VIDEO: Rudimentary self-replicating 3D printer is just the beginning of future capabilities

12/31/2013 - 00:00

3D printing promises that one day we may be able to print out goods in our own homes rather than popping down to the shops or ordering widgets online. But what happens when the printers are able to print themselves? Boots Industries’ BI V2.0 takes a step down that road with a design aimed at self-replication. Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the open-source printer is capable of printing its own core components.

Founded in 2012 by Jean Le Bouthillier and François Crête, Boots Industries already has several other printers on the market, but the BI V2.0 is something of a departure for the company. It’s an open, large build-volume printer with clearances designed to allow for maximum use of the space inside the frame for high-precision printing.

The key to the BI V2.0 is that it’s a delta-style 3D printer, based on the delta robots developed in the 1980s for picking up small objects rapidly and precisely. From each edge of the triangular frame sprout arms that meet at in effector head in the middle. These arms form parallelograms, which keep the effector level as the arms change position.