Posts Tagged ‘3d printing’

MakerBot & Miniatures: Developing A Workflow

This is the second entry in a series of posts discussing MakerBot & Miniatures.  Check out last week’s post!

My journey to 3D modeling started at a drafting board and most of my CAD work still ends up in two dimensions on a piece of paper as a plan, section or elevation.  As many of the things I model in CAD are much larger than a piece of paper, it is common practice to create full scale geometry in a CAD program, and then choose a scale in which to depict the project in a layout. When I sat down to design my first model for 3D printing, I wasn’t sure how to get started.  Should I continue to create in full scale, and then scale down when I wanted to make it with my MakerBot?  Or should I design directly in scale?  I currently use both methods in my work, and today I’ll talk through the pros and cons of each approach.

I already had a workflow to go from CAD to 2D, but how would 3D printing change that?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tagged with , , , , , , , , One comment

Calendar Update: MakerBot Education @ Tekserve

There’s one week left to sign up for our third class in the “How to MakerBot” series at Tekserve in Manhattan. Liz Arum, our education specialist, will be leading the class.

This class is focused on the program modeling program Blender. In order to participate, those attending the class should take some time to download the following programs before class:


And then you should bring that computer, a 3-button mouse, and a desire to learn some awesome stuff about 3D modeling and MakerBotting!

RSVP now to reserve your spot! You can view the invitation here.

Tekserve – Seminar Room
119 W 23rd Street
NY, NY 10011

Thursday, May 10; 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Tagged with , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

iPad Modeling –> Replicator Workflow

Thingiverse just featured this incredible MakerBotted model of a root structure. Thingiverse user TSDF used the iPad app iDough to model the shape above. I can’t explain the coolness any better than he did.

25 years after art school, 22 years after learning CAD, and 10 years after learning gcode, I would have never conceived that it would be possible to model complex organic geometry on a handheld device and hold a physical output in my hand 90 minutes later at such a low cost.

The app is $6.99 but holy moly does this look well worth it. It has brushes to “push, pull, smooth, move, pinch, spread, [and] flatten” your virtual clay. You can export your .obj from the app (email it from your iPad to your computer, says TSDF), and convert to an .stl in Netfab.

Here’s the final printed part:


Tagged with , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Your Mom Made You – Make Her a Flower!

Mother’s Day: Say It With Flowers

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and MakerBot wants you to say it with flowers — 3D printed flowers!

Mother Nature has decorated our planet with an endless variety of flowers, trees, ferns, and vines. Let’s model some original, printable flowers for the awesome Mamas in our lives– maybe even some that can sing, dance, or squirt water in her face — and share them on!

We’ve asked our own Mothers to *pick* their favorites, so c’mon, MakerBotters! Let’s make ‘em proud.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tagged with , , , , One comment

A Randomized Ceiling Concept, From Digital To Tangible

I’ve blogged about Matt Compeau before, the guy making the coral-like prints on his Replicator (speaking of, maybe someone should print this and put it in an aquarium, as my colleague MakerBlock suggested).

His latest post at Emergent Forms shows us how he delivered a “randomized” ceiling for a client.

MakerBotted model of a custom ceiling section, by Matt Compeau

The piece above was printed, presumably on The Replicator, to show how the same section of segmented wood baffles would piece together to give a random looking solution. Each of these represents a 2′x8′ portion of ceiling, and Matt shows how those sections themselves are laid out in a way that will maximize the look of randomness.

Go to the original post to play with the web-based tool he devised to demonstrate the process to the client. Fun stuff.

This post reminds me of Kacie Hultgren, aka PrettySmallThings, in that she and Matt both use their MakerBot Replicators and/or TOM’s to demonstrate final products to clients. Did you see Kacie’s post over the weekend about how to work in scale? It was the first in a series that she’s put together for us, and the next one is pretty tops, too. Look for that on Friday.

Do you use MakerBotted scale models to communicate your ideas? Tell me about it.


Tagged with , , , , Leave a comment

Getting Full Impact With Your Business Card

And then there are business cards that turn into rubber band guns.

Built-to-Spec, the company on the business card/firearm (rubberarm?) in the picture, has a page of MakerBot accessories. Looking for an acrylic lasercut casing for your TOM? Look no further.


Tagged with , , One comment

Lattice Structures By Marius Watz

Marius Watz' lattice structure, using Modelbuilder and The Replicator

Marius is looking for a few extra eyeballs on his Github Modelbuilder repository. Can you help?

He’s been using Modelbuilder to build lattice structures with his Replicator. But oh,

…did I mention I’m actually pretty bad at math? Doing computational geometry for a week straight has made me feel a little smarter, but all that does is make me better equipped to understand how little I really know. I can’t help but feel that CAD professionals would snicker at my minor victories considering that every feature I laboriously implement has been standard issue in every CAD package for over a decade. Still, the satisfaction of doing it yourself and knowing exactly how the code will behave makes it worth the struggle.

Kudos on pushing through to figure it out yourself! Check out Marius’ Flickr page, too. The distorted structures you can see there are pretty awesome.

Tagged with , , , , , One comment

MakerBot & Miniatures: Thinking About Scale

Earlier this week, I appeared on MakerBot TV to chat with Annelise about how I use my MakerBot in my work. As a part of my job as a scenic designer, I create scale models of theatre sets.  Are you curious about how you might put a MakerBot to work on your scale project?  Want to hop on the playsets bandwagon? I’ve put together a short blog series about getting started working in scale.

This week, we’ll learn about scale factors and use a bit of miniature math to consider what scale to work in.  Stay tuned for more in coming weeks! Read the rest of this entry »

Tagged with , , , , , , , , 5 comments

3D4D Challenge: Your ($100K) Chance To Change The World

Water Drop; José Manuel Suárez

Did you know that 1.1 billion people in this world live every day without a supply of clean water, and that 3,900 children die on a daily basis of water borne diseases?1

Something really exciting started this week, and YOU are at the heart of it. In collaboration with MakerBot and the UK-based rapid prototyping firm Econolyst, techfortrade is offering up a $100,000 prize for a groundbreaking, world-changing innovation. This is an opportunity for all of our brilliant readers, you engineers and scientists, moms and dads and kids and everyone in between, to share your ideas for reducing poverty and growing local communities in the developing world.

Consider this — in 2006, the World Health Organization estimated that unsafe injection practices caused 1.3 million early deaths worldwide, or a more sobering “26 million years of life” lost. But an auto-disable syringe now in use in some locations may prevent the possibility that blood-borne diseases spread through contaminated needles. Could you have prototyped that syringe on your MakerBot; or better yet, can you make a better one?

What you need to know

Techfortrade is an organization that aims to energize small businesses in the developing world using mobile phone technologies. Did you know that by 2015, an estimated 400 million mobile phone users in Africa alone will not have electricity regularly supplied by a power grid? Accordingly, entries in the Challenge should

…exploit developments in 3D printing, mobile phone based scanning technology and web based design applications to improve the incomes and livelihoods of people in developing countries.

Are your gears turning yet? Techfortrade offers a couple ideas:

…entries could involve using 3D printed models and parts to improve agriculture practices, water supply or filtration processes, or energy supplies for rural or impoverished areas. An example suggested by techfortrade is creating parts on a 3D printer for broken waterpumps that can then be easily fixed by locals, rather than having to source parts and repairs from elsewhere. The technology could also be used generate income by manufacturing entirely new products from re-cycled plastic.

We’ve seen some great stuff at MakerBot along these lines. For example, this water purification system or the Freedom system that connects rural farmers with 3D printers. But we know there are many more seeds of ingenious devices waiting to be released into the world.

The participating organizations are eager to help participants brainstorm their ideas with each other and with industry experts. MakerBot will be hosting a workshop at our headquarters in New York City, and other events will take place in London, Nairobi, and Johannesburg. We’ll have more details on the New York workshop closer to the day, but here’s the full schedule.

New York, MakerBot Hedquarters – 12th May 2012
Johannesburg, Hackerspace – 22nd May 2012
London, Westminster Hub – 17th May 2012
Nairobi, Nairobi University FabLab– 25th May 2012

Click here for full information on the 3D4D Challenge.


  1. According to the World Water Council []
Tagged with , , , , , , , 2 comments

Virginia School Library Teaches Kids MakerBotting

“I think it’s really cool how you can actually hold something that you printed out in your hand other than it just being a piece of paper.”

Such a simple thing, but it really is a thrill you don’t understand until you’ve skeined and printed. Am I right?

Thanks for this fun window into your MakerBotting, Collegiate School!

Tagged with , , , , , Leave a comment