printer was mounted and the system was ready to go. 

Attaching the 3D printer to the wearable harness

Attaching the 3D printer to the wearable harness

In the video you’ll see Wu wandering the streets of Shenzhen with this 3D printer on her back. And it’s WORKING. Watch the video closely and you’ll see an object being printed while she walks - and dances. 

This project might not have much practical use, but it’s certainly worthy of being Design of the Week. If you’d like to help Wu with future projects, hit the link below.

Via Patreon and YouTube

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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