Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thingiverse | Mars Base Challenge

Thingiverse | Mars Challenge

Could you live on Mars? Certainly not without great design and engineering. That’s why we, in cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, are excited to present the Makerbot Mars Base Challenge. Taking Mars’ extreme cold, high radiation levels, lack of oxygen, and frequent dust storms into consideration, design a utilitarian Mars base that can withstand the elements and maybe even make you feel at home, despite being 140 million miles away from Earth, on average.

Learn more about Mars and what kind of home could actually sustain life there on the Imagine Mars site.

Upload your design to Thingiverse with the tag #MakerBotMars between May 30th and June 12th. Entries must be tagged #MakerBotMars to be considered and will be judged by a subjective panel of NASA-JPL and MakerBot employees on scientific feasibility, creativity, and printability.

Make sure to read all the Official Rules here.


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MakerBot Retail Store | Maggie Gets Creative with the MakerBot Photo Booth


A MakerBot Operator Improves on a 3D Model
Everyone knows the MakerBot community does its research, so our MakerBot Retail Operators need to know 3D printing inside and out. It’s no surprise that Maggie Dilley from the MakerBot retail store in New York City has seen a lot of 3D prints and designs. From the functional to the downright funny, she is well versed in MakerBot Thingiverse and beyond.

We asked Maggie to give us a bit of background on herself and her favorite 3D print, made on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

I started working at the MakerBot retail store about a year ago. I’m a visual artist at heart, and working at here allows me to express my talent through a cool new medium. I’ve been a big fan of our photo booth from the beginning; it’s such a fun feature of the store. I got the idea to print out a hollow bust of myself and insert a small LED light as a way of boosting its dramatic nature. It’s so amusing that way!

Be sure to visit Maggie at the NYC MakerBot retail store at 298 Mulberry Street. And don’t forget to peruse a seemingly endless amount of ready-to-print content at Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models.

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MakerBot Replicator Mini | The Next Generation Keeps Blossoming


The Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator 3D printers are starting to emerge, with the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer its newest arrival.

Perfectly sized to transform a small desk in your home or classroom into an exciting creativity center, the award winning MakerBot Replicator Mini is a reliable, durable, and easy-to-use desktop 3D printer. It runs on free MakerBot Desktop software, which lets you print, manage, and share your 3D creations simply and seamlessly from your PC or Mac.

Order one now to start a new season of innovation, and don’t forget to share the 3D models you print with it on MakerBot Thingiverse. We can’t wait to see what you’ll make!


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CES 2014 | The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem Blossoms


A Groundbreaking Show
It was a great week for MakerBot at the International CES 2014 in Las Vegas. It started with a press conference, an event more typical of big, long-lived companies like Ford, Samsung, and Sony. Reporters were expecting MakerBot (est. 2009) to release a Replicator 3, but instead we unveiled three new MakerBot Replicator 3D printers, three new apps, and a Digital Store. The audience oohed and aahed, and reviews were fantastic.


The four-sided MakerBot booth was beautiful, with the air of a retail store rather than typical trade show space. Thousands of visitors got firsthand experiences with the expanding MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. We were thrilled to connect with so many interesting makers as well as individuals eager to learn more about our products.

Martha Stewart Makes a House Call
One special guest enjoyed the MakerBot booth and was awed by the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer as well as the possibilities of 3D printing.

Created On The Spot
MakerBot brought a crack team of designers from the MakerBot Studio to explore CES and make 3D accessories for companies that might be able to use them. The results, Made in CES, showcased the team’s quick-thinking design skills and the rapid prototyping capabilities of a MakerBot desktop 3D printer.


Connecting With the MakerBot Community
It was amazing for us to meet so many people who’ve been using MakerBot products to create incredible 3D models, prototypes, and more. We were humbled by their gratitude, and inspired to continue our mission to make products that empower people to make their dreams come true—literally.

We were particularly moved by individuals and companies who had rapidly prototyped products with MakerBot 3D printers and won awards of their own. That list includes:

Oculus Rift, a cutting-edge virtual reality headset and winner of two Endgadget awards: Best of the Best, and Best Emerging Technology.

Rest Devices Mimo Baby Infant Monitor, a “smart” onesie worn by babies to monitor their breathing, took the #IoT Award and Endgadget Best Kid-Friendly Technology.

Sphero, makers of cool and versatile robotic ball, won the iLounge Best of Show award.

While it’s always exciting to roll out cutting-edge products, win awards, and explore the vanguard of technology, seeing other companies succeed by using MakerBot products really made CES 2014 special.

We Innovate So You Can Innovate
Just a few short years ago, we were a small startup hoping to change the world with a big idea. Now, as we see once-difficult-to-impossible concepts brought to life with MakerBot 3D printers and scanners, we’re awed at the potential creativity that will be unleashed in the years to come.

This passion helping people materialize what they can imagine is what drives us every day at MakerBot. Whether you were at CES 2014, or just following from home, we hope you’ve caught that fire too!


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MakerBot Replicator | The Class of 2014


New Leading-Edge Printers
At MakerBot, we’ve been making professional-quality 3D printers affordable and accessible since 2009. In that short time we’ve released four generations of 3D printers, helping unleash a worldwide 3D printing revolution in art and design, engineering and manufacturing, architecture, education, and more.

Today we’re yet again defining the new standard in ease of use, quality, and reliability with the introduction of three new MakerBot Replicator 3D printers. We are proud to introduce the:

– MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

– MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer

– MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer

The MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform
All three Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers run on a common MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform, which enables improved reliability, ease of use, and seamless connectivity. Check out the features below:


– New MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder that’s easy to swap or replace.  It also detects filament absence and automatically pauses your print.

– On-board camera for print monitoring and easy sharing.

– USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi* ensure a seamless workflow.

– 3.5-inch full-color LCD display** and intuitive dial create a rich user experience.

Each Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer is designed for use with new MakerBot apps, which are cloud-enabled and allow you to discover, manage, and share 3D prints—from your desktop computer or mobile device.

With this new suite of 3D printers, we’re excited to see how you’ll take your creative projects to a whole new level! Check out the links below to learn more. 

MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer

It’s an easy-to-use, no-compromise compact 3D printer for everyone, from beginners to pros.

MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer

Providing unmatched speed, reliability, quality, and connectivity for all your 3D printing needs.

MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer

Massive build volume and the best price/performance in its category.



* Coming soon

**MakerBot Replicator and MakerBot Replicator Z18 only

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MakerBot Retail Store | 3D Printing Adventure for Kids


An Inventive Experience
Writers bring things to life in readers’ imaginations, but can a writer make things come alive in 3D?

That was Carla Diana’s goal when she published her first children’s book, Leo the Maker Prince, which is for sale at the MakerBot Retail Store. It features Leo, a walking, talking robot who can 3D print any object. He befriends a young woman and takes her on a whirlwind tour of Brooklyn, NY, introducing her to his many robot friends. Together they explore 3D printing and all the creative things you can do with it.

Equipping the Next Generation
Diana, a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and contributor to the New York Times, had worked with 3D printers for years. She wanted to share the magic of the technology as it became accessible to more people.

I had a strong sense affordable, personal 3D printers such as the MakerBot Replicator would empower makers like artists, tinkerers and students to realize projects that previously only existed in daydreams and sketchbooks.


She described how her book could interest a broad audience, from curious kids to tech-savvy adults.

Leo the Maker Prince was written to appeal to children, and the illustrated story is complemented with photographs of professionally designed, friendly-looking objects I’m hoping will also appeal to designers and others who are interested in learning about new tools for making.


Meet Diana, Build Character(s)
If you’d like to learn more about this author’s approach to creativity, Diana will be speaking and signing books at the MakerBot Retail Stores on:

– Saturday January 18, 1:00pm: New York, NY

– Saturday January 25, 1:00pm: Boston, MA

– Saturday February 1, 1:00pm: Greenwich, CT

At the store, you’ll also see 3D printed models of characters and objects from Leo the Maker Prince on display. You can download the models from Thingiverse and make them yourself. One of Diana’s dreams is that children who make 3D prints from her story will become the innovators of tomorrow.

I’m hoping years from now, when that kid is a young adult, she will find that sheep or toy from the book on her shelf and remember the inspiration she got from reading the book.

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MakerBot | Support Team Back December 2

Thanksgiving_turkeyBecause of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, there are a few days this week that our Support department will be unavailable.

MakerBot Industries will be closed this Thursday and Friday, 11/29 –11/30. Our agents will use the time to relax and recharge so they can be ready at full force to take on your calls and e-mails come Monday December 2.

If any questions concerning your 3D printers and scanners pop up during this long weekend, our support techs encourage you to check out our documentation pages.

Thank you, and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

—The MakerBot Support Team

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MakerBot Filament | Optimal Filament

We put Makerbot® Filament through some of the most rigorous testing in the industry to ensure it’s the easiest and safest filament to use with MakerBot® Desktop 3D Printers. So don’t cut corners with non-Makerbot filament – you may find yourself with a lot of wasteful clogging and printer jamming on your hands.


Meet Polymer Bill
MakerBot Filament is great for a reason: the Materials Lab, run by material science guru Bill Yackabonis (AKA “Polymer Bill”), rigorously tests our filament materials to ensure the highest quality product. Bill’s team tests MakerBot Filament using infrared lasers and high-powered moisture analysis machines to ensure the best results.

Not Too Wide, Not Too Thin, Just Right
“We’ve found that the optimal filament diameter is 1.75 mm, and we measure diameter down to the hundredth of a millimeter to keep that number consistent,” says Bill, who uses a multi-laser system to measure the cross-sectional diameter of MakerBot Filament. Holding the filament tolerance at 1.75mm keeps our filament from jamming your MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer and causing other kinds of print failures.

“Having the consistency is key to making a quality print,” Polymer Bill reminds us.

That’s Not All, Folks
MakerBot Filament is manufactured in the US, and is fully optimized for Makerbot® MakerWare™ and MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers.

Buy a spool of MakerBot Filament today.



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MakerBot News | Stay Social, Stay Current

If you’re a fan of MakerBot®, now would be an excellent time to find us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, and add us to your circles on Google+.

Our social media channels are the best way to get the most up-to-date news on all things MakerBot. Connect with us and stay tuned!

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Digitizer Education | Part 2: Placement, Calibration, and Lighting

Now that you’ve gotten an overview in part 1, you’re ready to use your MakerBot® Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner to jumpstart the modeling and prototyping process, and have fun experimenting. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the best possible results.

Find a Solid Spot
Place your MakerBot Digitizer on a flat, stable work surface, and make sure no part of it extends over the surface’s edge.

  • Set up your Makerbot Digitizer facing the nearest wall. The darker the wall, the better.
  • Ideally the lasers should point toward the wall while avoiding any windows or other bright light sources. Bright light or reflective things shining in the camera can interfere with your scan, causing noise and halos.


Digitizer Ideal Placement

Ideal placement of the MakerBot Digitizer

Calibration is Crucial for Good Results
Calibration ensures the position of the turntable and lasers are recorded accurately so your MakerBot Digitizer can produce the best possible scans.

  • Calibrate your MakerBot Digitizer in normal-to-bright indoor lighting.
  • Avoid direct overhead light though (as seen below). The light source should come from behind your scanner so it’s not shining right into the camera.


Bad Scan Background

Example of too much overhead light in the camera


  • If you must calibrate in a dark space, illuminate the calibration tool with a lamp or flashlight behind your scanner so it’s not pointing into the camera.

For detailed instructions on the calibration routine, please read pp. 31–33 of the MakerBot Digitizer User Manual.

Lighting for Better 3D Scans
To get the best results, scan objects in the same lighting conditions you calibrated in, or anything darker—including total darkness.

  • Scanning in low light is best, but you don’t need to turn the lights out. However, if you’re having trouble scanning something with the Dark setting, try shutting off the lights completely. The only time you must have light is during the calibration routine.
  • In order to capture the most detail of your object, the Preview screen should be as black as possible when the filter is on, as seen below.


Ideal Preview Scan

A good Preview screen view of a 3D scan


  • Recalibrate your MakerBot Digitizer if you’re not happy with its scan results. During recalibration, you want to be able to see the entire checkerboard pattern on the Calibration Tool on your screen, as seen below.



Optimal view during recalibration


Finally, here are a few cool tricks we discovered:

  • If you need to capture more detail, set the option to Dark mode—even if the object is light colored. Be prepared for your scan to have some extra noise though.
  • Hang black felt on wall facing your MakerBot Digitizer to darken the wall’s surface. That way any light in the room won’t bounce off the black background and cause bright spots the camera might think are part of the laser line.
  • Place an open umbrella behind your MakerBot Digitizer (i.e. not in the direction of its lasers) to improve scan results. Don’t do this during calibration though.


We hope these tips make your experience with the MakerBot Digitizer even better. See you soon, and happy scanning!


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