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Lego Milling Machine Creates Amazing 3D Sculptures

The Mindstorm NXT Milling Machine can create some seriously cool 3D objects.

A few months ago, we wrote about a Kinect hack that allowed you to pose in front a Microsoft Kinect and then the pose be printed in 3D on a piece of foam. Since then, 3D printing has got more fascinating (mmm, chocolate), but one 3D creation beats them all: the Lego milling machine.

Arthur Sacek built this milling machine (a tool for carving and cutting solid materials) entirely out of Lego pieces--minus the main carving drill. It takes a computer rendering of an object and will crave that rendering exactly in full 3D onto a piece of floral foam.

The machine uses a Mindstorm NXT kit, and works on a CNC design not too dissimilar to Pancake Bot. Once the drilling is done, it may look like nothing has happened to the block of foam, but dust (or, as the video suggests, vacuum) off the shavings and you are left with a very accurate 3D object.

Not bad at all for a Lego machine, and could come in pretty handy--forget a birthday? Gift a 3D caricature. In fact, it could be useful for any kind of gifting occasion if you're looking for a geeky and quirky present. Look at the video to see a face carved out of the foam.

[via Make]

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