The 3-D printed TV with a tiny 2-inch screen that really works

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This miniature1950s-inspired television was made on a 3D printer and built around electronics that brings it to life. Photo: Formlabs/YouTube
This miniature1950s-inspired television was made on a 3D printer and built around electronics that brings it to life. Photo: Formlabs/YouTube

About the only thing you can’t print on a 3-D printer is a time machine. However, the creators at Formlabs have managed to bring forward a staple from many 1950s living rooms.

OK, so 3-D printing a miniaturized replica of a Philco Predicta television isn’t exactly time travel, but you can ignore that when you realize the TV actually works.

Formlabs, a leading manufacturer in desktop 3D printing supplies, has made plans for this tiny TV available for free download. Photo: Formlabs/YouTube
Formlabs, a leading manufacturer in desktop 3-D printing supplies, has made plans for this tiny TV available for free download. Photo: Formlabs/YouTube

Formlabs, a top manufacturer for desktop, laser-based 3-D printers, printed the cabinet of the then-futuristic-looking boob tube and built it around a two-inch LCD display and electronics from Adafruit a company that makes products for creators of all ages.

The quirky little creation was featured this week on 3DPrint.com and the Formlabs website. Of course, the finishing touch of authenticity was in the programming — The Man from Planet X.

Neither post explains how long it took to print the tiny TV, but the Somerville, Massachusetts, company has made the plans available free for download.

The TV was printed on the Formlab’s Form+1 printer, which lists for about $3,300 on Formlab’s store page.