Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

Fourteen-year-old Lego hacker Leon Overweel built this impressive Lego Mindstorms NXT printer, AKA PriNXT.

PriNXT has three motors: two control the X and Y motion, and the third lifts the pen.

The first motor, the one in the middle, is very straight forward – it has two long axes coming out of it that connect to two tiny gears that can drive around on a series of gear racks, moving the contraption about the Y axis. The second and third motor are a bit more complex, since they both point inward and have to move their power around a lot.

The left one, which controls motion on the X axis, basically just gears its power to a really long row of worm wheels, which, when spun, slowly move the part that holds the pen from left to right. The third motor similarly transfers its power to the outside, after which it moves a long rod up and down, pulling the pen along with it no matter where it is.

Leon also built the Skype Controlled Mindstorms Car and this Festo-inspired Robotic Arm, both of which we blogged previously. [via The NXTStep]

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal



  1. NickS says:

    Aww, I was hoping for a 3d printer that uses Lego…

    1. Kieran says:

      That would be AMAZING. :D

      1. Agreed. Why not make a 3d printer that prints with 1×1 lego bricks!??! That would be awesome! If you did other block sizes you could add overhangs…

        It looks like young Leon is pretty close, just add a z axis, and some method for loading up little blocks.

  2. Everett says:

    Isn’t “plotter” a more accurate description of this machine than “printer”?

    1. it functions as a “dot-matrix” printer.

      a plotter functions as a splice device, drawing continuous lines

  3. anaerin says:

    Technically speaking, isn’t this more a “Plotter” than a “Printer”?

  4. Leon has a bright future ahead of him. I am über impressed.

  5. [...] Read more at World of Mindstorms, via Make  [...]

  6. […] High school student Leon Overwheel built this sick flyer robot to hand out leaflets Rye High School science fair. It uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect a visitor, then pulls a flyer off of a pile and hands it to the visitor. My favorite details are the Fergelli linear actuators and the Mindsensors Flexi Cables. He even hacked together a NXT-Power Functions adapter cable! Also be sure to check out Leon’s Lego printer. […]