CES2017: Lulzbot Has the Best Names for Stuff

Lulzbot is the poster child of the RepRap project. Everything they do is big-O Open. At CES, Lulzbot launched the MOARstruder, a tool head with a 1.2mm nozzle diameter. That pushes a lot of plastic out, allowing for faster print times. This is the same nozzle diameter as the largest E3D Volcano, and from the big prints sitting around the booth, the results are similar: you get faster prints at larger layer heights, and the layer lines become a design feature.

Also announced by Lulzbot this week is the release of Cura 2 (Lulzbot edition), a partnership with the Blender Institute to develop a streamlined version of the best Free 3D modeling software available, and a collaboration with Monkeyprint to develop Free Software for resin-based 3D printing.

18 thoughts on “CES2017: Lulzbot Has the Best Names for Stuff

  1. That’s welcome news about Blender. I like Blender a lot but don’t like having to tell people new to 3D modelling and looking for a recommendation, “but it has a big learning curve”. I’ve also found getting the dimensions right for 3D printing to be tricky so this will help.

    1. The learning curve for Blender diminished a LOT about 7 years ago. I don’t know if you remember the 2.4x versions, but they were quite bad. Soon after 2.5 came out, which the Blender history page refers to as the recode, was when I really started to learn Blender. My sons and I took a whole saturday and some example objects to model, and went crazy. By the end of the day we had more than the basics. My vote is that we should all stop saying it has a steep learning curve. It’s not as steep as it used to be.

      Andrew Price has a brand new series on learning Blender from a total beginner perspective. Even though I already know Blender pretty good, I watched some of his videos and I’m thinking it’s easier than ever before to learn.

      1. I started out using Blender in the 2.4x days but only for a short while before the interface changed. I’ll have a look at Andrew’s new series. It’s entirely possible I’ve missed a lot of the new tools that have been added to make it easier to model things.

        1. The biggest changes in ease-of-use have definitely been in how the UI is organized.

          When I started with Blender, the majority of functions (extrude, scale, etc.) were only available as hotkeys, some of which were unintuitive and difficult to remember. Today, pretty much every function is available from a tiered menu, and those menus are sensibly organized so you learn where to find what you’re looking for pretty quick.

    2. I’ve been using Blender for about 10 years, and it has come a LONG way in terms of interface friendliness. Still, it’s not a CAD suite and was never intended to be. Last week I designed a quick coffee mug for myself and it took a while to figure out why Cura was placing a solid cap on top of the cup. Apparently the wireframe modifier does not create manifold geometry and Cura tried to correct it as simply as possible, but the “Make Manifold” tool in Blender patched it up pretty easily.

      Then there’s scaling. Blender’s “Blender units” are sensible enough for art projects where scale is arbitrary anyway.Unfortunately the STL and OBJ exporters assume 1BU=1mm. You could adjust for this by scaling before export or by scaling in your slicer, but it’s an additional layer where a correctly-designed model could be rendered just 1% too big to fit in the whole it was designed for.

      The good news is that Blender has totally reinvented itself before to fit new applications, such as sculpting, simulation, and the game engine. I’d like to see a CAD mode, selected in the same way as Sculpting mode, where the Blender units are replaced with real-world units (default mm), polygon normals are ignored, and tools attempt to enforce manifold geometry at all times. A few new tools for measuring surfacing, mating objects, etc. and you’ve got a great CAD tool for people familiar with Blender but intimidated by actual CAD suites. Blender is tough to get started with, but Solidworks is 100x worse, IMHO.

      1. I may have been bitten by the same thing that happened to your coffee mug. In my case it was holes designed for LEDs that were printed filled in. Drilling them wasn’t a problem. I’ll keep your solution in mind. Thanks.

        1. In Blender’s Preferences, go to Add-Ons and look for “3D Printing Toolkit”. There’s some great simple tools for detecting non-manifold geometry and attempting to repair it.

  2. That is an impressive mixed bag for so few words. You have faster times, faster prints, and larger heights all at once! I know, people use the meaningless phrases all the time like shorter length (yea, length is a noun, but they mean shorter road or shorter stick or shorter bolt, etc.) and colder temperature (same problem). But you don’t have to apply the idea to everything; it is so vague.

    The first two are “faster printing”, and the last one is, I suspect, meant to mean “taller prints” or “larger prints”.

    And yes, distracted browsing HaD instead of football game :-) So there.

    P.S. I don’t think it is possible to have time go more than a tiny fraction faster than it does now, given the flatness of the space-time around here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s