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The machine we didn't know we needed...

Machines do a lot for us these days. Cars can drive themselves; many people rely on a robot to do their hoovering and drones are used as a delivery method, so what’s next? A self-assembling sandwich maker.

Something we never knew we needed

Researchers from Meji University in Japan designed what they have called the Functograph; a standard 3D printer that has been modified into a self-assembling production line that can make sandwiches, fold clothes, and build toy cars.

How does it work?

After designing the additional parts for the machine, the researchers then printed the parts on a 3D printer.

They then used the same printer to remove the support parts of the newly printed components and assemble them, with no human interaction.

The print head is then used in a pick and place system, moving from elements like bread or ham, to the implements like a serrated knife to cut the cucumber, leaving you with a complete sandwich.

The same process is used to fold clothes and build toy cars.

What does this mean?

What may seem like a flippant exercise, is that this machine shows the potential of 3D-printed production lines.

The versatility offered by a machine that can not only print its own components, but then also assemble them, means that a wide variety of tasks can be carried out by one machine, autonomously.

At Amey Plastics, we have been offering 3D printing and injection moulding solutions to clients up and down the UK for over 30 years.

Our experienced CAD team have helped clients not only design and produce items from concept to finished product, we have also been able to reduce costs, as well as secure supply chains. You can read more about our 3D printing successes here.

If you have a project you’d like us to help with, contact us today on (+44) 01730 266525 or email


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