Archive for the ‘Thingiverse’ Category

Five 3D Printers for Five Schools


This summer, we asked Thingiverse users to put on their thinking caps for five Summer STEAM Challenges, which called for 3D printable designs in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. At the same time, schools across the country made their cases for why their school needed a 3D printer.

The STEAM challenge winners each received a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer of their own, plus the chance to give one to a participating school.

These five deserving schools have big plans for their 3D printers, and we’re so excited to see what they make.

1. The Make it Float challenge winner, David Choi, sent a MakerBot Replicator to Lincoln Park High School, in Chicago, IL. Lincoln Park piloted a 3D printing and physical computing program in which students train to teach others, and this year, they’re going to roll out the curriculum to 1500 students.

2. Citrus Hills Intermediate School in Corona, CA, was chosen by the Light it Up challenge winner, German mechanical engineering student Christoph Queck. The school has just welcomed technology teacher Leanne Edwards, who has a background in 3D modeling, and will use its MakerBot Replicator to supplement her curriculum in design, science, math, and history.

“This really allows students’ designs to come alive and their excitement to grow exponentially as they see their hard work come to fruition,” says Edwards.

3. Catch the Wind winner Mike Blakemore gave a MakerBot Replicator to Almaden County School in San Jose, CA. The middle school has been running successful 3D printing electives with a borrowed printer, and plans to use their new MakerBot Replicator to devote a whole 12-week period to 3D printing design and creation.

“More students will have a chance to create more than one iteration of a prototype, which is an especially important part of the design thinking model,” says Mary Beth Gay, the Director of Technology at Almaden County Schools.

4. See the World challenge winner Chris L. sent a MakerBot Replicator to the residential Illinois School for the Deaf, whose students plan to customize and 3D print cochlear implants and hearing aids with the help of their expert audiology, design, and IT staff.

5. Build a Castle winner Will Webber chose Georgia Connections Academy, a virtual charter school that wants to build a mobile 3D printing lab to travel around the Peach State and bring hands-on STEM experiences to their community of 4,000 students.

Nearly 90 schools entered for a chance to receive a 3D printer, and the recipients were chosen from this list of 10 finalists.

Thanks to all who participated, and congratulations to the winning designers and schools.

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Kids Make It Challenge Winners Announced

ThinkFun - Winners

This July, educational game maker ThinkFun partnered with MakerBot Thingiverse to sponsor a Kids Make It Challenge. The participants competed for the title of Master Maker as well as fun prizes.

The kids who made it have been announced: @bumbleflies, who built a toy fishing boat; @PlayEatGrow, who fashioned an alien friend with a propeller; @SkunksMonkey, who made a sweet penguin mobile; @AlissaApel, who souped up a Creativity Can; and @SalientTech, who created a working fishing pole.

Each Master Maker will receive a large spool of MakerBot PLA Filament or its equivalent in 3D printed products, plus a collection of ThinkFun games.

For the challenge, ThinkFun made its Maker Studio Construction Sets available for free on Thingiverse, so that anyone can download and 3D print the files from the Gear, Winches, and Propellers sets. Use the Maker Studio sets to build suggested projects, or to create something entirely from your imagination.

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated.

Didn’t get to enter this challenge? Keep your eyes peeled for more from ThinkFun and Thingiverse.

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3D Print ThinkFun Maker Studio Construction Sets for Free


With ThinkFun’s Maker Studio Construction Sets, children (and grownups) can transform household items into things like race cars and motorcycles. These sets come with suggested projects but you’re limited only by the boundaries of your imagination.

ThinkFun usually sells its construction sets online and in stores but now, the three Maker Studio Construction Sets are available to 3D print for free on MakerBot Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D design community. Anyone can download files from the Gears, Winches, and Propellers Sets (including connectors, hubcaps, and hole punches) and create them on a 3D printer, at home or in a classroom, to explore basic engineering and design.

ThinkFun is also sponsoring a Kids Make It Challenge, with a chance at ThinkFun- and MakerBot-branded prizes and at the title of Master Maker. To enter, post a picture of something you made with Maker Studio on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #KidsMakeIt. Entries will be accepted until July 14, 2015, and winners will be announced on the MakerBot blog. Read ThinkFun’s official contest rules, and download the Gears, Winches, and Propellers sets from Thingiverse.

Start Building

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Food Share Wins GE FirstBuild Hack-a-Thon


The maker community at GE FirstBuild joined forces with MakerBot Thingiverse for the Third Annual Hack-A-Thon at MakerBot’s Brooklyn, NY, headquarters. Inventors, educators, and 3D printing enthusiasts worked over the weekend to “think inside the icebox” — that is, to design features and 3D print prototypes for GE’s USB- and WiFi-enabled refrigerator, ChillHub, using the MakerBot 3D Ecoystem and Raspberry Pi computers provided by Seeed Studio. Six teams of innovators experimented with ChillHub to imagine new features and new possibilities.

On the line? A MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer and two rolls of filament for each member of the winning team. No small potatoes.

The winning team, headed by Bryan Berger of NY Hackathons, was Food Share, a way to display and share food from your refrigerator with neighbors. Food Share can detect freshness — so no pawning off overripe fruit, unless that’s your neighbor’s thing. Food Share would lead to less food waste and maybe more community potlucks.

Other inspired entries included Chiliflix, for movie recommendations based on eating habits; Fridge Pharm, for reminders to take chilled medications; Light Snack Stopper; which gates access between meals with a joystick game; and Pavlov’s Fridge, which unlocks treats when tasks  are completed.

Thanks to all the participants for bringing your A game, and congratulations to Food Share.

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Win a MakerBot Replicator for Yourself or Your School

Thingiverse Summer STEAM Challenges

School might be over, but the MakerBot Thingiverse will keep you learning all summer long. Thingiverse is launching five challenges, one for each STEAM subject: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The first challenge closes on July 19, and the last closes on August 16, so you get the summer to design, iterate, and learn. The winner of each challenge will win a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer.

Don’t know how to design for 3D printing? We think everyone can learn by using free and accessible tools like MakerBot Printshop, Tinkercad, MeshMixer, OpenSCAD, 123D Design, Sculptris, Sketchup, Morphi for iPad, and Blender.

Your School Can Win, Too

If you’re a schoolteacher or administrator who dreams about what your students could learn if only your school had a MakerBot Replicator, join the Our School Needs A 3D Printer group on Thingiverse. Each STEAM Challenge winner gets to choose a school from the group that will receive a MakerBot Replicator printer as well.

That makes ten lucky winners: five designers and five schools.The Thingiversity Summer STEAM Challenges are open to all ages and skill levels, and sometimes the simplest designs are the best ones.

Learn more >>

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MakerBot Stories | Fixtures for Our Factory — and Yours

The section of the MakerBot factory where the MakerBot Replicator Z18 gets made didn’t get much overhead light. So fluorescent tubes were hung above each workstation. The assembly-line workers weren’t used to the brightness, however, and some switched them off.

Scott Hraska, manufacturing engineering manager at the Brooklyn factory, knew that good lighting improves worker safety, productivity, and quality control. So he asked an intern to design a rectangular cap to cover the light switch; there are two holes for zip ties to fasten it to the workstation frame.


“That’s all it does,” Hraska says of the light switch cover. “But that’s something you can’t buy — and it works really well.”

Factories need lots of things you can’t buy: custom jigs and fixtures that hold parts in place as products are assembled. And all of these fixtures can combine to make your product better and everyone happier: assembly-line workers; cost-conscious executives; customers who tell their colleagues about their experience with your product.

Ordering a custom aluminum fixture can take $10,000 and two or three weeks to get it machined, plus a thorough review and approval process. With a MakerBot Replicator, a company can leverage the 3D modeling knowledge of its engineering team to transform its manufacturing process, becoming more nimble and innovative.


That’s what MakerBot does in its factory. To set up production lines for the fifth generation of MakerBot Replicator 3D printers, creating jigs and fixtures on earlier models saved “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Diana Pincus, MakerBot’s plant manager. “Without the Replicator 2 and 2X, we’d still have been able to start the line, but it would have been more costly, less efficient, and a lot more stress.”

3D printers can also create shapes that are too complex to machine. Testing an idea requires a few hours and a few dollars in filament, not a series of meetings to justify a $10,000 expense. For situations that require something more durable than extruded plastic, a 3D printed prototype will help perfect the fixture before a machine shop produces it.

Creating fixtures on a MakerBot Replicator, Pincus says, “is all leading to the goal of world-class manufacturing.” It supports MakerBot’s commitment to lean manufacturing methodologies like 5S, kaizen, and kanban.


It also makes it easier to incorporate employees’ suggestions on how to improve the manufacturing process. At one station, Hraska pointed out a cup that holds screws that a worker had asked for: “Make it in two hours, and the guy is your best friend,” he says.

Before coming to MakerBot, Hraska never worked with a 3D printer before. “Once I realized I could make things, the biggest limitation was the size of the printer,” Hraska says. “And now we have the Z18.” For fixtures that require specialized materials or dissolvable supports, the MakerBot factory has a Fortus 900mc.

Most fixtures, however, can be made on a MakerBot Replicator, like the Raspberry Pi case designed by manufacturing process engineer Sydney Dahl. The case, which also houses a 2.8″ screen, allows MakerBot to replace a $500 tablet with a $100 custom computer.


This Raspberry Pi case is one of nine things used at the MakerBot factory now collected on Thingiverse. It also includes holsters for drills and barcode scanners, and other attachments to 80/20 and Bosch Rexroth workstation frames. The possibilities are limitless; MakerBot also makes fixtures for wayfinding systems.


Let MakerBot help you find your way to better manufacturing.

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3D Hubs | Think Globally, 3D Print Locally


Ever since MakerBot started, we’ve been steadily expanding our 3D ecosystem with new features for our 3D printing and scanning hardware, software, firmware, and services. Now, we’re adding a new, exciting partnership.

3D Hubs is the world’s largest 3D printing network, with close to 10,000 3D printer operators. Need something printed? Log in to 3D Hubs and they’ll find you a printer. What happens when the world’s largest 3D printer network and MakerBot Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D design community, team up? A better experience for users and designers.


Reliable 3D Printing Right Around The Corner
Accessibility is the big idea behind our latest partnership with 3D Hubs. It’s our hope that this collaboration will provide an opportunity to those who don’t yet own a 3D printer to join the growing MakerBot Thingiverse community.

For the launch, we’ve recruited a handful of Thingiverse power users to make their designs available for easy printing. Just look for the “Print with 3D Hubs” button on the item’s Thingiverse thing page. Click it to set up a 3D Hubs account, choose a location, and order a 3D print of the item.

Arian Croft (dutchmogul), the creator of Pocket-Tactics and co-founder of Ill Gotten Games, is a prolific and popular 3D designer with hundreds of designs on Thingiverse.

Quincy Robinson (3DKitBash) is a toy industry professional with a history of award-winning and noteworthy innovations that cater to Fortune 500 companies.

Isaac Budmen (ibudmen) is author of The Book on 3D Printing and is a designer of sculptures, mechanical parts, and amazing architectural designs.

Walter Hsiao (walter) is a prolific 3D designer who specializes in parts and accessories for everyday living.

Nervous System designs an assortment of jewelry, art, and housewares inspired by science.

Simplus Design creates beautiful 3D printed housewares designed by founders Sebastian Misiurek and Arianna Lebed.

Laura Taalman (mathgrrl) is a professor, mathematician, blogger, and maker who 3D printed something every day for a year.

Bold Machines, created by MakerBot co-founder Bre Pettis, partners with innovators to explore new approaches to industrial and personal applications, as well as fabrication through 3D printing.


No Printer? No Problem.
With over 1,800 MakerBot 3D Printers around the world registered on 3D Hubs, it shouldn’t be hard to find a Hub near you ready to take your order. Hubs offer different methods for getting you a finished print, from pickup to shipping options. Visit the 3D Hubs website to look for the closest Hub.

Giving Credit Where It’s Due
And when you order, you have the option of tipping the designer who made the item to show your appreciation (and reward their genius). Suggested amounts will be shown on the thing page.


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Thingiverse Groups 1.1 | Updated Based On Your Feedback


When we launched the Thingiverse Groups feature, we knew it was the beginning of something great. To make it even better, we needed to hear from you with suggestions and feedback. So we offered up a survey, and after sifting through the results, we’ve made some highly requested improvements.

Searching and Sorting
One of the most common requests we received involved updating the searching and sorting function. Groups 1.1 has a more accessible search bar and now scans Group descriptions as well as titles, expanding your results. You can sort by groups, and when creating a group, similar names are suggested to avoid creating duplicates.

More for Group Owners
Another suggestion we received from users of Groups was more administration ability for the Group owner. Our latest update means owners can now edit topic thread titles and group names, as well as delete groups that don’t contain any members or topics.

Get Social
Many users wanted easier access to social networks like Twitter. We heard you loud and clear. Groups 1.1 supports Twitter cards, allowing for direct Group URL sharing.

We’re constantly iterating on Thingiverse Groups, and future innovations are on the horizon, including improved categorization and multiple group owners. Be sure to send us your feedback often. We can’t wait to see what you make.

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Thingiverse | Countertop Challenge

3834 GE Challenge Banner_800 x 443px

Some people look at space and appreciate the emptiness; we look at space and see a blank canvas, awaiting inspiration. That’s where you come in.

We’re collaborating with FirstBuild to introduce the MakerBot Thingiverse FirstBuild Countertop Challenge. And we’re asking you to help fill in the empty space on your kitchen countertop.  The possibilities are endless.

To qualify, designs must be uploaded to both Thingiverse and between February 26th and March 14th, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Make sure to use the hashtag #CountertopChallenge. Winners will be announced on April 20th, 2015.

Make sure to read all the Official Rules here.



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Thingiverse | Swap Ideas and Models with Thingiverse Groups

Groups image

One of the most vibrant parts of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem is Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, or sharing over 500,000 free 3D models.

Today, we’re unveiling a new way to explore this community of innovators.

Our new Thingiverse Groups feature allows you to join and create groups around specific topics or types of designs, start conversations, and share Things with your fellow community members. We’ve made it super easy to create groups, search for the newest or most popular groups, and upload your designs.

Check out Groups under the Explore section of Thingiverse.


There are already a few groups to choose from, but a good place to start is the My First Make group, where you can share your first 3D printing experience. Can’t find a group that fits your interests? Start one of your own. In a community as vast as Thingiverse, chances are there are others out there who share your passions. Find your people!

As always, we’ll be iterating and improving this new feature based on your feedback. Head over to Groups Feedback and let your voice be heard.


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