This Intern Figured Out How To Make A Crazy-Small 3-D Printer

Joseph Flaherty | Wired | September 6, 2013

Like most interns, Stefan Reichert was assigned a bunch of menial tasks while working for top tier design consultancies in Silicon Valley. No one asked the German student to fetch coffee, but he was assigned the art school equivalent—setting up and maintaining the office’s 3-D printer. Most interns would have turned to Twitter to gripe, but Reichert got busy working on design concepts for a new and improved solution that would eventually become the award-winning Xeos 3-D printer concept.

“During one internship I received a new fused deposition modeling machine that was as big and heavy as a refrigerator,” says Reichert. “The bulky and cheap-looking design of that printer, as well as most all of the 3-D printers in the market, contrasted with its expensive price tag.” The parts it printed were fine technically, but amidst a hip open office filled with curated designer furniture, the printer seemed like a throwback to a far dorkier era of devices. Ideas about how to tweak the functionality, improve the ergonomics, and supercharge the style filled his notebooks, and the Xeos started to take shape.