Posts Tagged ‘3d printer’

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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From The Fields Of The BotFarm, We Bring You A Doggie Wheelchair!

Today we have a guest post from one of MakerBot’s awesome interns, Rebecca Hillegass. Rebecca and her comrade Jason Schapiro will be updating us from time to time on their work on the BotFarm. In this post, we hear how Rebecca used her MakerBot resources to help a friend get back on his feet.

A little background — After losing control of his back legs, my puppy, Freddy, was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. It was unclear if he would regain the ability to walk normally. My first thought was to design and 3D-print a wheelchair to help him out. As an intern at MakerBot, I’ve gotten a lot of exposure to 3D designing and working with the bots. I was eager to apply this knowledge to my own side project.

Building Blocks by MathematicalGastronomist, in the shape of a doggie wheelchair

The frame of the wheelchair is completely made out of 3D-printed rods and connectors, which were designed using OpenSCAD (check out the files here on Thingiverse). The designs emulate building blocks, allowing the wheelchair to be easily customizable for any size dog. In addition, the blocks and connectors have built-in holes for M3 screws so that all the parts can be securely fastened together. After I printed and constructed the frame of the wheelchair from these building pieces, I brought it home, attached wheels, and designed a layout for the fabric that would be both supportive and comfortable for Fred.

I picked up stretch knit fabric, velcro, and strapping material from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and Crafts and sized the pieces so that they were the proper dimensions for the wheelchair. I chose stretch strapping and fabric so that it would be most comfortable for Fred. I draped the knit fabric over the two sides of the wheelchair and velcro-ed it to the side rods. I also stitched the fabric around the side rods for extra support. I left space between the end of the fabric and the back of the frame for Freddy’s legs. My plan was to then criss-cross the material between his back legs to hoist them off the ground, but I got a little stuck on the last part, and haven’t had much time to go back to the drawing board yet. (Another idea I’ve recently considered is draping fabric along the bottom of the frame – in front of the wheels – to allow his legs to rest on the suspended fabric instead of on the ground).

As for wheels, I originally attached them directly to the bottom of the frame, but am now considering picking up spoke-wheels with larger diameters to attach onto the sides of the frame (this time incorporating an axle into the construction). I previously dismissed this idea because I wanted wheels that could swivel to provide a larger range of motion. However, the axle  construction seems more stable.

As you can see, this project is still a work in progress – if you have any experience with doggie wheelchairs, or any ideas of how to create a supportive fabric framework, I’m eager to hear suggestions!

Also, a disclaimer: I can’t vouch for the reliability or safety of the wheelchair since it’s still in testing stages, but I hope one day it can be a cheaper alternative for those makers who need to help out their furry friends.

PS: Freddy is taking physical therapy like a champ – doing better everyday!

Special thanks to my fellow intern, Jason Schapiro, for helping out with the project!

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FFL Gives How To Tips On Putting MakerBots In Libraries

Posted by on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

You may already know that our friends at the Fayetteville Free Library launched the first ever makerspace within a public library. The “Fab Lab” includes two of our MakerBot Thing-O-Matics. If you haven’t heard, definitely read the writeup on their page. It provides a nice distinction between their lab and the larger world of makerspaces.

On Friday, FFL’s Transliteracy Development Director Lauren Britton — whose school project became what is now the Fabulous Lab at FFL — spoke at the Computers in Libraries 2012 conference in Washington, DC. Library commentator David Lee King took some quick notes on the talk, and I thought it was interesting that among her points was a pricing strategy for use of the TOM’s:

they’re using a time strategy – first 10 minutes of printing is free, then 10-15 cents a minute after that.

If you want to know more about the CIL conference, they’re hashtagging it #CILDC on twitter.

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You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

Posted by on Monday, March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Check out @schmarty‘s photo of his three generations of MakerBot. Left to right: Cupcake CNC #131, Thing-O-Matic #5564, and Replicator #7516. What a handsome family!

You can check out the evolution of Schmarty’s Things on Thingiverse, too.

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