This 3D Printed Miniature 2″ Television Set Really Works!

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tvaniYou have to just love all of the creative, innovative, unique ideas that designers and engineers have been coming up with when it comes to 3D printing. Whether it is a 3D printed car, a miniature drill, or a prosthetic arm modeled after that of Iron Man, the world is really beginning to see the potential that is in store for this technology, now and in the future.

3D printing by itself is quite fascinating, but it is when you combine this technology with other innovative electronics and mini computers, that it really makes a grand statement. We’ve seen the 3D printing community integrate Arduino boards, Raspberry Pi computers, as well as some of Adafruit’s tremendous electronics, in order to create very unique and breathtaking devices.

Today, Formlabs, a leading manufacturer of laser based desktop SLA 3D printers, announced that one of their employees has created a miniature 3D printed television set. The design for the television set dates back to the 1950s and was created by a company called Philco. Philco manufactured an iconic TV called the Predicta. This TV will certainly bring back some memories for anyone who grew up or lived during this time period.

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While there certainly were no “miniature” TVs back in 1950, Formlabs decided that with 3D printing they could create a replica, featuring a tiny 2″ screen. Using a Form 1+ 3D printer and a NTSC/PAL TFT display screen from Adafruit, this became a reality. The extremely tiny display features an incredible resolution of 320×240, with a dot pitch of 0.0635mm wide x 0.127mm high.

tv5As far as 3D printing goes, the entire body, and even the front lens was 3D printed on the Form 1+ printer.

“The front lens was polished clear, and the body was sanded and painted,” Michael Curry of Formlabs explains. “After the print was finished, I went through the usual steps of rinsing, drying, and snapping off the support structures. Then, I sanded it twice to get the smoothness I wanted, first with a rougher grain, then with a finer grain. Finally, I spray painted the body, and painted on the finer details, before connecting it to the 2″ NTSC/PAL display. It works best when paired with hottest coming attractions of the 1950’s.”

As you can see in the video provided below, the TV works like a charm, and better yet, it is very reminiscent of the famed Philco Predicta, but just a whole lot smaller, with a much better picture. This is just one more great example of what can be accomplished when you combine a high quality 3D printer like that of the Form 1+ with high quality electronics like those available at Adafruit. Formlabs has also just made the printable files available for anyone to download (clicking will begin download) free of charge.

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What do you think? Will you be attempting to 3D print your very own TV set? Discuss in the Formlabs’ 3D Printed TV forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below.

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