MakerBot R&D Posts
One of the nice things about being an open source hardware based company is that we don’t need to keep our R&D efforts under wraps. Infact, we do all of our R&D out in the open. Our public facing subversion repository (http://svn.makerbot.com) is where you can find the latest developments that we’re working on. As all of our hardware designs are based on digital files, its easy for us to post them for all to see.
The reason behind this post is two-fold. First, I’d like to start blogging regularly about new developments. Things like new prototypes, new ideas, and stuff like that. Some of these things will probably be failures and would otherwise never see the light of day. Others may work but not be practical or useful. Some lucky ones will work great and fit with what we want to do and get turned into products. All of this information is useful and valuable the community and should be shared.
The second reason is that I’d like to give a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ look into MakerBot, how we operate, what we’re thinking about, and perhaps show ways in which the community can participate in the development of our shared technology. If it shows that we’re not some faceless MegaCorp of just 5 people, well thats a nice bonus too. To start, I’d like to give a tour of the various resources where development is taking place:
This is the main repository where most of our development takes place. This is where our electronics, cupcake cnc, plastruder, frostruder, and many other things are stored. Each of us also has our own personal directory where we do more experimental work. Here’s a few useful directories:
http://svn.makerbot.com/trunk/ – this is where the main development happens. we try to keep it stable, but dont assume things from this folder work. this is where the latest and greatest stuff is though.
http://svn.makerbot.com/tags/ – this is where we ‘tag’ the releases once they’re ready for public consumption. you can get it from here or our google code project.
http://svn.makerbot.com/users/ – these are our own personal directories where Bre, Adam, and I do our hacking. We usually put stuff in here that is highly experimental that may or may not work. Sort of a playground for hacking, if you will.
We are trying out Github as our repository for the Firmware and ReplicatorG. Github and git in general are really great for distributed development. Since people are more likely to collaborate with us on the code side of things, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them. If this experiment works out, we may switch over our entire repository to Git. Who knows?
Of course all the sourcecode in the world is meaningless unless you have a community. Most of the Makerbot community resides on the MakerBot operators group. There’s also a growing dev list for ReplicatorG. If you’re interested in helping out… just dig into the source and see what you think. Hit us up in the makerbot operators group with any progress you make!
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