Ben Heck makes a briefcase 3D printer

Last week we profiled the upcoming FoldaRap (now crowdfunding on Ulule), the world’s first foldable, portable 3D printer–a printer that even fits right into its own carrying case. But, is it really the first portable printer? We don’t know who was technically first, but today we just learned about another portable 3D printer, the “Briefcase Printer.”

Last spring, maker Ben Heck, star of The Ben Heck Show, attempted making his first portable 3D printer. Unfortunately, he had to cut development on the project due to time constraints. He was able to complete it by the end of the year, and it worked just fine, but the goal of portability was not realized.

He got back on it in May of this year, with the goal of making it portable in time to take with him to to Makerfaire 2012. Mission accomplished. The result is a super slimmed down version, so thin that’s its just 5″ thick. Amazing. At this size, it folds up and you can carry it with the convenient carrying handle on to an airplane where it will fit it into an overhead luggage compartment. No word on what the always reasonable TSA will have to say about it.

It’s slim, but it’s got a large, 200 square mm print area. And it’s autonomous so you can print without a computer (using an SD card). This is a truly portable, self-contained unit.

Want one? Unlike the FoldaRap, you can’t buy one. But if you connect with Heck, who knows, you might be able to get the plans.

Source: The Ben Heck Show