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#MBME | More Signal, Less Noise

Ever wondered what audio sounds like on an iPhone 4 video taken from a dirt bike driving 100 miles an hour? The answer: not so great. It sounds less like thrilling dirt bike ride and more like a bunch of wind. So Mark Shorey set out to make a better dead cat. No, not an actual dead cat: that’s film production jargon for wind screens that use synthetic fur to cut out ambient noise. Shorey’s company DeadCatDot was told the unique shapes of their products were too hard to make with traditional methods, so 3D printing was the answer they needed. The company prototyped two types of dead cats using their MakerBot Replicator 2, along with several devices for keeping videos stable, and saved “tens of thousands of dollars” along the way, according to Shorey. They’re also purchasing a second Replicator 2 for production overseas. You can hear the impressive results on the DeadCatDot site.

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Want to share your own MakerBot Replicator 2 story for a chance to win $250? Find out how here.

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What’s New With The MakerBot Digitizer: Update 1

We’re kicking off a series of updates regarding the MakerBot Digitizer, the Desktop 3D Scanner we launched as a prototype at SXSW. Why weekly updates? Because we want you in on the action.

Our central goal with the Digitizer is to make an affordable 3D scanner that works perfectly with our Desktop 3D Printers. We don’t want scans that you have to clean up and cut flat surfaces into. Off the scanner, into the printer. We know that’s what you want, so that’s what we’re working toward.

Here we go! The first couple of models we have to share are both pretty famous at this point: our Garden Gnome and the Stanford Bunny.

We’re getting some pretty good detail on the scans. The gnome’s beard and suspenders show this off nicely. Again, this is the scan directly from the MakerBot Digitizer, without any repairs to the outer surface.

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And here’s the Stanford Bunny.

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This is an exciting scan. The bunny’s ears were captured perfectly, with no extra material between them. We look for good results like this that show deep crevices on an object.

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Stay tuned for more updates on the MakerBot Digitizer. We also have an email list that you can sign up for at makerbot.com/digitizer. When you’re there, be sure to tell us what you’d scan, and keep your feedback coming in the comments.

You can see the full “Digitized!” collection here.

 

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Keep Corners Flat With MakerWare’s Helper Disks

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Here’s a great tip for every MakerBot user: use MakerWare’s Helper Disks to keep the corners of your model from curling up. 

Thingiverse users ctheroux and whpthomas have been great advocates for using Helper Disks, which act like feet on the corners of your model to help keep everything pinned down. When the MakerBot Slicing Engine sees the disks, it treats them as part of the model. Once the print is finished, the disks can be peeled or cut away pretty easily.

Below is a quick step-by-step for using these little lifesavers. Try Helper Disks out and share your experience with us in the comments below or on twitter: @makerbot.

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Great Things From The Thingiverse Hackathon

Hackathon planning

On April 6-7, MakerBot Headquarters played host to a few dozen members of the MakerBot and Thingiverse communities for the first ever Thingiverse Hackathon!

If you’ve never heard of a hackathon, check out this Wikipedia explanation.

This was a fun couple of days with several great projects going on. Participants used the Thingiverse API to exploit Thingiverse data for other cool purposes, and we wanted to let you know the winners. There was a slight delay in sharing as the new Apps are still mostly in progress. But let’s share the good news anyway.

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Announcing Customized Photo Panes On Thingiverse!

A lithopane is an etched artwork that shows grayscale relief when you shine a light behind it.

Now you can make your own, totally customized, on Thingiverse!

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We think this is one of the coolest new tools in a while. It also couldn’t be easier to use.

  1. Find the Customizable Lithopane generator, and open it in MakerBot Customizer.
  2. Upload the photo of your choice, preferably square, and let the tool do the work.
  3. 3D Print it on your MakerBot in about an hour.

A few of our engineers did the math: making your own custom lithopane on a MakerBot is roughly a million times cooler than everything else. It’s like the 3D-printed version of Instagram. Giving a custom lithopane to someone as a gift may be the coolest thing you do in 2013. Remember, Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s a lithopane using a picture of Thingiverse hero tbuser.

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If you’re keeping score, the Lithopane tool is the first MakerBot Customizer design to make use of an exciting new input capability: photo surface height mapping. You input a photo and the Customizer lithopane tool detects the height variations to generate a printable pane.

Lithopanes have been around for a long time, and they’ve been on Thingiverse for a while, too! We were inspired by Thingiverse users like cymon and pp3dpNL to take this type of object and make it easy and fun to use for everyone. Enjoy!

 

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Make Your Own OUYA Game Console Case!

MB OUYA

In San Francisco this week, the OUYA game console is having its official launch party. The record blasting Kickstarter project will begin shipping to tens of thousands of backers, but you can already get your hands on the console! Kinda. Read on.

OUYA started with the mission of bringing the indie gaming revolution to the TV, which they say usually leaves independent developers out. It’s a total game changer, and that pun is completely intended. The goal of making console game development open to everyone is one we love, and we’re glad to have our own slice of the project.

In the spirit of keeping things open, OUYA handed over the files for the console box itself, allowing the MakerBot Design Team to turn them into 3D-printable designs. Now anyone who buys an OUYA will be able to download the enclosure from MakerBot Thingiverse, customize, and make it in the color of filament they prefer. We like the red one.

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Right now on Thingiverse, you can find the .stl files for the enclosure, and we’ll share the working files soon. The components are optimized specifically for the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, and we’ve added print instructions with recommended settings. However, you’re free to experiment with settings.

Check out more about OUYA on their website. If you’re not excited already, maybe this will help: they have Minecraft!

UPDATE! The working file (.3dm) is now available for download, too.

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How We Test MakerBot Print Quality: MakerWare

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MakerBot MakerWare, our 3D printing software package, is an integral part of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. Powerful software helps us take the most advantage of our powerful desktop 3D printing and scanning products, as well as developments in our ABS and PLA filament. In other words, MakerWare is a huge factor in print quality.

Our goal is to constantly improve print quality, so how do we make sure that we are constantly improving MakerWare? Above is a picture of one print from our multi-stage testing process. We thought you’d like to know more about how we measure our progress and keep moving forward.

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Join The MakerBot Team!

After a very successful Job Fair last week, we’re doin’ it again! We still have over 50 open positions that we’re considering candidates for. You can see the whole list at makerbot.com/careers, or at the bottom of this post.

Just like last time, this event is open to candidates who submit a resume and cover letter on our special Job Fair page. In your cover letter, tell us which position you’re interested in, and if everything’s a fit, we’ll invite you for a brief conversation with one or more of our managers.

It’s a really exciting time to join our team. If you’ve got skills to help us charge into the future, we need you onboard.

WHERE: One MetroTech Center, 21st Floor

WHEN: Friday, April 12; 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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Lead Times Dropped: Get Your MakerBot Replicator 2 In Four Weeks!

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Here’s some great weekend news for all of you sitting on the fence:

Order your MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer or today, and you’ll have it in 4 (yes, four) weeks.

We’ve been working really hard to deliver carefully, professionally assembled 3D printers quickly to meet the incredible demand. In the past couple of months, we’ve managed to bring down our lead time from 8 weeks to 4.

Buy one today, and then 4 weeks plus 2 hours from now show us what you made! Tweet us @makerbot with #firstprint.

 

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Is It Just Us Or Is The Replicator 2 A 3D Mirror?

A 3D printer MakerBot Replicator 2 produces a sculpture at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover

Hey, we recognize that face!

This Wall Street Journal slide show has a cover photo of a really nice bust being printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2. It’s so good that when we put it on our Facebook page, the MakerBot Sales guys immediately noticed it’s the head of none other than our good friend Alexander Hafner, getting some attention at the CeBIT conference in Germany. The company Hafner’s Büro is a rockstar distributor for MakerBot.

Lookin’ good, Axel!

 

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