Technology

For Just $99, OLO Turns Your Smartphone Into a 3D Printer

March 24, 2016 | Gillian Burrell

OLO 3D Printer for smartphones
Photo credit: Courtesy of OLO 3D Inc

Scan and print — all from your smartphone.

A San Francisco-based startup has developed a 3D printer that transforms your phone into a 3D printer. Billed as the “first smartphone-powered 3D printer,” OLO was made available for pre-order on Kickstarter this week (March 21).

OLO 3D Inc first debuted its product in New York in October 2015 where it won the World Maker Faire Editor’s Choice Award. After launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the product, OLO surpassed its goal of $80,000 just 33 minutes!

SEE ALSO: 3D Printed Villa Is Assembled in 3 Hours

The OLO printer operates on the same principle as Digital Light Projection printing, a process that uses expensive lights or lasers to harden resin. In the OLO printer, however, the light source is your phone screen.

To set up the OLO printer, you place your phone under the device. The light from its screen passes through a sheet of polarized glass which only allows light traveling straight up to shine on the vat of resin. Wherever the light touches the surface of the resin, it hardens into a thin layer on the build plate. As this plate slowly rises upwards, layers accumulate to form a 3D-printed object.

 

Part of the appeal of the OLO printer is its accessibility. Not only is the device inexpensive, it’s also hassle-free. The entire device is about the size of a teapot and runs on four AA batteries so you can take it anywhere.

The OLO app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows and the box fits almost any size of phone including the iPhone 6S+ and Galaxy A7. You can download 3D blueprints from the internet or OLO’s library, or make your own design with modeling software. The app is also compatible with a variety of free 3D-scanning apps such as Autodesk 123D Catch which lets you scan an object on your phone.

 

You can pre-order an OLO by supporting their Kickstarter campaign. There are still some $99 packages available, but they are going fast!

OLO 3D Inc is currently working on expanding their line of printers. Look out for their tablet device and the 18-inch OLO PRO.

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