Print huge stuff with the Makerbot Replicator

The folks at MakerBot Industries are introducing their new 3D printer at CES this week. It’s called the MakerBot Replicator and features dual heads for 2-color prints and a huge build envelope for huge objects

From [Bre Pettis]‘ introduction video (available after the break), the build area is about 9x6x6 inches, compared to the about four-inch cube-sized volume for the MakerBot Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic. The Replicator also features optional dual Makerbot Mk. 8 extruders for two-colored printing. We’ve seen valiant attempts at printing multicolored objects with one extruder, and if you’d ever want to print with two filaments dual extruders are the way to go.

The replicator also features a nice control panel (which includes a Snake game), something that’s relatively rare on the 3D printers we’ve seen. The single extruder model will set you back $1750, while the dual extruder adds another $250 to the price. We really want one of these, but don’t take our word – check out [Bre]‘s intro.

[Read more...]

This Panavise Jr. Speed Winder should be in every maker’s toolbox

panavise-jr-power-winder

Like many makers, [Chris] has a Panavise Jr. on his workbench that he uses for just about everything. The tiny vise is great for all sorts of tasks, and is often considered an indispensable tool. The only problem with the vise is the amount of time it takes to open and close the thing.

[Chris] estimates that it takes somewhere between 2 and 3 million turns of the crank to move the vise’s jaws from fully open to the fully closed position. He figured that his drill is far better at mindlessly turning circles than he is, so he sat down and designed a bit in Google Sketchup to spin the vise’s crank knob.

He fired up his MakerBot and printed out his first “Speed Winder” drill bit. It was decent, but he thought it could be better. After a handful of revisions, he was finally happy with the results. He says it works great, and has posted the model on Thingiverse so that everyone can print one of their own.

Continue reading to see how [Chris] created the bit along with how much time this thing saves him. [Read more...]

Hackaday Links: October 28th, 2011

An accidental radial engine

Hack A Day’s very own [Jeremy Cook] was trying to figure out how to push four ‘arms’ out one at a time. What he came up with is a very nice model of a radial engine. Everything was cut on a CNC router and a motor from an air freshener provides the power.

Using a candle to produce light

[Chris] sent in his Candela Amplifier. It’s a Pentium 4 heat sink with a very bright Cree Xlamp LED attached to the base. A bunch of Peltier thermoelectric units are attached to the underside of the heat sink. Put the whole thing on top of a candle, and you can light a room. With a candle. Oh, he’s selling these, by the way.

Objectification and video games?!

We really feel sorry for our lady readers. Guys have so many choices for Halloween costumes, but just about every costume available for women can be reduced to, “Sexy [noun].” Whelp, here’s the Sexy Game Boy, just in time for Halloween. [kazmataz] gets a few bonus points because she went with the DMG-01. It’s better than Sexy Chewbacca, so she’s got that going.

Prototypable 32-bit uCs

[Ng Yong Han] wrote in to tell us about some newish 32-bit PICs that are floating around. The datasheet for the PIC32MX1xx/2xx chips is pretty interesting – USB support and an audio and graphics interface. Oh, they come in PDIPs for ease of prototyping as well. We haven’t seen much from the PIC microcontroller faction recently (Atmel is winning the holy war, it seems). Anybody feel like building something with these?

Makerbot dual extruder


[Lomo] at TU-Berlin is taking a class in rapid prototyping. He built a second print head for his department’s Makerbot Cupcake with a few other students. The result are pretty impressive, although from what we’ve seen, it’s generating the G-code that’s a pain in the butt.

Multicolor 3D prints the hard way

After drooling over the Makerbot dual-head extruder, [Brett] decided to get off his duff and make a proper multi-color print.

[Brett] has been making a few bottle openers for friends and has been successfully experimenting with switching filaments in the middle of a print. For his “Saturday Killer” bottle opener, he decided to push multicolored prints to the limit. For the “Saturday Killer,” [Brett] decided to print an abridged version of the classic Simpsons quote, “Beer, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems” on the side of a bottle opener in 4 different colors.

The files necessary to print the Saturday Killer were generated in OpenSCAD. The general principle behind the design is to generate separate .STL files for the bottle opener and the sides, split those files into 2-layer chunks, and print those files while constantly adjusting the z-height. It’s not called the Saturday Killer for nothing, so [Brett] had to change the color of his filament 25 times.

A much simpler version of a complex multi-color print is [Brett]‘s Shepard Fairey inspired self-portrait. Still, we’re thinking a dual head extruder is somewhere in [Brett]‘s future. At least he’s got the technique down.

Cheap Ikea camera boom ensures shake-free video

ikea_webcam_jig

[Chris] recently got himself a nice web cam for documenting his Makerbot builds, and much like [Dino], he was looking for a way to get a bird’s-eye view of the action while keeping the camera nice and steady. While [Dino] ventured off to the hardware store, [Chris] tried a few different options that included tape, before heading off to Ikea to see what he could find.

$9 and a few Swedish meatballs later, he was on his way home with a “TERTIAL Work Lamp” that can be mounted on virtually any desk-like surface. He had to remove most of the web cam’s useless mounting hardware, doing the same with the lamp’s light fixture. He put together a small bracket in Google Sketchup, which he then printed out using his Makerbot.

It fit perfectly, and now he can get steady video of his Makerbot prints every single time.

An Interview With Bre Pettis, Founder of MakerBot Industries

For those of you that don’t know, the Makerbot is a 3D printer created by Bre Pettis. It is probably the best-known 3D printer that you can buy at a price point meant for the hobbyist. Although this article doesn’t go into how the MakerBot is made, it focuses instead about the business itself and the man behind it. Bre was a hobbyist maker just like many of our readers, but decided to turn his passion into a successful business.

Although not all businesses are a success, Bre has made quite a start at becoming one. His company now employs 50 people and is currently hiring (like this posting for a “Web Warrior”) and has just secured $10 million in venture capital funding! Check out the full interview for all the details. It may inspire others to go from “hobby maker” to “professional.”

For other 3D printing-related posts, check out this one about the RepRap printer which is capable of replicating itself. For other ways to make your own parts, this rotomold machine may be of interest or this semi-DIY CNC router.

Print the best mascot, win a shiny new Makerbot

If you’ve always wanted a 3D printer, here’s your chance to win one. Makerbot Industries wants the Internets to design a new mascot for them. The contest winner will receive a Makerbot Thing-o-matic.

Don’t worry about a chicken or egg situation with this contest. You don’t actually need to print your design (although printability is a quality considered when judging). All you need to do to enter is upload your design files before the deadline on September 28th. Designs must be robot themed, and anything uploaded as Private will be made Public after contest results are announce. It should be fun looking through all of the submissions. There’s several other design restrictions so make sure to read carefully before you get to work.

Those that would rather work with a soldering iron than design plastic robot parts need not despair. You haven’t missed the deadline for the 7400 Logic contest, which is accepting entries through October 21st.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91,245 other followers