3D printing has truly taken off. At Maker Faire this year, what was once niche was ubiquitous. People have used them to make everything from robot parts to burritos, but other than this set up in the back of a Prius, they haven't been portable.
Luckily, two MIT students have taken on the challenge and built the PopFab, a fully portable 3D printer that fits into a metal briefcase compact enough to stow in an airplane's overhead compartment, as the creators have done on a few different occasions.Gizmag describes the set up as fast and simple. Once you pop open the case, "all it takes is to attach the printing head to the fold-out arm, feed in some printing material, and connect a computer to transmit a design."
The beauty of 3D printing is that it allows anyone to make precisely what they want or need right when they need it, virtually without waste. As new models have come out in a range of prices, it's more accessible than ever, and now with a portable version, people can make what they need anywhere.
Watch the video below to see the PopFab quickly set up and then print a small yellow fish.