Unless you’ve been living in isolation from the outside world for some time then you’ll be aware that ‘3D printing’ is big business, and it’s getting bigger all the time. The process is really just an extension of traditional printing whereby a layer of ink in laid down on paper, only in this case ink is replaced with plastic and one layer is replaced with many layers, simple really! Some experts estimate that we could be on the verge of a 3D printing revolution in which consumers quite literally ‘print’ their own goods. Who knows what kind of havoc that would play with the worlds manufacturing economy, but it would certainly be interesting to witness.
In the spirit of all this continuing innovation, one South African man has developed the worlds first 3D printed lawn mower, and what really makes it stand out is the speed and cost at which he is able to print it.
Most 3D printers use as fine a nozzle as possible to print – usually somewhere between 0.1 mm and 1mm, the idea being that the devil is in the detail. Well, according to Hans Fouche, the man behind the 3D printed lawn mower, details should only be considered where absolutely necessary. As such, he chooses to use a much larger filament nozzle – 3mm, which means he can get the job done in a matter of hours rather than days. The downside is of course that the end result is made up of much larger, and more obvious layers, but if you aren’t too concerned about the aesthetics of your lawn mower then maybe this would work for you!
In Fouche’s native South Africa, the ABS filament he uses to construct his 3D printed creations costs around £2.50 per kilo, meaning his entire lawn mower creation (we should mention, bar the motor, axles, and blade) costs less than $15 to produce. Not bad eh?!