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makerbot

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.

This weekend’s Makerbot Madness was amazing.  We not only had the usual flood of Makerbots, but we took a look at two new Mendels in progress.    At one point, we had 8 3D printers in the shop, which I think is a new record.   First up is the Open3DP Mendel.   It was born from a commercial FDM printer, and the build quality is excellent.    It should be running smoothly for next weekend’s Discovery Days Open House at the UW.    I highly recommend going to this event.   It’s running the TechZone reprap electronics and a Wade’s Stepper Extruder.   We spent a bit of time debugging the electronics, and although we didn’t have it printing by the end of the night, it’s definitely on track to be replicating soon. Second is Sharon Morrison’s Wood Mendel.  She has been building this repstrap with a scroll saw and a drill press.  She’s gotten pretty far in the past couple of weeks, and I’m going to guess it will be printing soon.   Sharon has been coming on Saturdays for a while now, and tested the 3D printing waters by designing and printing an awesome banana slug for Thingiverse.  You may also notice a new addition to the shop.    Jon Chandler dropped off an awesome servo clock, which conveniently covers our hours of operation.   If you hang out until midnight, you can watch it snap back to 0 right before we lock up.  Don’t look away though, it happens fast.

This weekend’s Makerbot Madness was amazing.  We not only had the usual flood of Makerbots, but we took a look at two new Mendels in progress.    At one point, we had 8 3D printers in the shop, which I think is a new record.  

UW stratasys printed mendelFirst up is the Open3DP Mendel.   It was born from a commercial FDM printer, and the build quality is excellent.    It should be running smoothly for next weekend’s Discovery Days Open House at the UW.    I highly recommend going to this event.  

It’s running the TechZone reprap electronics and a Wade’s Stepper Extruder.   We spent a bit of time debugging the electronics, and although we didn’t have it printing by the end of the night, it’s definitely on track to be replicating soon.

wood mendelSecond is Sharon Morrison’s Wood Mendel.  She has been building this repstrap with a scroll saw and a drill press.  She’s gotten pretty far in the past couple of weeks, and I’m going to guess it will be printing soon.  

Sharon has been coming on Saturdays for a while now, and tested the 3D printing waters by designing and printing an awesome banana slug for Thingiverse. 

servo clockYou may also notice a new addition to the shop.    Jon Chandler dropped off an awesome servo clock, which conveniently covers our hours of operation.   If you hang out until midnight, you can watch it snap back to 0 right before we lock up.  Don’t look away though, it happens fast.

Saturdays are Makerbot Madness.   If you want to see the future of 3D printing, it’s a good time to come down.    This week, Nick Burrows brought by his bot and his Sarrus Linkage,  It was the first time I’ve seen a real one, and although we have a ton of shop projects already,  I really want one now.    Smooth linear motion with no guide rods.   Pure awesome. The LearnMakeCupcake crew and the RHS TEC club also showed up to work on their makerbots.  LMC is learning to build, tune and use their machine, and Ben is working furiously to build a mendel for as cheap as humanly possible. Ben’s CupcakeStrap is making some good progress, and he showed off his new extruder mod, based on a paxtruder, but with a gigantic stepper from a printer.   It’s amazing what you can scrap together with a little ingenuity and time.  This 3D printer has cost somewhere around $300 so far, witth most of the money sunk into electronics.    Once it is up and running, they’re going to build up a Mendel and scavenge the strap for the parts.  It doesn’t have to be pretty (although I think it’s awesome since it’s made of so much scrap), it just has to work well enough to get them to the next step.    One thing they (or anyone looking to print cheaply) might take a look at is Polypropylene(PE).   Mark Ganter from Open3DP stopped by with a -massive- roll.   He just picked up 50lbs for $1.50/lb (shipped!).    We decided to take a closer look at it on the Shop Mendel because our Wade Extruder will extrude pretty much anything and if it jams, it’s simple to fix. (Thanks Wade!) PP prints best on Polyethylene (we used an Ikea cutting board).   Our first two prints were too hot and fast to produce a good result.   The filament bubbled and separated and had a finish like cottage cheese.  It didn’t stop us though, and by the third print, we were getting a clean but warped part. (this is a mendel circuit-board-spacer-m4_2off for those of you wondering).   All were solid enough to use, and dimensionally correct in hole and spacing. Other than the warp, which we can likely eliminate with heat, the last one didn’t even look bad.  This stuff is strong, printable and dirt cheap.   We were wondering what it was originally produced for to make it so cheap, and I now think I know the magic google words.  11 gauge monofilament horse fencing Be careful with those words though, there’s a lot of horse and deer fencing out there that’s polyamide 6. That means nylon, and as far as I know, that’s untested grounds.    Definitely worth some experimentation at those prices, but a 1000ft spool of fail could also be a result.

Saturdays are Makerbot Madness.   If you want to see the future of 3D printing, it’s a good time to come down.   

This week, Nick Burrows brought by his bot and his Sarrus Linkage,  It was the first time I’ve seen a real one, and although we have a ton of shop projects already,  I really want one now.    Smooth linear motion with no guide rods.   Pure awesome.

The LearnMakeCupcake crew and the RHS TEC club also showed up to work on their makerbots.  LMC is learning to build, tune and use their machine, and Ben is working furiously to build a mendel for as cheap as humanly possible.

nema23 paxtruder

Ben’s CupcakeStrap is making some good progress, and he showed off his new extruder mod, based on a paxtruder, but with a gigantic stepper from a printer.   It’s amazing what you can scrap together with a little ingenuity and time.  This 3D printer has cost somewhere around $300 so far, witth most of the money sunk into electronics.    Once it is up and running, they’re going to build up a Mendel and scavenge the strap for the parts.  It doesn’t have to be pretty (although I think it’s awesome since it’s made of so much scrap), it just has to work well enough to get them to the next step.   

One thing they (or anyone looking to print cheaply) might take a look at is Polypropylene(PE).   Mark Ganter from Open3DP stopped by with a -massive- roll.   He just picked up 50lbs for $1.50/lb (shipped!).    We decided to take a closer look at it on the Shop Mendel because our Wade Extruder will extrude pretty much anything and if it jams, it’s simple to fix. (Thanks Wade!)

PP prints best on Polyethylene (we used an Ikea cutting board).   Our first two prints were too hot and fast to produce a good result.   The filament bubbled and separated and had a finish like cottage cheese.  It didn’t stop us though, and by the third print, we were getting a clean but warped part. (this is a mendel circuit-board-spacer-m4_2off for those of you wondering).

 PP Printing

All were solid enough to use, and dimensionally correct in hole and spacing. Other than the warp, which we can likely eliminate with heat, the last one didn’t even look bad.  This stuff is strong, printable and dirt cheap.   We were wondering what it was originally produced for to make it so cheap, and I now think I know the magic google words. 

11 gauge monofilament horse fencing

Be careful with those words though, there’s a lot of horse and deer fencing out there that’s polyamide 6. That means nylon, and as far as I know, that’s untested grounds.    Definitely worth some experimentation at those prices, but a 1000ft spool of fail could also be a result.

It’s been said there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and although I don’t really feel like making sure that’s true, there’s definitely more than one way to make a reprap mendel.   You can build one out of wood, metal, or load up your Makerbot with these production sleds and start printing.   Mark Ganter over at Open3DP has been interested in 3D Printing for a lot longer than most of us.  He’s a professor at the UW Mechanical Engineering Department, and a friend of the shop since we met at dorkbot.  Being at a University has it’s perks.  They’ve got half a dozen commercial 3D printers, and have been experimenting mostly with materials and alternative recipes for powder based printers This is very interesting, because for us, 3D printing means thermoplastics.  For them, it means plaster, glass and ceramics. As an experiment,  Mark has printed up some mendel pieces for us to check out.  They’re printed with plaster, and infused with epoxy, making them high resolution rock hard purple parts.   They look a bit like they’re carved out of stone, and because the recipe for them is plaster based, they’re incredibly incredibly cheap to make.   They’re not very flexible, but they’re extremely accurate.   I am already positive the bed spring isn’t going to work, but that’s probably OK. Alternatively, Mark has also started a full Mendel build using his commercial FDM printer, with which he has calculated out runtime to be about $30/hr.   Estimated time of build is somewhere around 60-70 hours. To me it sounds like a pretty good way to break the bank, but on the other hand, it will be a standard (albeit high resolution)  ABS build. Once that Mendel is printed however, the ability to produce more drops down to more reasonable levels.   ABS plastic for open source printers costs a little over $10 a pound, and you have a growing pool of materials to pick from.  For a rights managed cartridge, it’s $12 per square inch.  There is a resolution difference, but there is a huge cost difference in the machines as well.   For under $1000, you can have an open source printer, a growing community and access to cheap materials.   If you spend $30,000, you get a little bit more resolution and digital rights managed plastics.   It all depends on what you’re doing of course, but for almost all of us, the choice is pretty obvious.

It’s been said there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and although I don’t really feel like making sure that’s true, there’s definitely more than one way to make a reprap mendel.   You can build one out of wood, metal, or load up your Makerbot with these production sleds and start printing.  

Mark Ganter over at Open3DP has been interested in 3D Printing for a lot longer than most of us.  He’s a professor at the UW Mechanical Engineering Department, and a friend of the shop since we met at dorkbot.  Being at a University has it’s perks.  They’ve got half a dozen commercial 3D printers, and have been experimenting mostly with materials and alternative recipes for powder based printers

This is very interesting, because for us, 3D printing means thermoplastics.  For them, it means plaster, glass and ceramics.

As an experiment,  Mark has printed up some mendel pieces for us to check out.  They’re printed with plaster, and infused with epoxy, making them high resolution rock hard purple parts.   They look a bit like they’re carved out of stone, and because the recipe for them is plaster based, they’re incredibly incredibly cheap to make.   They’re not very flexible, but they’re extremely accurate.   I am already positive the bed spring isn’t going to work, but that’s probably OK.

Alternatively, Mark has also started a full Mendel build using his commercial FDM printer, with which he has calculated out runtime to be about $30/hr.   Estimated time of build is somewhere around 60-70 hours. To me it sounds like a pretty good way to break the bank, but on the other hand, it will be a standard (albeit high resolution)  ABS build.

Once that Mendel is printed however, the ability to produce more drops down to more reasonable levels.   ABS plastic for open source printers costs a little over $10 a pound, and you have a growing pool of materials to pick from.  For a rights managed cartridge, it’s $12 per square inch.  There is a resolution difference, but there is a huge cost difference in the machines as well.   For under $1000, you can have an open source printer, a growing community and access to cheap materials.   If you spend $30,000, you get a little bit more resolution and digital rights managed plastics.   It all depends on what you’re doing of course, but for almost all of us, the choice is pretty obvious.

It’s nice when a shop project comes together…   Today we printed some test objects on the Reprap Mendel, our new 3D Printer, which we printed on our Makerbots.    Things still need some fine tuning before we can make it start self-replicating, but we should be announcing mendel parts kits shortly so you can jump into the recursive robot revolution. If you’re keeping score,  this is the 4th bot in Seattle that’s gone live (that we know of) this week.   Shouts out to Humblefactory, LearnMakeCupcake, and the UW Mechanical Engineering’s Open3DP!

It’s nice when a shop project comes together…   Today we printed some test objects on the Reprap Mendel, our new 3D Printer, which we printed on our Makerbots.    Things still need some fine tuning before we can make it start self-replicating, but we should be announcing mendel parts kits shortly so you can jump into the recursive robot revolution.

If you’re keeping score,  this is the 4th bot in Seattle that’s gone live (that we know of) this week.   Shouts out to Humblefactory, LearnMakeCupcake, and the UW Mechanical Engineering’s Open3DP!

If you’ve been around the shop lately, you’ve probably heard us mention that we’re going to build Johnathan Wards’ MTM PCB Mill.   We’ve been making good progress. We don’t have a shopbot, and our first attempt at getting some parts made on a neighbor’s CNC didn’t work out, so we lasercut our assembly out of 6mm plywood and did a bit of glue work to get a nice solid frame.  This not only looks nice, it gives us a lot more control over how we can build the thing.  Turns out the first failure was a good thing because other than the initial body,  our mill isn’t going to be very much like the original at all.   Which is of course the point of Open Source Hardware.   It’s not really a blueprint, it’s a starting point. We’ve been really interested in is seeing if we could build the mill without going through the MTM BOM.   Sure, it’s reasonable pricing if you’re looking at CNC mills, but buying 108 bucks worth of Frelon lined linear bearings when we already have a bunch of tools that make tools seems silly. We can make linear bearings. We have a makerbot and a spool of HDPE (slippery plastic for the uninitiated).  Add to that we have printer rods in the Junk Box, extra threaded rod from our second makerbot build, stepper motors, drivers, arduinos, DC motors, and pounds upon pounds of screws and nuts.  We started looking around the shop and figured out we can make this thing with stuff we have laying around.  Once it’s built, we can use it to make itself better too! Tonight was all about hacksaws and printing with HDPE for the first time.  It was a bit of effort, but we got all our rods cut and built an X axis that slides pretty smooth. We also got some ideas for the next round of cuts, which we should be able to fit in the scrap from the first round.   We’ll keep you updated on our progress, and publish our plans so you can make what we do, and change what you want. Once it’s done, we’re going to put this robot to work.  Come in and make surface mount PCBs in a little under an hour. If you’re wondering how to make boards (we sure are), we’ve started up a wiki page on the toolchain that the Center for Bits and Atoms uses.   It’s pretty cool stuff.

If you’ve been around the shop lately, you’ve probably heard us mention that we’re going to build Johnathan Wards’ MTM PCB Mill.   We’ve been making good progress.

frame

We don’t have a shopbot, and our first attempt at getting some parts made on a neighbor’s CNC didn’t work out, so we lasercut our assembly out of 6mm plywood and did a bit of glue work to get a nice solid frame.  This not only looks nice, it gives us a lot more control over how we can build the thing.  Turns out the first failure was a good thing because other than the initial body,  our mill isn’t going to be very much like the original at all.   Which is of course the point of Open Source Hardware.   It’s not really a blueprint, it’s a starting point.

makerbotting bearingsWe’ve been really interested in is seeing if we could build the mill without going through the MTM BOM.   Sure, it’s reasonable pricing if you’re looking at CNC mills, but buying 108 bucks worth of Frelon lined linear bearings when we already have a bunch of tools that make tools seems silly. We can make linear bearings. We have a makerbot and a spool of HDPE (slippery plastic for the uninitiated).  Add to that we have printer rods in the Junk Box, extra threaded rod from our second makerbot build, stepper motors, drivers, arduinos, DC motors, and pounds upon pounds of screws and nuts.  We started looking around the shop and figured out we can make this thing with stuff we have laying around.  Once it’s built, we can use it to make itself better too!

Tonight was all about hacksaws and printing with HDPE for the first time.  It was a bit of effort, but we got all our rods cut and built an X axis that slides pretty smooth. We also got some ideas for the next round of cuts, which we should be able to fit in the scrap from the first round.   We’ll keep you updated on our progress, and publish our plans so you can make what we do, and change what you want.

Once it’s done, we’re going to put this robot to work.  Come in and make surface mount PCBs in a little under an hour.

If you’re wondering how to make boards (we sure are), we’ve started up a wiki page on the toolchain that the Center for Bits and Atoms uses.   It’s pretty cool stuff.

Christmas is here, and there’s no better time to make one of a kind objects for yourself or the ones you love. We’ve been thinking about the pricing on the Makerbot, and now that we have two, we’ve decided to slash it in half. Makerbot 3D Prints are now $0.50/minute, material included at the walk-in rate. All previous thingiverse and member discounts apply, and we’ve added a fun bonus.   If you’re the FourSquare mayor of Metrix Create:Space, you get half off on 3D Printing, and we count that AFTER the other discounts.   You can make a virtual object a physical one for $0.15/min! What does this mean? If you print a large version of Dominic’s Skull (yes, we know it’s not very christmas-ey, but if you’ve been to the counter, you’ve seen it.), it takes 44 minutes.   That’s $17.60 (20% discount because it’s on thingiverse) If you are a member, it’s $13.20 (20% discount for members).   If you’re the mayor, it’s $6.60 What if you can’t find something on Thingiverse? Make something and upload it! If you need help with creating something, you can always ask for help too.   We love making things and want to help you make your creations happen.   That’s why we’re here.

Christmas is here, and there’s no better time to make one of a kind objects for yourself or the ones you love.

We’ve been thinking about the pricing on the Makerbot, and now that we have two, we’ve decided to slash it in half.

Makerbot 3D Prints are now $0.50/minute, material included at the walk-in rate.

All previous thingiverse and member discounts apply, and we’ve added a fun bonus.   If you’re the FourSquare mayor of Metrix Create:Space, you get half off on 3D Printing, and we count that AFTER the other discounts.   You can make a virtual object a physical one for $0.15/min!

What does this mean?

If you print a large version of Dominic’s Skull (yes, we know it’s not very christmas-ey, but if you’ve been to the counter, you’ve seen it.), it takes 44 minutes.   That’s $17.60 (20% discount because it’s on thingiverse)

If you are a member, it’s $13.20 (20% discount for members).   If you’re the mayor, it’s $6.60

What if you can’t find something on Thingiverse?

Make something and upload it!

If you need help with creating something, you can always ask for help too.   We love making things and want to help you make your creations happen.   That’s why we’re here.

One of the most satisfying uses of tools is making new ones. Welcome to the world Milo.  Now you get to make things.

One of the most satisfying uses of tools is making new ones.

Welcome to the world Milo.  Now you get to make things.

We love Thingiverse.  it’s a great spot to go get objects, put objects online to print or cut. There are a little over 1000 things on thingiverse currently, and it is a great starting point for people interested in creating objects with high tech tools.   To see if our little shop can stimulate the thingularity, we’re offering a 20% discount on objects printed or cut at Metrix Create:Space. We love custom made one-offs, but we’d like to see more things online.   Upload your design, or grab one from the thingiverse, and we’ll apply the discount to your machine time.   The only catch is that we have to pull the file from thingiverse.  Don’t make a derivative and give it to us.   You have to contribute to the site. If you’re a full member of Metrix Create:Space, this brings your discount to 40% on thingiverse objects!

We love Thingiverse.  it’s a great spot to go get objects, put objects online to print or cut.

There are a little over 1000 things on thingiverse currently, and it is a great starting point for people interested in creating objects with high tech tools.   To see if our little shop can stimulate the thingularity, we’re offering a 20% discount on objects printed or cut at Metrix Create:Space.

We love custom made one-offs, but we’d like to see more things online.   Upload your design, or grab one from the thingiverse, and we’ll apply the discount to your machine time.   The only catch is that we have to pull the file from thingiverse.  Don’t make a derivative and give it to us.   You have to contribute to the site.

If you’re a full member of Metrix Create:Space, this brings your discount to 40% on thingiverse objects!

It's October. The date is set.


Metrix Create:Space is open to the public on 10/15

12PM to 12AM.  7 Days a week.

Tools, Tubes, Laser Cutting, Coffee and 3D printing robots.  Capitol Hill.  Fuck yeah.