ATLAS Colloquium: 3D-Printing - Reimagining Personal Fabrication

Presented by Purnendu, PhD candidate, ATLAS Institute, CU Boulder


3D printers are the harbingers of the personal fabrication movement. Personal Fabrication promises a world of decentralized, democratized manufacturing where people (users) are able to make functional machines and devices in their homes. It aims to bring the same change to present-day manufacturing as Personal Computers brought to Mainframe Computing. 3D  printers as ‘Personal Fabrication Machines ’ have come a long way since their conception in the late 1980s especially in terms of size, function, and accessibility. However, they are still benchtop units, of a size comparable to a desktop computer. Unlike computing, 3D printers are yet to go mobile.

In this talk, I will focus on my current research towards developing a mobile solution for personal fabrication. Afforded by a novel hardware design, I will show a 3D printer that is portable and battery powered. It is enabled by changes in hardware that radically transform how 3D printers are built; dramatically reducing the size, weight, and energy requirements of the device. I will also touch upon what it could mean for the users and how this new class of portable machines can bring true mobility to additive manufacturing, making it accessible while traveling and in daily life outdoor settings like playing sports or sitting at coffee shops.


Purnendu is a designer, trained as a physicist. He combines his love for design, physics and computers to develop new fabrication techniques for functional materials. He is a PhD student at the interdisciplinary ATLAS Institute advised by Carson Bruns and Greg Whiting. He holds an Integrated Master's degree in physics (with specialization in material science) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. Earlier, he co-founded a nanotechnology company in India Log 9 Materials, (which focuses on manufacturing and developing commercial applications around Graphene) and a multidisciplinary design studio at IIT Roorkee. His work portfolio includes research at various institutions worldwide, including the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Germany, and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany.

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Dial-In Information

Zoom link

Tuesday, November 30 at 11:30am to 12:30pm

Virtual Event