3D machines of the week: Jello shot maker, live grass printer and iNvent one from Maker Dreams

The most interesting 3D printers, scanners or other whatsits that have been brought to our attention over the last seven days.

Gardening meets art meets technology, with Slovenian students’ 3D grass printer

Could 3D printing change the way we tend the gardens of the future? A fascinating piece of hardware from art students at the University of Maribor in Slovenia suggests it might just. This week, they created Tiskaj ZELENO (that’s Slovenian for Print GREEN), a 3D printer that prints CAD designs in grass that sprouts and grows over time. Like a plant or a flower, you then tend and nurture your living piece of art.


3D grass printer


The team, made up of students Tina Zidansek, Danica Rzenicnik, Urska Skaza and Maja Petek plus assistant professor Dusan Zidar, say they wanted to unite art, technology and nature in a single process.


3D print customised Jello shots thanks to SpriteMods Jeroen Domburg

As you’ve probably noticed if you’ve been keeping up with our site over the last few months, we get pretty excited about anything related to 3D printing and alcohol. Therefore it was inevitable that the 3D Jello Printer from Jeroen Domburg, the founder of SpriteMods, would feature on the site at some point. This open sourced hardware allows you to print your customised 3D designs inside alcoholic Jello shots, a perfect aperitif for the alcoholic nerd’s birthday party.


3D jello printer


Domburg got the idea at a friend’s birthday party, when he noticed small air bubbles hanging at various heights in the Jello shots. Thanks to the solid nature of the shot, the bubbles never rose further up the glass, meaning a figure could be created inside that would stay steady in the centre of the Jello.

Domburg put the machine together using stepper motors taken from CD Roms and CD drives, which control the direction of its the needle. Figures are printed in edible material – a mixture of banana liquor, food colouring and corn starch, which is microwaved to become a gel as opposed to a liquid.

Portable and energy efficient (it consumes just 10V), it’s well worth downloading the open source here for your next get together.


The iNvent One from Maker Dreams about to launch on Indiegogo

MakerDreams is an Italian 3D print start-up from brothers Luca and Frederico Faggiotto. Since the start of last year, it has been hard at work on a 3D printer that would combine safety, accuracy and affordability. Now it is about to launch its first machine, the iNvent One, on crowd funding site Indiegogo and, if successful, it could be one of the standout European consumer 3D printers of 2014.


With an emphasis on plug-in-and-play, 50 micron quality and an impressive build volume (10.8” x 7.8” x 7.5”), the Faggiotto’s reckon it will be the ‘easiest to use’ and ‘most reliable’ consumer model yet. Whether or not it delivers on that lofty claim, we will have to wait and see, but one thing is certain: it is the first 3D printer to earn CE marking – the certification recognised across Europe to certify the product has met with all applicable European Community directives. This makes it a particularly good model for usage in schools.

MakerDreams will be offering buyers a special price of 725 Euros, which includes 15 free 3D designs from professional artists as part of the package. Look out for the iNvent One when it launches later this year.

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