First 3D Printing Vending Machine to be Launched

April 1, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings 
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. conceptualize 
[kuh n-SEP-choo-uh-lahyz] (v.) – to form or create an idea in the mind
Example: The developer needs to conceptualize ways to effectively promote his business.

2. automated [AW-tuh-meyt-ted] (adj.) – operated by computers or other machines
Example: Bank transactions have already become automated for several years.

3. customize [KUHS-tuh-mayz] (v.) – to create or change a product based on the specific needs of a person or group
Example: The telecommunications company has customized its services to meet its customers’ demands.

4. queue [kyoo] (n.) – a list of saved information in a computer that is intended for future use
Example: Printing the report will take time because many documents are already in the printer queue.

5. compartment [kuh m-PAHRT-muh nt] (n.) – an enclosed and divided area where things are placed or stored
Example: The refrigerator has separate compartments for vegetables, meat, and beverages.

Read the text below.

Printing and collecting three-dimensional (3D) objects can now be very easy with the invention of Dreambox, the first 3D vending machine. Developers from UC Berkley will introduce Dreambox in the University of California, Berkeley later this month.

Developers David Pastewka, Richard Berwick, and Will Drevno conceptualized Dreambox when they observed that current online 3D printing services require a lot of time.  They thus decided to establish an automated system that would allow faster creation and delivery of printed 3D products.

Printing 3D objects through Dreambox involves only three stages. First, users need to choose designs or models from an existing catalog. Customers may also decide whether to customize or upload their own designs to the machine through the internet.

After choosing the design, customers can process a print request to be included in a queue. The machine will then store the final product in a private compartment. Lastly, customers will receive a text message containing the access code that can unlock and open the specific compartment where the user’s order is stored.

According to one of the machine’s developers, a regular print can cost about $15 but can be as cheap as $2. Prices can differ according to the type of printer used and the machine’s location. Customers may be able to pay their order online or through the machine itself.

After installing the first 3D vending machine, the creators plan to create more Dreambox with varied printers and compartments. A Dreambox operated by intranet may also be available in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion 
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think 3D printing will be more popular in the coming years? Why do you think so?
·         How do you think the 3D printing vending machine can benefit the people?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think most things become automated nowadays?
·         What are the advantages and the disadvantages of automation? Please explain your answer.


April 1, 2013