Posts Tagged ‘3d printer’

Safe and Sound: MakerBot PLA Filament


At MakerBot, providing the best possible 3D printing experience for our customers is about more than releasing new, innovative products. It’s about ensuring that our products are among the safest on the market, so that even our most active customers can print with confidence.

A recent study has sought to answer safety-related questions regarding 3D printing filament. As supported by this study, we would like to underscore that our latest generation of 3D printers only use filament that is safe for your classroom or business. Known as PLA, or polylactic acid, this filament is a nontoxic resin made of sugar derived from starches found in foods, like potatoes, corn, grain, or even beets.

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Classic Contemporary Design with MakerBot and Stratasys


A spoon isn’t just a spoon, when it’s from Robert Welch Designs Ltd. At this UK-based home goods company, one piece of cutlery can be prototyped as many as 50 to 100 times. Every design is questioned, challenged, and refined until it meets their distinct standards of timeless, elegant beauty. Key to helping them meet these standards are MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printers.

As Senior Designer, Kit deBretton Gordon puts it, “The Robert Welch brand is contemporary classic design, so we design things that we want to last for years.” Typically, products in their catalogue feature a classic silhouette with a contemporary twist.

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Our Industry-Leading Tech Support Just Got Better and Faster


Within the MakerBot offices, you’ll find our 3D printers whirring away in just about every department. So we know what it’s like to go through all the right steps before a print, only to end up with a long, eerie silence or a discordant beep. For when all doesn’t go according to plan, we’ve revamped our industry-leading support site to keep you printing and making.

Organized into two sections, Troubleshooting and Learning, the support site is designed to help you learn about MakerBot products, quickly solve issues, and minimize downtime. While the Learn section offers a wide range of information on our products, the Troubleshooting section is streamlined to easily guide you to the right solution through a series of simple questions.

“This approach to Troubleshooting offers an improved customer experience that complements our best-in-class customer support team” says Gil Maman, Vice President of Customer Advocacy and Business Development. “All told, the new support site reflects MakerBot’s continued commitment to facilitate close relationships with our customers and users by putting their needs first.”

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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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MakerBot Filament | A Colorful Transformation Is Coming

Posted by on Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Let There Be Light!
Introducing light-responsive MakerBot Photochromatic PLA Filament, which changes color when exposed to ultraviolet rays. Just bring your 3D prints into the sunlight, and watch your natural white prints bloom into subtle shades of magenta or blue.

Order your spools of MakerBot Photochromatic PLA Filament today.

Quick Tip to Brighten Your Print
Don’t let a cloudy or rainy day keep you from activating MakerBot Photochromatic PLA Filament’s chameleon-like properties. Shine a UV flashlight on your prints to activate the color change whenever you want.

Share Your Shine on Thingiverse
Be sure to upload and share pictures of your 3D prints in and out of the sunlight on Thingiverse. We can’t wait to see the transformative designs you’ll create.

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MakerBot Replicator Mini | Early Orders Start Shipping Today!

Posted by on Monday, May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

NOW_Shipping_mini_blog (1)

We are extremely proud to announce that the first MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printers are beginning to ship. If you ordered your MakerBot Replicator Mini early, we’ll ship it out over the next few weeks, and email you as soon as we do.

If you haven’t ordered one yet, order your MakerBot Replicator Mini today, and we’ll get it to you as soon as possible.

Update Your Firmware First
When your MakerBot Replicator Mini arrives, be sure to update its firmware to keep it running in tip-top shape, and to unlock all the latest features. MakerBot Desktop will detect which version of firmware your MakerBot Replicator Mini is running, and guide you through the process of updating it.

It’s Time to Get Started
Head over to the MakerBot Thingiverse 3D Design Community to jumpstart your 3D model collection. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to unleash creativity with your educational, entertaining, and useful MakerBot Replicator Mini.


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CNET Test Drives The Replicator

Posted by on Monday, May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

…and lurves it.

CNET’s Rich Brown has some nice things to say about The Replicator, “the most capable 3D printer for under $2,000.”

Yes, but it’s also fun.  And what did Rich use that Mr. Jaws clip for?!

Stay tuned for Rich’s full review of The Replicator, which is due out tomorrow.

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A Tip From Westport Mini Maker Faire

A few colleagues and I had a truly great time up in Westport, Connecticut last weekend, where we were part of that state’s first ever Maker Faire event. This Mini Maker Faire was held on the giant lawn outside the Westport Public Library. The only downside there was that a bunch of the guests and makers at Saturday’s event probably didn’t get a chance to go inside that gorgeous facility.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for stopping by to see us. I learned a lot from all the visitors to our table. For example, Dr. Raimund Herzog stopped by to discuss some challenges he was facing with his Thing-O-Matic extruder. He didn’t realize it, but he was giving me an education in the history of extruders.

Ray also shared a really helpful tip that I think bears re-mentioning on the blog: when assembling your TOM, it’s always a good idea to have a magnetic wand on hand, such as the one he received along with his Weller soldering station.

If you’re about to embark on an assembly adventure, get one of these. I assembled a Replicator the other day and found myself wishing I had one on hand. The guys and girls in the Bot Cave use them a lot, in case you’re wondering about the tools of the trade.

Here’s a shot of Ray showing us how useful this tool was in putting together his Filament Spindle Box, and another shot below it from our Support pages showing another angle.

Thanks, Ray!


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MakerBot Your Hobby: Aquariums

Posted by on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

There are two excellent posts from Shane Graber, or sgraber on Thingiverse, about using a MakerBot for your aquarium. The first of these is a general introduction to aquarium owners themselves as to why 3D printing can be useful for that hobby. I have to be honest, I had never thought about it, but Shane makes a pretty good case:

Picture this: It’s late Saturday night and you hear a noise coming from your fish room. Upon investigation, you find your return pump is buzzing loudly and not pumping water. “Huh? What’s going on here?!” You disassemble the pump and discover that an impeller blade has sheared off, and you don’t have a replacement on hand. … However, you are no ordinary hobbyist because you have a 3D printer at your disposal. You fire up your favorite modeling program and quickly model a replacement impeller then hit the [Print] button. The printer begins spitting out molten plastic.  15 minutes later you are fitting your replacement impeller in place and have saved yourself a lot of heartache and worry — and possibly the lives of many critters in your tank.

Well gosh, when you put it that way. Printing replacement parts is always a compelling reason to have a MakerBot at home. It’s even more compelling when it’s a matter of life and death!

Today Shane posted another great piece on Advanced Aquarist about 3D printing parts for the entire process of fragging and propagating coral in your aquarium. I know what you’re thinking: if only that previous sentence had more ‘p’ and ‘r’ sounds. I’ll try harder.

The post is a great tutorial in fragging, showing you different kinds of plugs you could use and why, and explaining that for parts you want to sink in saltwater, PLA is a better option than ABS. Shane printed all these parts on his Cupcake CNC, including the coral frag plugs that he designed, and they look fantastic. It’s also so interesting to hear about this application of 3D printing that I had never considered.

What is your hobby? How much of what you do for that hobby could be printed on a MakerBot?


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Reverse Engineering Shaped Balloons With 3D Printing!

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Lutz-R. Frank via Compfight

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Lutz-R. Frank via Compfight

How amazing would it be to be able to have a balloon in any shape?  What would you want?  A piano?  A cartoon character?  A giant bouncy house?

The New Scientist just reported that a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Disney Research has developed a method for taking any desired 3D shape, then using their research on how a rubber balloon stretches as it inflates, reverse engineers the deflated shape that would most closely lead to the desired inflated balloon.  Then, once they have the model for the deflated balloon, they create a mold for it using a 3D printer!  If you just can’t wait to learn more, they’re presenting their work at the Eurographics conference in Italy next month.

Thanks to Luis Rodriguez for the link!

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