Fingerprint3D was a Product Design master's thesis project I worked on at Stanford University. I joined a team of three mechanical engineers and one researcher to spend one year need-finding, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing a functional soft materials printer.
We shared our final product at Maker Faire in 2013 and received an Educators' Choice Award. A paper on our research is now in the works.
To use Fingerprint, draw an image on the iPad and press "Print." Insert a soft material (Play-Doh, cookie dough, ...) into the clear acrylic tube (C). Gently plunge the material into the auger (B) when it starts to turn. The printer bed (A) moves underneath the extruder to retrace the drawing.
How It Works
Inside the printer, a Raspberry Pi with a wi-fi shield hosts a web server for the iPad web app to connect to wirelessly. When a person hits "Print," the drawing is sent as a series of coordinates to an Arduino Uno, which turns on the auger and directs an XY plotter underneath the printbed.