Man 3D Prints Lawn Mower in Just 9 Hours
3D printing is an ever evolving and versatile technology, being able to print things from food to prothetics. Now, Hans Fouche, a South African inventor, has not only printed a working lawn mower, but he has done so using a 3D printer of his own invention.
All parts were 3D printed except the motor, blade and handle. But most impressive of all, is the fact the entire process took just 9 hours.
"There are a lot of big 1 metre plus 3D printers, but they all are printing with 0.5mm nozzles, from filament," said Fouche.
"It takes days to print with these more traditional machines. We are using a 3mm nozzle, and we print from granules in hours, not days."
The lawn mower was printed so quickly thanks to the large scale 3D printer Fouche invented the other year. This 3D printer is capable of printing the frames for other 3D printers.
After 18 years of experience in the 3D printing industry, Fouche decided to build his own as he found desktop 3D printers too slow.
Using a 3D printer to replicate another 3D printer is a process known as the Replicating Rapid Prototype (RepRap) movement.
That means it is possible for a 3D printer to create parts that can then be quickly assembled into a new 3D printer.
Back to Fouche and his 3D printed dubbed the Cheetah. The Cheetah 3D printer is big enough to print out the frame of other 3D printers using ABS plastic granules, making it cheaper.
"The printing time is 12 times faster than on standard 0.5mm nozzle desktop printers," Fouche said.
"The negative side is the 2.5mm layer height versus the 0.25mm layer height on a standard 3D printer, but does it matter on a lawnmower?"
The Cheetah 3D printer can print volumes of up to 1,000mm x 1,000mm x 1,000mm
Have a look at Fouche’s 3D printed lawn mower in action below: