Robot, Build Thyself: Machine Made of Lego Builds Models Made of Lego

By Jennifer Welsh | October 21, 2010 1:52 pm

lego-house3D printers are beloved by geeks the world over. Enter the Lego 3D printer: it’s not only MADE of Legos, but it also PRINTS with Legos.

With only a few tweaks, this LegoBot could even take over the world print copies of itself, maker Will Gorman told Wired:

“There is a recursiveness to this whole thing,” says Gorman.

“I love the idea of self-assembly and the Star Trek replicator and I love Legos,” he says. “I wanted to bring those two worlds together.”

Gorman built this recursive masterpiece for the LegoWorld expo, happening from Oct 22th to 26th in the Netherlands. Dutch lego enthusiasts can visit the expo to see LegoBot in action, the rest of us can check out his website for detailed instructions on how to build your own.

Hit the jump for more info on his Lego-contraption and a video of it in action.

For now, the bot requires a human operator to stack bricks into the feeder system and program it with a design from MLCad (a computer-aided Lego designing program) through a PC, which determines the printout instructions. Currently the system uses only normal Lego bricks (not the Lego robotics NXT components) in the  1×2, 2×2, 3×2, 4×2, and 8×2 sizes, and can print up to 12 bricks tall. The printer itself is made out of 2,400 bricks.

Related content:
Discoblog: Can Scientists Use a Printer to Create a Human Heart?
Science Not Fiction: I Have Seen the Furniture, and It Is Robotic
Science Not Fiction: Knight Rider: 3D Printing
Bad Astronomy: Smart girls at the party
Bad Astronomy: Compasskirt

Image: Will Gorman

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
  • Bergomond

    October doesn’t have a 22th this year, does it?

  • sanud002

    This is incredible. Lego Mindstorm unfortunately is still more of a grownup toy than anything. I hope that one day my kids can advance to system like this. But so far my kids have done the best with Rokenbok building toys and RC vehicles. If you have little ones you’d like to see get a head start on an engineering career you might want to check out the link below. Robots that can replicate themselves? That’s usually smart.

    http://www.rokenbok.com

  • http://delcagle.blogspot.com/ Del Cagle

    Ok, time for the full scale version on wheels that will build clean affordable housing, and while your at it, adapt it to repair and build roads.

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