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An update from the cage.

make something awesome

Last month was pretty crazy around the shop.  We pushed out over 50 sets of RepRap Clonedel parts, and we sent molds out far and wide.   We got a visit this weekend from the Electromagnate folks doing their Kickstarter-funded Documentary, and we got invited to 3D DC, a conference in the other Washington to do some dog and pony about 3D printing and Intellectual Property (check out their whitepaper).  We got a rundown on the Open3DP Powder printer, and started doing some customer runs on ours ($35 for a takeout box sized print).  Our Doctor-Intern Lisa has been making awesome progress on the Tilt Mill, and Sutton Beres Culler, our favorite artist-trio has been cranking out an amazing project for their upcoming New York trip.

We had our first EL Wire workshop, our first OpenSCAD workshop, and finished up our Arduino Outreach program at the Bush School. We hosted an amazing Makerbot/Mendel User Group Meetup, and started working on our own shop Clonedel.   As always, I forget to mention things on the blog, and even though we regularly update our Flickr Stream, I always miss some of the awesome that goes on.  If you’ve got a project that you want us to write about in depth, email

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The Makerbot Challenge...

building mendel, fixing extruder

One of the things about Metrix Create:Space that makes me happy is that it has become a hub for DIY 3D printing. We have one of the first 100 makerbots, and we have seen that community grow.  We have built printers from scratch and from kits, and have ripped apart commercial beasts.  Bre Pettis saw his first RepRap Mendel print here. Saturdays are slated for 3D printer topics, and we have a lot of 3D printers that just stop by now and then.  At one point, we had 8 printers printing in the shop.  This week we poured 20+ clonedels, and they’re on their way to help grow the 3D printing community.  It’s hard to say we don’t just breathe this stuff.

Makerbot Industries has issued a challenge, and we are positive that the Seattle Makerbot/Mendel User Group (SMUG) can win.  We know that Makerbot knows there are more bots in Seattle than anywhere else, and we know we’ve seen a lot flow through here.   There are countless school programs, most notably the UW’s Open3DP which are just pushing 3D to the edge.  Washington loves 3D Printing.

If you have a Makerbot (or a Mendel), come down to Metrix on Saturday (March 12th) at 6PM and represent the State of 3D Printing

As a bonus for those of you on the fence, if you print (and bring) a Wade’s Extruder,  I’ll give you a set of titanium springs.

Clone Factory Bootstrapping

pouring a robot printer

As many of you know, we like to take action and move fast on things that excite us.  A couple of weeks ago, Open3DP announced their clonedel process, and we decided that we were going to be the first to jump on board.   I posted that we were going to do a Kickstarter project, and begin building a Distributed Clone Factory.

Unfortunately, Kickstarter didn’t see this project as fitting within their rules (I guess clone factories go on forever) and turned us down.   We moved ahead anyway, and have started ramping up on production of parts and mold kits.

It has been nine days since the github release (the actual open source plates), and we are starting to fill orders for parts today and will be pushing molds out later this week when we get more materials.    We have set up a page with paypal links for those who are interested in getting parts and molds, and just so there is no confusion,  the prices listed are introductory and will last throughout the month of March.   We don’t need Kickstarter, all we need is a project and the will to follow through.  We will continue to fill orders after April, but we’re pricing low to raise money for the shop and another project in the works, so after our initial offer, you can expect prices to go up a little.  Our main focus is not producing products, it is helping you make awesome things.

That said, this project is filling the shop with excitement, because it’s not just rapid prototyping, it is rapid replication on a local level.  With 3D printing and some knowledge (not a lot honestly) of mold making and casting, you can increase your output tenfold.  Push this out to the edge, and we move from centralized mass production to distributed mass production.  

Because we are bootstrapping Reprap with a cloned repstrap, there is no chance of being left behind in a dead fork either.  If your Clonedel is built, you can print an upgrade.  If it isn’t, you can get the latest bits cast.  The iteration time is so short from design to thing that we can actually ship a moving target and nobody gets left behind.

This is the future.

It is in a basement, not a garage.

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