Well guess what? You're in luck, because in this Instructable I will show you how to make the closest thing to a replicator that current technology can manage; a 3D printer.
Wait a minute, isn't there another Instructable on how to make a 3D printer from Legos? Yep, there is, but this 3D printer is different; it's a polar 3D printer and it's capable of printing out so much more than just chocolate.
Now at this point in the intro you're probably thinking what do I mean by polar 3D-printer. Is it a 3D-printer that only works in the in the polar regions?
A polar printer is a printer whose principal axes, or how it can move, are radius(in and out), angle(spin clockwise/counter clockwise), and as opposed to a Cartesian printer whose principal axes are X(left/right), Y(up/down). In other words, it moves just like a polar coordinate system.
So why did I make a polar 3D printer instead of a good ol' Cartesian 3D printer?
1. I didn't have enough Legos to build a Cartesian printer.
2. I hope to eventually add a 3D laser scanner to it so I can scan in objects and send them to another printer somewhere else in world. Making sort of a 'teleporter'.
Before I begin this Instructable, I must remind you all of something; I have not yet finished developing control software for it.
Before you start posting variants of "This Instructable sucks" in the comments, I would like to remind you of something, the Altair 8800, the world's first successful personal computer, the computer that is the reason why you are able to read this Instructable and post derogatory comments, came with no control software either. But the Altair 8800 had prospects and it ignited a revolution. In fact, Bill Gates and some friends started Microsoft by writing software for the Altair.
I hope that this 3d printer will ignite the 3d printing revolution, so build one and join the revolution!!!
I would also like to thank the people at reprap.org for their help and support.
Step 1: Materials, aka time to start cannibalizing your Lego models for parts
-10 worm gears
-5 gear racks
-1 Mindstorms NXT smart brick
-3 NXT motors and cabling
-1 Mindstorms RCX smart brick or an NXT smartbrick if you have two
2. The Ultimate Fabric Painter, available at hobby/craft stores for about $20.
3. an aquarium air pump and tubing. Don't use the included air pump as it simply isn't powerful enough. Usually about $5-$10
4. a Lego table; I bought mine at a garage sale for about $10.
5. frosting, I used easy flow decorating icing. About $5
6. 1 transparency sheet or some wax paper. NOTE: if it is for inkjet and laser printers, wash the inkjet side off.
7. scotch tape and duct tape
8. Hot glue gun(tool)