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MakerBot And Autodesk Expand 3D Possibilities Together!

It’s that time of year again when people who make things and people who make things that make things come together in a giant festival of fun and education. Maker Faire!

This year, we at MakerBot are thrilled to share space with one of the hands down leaders in 3D design software, Autodesk. Our partnership was first announced at SXSW, where we showed off 3D printed figures that were masterfully designed in Autodesk’s 123D Creature app and made with a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. This month, the integrations and collaborations deepen, and Maker Faire is the place to see it all.

Come join us at the Autodesk booth, #120, to see what’s new. There will be a showcase “Fix It” wall of some everyday things designed with Autodesk software and printed on MakerBots. You’ll also see a special edition MakerBot Replicator 2, with a custom faceplate and build plate designed exclusively for sale through Autodesk. It looks awesome!

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MakerBot and Autodesk products have gotten closer, too. Now you can design something in Autodesk 123D Design, 123D Make, or 123D Catch and use the “Print to MakerBot” button right inside the app. This is a huge step for a 3D modeling program. We’re excited it will be even easier for people to design great things and hold them in no time.

Autodesk is offering sweet membership packages for the 123D apps that include discounts on a MakerBot purchase, or even the custom MakerBot Replicator 2 shown above. Here’s how the memberships break down.

123D Premium membership – Buy a membership to the 123D app suite and get a promo code toward purchasing a MakerBot Replicator 2 via 123Dapp.com.

1 year membership, includes $40 promo code toward MakerBot purchase – $99.99
2 year membership, includes $90 promo code toward MakerBot purchase – $189.99

123D Premium membership Bundle – Bundle your 123D Premium membership with the custom Autodesk edition of the MakerBot Replicator 2, and get additional MakerBot PLA filament with your purchase.

1 year membership, includes MakerBot Replicator 2 and one additional 1kg spool of PLA – $2,249.99
2 year membership, includes MakerBot Replicator 2 and three additional 1kg spools of PLA – $2,299.99

Get started here: www.123Dapp.com

 

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MakerBot Joins The MoMA “Destination: NYC” Design Collection

You know you’re doing something right when MoMA likes your designs!

We’re proud to announce that some 3D-printed pieces from the MakerBot Design Team have been chosen for a special collection at the MoMA Design Store called Destination: NYC — Made in the USA. For those who don’t know, MoMA is the Museum of Modern Art here in New York. The organization has been shining a light on local designers in cities around the world in its Destination: Design series.

Sometimes pieces in the series become top selling items at MoMA Design Stores. At MakerBot, we hope the innovative artists and designers who see our items will be inspired to use 3D printing in their own work. Here’s the set of items all together, including a customized MakerBot Mix Tape and MakerBot Watch designed just for MoMA, along with a bunch of pieces reflecting iconic places and objects in NYC.

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Get your hands on these now! The whole Destination: NYC series, including pieces from other amazing local designers, is available from now through August only at MoMA Store locations in New York and Tokyo, as well as online at MoMAstore.org, MoMAonlinestore.co.kr, and MoMAstore.jp.

The full press release is available at the end of this post.

 

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#MBME | Love Locked

The first time MakerBot user Mike made something of his own on a MakerBot, it was Valentine’s Day. However, the idea had been floating around for a little while. As a graphic designer, Mike did all the work for his wedding himself, including a special logo of two intertwining bike locks in the shape of a heart. It’s the perfect symbol for two high school sweethearts who have taken quite a few bike rides together, and who were about to embark on another big journey. Mike wanted a chance to remind his wife that the sentiment hadn’t changed. With a little work, he was able to turn the 2D design into an art piece and a pendant for his wife. It was the nicest gift Mike ever gave, and, the nicest one Mindy ever received.

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Want to share your own Replicator 2 story? Find out how here.

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#MBME | A New Way To Pay

Mobile payment processing company LevelUp didn’t put too much energy into hardware at first. The startup asks its users to link their debit or credit card to LevelUp’s mobile app, assigning them a personalized QR code for redemption. Before buying a MakerBot, LevelUp used a variety of smart phones to scan codes (left image). Resting on a large plastic base, the hardware’s appearance was somewhat rudimentary. But this past March, LevelUp debuted a sleek new design at SXSW (right image) as the festival’s official payments vendor. It turns out the company designed their new device right in their own office using a MakerBot, and saved themselves $30,000 in prototyping fees in the process. With desktop 3D printing at their fingertips, we’re seeing more and more startups embrace the hardware that makes their products shine.

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Want to share your own Replicator 2 story? Find out how here.

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#MBME: Win $250 For Your MakerBot Replicator 2 Story

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It’s been seven months since we started shipping the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. In that time, we’ve heard countless stories of what people are doing with this powerful machine. From a toothbrush that helps kids brush properly to a simple accessory that speeds up credit card purchases, we’ve heard it all.

In light of that, we are sharing a series of stories here on our website called #MBME: MakerBot & Me. Some of the stories we hear are practical, some are sweet, some are totally genius. In every case, they’re inspiring. We’ve collected some examples so far, and you can see them here.

Now the fun part: we want you to supply the rest, for a chance to win a $250 Gift Certificate to our online store.

 

How to Win

We want great stories that help the world understand what’s so cool about owning a MakerBot. It should be a story of what you yourself have done, with some pictures to show off your work:

•   Photo of you, the thing you made, and your MakerBot Replicator 2. (optional, if you’re shy)
•   Photo of the thing you made and your MakerBot Replicator 2.
•   Photo of just the thing you made.

Before you get started, here’s a note from our lawyers:

By submitting an electronic mail entry to the address below, you certify that you are eligible to enter and agree to be bound by these official rules.

Simply email your story to mbme@makerbot.com with photos attached. Bonus points if you have a video! We’ll select one per day for our blog, and at the end of the series, we’ll give everyone a chance to vote for their favorite story here on the blog and in social media.

Want to get inspired? Read all the stories so far, and check back every day for more.

 

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Mechanical Hands From A MakerBot: The Magic Of Robohand


 
When Richard Van As, a master carpenter in Johannesburg, South Africa, decided to make a set of mechanical fingers, it wasn’t just for fun. He’d lost four of the fingers on his right hand in an unfortunate work accident. For a tradesman like Rich, having a disabled hand is a big professional detriment, so Richard decided on the day of his the incident that he would use the tools available to him to remedy his situation. Watch the inspiring video above to hear how Richard’s project, Robohand, is changing lives with patience, spirit, and a MakerBot Replicator 2.

Getting Started

MakerBot heard about the Robohand project in January 2013. Richard had been trading ideas with Ivan Owen, a collaborator in Washington State, for several months. Ivan used his prior experience with mechanical prop hands to make design suggestions, while Richard attempted to replicate the designs in his workshop.

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The process was taking weeks and months per cycle. For us here at MakerBot, that was too much wasted time. We knew our 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator 2, could take this important work to new heights. We saw their collaboration and the work they were doing as groundbreaking, and we asked Ivan and Richard to accept a donation from us: a MakerBot Replicator 2 for each of them, one in Washington, and another in South Africa.

If the tool was useful to them, we hoped they would share their work on Thingiverse.com for the world to download. It turns out the MakerBots were incredibly useful, and the guys have followed through on their promise. Just hours after they received their packages from us here in Brooklyn, the two collaborators were sharing files back and forth, testing the design in one place and doing another iteration on the other side of the world. Richard says it took the prototyping process down from weeks to just 20 minutes.

But that’s only half the story.

Giving A Hand

Robohand has grown far beyond the goal of making a set of fingers just for Richard. When the power of desktop 3D printing and MakerBot entered the picture, Richard began to realize how quickly he could refine a design for other people who have lost their fingers, or who were born without fingers. After posting his own story, he received emails and Facebook messages from parents whose children were candidates for a Robohand of their own. One of these children was five-year-old Liam.

The condition Amniotic Band Syndrome is poorly understood, but the effects of it are pretty clear. Children are often born without extremities, especially fingers and toes, when fibrous bands in the womb prevent these parts from developing normally. It’s this condition that caused Liam to be born with no fingers on his right hand. The cost of purchasing a traditional prosthesis was far too much for the family, especially since Liam is a young and fast growing boy who would outgrow a prosthesis in a few months.

Liam was given a Robohand just days after Richard and Ivan received their MakerBots in January, 2013, and he has already been fitted for his second. The word spread, and other kids in the Johannesburg area like Liam with Amniotic Band Syndrome have received their own Robohands, sized just for them. The files, including the assembly instructions, have been posted online at Thingiverse, and they have been downloaded over 3,800 times by people around the globe.

What Is A Robohand?

A Robohand is a set of mechanical fingers that open and close to grasp things based on the motion of the wrist. When the wrist folds and contracts, the cables attaching the fingers to the base structure cause the fingers to curl. Nearly all the parts of a Robohand are 3D printed on MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printers.

Ivan, who played a big part in the initial design stages of Robohand, says he studied the anatomy of crab legs and human fingers to get the basic muscle and tendon structure. The result is a simple assembly that Richard believes anyone can make themselves. While a full set of prosthetic fingers may cost thousands of dollars, all of the Robohand parts that are made on the MakerBot Replicator 2 add up to roughly a few dollars in material cost, with the total mechanical hand costing around $150 (USD).

Who Needs A Robohand?

Amniotic Band Syndrome affects 1 in 1,200 live births.

About 80% of cases of Amniotic Band Syndrome involve the loss or malformation of fingers and hands.

Finger amputations are the most common amputation in the US, accounting for over 90% of all amputations, according to various reports.

How Do I Get A Robohand?

Robohand was not imagined as a service or a product. Instead, Richard has shared the design files and instructions for creating a Robohand on Thingiverse so that people around the world can download, customize, print, and assemble Robohands for themselves or for others.

So far, we’ve heard stories of Robohands being made for children and adults in the US, Canada, and Thailand. Are you a MakerBot owner who can give this incredible gift to someone in your community?

Get Involved

There’s still a lot to be done. Richard has given hands-on help to a few of the people within his reach, but Robohand needs your help in order to get to the people who need it most.

Want to spread the word? Share this video with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
Looking to to support the cause? Check out Robohand’s Indiegogo campaign.
Are you an occupational therapist or prosthetist? Leave a comment below!

Make a Robohand

The design files and assembly instructions for Robohand can be found on Thingiverse.

Robohand’s creators would like to empower others around the world to use their files and create and print in 3D Robohands of their own, and they are not in the mechanical hand business. They created Robohand out of the goodness of their heart. Now it’s time to provide the files to the world and see what other good can come from them!

Robohand uses the following tools to make their mechanical hands:

MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
MakerBot PLA Filament
● Stainless steel hardware
● Thermo-forming orthoplastic
● Elastic bands
● Nylon cable

The full bill of materials is listed here.

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MakerWare 2.1.0 Now Available, With Thing-O-Matic Support

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Version 2.1.0 of MakerWare is now available for download. This latest version of our 3D printing preparation software includes support for the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, our second generation 3D printer released in 2010. We’re glad to offer this integration for some of our long-time customers, who have contributed significantly to the MakerBot community.

What’s New in MakerWare 2.1.0

Besides support for the Thing-O-Matic, there are some changes and a bunch of bug fixes for MakerBot Replicator, Replicator 2, and Replicator 2X users. In our testing and in your feedback, we’ve seen that some prints need extra help to stick to the build plate, so we’ve included an update to the rafts feature.  Now when you choose to use a raft, the MakerBot Slicing Engine will code the first layer of the raft to print much slower than the rest of the layers. This really helps adhesion.

Another feature requested by our customers is the ability to heat the build plate on the MakerBot Replicator and Replicator 2X when using PLA. This is now possible in MakerWare 2.1.0. We’ve tested this in-house and had some success. If you’ve been experimenting with using a heated build plate with PLA, tell us about your experience in the comments.

In other news, the MakerWare interface got a nice design refresh that we think you’ll enjoy. Click below to see the full release notes and to learn more about using MakerWare for your Thing-O-Matic.

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Inside 3D Printing Conference: Free T-Shirts!

It’s on! We are at the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo today and tomorrow and there are a couple good reasons to come check out our booth #105.

1. We have free t-shirts with a special design just for this conference, and it’s super easy to get one. Just tweet, Facebook, or Google+ with the hashtags #3DPrintConf and #MakerBotMe, and show us your post in person. We’ll give you the t-shirt.

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2. If you share a photo of yourself on social media wearing your free t-shirt at the Inside 3D Printing Conference, we’ll enter your name to win a large-scale print of the famous Stanford Bunny! Here’s the whole process.

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3. We also have really sweet bunny lapel pins to give away. They’ve been heat-polished, and they look fantastic.

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4. Get all the info on our after party! We’ve got some fun stuff going on tonight, and we’d love to have you there. Stop by booth #105 to get the details.

 

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New On MakerBot Customizer: Your Own FAKEGRIMLOCK Signs!

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Thingiverse has a new member, and he’s here to knock the awesome into you. According to his brand new Thingiverse page, FAKEGRIMLOCK is the greatest of all the Giant Robot Startup Dinosaurs in the universe.

For the first time, FAKEGRIMLOCK’s wisdom about building companies, shaping products and services around customers, and being awesome, will be available in book form. In fact the Kickstarter campaign for The Book of Awesome closes tomorrow!

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We are fans of FAKEGRIMLOCK. Why, you ask? BECAUSE AWESOME.

So we’re doubly excited to see a new design on MakerBot Customizer that lets anyone make a sign with FAKEGRIMLOCK sayings, just like the one at the top of this post. Check it out. You just type in a question and get back a little bit of wisdom for your sign. The sign is ready for 3D printing on your MakerBot.

If you think awesome is AWESOME, then go make a sign and share it with us on Twitter, @makerbot and @thingiverse.

 

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MakerBot MakerWare 2.0 Now Available!

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Announcing MakerBot MakerWare 2.0, , our latest release of the software we create that drives your MakerBot. It’s an important release, go Download it now. This is the update you’ve been waiting for if you have ordered a MakerBot Replicator 2X or have an original MakerBot Replicator with dual extruders.

Click below to read about all the updates and the full release notes.

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