If vending machines can dispense beer, pizza and movies, why not 3D-printed objects?
Combining the hyper-local convenience of Redbox with cutting edge technology, Dreambox is a vending machine that aims to fuel the 3D-printing revolution from the bottom up.
NEWS: 3-D Printed Skull Implant Ready for Operation
Dreambox was created by co-founders David Pastewka, Ricard Berwick and Will Drevno, who all met in a mobile application development class and competition at the University of California, Berkeley. Frustrated by their lack of accessible, on-campus 3D printing options and the two- to four-week lead time for online 3D printing services, the trio came up with the idea for a more ubiquitous option.
"Having an item 3D printed with a Dreambox is as simple as uploading or choosing a design online, clicking the ‘Print' button and retrieving the item once it's ready," the group states in their press kit.
Users can also upload designs via a USB stick at the machine. If they don't have their own 3D models, customers can select one from a catalog of designs or use one of the many apps that help customize a model. Once an item is selected for printing, it's sent to the nearest Dreambox and added to the queue.
Upon completion, the object is automatically removed from the build surface and dispensed into a private locker within the machine. The customer is then alerted via text that their creation is ready for pick-up. The text also includes a unique code to open the locker.
BLOG: Scroll Web Pages With Your Eyes
While Dreambox still appears to be in its early stages of development, its creators are intent on giving their alma mater's campus a machine as soon as possible.
Whether their invention can offset the long-term cost of in-home 3D printers is arithmetic that remains to be seen. But that math will have to wait until 3D printers are a common household appliance. Until then, the lads are quoting prices and taking orders on their website as we speak.