You just have to love all the creative, innovative and unique ideas that designers and engineers have come up with when it comes to 3D printing. Whether it’s a 3D printed car, a miniature drill, or an Iron Man-inspired prosthetic arm, the world is really starting to see the potential that is in store for this technology, now. and in the future.
3D printing itself is quite fascinating, but it’s when you combine this technology with other innovative electronics and minicomputers that it really makes a big statement. We’ve seen the 3D printing community integrate Arduino boards, Raspberry Pi computers, and some of Adafruit’s great electronics to create unique and stunning devices.
Today, Formlabs, a leading manufacturer of desktop laser SLA 3D printers, announced that one of its employees has created a miniature 3D printed TV. The design of the TV dates back to the 1950s and was created by a company called Philco. Philco made an iconic television called Predicta. This TV is sure to bring back memories to anyone who grew up or lived during this time.
While there certainly weren’t any “miniature” televisions in 1950, Formlabs decided that with 3D printing they could create a replica, featuring a small 2-inch screen. Using a Form 1+ 3D printer and an Adafruit NTSC / PAL TFT display screen, this has become a reality. The extremely small screen features an incredible 320 × 240 resolution, with a dot pitch of 0.0635mm wide x 0.127mm high.
As for 3D printing, the whole body and even the front lens has been 3D printed on the Form 1+ printer.
“The front lens was polished and the body was sanded and painted,” says Michael Curry of Formlabs. “Once the printing was finished, I followed the usual steps of rinsing, drying and breaking up the support structures. Then I sanded it twice to get the smoothness I wanted, first with a rougher grit, then with a finer grit. Finally, I spray painted the body and painted the finer details, before connecting it to the NTSC / PAL 2 ″ display. It works best when paired with the hottest upcoming attractions of the 1950s.
As you can see in the video below, the TV performs wonderfully, and best of all, it is very reminiscent of the famous Philco Predicta, but much smaller, with a much better picture. This is just another great example of what can be accomplished when you combine a high quality 3D printer like the one on the Form 1+ with high quality electronics like those available from Adafruit. Formlabs has also just made printable files available for everyone to download for free (by clicking to begin download).
What do you think? Are you going to try 3D printing your own TV? Discuss in the Formlabs 3D Printed TV Forum thread at 3DPB.com. Watch the video below.