A new type of 3D printer at Maker Faire Trondheim

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A new type of 3D printer at Maker Faire Trondheim

Maker Faire Trondheim

This post is coming to you live from Maker Faire Trondheim being held in the town square here in Trondheim, Norway, all weekend.

The Polarworks Alta 3D printer
The Polarworks Alta 3D printer

After a while all 3D printers start to the look the same, but there are a few that are different. I talked to Simen Svale Skogsrud—from Polarworks here in Norway—about their upcoming Alta printer.

Talking to Simen about the Polarworks Alta

The motivation behind building the printer was to get rid of the mechnical complexity inherent in most 3d printers by moving that complexity into software,

Most of the complexity is caused by the linear movements [of the printer], however those movements being linear is a purely arbitrary choice.

Simen hopes his printer will address some of the irritation points of using a typical printer—the constant noise and the amount of levelling and adjustment and tweaking needed to use them—and while there are a number of other rotary based printers, he says that,

The other rotary printers we have seen use two linear axes and only one rotational. Also they are often geared on the rotational axis leading to the familiar stepper noises being prevalent. We use direct drive on both the axes that are active during printing. The z-axis is as you know only active for fractions of a second between each layer.

Polarworks will be bringing the printer to Kickstarter later in the year, and they’re estimating that it should cost around $1,500 when they do so, although they’re actively working on lowering that figure ahead of their campaign.

The Alta mechanism on its test rig in the lab

The Trondheim Maker Faire is a two day faire being held in the Trondheim town square. It opened yesterday, and is open again today between 10am and 4pm. It is free to attend.

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Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

View more articles by Alasdair Allan