Archive for September 12th, 2011

Maybe we already have bionic eyes?

Protoceratops at the ROM by clothbot

Protoceratops at the ROM by clothbot

As I was typing up the last post I recalled Clothbot’s recent submission to Thingiverse.  While at the Royal Ontario Museum he took about 15 photos of a protoceratops fossilized skeleton on display.  Once home he passed the photos through and ended up with a 3D model of the dinosaur.  Clothbot pointed out to me that proper lighting is key – only 12 of the 15 photos were acceptable.  Avoiding too many shadows or a washed out background is important to getting a final model that won’t have holes in it.

So, it would seem anyone with a camera phone and an internet connection might just be carrying around their own bionic eyes.  What I’m dying to see is a model uploaded to Thingiverse that was created by mounting a camera on a quadrocopter, taking a photo or video, and turning a large landmark into a 3D model.

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What would you do with a bionic eye?


What would you do with a bionic eye?

What would you do with a bionic eye?

Tony Buser posted his own take on the “MakerBot Goggles” phenomena where you see everything as DIY 3D printable:

I think I’ve discovered a corollary to MakerBot Goggles – Spinscan Goggles. Now everything I see I wonder if I can scan and MakerBot a copy.

Making a rote copy and merely duplicating an existing object can definitely be useful.  What I find more interesting is being able to scan a physical object in the world around you and manipulate the 3D image to be remixed into something even more useful.

So, if you were wearing your own Spinscan Goggles, what would you want to scan and duplicate?  What would you want to scan and mashup or remix?

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Functional Pin Tumbler Padlock Model by Thing-O-Fun

Functional Pin Tumbler Padlock Model by Thing-O-Fun

Functional Pin Tumbler Padlock Model by Thing-O-Fun

Sometimes awesome things just beget awesome things.  Thing-O-Fun’s first contribution to Thingiverse, the Functional Pin Tumbler Lock Model started off as a way of just understanding more about the design constraints of DIY 3D printing.  Over the weekend he uploaded a model for an entire working pint tumbler padlock.  As with the tumbler lock, the only non-printed parts are the springs from ball point click pens.

While a plastic lock may not be the most secure in the world, it would still have its uses.  It’s best usage is probably for learning more about the inner-workings of the lock itself.  As any MakerBot owner will tell you, putting something together yourself is the best way to learn.  Even a plastic lock would be sufficiently strong for household uses like keeping kids out of a cabinet.  A plastic lock that has been finished and painted could even work as a decent theft deterrent.

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Error - could not find Thing 11240.
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HIRING: Extrusioneer – Extrusion Engineer

Job Description
We are looking for someone with a bright mind and passion for 3D printing. Your primary role will be to research, test, and design new extruders for our 3D printers. There are a whole range of cool ideas that have yet to be tried and we want you to bring them to reality. You will be responsible for making them smaller, faster, cheaper, simpler, and more reliable.

Job Responsibilities

  • Design, prototype, and test experimental plastic extruders.
  • Run thermal, mechanical, and flow simulations to speed up development process.
  • Experiment with new plastics to optimize flowrates, reduce oozing, and increase quality.
  • Work with our R&D department to integrate results into next generation machines.


Job Requirements

  • BS or MA in Engineering – Mechanical or Materials preferred.
  • Taste for simplicity and elegance in technical design.
  • Fluent in both written and spoken English.
  • Willing and able to relocate to NYC.
  • Familiar with ProE and/or Solidworks.
  • Experience with thermal and mechanical simulation software.


Bonus Points

  • Deep and abiding love of robots and/or digital fabrication.
  • Previous experience designing/operating/repairing plastic extrusion machines.
  • Previous experience designing consumer goods.
  • Knowledge of common manufacturing techniques.
  • Current owner of a MakerBot 3D printer.
  • Active participant in the open hardware community.


To apply, please send your resume and a brief bio to

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MakerBot TV Season 1 Episode 2!

I’m sure you’ve all been at the edge of your seats eagerly awaiting the arrival of MakerBot TV’s second episode!
Well wait no more – S01E02 is here!!! And it is, dare I say, even more awesome than the first one!

In this episode we’ll get you hyped-up for Maker Faire, have some behind-the-scenes fun with turtle-building Skimbal, learn about bot calibration with Elliot and get the low down on a brand new and totally rad MakerBot challenge with Bre.

Special Thanks to:
Tony Buser for the use of Bobble Head Bob, 2ROBOTGUY for his alphabet design.
And all these great folks for the use of their music: Doctor Popular, Vim, µB and Trash80.


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Starfish by sconine

Look at that texture!

There seems to be a trend in MakerBot land…child sees object, child wants different object, child asks parent for object, parent designs and prints object, parent uploads design to Thingiverse, much rejoicing.

Some young ones approached their father, sconine, after seeing the ever popular octopus, and wanted a starfish. Taking the challenge, sconin enlisted SketchUp to produce these beautiful (great color choices!) sea stars. Using the properties of MakerBot printing, the texture on these fish is most convincing. Not content with completely flat starfish, sconine tried heating up the starfish while resting on some rocks, and the results are pretty remarkable. Have a look yourself and try to convince yourself they wouldn’t look real just a few feet away. Just try.

So now you can find starfish on the sea floor at almost four miles down, or just across your desk on your MakerBot.

Error - could not find Thing 11349.

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