Detailed on the official Dreambox site, the first 3D printer installed within a vending machine will roll out on the UC Berkeley campus later this month. Since owning a 3D printer is still extremely cost prohibitive for the majority of Americans, the Dreambox gives anyone access to 3D printing technology. Users can connect to the Dreambox site, upload the design of a 3D model and complete the payment process in order to put their design in the project queue. After the item has been completed by the 3D printer, it’s deposited within a storage unit and a text message is sent to the person that placed the order.
The three creators of the Dreambox, David Pastewka, Ricard Berwick and Will Drevno, came up with the idea after noticing the lack of 3D printers on their campus. The 3D printers that were available to the students also came with wait times that could last up to a month.
If a user visits the Dreambox in person, a USB thumb drive can be used to upload their 3D model. Any file that’s submitted to the Dreambox, over the Web or in person, will be deleted after seven days in order to preserve privacy.
Regarding the storage units within the Dreambox, the user is required to enter a unique code to unlock the unit in order to access the printed item. In addition, the user can choose to have the item shipped to their location if attempting to order a 3D print remotely. According to the creators, shipping adds an additional $9 to the cost of the print. While pricing of the actual printed item will vary based on materials and size, the average cost will be approximately $15 per item.
At this time, the first Dreambox will be offering products printed using bioplastic. However, future iterations of the Dreambox could utilize materials such as wood, nylon or metal. In addition to allowing users to upload their own designs, the creators are including a catalog of models to choose from when ordering over the Web. Beyond UC Berkeley, the creators are offering quotes to schools and other organizations that are interested in purchasing a Dreambox.