OLO - The First Ever Smartphone 3D Printer

It is a kickstarter campaign for a $99 resin printer that uses light from a smartphone. I backed this project because I was curious if what they are designing actually works.

Risks seems minimal. Probably the major gotcha to the project will be buying additional resins in the future.

Anyone want to pitch in their thoughts?

When I first saw this, I really wanted it. And given its price, it doesn’t seem like too much of a risk. I myself am thinking of funding it too.

But of course, I lack understanding behind hardware, so it’s just my two cents. It looks super cool!

That is definitely an interesting concept. Looks like it actually using the main screen as the light source. Wouldn’t think that would get bright enough but it must. Wonder what sort of load would it have on the battery, and what would be the longest possible print time.

Another thing to consider is how long you’d have to leave your phone there uncharged. It seems currently there’s no extra hole to plug in your phone for charging. And the curing actually takes longer than regular SLA printers (4-5 hours based on their YouTube video). So it’s also having to consider you not having access to your phone for several hours and also it has to constantly be “awake” for the duration of your print without charging.

From the info that can be found in the comments there is a slot for the phone charger.

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I figured the risk was worth the possible gain.

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Anything this cheap always flags my “to good to be true” alarm. It also flags my “damn the torpedos” alarm and had me hovering over the but button, which in turn flags the first alarm again.

So here’s my critical analysis on the OLO.

  1. While the hardware of SLA printers are cheap and simple, $100 isn’t going to buy much tech support or software development, which is frequently a fall point for these low cost kickstarters.
  2. Why are they storing and delivering photosensitive resins in transparent containers?
  3. Does this really work with any smart phone. OLEDs give of different light than regular screens. How many people are going to be left with a paperweight after discovering which end of this they fall on?

At worst this is a scam and they’re not going to be able to deliver. At best this will become a commercial product that I can buy a new one for a little more later, or a used one from someone who got bored with it later. Maybe I should back for a buck and make a “sell me your used one” comment now to snag a potential disappointed backer late.

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Being a bit of a 3d printing embedded technology, hardware and materials nerd, I am confident in calling this KS campaign a scam.
But, ODDLY, if the initial funding price would have been around $400, I probably would have jumped in “head-first”.
It isn’t that the $100 price isn’t much money to risk,(and I think they were “banking” on that CONcept), it is that I don’t want to be a contributor to a scam, and encourage other future KS developers to see this type of crowd-source funding as a “can’t lose” opportunity.

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