DIY Inkjet Printer Prints On Almost Any Surface

After looking around, a group from University of Washington found that there were no DIY inkjet kits available. Sad times. used to sell one, and the book by Matt Gilliland which went along with it, is no longer in print.

So what did University of Washington students Patrick Hannan, Jared Knutzen, Nicholas C Lewis, Joy Markham, and professor M. A. Ganter do? Why, they built their own for their ME495 () class. The best part is that you can use it to print on all kinds of objects--paper, t-shirts, even mousepads (remember those?).

The team's new printer prototype was constructed from steel rods and parts printed on a --a piece of equipment that injects molten material in layers to form a part. The group also found that they could cut the cost of printed parts in half by making silicon molds and casting the parts from polyurethane. After the initial investment of making the molds the team found that it will only cost about $8.00 to cast the parts.

Although the home DIY'er may not have the money to buy an expensive 3D printer, you might get away with using a DIY or by having your parts professionally and cheaply made by . After a little investment, you could also make your own silicon molds, just like what many people use to make wax molds for casting metal in .

The printer is based on an board; the group used it because of the open-source platform's easy-to-use hardware and software, and because it's very cost efficient.

To get the full directions check out and .