These days 3d Printers come in all shapes and sizes however one thing that we still cannot do is to make 3D Printers mobile. We humans are making a lot of things using a 3d printer these days, and we are planning to have habitable houses on moon and mars using 3D Printers but how would we achieve these without making our printers mobile. Most industrial 3d Printers we know are too huge, and the smaller ones are not worth the effort, so if we are wanting a truly mobile 3d printer it looks like a distant dream.
But believe me, most of the people associated with the 3d printing industry of today are more of dreamers and less of real business men, and Robert Flitsch, a former student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is just another one of them. He understood that there was something missing from a 3d Printer when he was using bulky 3D printers during his studies. He decided to overcome the issue of immobility of 3d printers with a simple idea, he made 3D Printers on Wheels.
Addibot which is an abbreviation for additive manufacturing robots, is the company that Mr. Flitsch launched. The company now specializes in making mobile 3D printing robots.Talking about Addibot Mr. Flitsh added "By making the additive manufacturing components completely mobile, you break free of all the workspace limitations of 3D printing. But Addibots also greatly opens the field to many new application spaces for additive manufacturing.”
Addibot makes 3d printers which are capable of printing on the surface it drives on using the printheads on their undercarriage. These mobile printers will offer both R/C and autonomous modes and can print in a variety of materials hence it can have a lot of commercial uses. An enthusiastic Flitsh said “Once you get rid of that confined workspace and you make the world your workspace, there is no telling what you can do.”
Mr. Flitsh who also happens to be an Ice Hockey fan, also designed a 3D printing robots that could drive on the surface of the ice hockey rink and resurfacing areas which had been chipped by skates. This was a proof of concept that prove that the mobile 3d printers could be extremely useful specially for road repairs and could help public works departments meet the demand for improved road.
Mr. Flitsch explained. “I soon realized that the best thing about this technology is that it is really only limited by what you can think up.” Talking about the potential of use as a road repairing machine Mr. Flitsch added “Road resurfacing Addibots would also be a great way to move caustic materials, like tar, farther away from the people who would be working on the roads,”
Addibots, is certainly one of the most promising and innovative thinking 3d printing startup around and they are actively seeking funds to invest into further research and development. We wish them all the luck and hope to see Addibots repairing roads in my city.