This self-replicating 3D printer is made almost entirely from 3D printed parts

Yes, it sounds like the opening pages of a techno-thriller where everything winds up going horribly wrong, but there’s something undeniably awesome about the idea of a 3D printer that can print other 3D printers. That’s the concept behind Dollo3D: a new Kickstarter project aimed at producing an affordable, modular 3D printer which uses fewer off-the-shelf components (and a higher percentage of 3D-printed components) than most other DIY printer projects, such as those under the RepRap umbrella.

“As far as we are aware, Dollo3D is the first scalable self replicating machine,” says Ben Engel, half of the father-son engineering team behind the project. “When you get a Dollo3D, you can print your own upgrade parts which allow you to print larger 3D prints.”

While both Engels are deeply immersed in the engineering and tech world, building the Dollo3D should be an approachable prospect for makers of all skill levels. That’s because it snaps together with all the ease of a LEGO model, requiring just 15 3D printed parts and 24 screws — with an approximate “build time” of just one hour.

To Dollo3D’s creators, 3D printing is the perfect bedfellow for a platform like Kickstarter. “One of the most revolutionary ideas of self replication is how manufacturing can be bootstrapped and allow very quick delivery of products,” Ben continues. “We think that this is a great approach for crowdfunded manufacturing. We will be using the product to manufacture more product. Since there is a geometric growth to the manufacturing capabilities, we can generate manufacturing volume, while testing and delivering products to backers in a very short time.”

Speaking of short time periods, the project currently has 26 days left to raise its stated $50,000 goal. Kits start at $250 for an electronics-only kit, while a fully-assembled version will set you back $500. If Dollo3D sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can head over to Kickstarter to find out more!

Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Smart Home

Virtually walk through dream homes with Zillow’s new A.I.-powered 3D home tours

Home sellers and real estate agents listing properties on Zillow's home marketplace now can add 3D tours for free to their listings. Zillow 3D Home uses artificial intelligence to create tours with 360-degree panoramic photos.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Hawaiian botanists’ drone discovers a plant thought to be lost forever

In what may well be a world first, botanists in Hawaii recently used a drone to find a species of plant that scientists believed was extinct. The plant was located on a sheer cliff face nearly 20 years after its last sighting.