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The importance of being portable

Why a 3D printer should be compact and portable?

 New LumiFold TB, final prototype 2018

New LumiFold TB, final prototype 2018

Our first answer is “why not?”

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The first computer mainframes appeared in the 40’s of last century. They were so big, taking the space of  a whole room. If anybody was talking or even thinking about portability at that time, people would have probably laugh at them, asking how is it possible and why would we care about it?

Less than a century later, we carry a more powerful computer that those early ones, in our pocket with our smartphones.

At Lumi Industries we feel that, the same thing that happens for computer, can happen with 3D printing: the adoption and use of this technology can increase if compactness, affordability and portability are finally implemented.

 

A quest for compactness and portability

We started getting interested in 3D printing field in 2013, even before being a startup company. Davide Marin, our CEO, is the one who actually introduced the idea of compactness and portability in 3D printing with his very first project called Lumifold: The first portable and foldable 3D printer.

He presented the project at the first European Edition of Maker Faire in Rome and launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo platform for it the same year.

 LumiFold 2013

LumiFold 2013

The interest this project and this idea attracted was unexpected for a simple Maker. People who saw it at that Maker Faire, still remember it and international trade press dedicated a good number of articles about this project. After 5 years we still believe in compactness and portability and this is why we are finally launching the New Lumifold.

The idea was with us from the beginning. We invented it in 2015 and start to talk about The New Lumifold for the first time.

At that time we were working on several projects, including an international collaboration, and we did not have time and resources to totally focus on this project.

 

What is The New Lumifold

 The New Lumifold, Filament version, renderings, 2015

The New Lumifold, Filament version, renderings, 2015

The New Lumifold is a patented mechanical system that makes a 3D printer smaller than its printing volume, answering not only to the quest of portability but also to the quest of a reduced device size.

We imagine the possibility to apply this system on a DLP 3D printing system, on a filament based system and for the first time we launch the possibility to use a tablet screen as light source, making the tablet itself, a tech device almost everybody has, protagonist of the 3D printing process.

This is how the New Lumifold TB version was born, with the idea to make 3D Printing handy, easy to use and more familiar to a wider range of users. The development of day light resins, more sensitive to visible light, made things easy allowing the even the light emitted by the tablet screen, to be able to cure the material and create incredible 3D printed parts.

 The New Lumifold tablet version, renderings 2015

The New Lumifold tablet version, renderings 2015

Again why compactness and portability?

 The New Lumifold TB at Maker Faire Rome 2018

The New Lumifold TB at Maker Faire Rome 2018

Talking to people we have met lately at Maker Faire Rome and Smau Milan, while some of them are still skeptical, most of them are actually happy that someone thought about it.

Among them are Sabrina Sasaki from a Maker Boot Camp Japan: “We have limited space in our laboratory and to get a 3D printer that can be easily stored after printing, will allow us to get more devices and expand our 3D printing offer”.

Chris, from MakerMeet , Ireland, told us that his association organizes meeting, conferences, workshops in schools and libraries with teachers and kids to create awareness about new digital technologies. The main obstacle is that the can only talk about it and show 3d printed parts. No way that they could carry around the big devices they have in their headquarter.

A device like the New Lumifold can totally improve their work finally allowing live demonstrations.

At Smau we had the chance to meet an Italian freelance product designer. He travels even abroad working at close contact with his clients. He cannot carry a 3D printer with him, and he is forced to only work digitally. When back, he is finally able to 3d prints the updated design and send it to the client for approval. He was trilled at the idea that with a portable 3D printer he could save so much time, travellinjg with it and giving a more express service to his clients.

 
 New LumiFold TB, final prototype 2018

New LumiFold TB, final prototype 2018

These are only some samples of how compactness and portability can actually increase the adoption of such a technology, and we are sure to meet more people favorable to it at Formnext Frankfurt from 13th to 16th November, where we are exhibiting in Hall 3.1 stand J40.

Too futuristic? We bet also the person of first thought about the idea of a personal computer considered himself so!