15-year-olds code mobile 3D printing app

A number of 3D printers currently on the market require some form of a connection with a PC to operate or configure. However, fifteen-year-olds Gerhard de Clercq and Pieter Sholtz recently decided that they wanted to interact with their Atmel-powered RepRap 3D printer using a smartphone.

So the duo went ahead and coded a basic app for a Microsoft Windows phone. According to Daniel O’Connor of Prsnlz.me, users simply upload an STL, press a button to slice the file into G-Code and then Bluetooth it to the printer.

In the video above, the two printed a case for a Nokia 820 from a Nokia 920, showing how numerous functions can be easily controlled by a smartphone, including temperature and z-axis.

Pieter and Gerhard told Prsnlz.me that their aim is to make 3D printing more accessible for individuals in developing countries who own smartphones but lack access to more traditional PCs.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the DIY Maker Movement has been using Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap for some time now. However, 3D printing recently entered a new and important stage in a number of spaces including the medical spherearchitectural arenascience lab and even on the battlefield.

Indeed, the meteoric rise of 3D printing has paved the way for a new generation of Internet entrepreneurs, Makers and do-it-yourself (DIY) manufacturers. So it comes as little surprise that the lucrative 3D printing industry remains on track to be worth a staggering $3 billion by 2016.

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