‘Build to think’ or ‘think to build,’ are two sides of the same coin, called prototyping. When we allow ideas to translate into physical forms they evolve through exploration. The Dream Vendor, a vending machine designed by Dr. Chris Williams, the Director of Virgina Tech DREAMS Lab and his student Amy Elliot, is a prototyping tool that effortless transforms ideas into reality through the process of additive manufacturing. The use of 3D printing technology obliterates the labor required for making things and hurries the process of fabricating objects.
The interactive 3D printing station is highly efficient in fabricating prototypes for personal, academic as well as design projects. It’s like a machine that has infinite inventory and all you have to do to access its services is to insert an SD card with a 3D printer code, and the vending machine will dispense the physical form of your idea into a bin when it’s done.
Passersby can’t help but give some thought to its looks; the shelves inside the vending machine are attractively arranged and are flanked with four MakerBots; 3D printer that keep humming while making stuff.
According to Dr. Willaims the machine apart from giving reality to ideas, is a great teacher for students to learn about the spectacle of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. It is an easy way of creating physical examples of things and most likely to become a favorite tool of researchers, who wish to build on ideas by prototyping.