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#MBME | More Signal, Less Noise

Ever wondered what audio sounds like on an iPhone 4 video taken from a dirt bike driving 100 miles an hour? The answer: not so great. It sounds less like thrilling dirt bike ride and more like a bunch of wind. So Mark Shorey set out to make a better dead cat. No, not an actual dead cat: that’s film production jargon for wind screens that use synthetic fur to cut out ambient noise. Shorey’s company DeadCatDot was told the unique shapes of their products were too hard to make with traditional methods, so 3D printing was the answer they needed. The company prototyped two types of dead cats using their MakerBot Replicator 2, along with several devices for keeping videos stable, and saved “tens of thousands of dollars” along the way, according to Shorey. They’re also purchasing a second Replicator 2 for production overseas. You can hear the impressive results on the DeadCatDot site.

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Want to share your own MakerBot Replicator 2 story for a chance to win $250? Find out how here.

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What’s New With The MakerBot Digitizer: Update 1

We’re kicking off a series of updates regarding the MakerBot Digitizer, the Desktop 3D Scanner we launched as a prototype at SXSW. Why weekly updates? Because we want you in on the action.

Our central goal with the Digitizer is to make an affordable 3D scanner that works perfectly with our Desktop 3D Printers. We don’t want scans that you have to clean up and cut flat surfaces into. Off the scanner, into the printer. We know that’s what you want, so that’s what we’re working toward.

Here we go! The first couple of models we have to share are both pretty famous at this point: our Garden Gnome and the Stanford Bunny.

We’re getting some pretty good detail on the scans. The gnome’s beard and suspenders show this off nicely. Again, this is the scan directly from the MakerBot Digitizer, without any repairs to the outer surface.

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And here’s the Stanford Bunny.

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This is an exciting scan. The bunny’s ears were captured perfectly, with no extra material between them. We look for good results like this that show deep crevices on an object.

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Stay tuned for more updates on the MakerBot Digitizer. We also have an email list that you can sign up for at makerbot.com/digitizer. When you’re there, be sure to tell us what you’d scan, and keep your feedback coming in the comments.

You can see the full “Digitized!” collection here.

 

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Keep Corners Flat With MakerWare’s Helper Disks

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Here’s a great tip for every MakerBot user: use MakerWare’s Helper Disks to keep the corners of your model from curling up. 

Thingiverse users ctheroux and whpthomas have been great advocates for using Helper Disks, which act like feet on the corners of your model to help keep everything pinned down. When the MakerBot Slicing Engine sees the disks, it treats them as part of the model. Once the print is finished, the disks can be peeled or cut away pretty easily.

Below is a quick step-by-step for using these little lifesavers. Try Helper Disks out and share your experience with us in the comments below or on twitter: @makerbot.

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Great Things From The Thingiverse Hackathon

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On April 6-7, MakerBot Headquarters played host to a few dozen members of the MakerBot and Thingiverse communities for the first ever Thingiverse Hackathon!

If you’ve never heard of a hackathon, check out this Wikipedia explanation.

This was a fun couple of days with several great projects going on. Participants used the Thingiverse API to exploit Thingiverse data for other cool purposes, and we wanted to let you know the winners. There was a slight delay in sharing as the new Apps are still mostly in progress. But let’s share the good news anyway.

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Announcing Customized Photo Panes On Thingiverse!

A lithopane is an etched artwork that shows grayscale relief when you shine a light behind it.

Now you can make your own, totally customized, on Thingiverse!

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We think this is one of the coolest new tools in a while. It also couldn’t be easier to use.

  1. Find the Customizable Lithopane generator, and open it in MakerBot Customizer.
  2. Upload the photo of your choice, preferably square, and let the tool do the work.
  3. 3D Print it on your MakerBot in about an hour.

A few of our engineers did the math: making your own custom lithopane on a MakerBot is roughly a million times cooler than everything else. It’s like the 3D-printed version of Instagram. Giving a custom lithopane to someone as a gift may be the coolest thing you do in 2013. Remember, Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s a lithopane using a picture of Thingiverse hero tbuser.

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If you’re keeping score, the Lithopane tool is the first MakerBot Customizer design to make use of an exciting new input capability: photo surface height mapping. You input a photo and the Customizer lithopane tool detects the height variations to generate a printable pane.

Lithopanes have been around for a long time, and they’ve been on Thingiverse for a while, too! We were inspired by Thingiverse users like cymon and pp3dpNL to take this type of object and make it easy and fun to use for everyone. Enjoy!

 

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Make Your Own OUYA Game Console Case!

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In San Francisco this week, the OUYA game console is having its official launch party. The record blasting Kickstarter project will begin shipping to tens of thousands of backers, but you can already get your hands on the console! Kinda. Read on.

OUYA started with the mission of bringing the indie gaming revolution to the TV, which they say usually leaves independent developers out. It’s a total game changer, and that pun is completely intended. The goal of making console game development open to everyone is one we love, and we’re glad to have our own slice of the project.

In the spirit of keeping things open, OUYA handed over the files for the console box itself, allowing the MakerBot Design Team to turn them into 3D-printable designs. Now anyone who buys an OUYA will be able to download the enclosure from MakerBot Thingiverse, customize, and make it in the color of filament they prefer. We like the red one.

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Right now on Thingiverse, you can find the .stl files for the enclosure, and we’ll share the working files soon. The components are optimized specifically for the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, and we’ve added print instructions with recommended settings. However, you’re free to experiment with settings.

Check out more about OUYA on their website. If you’re not excited already, maybe this will help: they have Minecraft!

UPDATE! The working file (.3dm) is now available for download, too.

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How We Test MakerBot Print Quality: MakerWare

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MakerBot MakerWare, our 3D printing software package, is an integral part of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. Powerful software helps us take the most advantage of our powerful desktop 3D printing and scanning products, as well as developments in our ABS and PLA filament. In other words, MakerWare is a huge factor in print quality.

Our goal is to constantly improve print quality, so how do we make sure that we are constantly improving MakerWare? Above is a picture of one print from our multi-stage testing process. We thought you’d like to know more about how we measure our progress and keep moving forward.

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Join The MakerBot Team!

After a very successful Job Fair last week, we’re doin’ it again! We still have over 50 open positions that we’re considering candidates for. You can see the whole list at makerbot.com/careers, or at the bottom of this post.

Just like last time, this event is open to candidates who submit a resume and cover letter on our special Job Fair page. In your cover letter, tell us which position you’re interested in, and if everything’s a fit, we’ll invite you for a brief conversation with one or more of our managers.

It’s a really exciting time to join our team. If you’ve got skills to help us charge into the future, we need you onboard.

WHERE: One MetroTech Center, 21st Floor

WHEN: Friday, April 12; 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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Lead Times Dropped: Get Your MakerBot Replicator 2 In Four Weeks!

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Here’s some great weekend news for all of you sitting on the fence:

Order your MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer or today, and you’ll have it in 4 (yes, four) weeks.

We’ve been working really hard to deliver carefully, professionally assembled 3D printers quickly to meet the incredible demand. In the past couple of months, we’ve managed to bring down our lead time from 8 weeks to 4.

Buy one today, and then 4 weeks plus 2 hours from now show us what you made! Tweet us @makerbot with #firstprint.

 

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Is It Just Us Or Is The Replicator 2 A 3D Mirror?

A 3D printer MakerBot Replicator 2 produces a sculpture at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover

Hey, we recognize that face!

This Wall Street Journal slide show has a cover photo of a really nice bust being printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2. It’s so good that when we put it on our Facebook page, the MakerBot Sales guys immediately noticed it’s the head of none other than our good friend Alexander Hafner, getting some attention at the CeBIT conference in Germany. The company Hafner’s Büro is a rockstar distributor for MakerBot.

Lookin’ good, Axel!

 

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Come To The First Ever Thingiverse Hackathon!

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In the most exciting news of the entire week, we are announcing the first ever, and the first annual, MakerBot Thingiverse Hackathon.

Please join us for this two-day event if you are a developer with ideas to share on how we can explode the incredible potential of our website Thingiverse. Come alone, or come as a team. There will be prizes, but the biggest prize is the possibility of building a Thingiverse App that thousands and thousands of people will use.

In January we launched the MakerBot Customizer. It’s an App that allows Thingiverse users to upload not just 3D designs, but 3D designs that can be customized by other users. So any Thingiverse user can build unique things without any kind of 3D design skills. The Customizer has become incredibly popular and there are already hundreds of customizable designs.

Customizer is awesome, and your App should be the next groundbreaking use of the Thingiverse API.

Click here for more details about the event and to get signed up. This is going to be AWESOME.

 

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Download Special Adafruit Kit Enclosures From Thingiverse

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Well that didn’t take long.

A few days ago we and our good friends over at Adafruit announced a limited Adafruit edition of the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer available for sale. The whole batch sold out in 33 hours. Sweet!

As others have pointed out, this makes total sense. Adafruit customers are total DIY heroes who would naturally want to make their own customized enclosures and components.  You know what’s perfect for doing that? A MakerBot. Boom.

Right now you can pick up three of Adafruit’s most popular kits at the MakerBot Store in NYC: TimeSquare, RasPi, and MintyBoost. To sweeten the deal, we’ve launched our own special designs for the enclosures for these three kits, seen in the photo above, on our own Thingiverse page.

Buy these kits! Download these enclosures! Log an “I Made One” on Thingiverse!

 

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MakerWare Bug Fixes In Version 2.0.1

MakerWare 2.0.1 is now available with some important fixes to the recent release of MakerWare 2.0. Our goal is for everyone to understand these updates we make and how we make them, and what we’re working on next.

Here’s what’s new:

●  Several people had some problems with installation, particularly on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Those problems have been fixed.

●  Some Windows XP users were also having issues getting MakerWare to detect their MakerBot. The Windows drivers have been adjusted in this release to fix that.

●  MakerWare 2.0 had some limitations in creating custom profiles, especially for MakerBot Replicator 2X users and Replicator users generating dual extrusion models. The 2.0.1 release addresses that, and custom profiles are now fully functional for everyone. Mac OS X users are now able to open the Skeinforge custom profile editor.

See the full release notes after the jump.

We recognize there are lots of unique situations out there, as people work with different computers and operating systems. We’re constantly trying to expand a great MakerWare experience to everyone, so keep your great feedback coming.

As we keep improving, a lot of MakerWare users have asked how we test for print quality. Look for a follow-up post soon with some good detail on this process. It’s pretty involved!

Remember that our Support Team is happy to help you with any technical support issues. Email support@makerbot.com to open a ticket. If you have general feedback, feature requests, or just want to say hi, shoot an email to thoughts@makerbot.com. We’ve really been enjoying what you guys have shared with us so far, and all your smart ideas get shared around with our various teams.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a known issue with MakerWare 2.0.1 that will cause a crash for Windows users with AMD graphics cards. We are aware of the issue and will be releasing a fix as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have an AMD system or have seen this issue, you can download MakerWare 2.0.0 here.

UPDATE: We have released an update to MakerWare to address the specific issue noted above. MakerWare 2.0.2 is now available, and it is identical to version 2.0.1, except for a small change to the MakerWare user interface. We believe this change will fix the problem for all users; however, anyone experiencing issues with MakerWare should not hesitate to contact MakerBot Support by emailing support@makerbot.com.

 

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MakerBot Replicator 2, Now With More Adafruit!

 

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The MakerBot and Adafruit communities are now even more intertwined! Customers at the MakerBot Store in Manhattan can pick up three of Adafruit’s top selling DIY kits, the Timesquare DIY Watch Kit, the MintyBoost Kit, and the ever popular Raspberry Pi. For enclosures, and for the watch band and bezel, customers will get files that can then be 3D printed on a MakerBot, which our very own designers cooked up just for this special promotion. They are awesome, and they can be seen in the image above (left to right: Timesquare Time Square, Mintyboost case, Raspberry Pi case, Timesquare Time Square again).

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Over at Adafruit’s website, the premier destination for DIY kits and electronics, customers can buy a limited Adafruit edition MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer! It comes with the three kits mentioned above, as well as a sweet custom build plate (seen below).

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Adafruit and their customers have been a huge part of the MakerBot world for a long time now. It’s a dream come true for us to be able to work with this awesome NYC company in this way. Get in on this!

Full details after the jump.

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Big MakerBot Hiring Event This Week

We’ve had an explosive 12 months here at MakerBot, and it’s time again to expand. If you want to be part of our team, take a look at the openings on our Careers page. We’re hiring for more than 5o positions in at least 35 different roles, from manufacturing, to retail, to senior engineering.

2013 will be a huge year for MakerBot, and we need the best talent we can find to join this motivated and accomplished team. On Friday, March 15, we’ll hold a hiring event here at our Brooklyn headquarters. In order to participate, submit your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile here. If everything’s a good fit, we’ll invite you to come join us on Friday for a “speed-dating” style interview with several different managers. The event will last from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and you’ll be scheduled for a 15-minute interview slot.

Come be a part of what we’re doing! Click below to see all the open positions, but don’t be afraid to submit your information if you don’t see an exact fit.

Good luck!

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MakerBot Customizer Challenge Winners!

The results are in! We called a close on Friday to the MakerBot Customizer Challenge, and before you read down to see the winners, you have to know one thing: this Challenge was outstanding.

Everyone who participated rocked our socks off, including those of you who were already doing great stuff with parametric design and adapted your files to work with Customizer. The participation was also huge. There were hundreds of entries spread out among the three categories (Useful, Artistic, and Wearable), and the quality of the designs made judging much harder than we expected.

So, huge kudos to the winners, who have each won a new MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, and all the runners-up, who are fast becoming Thingiverse celebrities. Results after the jump!

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MakerBot And Autodesk Set Out To Make Great Things Together

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Exciting day in the MakerBot world! In his opening remarks at SXSW today, our CEO Bre Pettis announced that we’re in the beginning stages of a partnership with Autodesk, the leaders in 3D design software.

Together, we think we have a pretty powerful array of technologies across the 3D landscape, including the just-announced MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner. Autodesk has lately been developing its 123D suite of apps. You may have noticed we’ve recently become obsessed with 123D Creature.

What this partnership means for both companies is still in the works. Word to the wise: join us at Maker Faire San Mateo this year to get all the details.

For now, stop reading this blog post and go check out 123D! If you don’t have a Thingiverse.com account yet, you are a step behind. Get on board! Get a free account, create some 123D Creatures, and start making them on your MakerBot.

Click to read the whole press release.

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MakerBot Digitizer: Scan To Print In No Time

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In 2009 at SXSW in Austin, the founders of MakerBot presented the prototype of our very first 3D Printer, the Cupcake CNC. Today, four years later, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis took the stage for opening remarks, and did it again!

In perfect MakerBot/SXSW fashion, Bre unveiled an early prototype of the newest addition to our 3D ecosystem, the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner. This is a product we have been eager to develop, because it’s the perfect complement to our Desktop 3D Printers. You can use it to jump start a design using an object in the real world. You can archive your possessions or save your kid’s play-dough sculptures.

What makes the MakerBot Digitizer special is that we designed it with 3D printing in mind. When you digitize an object on its spinning platform, you automatically get a high-quality, water-tight 3D model, in as little as three minutes. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get 3D-printable designs.

Lots of details will become available throughout the year, and in the meantime, please jump over to makerbot.com/digitizer. Sign up to get information and find out when the MakerBot Digitizer will go on sale. In the signup form, Click to read the full press release.

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Bay Lights Project Comes To Life, With MakerBot Support!

 

The Bay Area is all abuzz with the new light installation on the Bay Bridge. It looks amazing.

Did you know that MakerBot played an important part in the Bay Lights project? The lights themselves, high-powered LEDs, are attached to the cables using clips designed and iterated on a MakerBot! In order to get the shape right, the team captured and modeled a section of suspension cable, printed it on a MakerBot, and then made custom clips to suit.

Super user Gian Pablo Villamil has written all about the project here on the MakerBot blog, from the first steps to the testing to the installation. This is super exciting stuff, and we’re thrilled to see it come to life.

 

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Step-By-Step For 123D Creature

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Our designers have gotten to take a closer look at the new 123D Creature app from Autodesk and are churning out some really great stuff.

Essentially what we have now is a tool to sculpt any kind of figure on a screen, export it, and make it on a MakerBot. How you use the app is up to you and your imagination, but we thought we’d offer you guys a step-by-step of the workflow once you have your design. Click below to see all the steps, and please, for the love of monsters, leave comments and tell everyone your own tips.

Before you go through these steps, you’ll want to have MeshMixer and netfabb running on your computer.

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One Week Left In The Customizer Challenge!

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The MakerBot Customizer Challenge has over 200 entries and over 100 participants, and there are still eight full days to go. Whoa. It’s the home stretch with just over a week left, so let’s have an update and make sure everyone gets the chance to enter.

If you’re just hearing about the MakerBot Customizer Challenge for the first time, get some background information here. We’ve seen a ton of great activity for this challenge. It’s great that MakerBot Customizer has given a lot of you who were already being awesome with OpenSCAD a chance to spread your designs a bit. Big shout out to you parametric veterans.

It’s also encouraging people with no experience in this kind of design to jump into the game, and quite a few of you have uploaded your first thing to MakerBot Thingiverse just for this Challenge. Score!

IMPORTANT

●  You have a week left to enter. Enter as many times as you want.

●  There will be a winner in each of three categories: Useful, Wearable, Artistic.

●  We’re announcing the winner during SXSW in Austin, Texas.

●  See all of the entries here!

Questions and Answers after the jump.

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New Dual Extrusion Test Prints

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printers have started shipping, so let’s talk a little bit about what some of you are about to get in the mail. In particular, there’s an SD card that you won’t want to miss and we want you to know that you can expect two boxes in the mail.

The SD card in a new MakerBot always has a set of objects that we love to make. They also serve as great test prints for you while you get started. In the case of the MakerBot Replicator 2X, we’ve added some pretty cool dual extrusion models to the regular list: Pet monster Valentine by Andreas; Traffic Cone by CocoNut; MakerBot Cupcake by MakerBot; MakerBot Pendant by MakerBot.

We made the MakerBot Replicator 2X as an experimental 3D printer, and dual extrusion will not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done because printing in two colors simultaneously on a MakerBot is still experimental. It’s come a long way since we launched the original Replicator, but you’ll still see some artifacts in dual extrusion prints.

Check out the images below and remember that we are continually improving our software and hardware, and the number one thing you can do to ensure you have the best MakerBot experience is to stay up-to-date with new MakerWare and Firmware releases.

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Here you can see what we call a deposit. It happens during the last 1% of a print cycle when it switches colors and when it happens, an extra amount of heated ABS is extruded on the top of your model. You can remove these pretty easily, but doing so may affect the appearance of your print.

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These lines on the side of your object, which we call zippers, will always be vertical. That’s because they occur at the transition point from one layer to the next. Sometimes they are a little rough, and sometimes smooth. Any small nodules can be removed, but again, doing so may affect the appearance of your print.

We’ve worked hard to minimize these artifacts and we’ll keep working on minimizing them. As a purchaser of an experimental printer, you’re on the adventure with us and we can’t wait to see what you’ll make. Please share all your thoughts and feedback (there’s been a ton already!) through our general feedback line, thoughts@makerbot.com. Also, when you share your models on Thingiverse, please use the tag “dualstrusion” so we can see what you’ve been up to!

 

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MakerBot Replicator 2X Now Shipping!

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It’s here! Shipping Day of the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer. It’s sort of a holiday at MakerBot, like watching the baby leave the nest.

For those of you who have ordered this machine, hold onto your hats. Batch 1 is on its way out the door and we want you to be ready. Here are a couple housekeeping notes, and then some steps you’ll want to take to get set up.

First of all, go ahead and download the User Manual now. It certainly couldn’t hurt to read up a bit before your shipment arrives.

Speaking of shipments, make sure you keep an eye out for two boxes. You’ll be receiving your MakerBot Replicator 2X in a big box, and the enclosure lid that fits on top of your new machine separately (see below). Depending on the shipping service, these may arrive at the same time or at different times.

2Boxes

You can go ahead and get started printing without your enclosure lid. It’s probably not the best idea in the world, but it won’t break your MakerBot. Remember, you signed up for experimenting. Go ahead and see what happens when you make things with and without the enclosure lid. Try making things with kapton tape covering your build plate, and then try without. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t. You’re in the driver’s seat now, and everyone benefits from what you learn and share.

Oh, most importantly: talk to us! We built the MakerBot Replicator 2X for the people we knew would really test it out and experiment with the technology. If that’s you, we want you to share your feedback with us. We have a general feedback line, thoughts@makerbot.com, that’s just waiting for your good ideas.

While you wait, you’ll want to…

1. Make room! Maybe your new MakerBot will sit next to your current MakerBot. Maybe you should clear a space…on your coworker’s desk. Whatever works.

2. Make a profile at Thingiverse.com, if you haven’t already. This is where you’re going to find all the inspiration for what to make on your MakerBot.

3. Do some reading about dual extrusion, and check out some of the awesome dual extrusion designs uploaded to Thingiverse. Our very own Annelise has made a Thingiverse Collection to get you started.

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Customize It: Design And Print Your Own Nokia Phone Case!

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These days you can customize your playlist, your online news, your Netflix queue. Why stop at the digital? The mobile device company Nokia says you should be able to customize the physical products you hold in your hand every day, like the shell of your cell phone.

Today we announce our partnership with Nokia that lets anyone with a MakerBot download and make a shell for two of its latest phones, the Lumia 820 and the Lumia 520. When Nokia released these files back in January, we optimized them for printing on a MakerBot Replicator 2. The result is a shell that fits nicely around the phone with fully functional buttons.

But that’s just a start. We’ve combined this design with the power of MakerBot Customizer, an app on our website Thingiverse that turns a certain kind of 3D design into a customizable template. Now you really can make this piece your own. Click here to find the design on Nokia’s awesome Thingiverse page and click “Open in Customizer” to get started. You can change the pattern in a bunch of different ways, and you can add your own text in a few different fonts.

Oh yeah, and you can win one!

mwc nokia giveaway

MakerBot and Nokia are out at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and attendees of the event are getting a look at what it means to have part of a brand new phone made on a MakerBot. Check out twitterer @MichaelxHell above showing off the customized shell of his new Lumia 820. Sharp!

To get yours, follow these guidelines from Nokia:

For a chance to win your very own personalised 3D-printed case, all you have to do is tweet @Nokia_Connects using the hashtag #Lumia820 – something fun, entertaining, witty.

Every day we will pick a few tweets that have used the hashtag and print a personalised Lumia 820 case for them. Runners-up attending MWC will win a custom patterned case by MakerBot.

It is truly awesome that Nokia is coming on board with the 3D printing revolution. The good people there are genuinely excited to see how all of us will enhance their products with our own creativity. Let’s get going!

 

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Replicator 2 Extruder Alternative: Some Spring In Your Step

Assembled

The way that the MakerBot Extruder works out of the box is that there is a plunger that pushes the filament against the drive gear. We’ve shipped quite a few MakerBot Replicator 2’s into the world, and based on our data we can say that most people are having good luck with the existing design. However, there’s a bit of a sweet spot when dialing in the right plunger tension, and it can be tough to calibrate.

There are certain issues that the wrong amount of plunger tension can cause. For example, too much tension can cause a clicking sound when the end of the filament isn’t able to move past the drive gear. Too little tension can cause the filament to stop feeding altogether.

There should be a design that makes the process much easier.

Enter Thingiverse user whpthomas who came up with an improvement that has really seen some traction. It’s a great mod that makes the machine more reliable over the long haul.

Genius. We love this.

Thing #42250 “Replicator 2 Extruder Upgrade” by whpthomas, is one of these very useful designs. It’s based on an extruder mod from Thingiverse superstar emmett, who based his design on one from another star user, whosawhatsis. The basic idea of this series of designs is to use a spring-loaded arm to squeeze the filament between the drive gear and a bearing.

After extensive testing, we’ve decided that this approach is too good to ignore. We’ve modified this design to reuse the spring we already use for the build plate. We also added in a little bit of extra guidance for the filament where it enters the hot end of the extruder. Take a look on our Thingiverse page to see our adaptation of whpthomas’ great design.

We will be selling an upgrade kit that involves all the parts, including the printed part online this spring. We could have waited to tell you until we have enough to start selling them, but we decided that it would be good to tell folks about the mod.

If you have trouble with this upgrade, get in touch with our Support Team. They’re happy to walk you through some diagnostics, or you could download this design from Thingiverse and give it a try. The assembly instructions are there, too, and here’s a video to walk you through it step-by-step.

Remember, we are eager to hear your feedback, drop us a note at thoughts@makerbot.com!

 

UPDATE! The hardware parts for this replacement are available for sale in our online store. Grab them here and build your new extruder!

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GrabCAD Challenge Winners Announced!

Imagine the year 2040. What will we eat or wear? What will Congress argue about? Where will we get our cat pictures?

Most importantly, how will we get around? That’s what we asked the participants in the GrabCAD 3D Printer Challenge to consider in designing the vehicles of the future. The entries sort of blew us away, and we’re thrilled to announce the winners.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, a huge car enthusiast, says judging a vehicle design contest was harder than usual. We were pretty excited to sponsor this challenge with GrabCAD, and are especially excited that the Winner and the Runner-Up will both be MakerBot users now. Think of what they’ll make!

Okay, time to ogle.

1st Place —  Alpha by user Omega from Germany

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This entry from user omega includes a great synopsis of a future just a few decades from now where our technological breakthroughs make space travelers of us all. First, though, we need to get off the ground. The Alpha  pod takes traffic above the roads and into three dimensions. We asked entrants to optimize their models for printing on a MakerBot, and we can confirm the Alpha looks amazing. The prospect of omega owning a MakerBot is very exciting.

 

2nd Place — 2040 Direct Drive Vehicle by user Gabriel Ortin located in Canada

2040_directdrivevehicle_gabrielotrinnaturalcarSIZEDGabriel Ortin presented one of the most detailed car models we’ve ever seen (left), and it looks incredible when printed on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer (right). You’re asking yourself right now whether this was printed in one piece. Nope! This does require assembly, but as you can see, the effort is very worth it. Gabriel calls the 2040 Direct Drive Vehicle the “rugged automobile concept for the year 2040 is designed for individuals that can’t live without a fundamental driving experience.”

 

3rd Place — Personal Hot Rod by user Matthew Gueller

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How cool is this single-person hot rod from GrabCAD user matthew gueller? It’s beautiful and classic, but the minimalist body suggests there will be some pretty interesting changes to car engines in 2040. Great work, Matthew!

 

4th Place — Firanse R3 by user Luis Cordoba from Mexico

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GrabCAD user Luis Cordoba envisions a car that’s totally customizable, since you could simply print out the components you want. And not to worry: ” if something is broken it can simply be reduced to its original material and reprinted again.” We like the sound of that. Kudos, Luis!

 

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123D Creature From Autodesk Makes Monsters Real

Check this out. The team at Autodesk, creators of the suite of 123D programs, just added a new tool to the arsenal: 123D Creature. And they’ve made a Thingiverse account!

We all know the higher-end 3D modeling programs from Autodesk like Maya and AutoCAD. They’re targeted to people with a bunch of experience or professional need for 3D design. The 123D programs like 123D Catch and 123D Sculpt let users with far less experience create really sweet 3D models. They’ve taken this mission one step further with 123D Creature.

Watch this! Even if you’re at work. Your boss will love it.

 

 

Yes! You saw that correctly. 123D Creature is an iPad app (available on the App Store for a sweet introductory price) that basically lets you sculpt any kind of creature you can think of.

Oh snap, is that a MakerBot Replicator 2 featured in the video? Yep! Just export the 3D design file from the app, run it through MakerWare, and bam! You’ve got yourself a custom figure ready to for printing on your MakerBot. This has to be one of the easiest ways ever to do this kind of organic modeling. It’s like hand-sculpting clay figures, but the clay is trapped inside an iPad screen. (Yes, I actually get paid to make analogies like that.)

We’re gawking at all the examples that have already gone up. Dan from the 123D Creature team writes on Thingiverse that all of these models are available in their in-app Creature community, so you can open them up and modify them.

Please for the love of your childhood dreams, and especially your nightmares, go and create some awesome new Creatures and upload them to Thingiverse. Let’s just say that there’s a pretty decent chance you’ll get featured if you do! Because we love this thing. Really, we do.

 

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MakerBot Your Valentine’s Day

MakerBot Valentines Gumball Collection

You could make your Valentines this year. Or! You could MakerBot your Valentines this year. What’s it gonna be?

We’ve just thrown up some designs from our Design Team that are quick and easy for you to make on your MakerBot. Go get ‘em!

Make one of our Cupid figurines, either the Cupie doll or the MakerBot Man version, and drop it off somewhere for your Valentine. The HeartBot is also a great option.

Want to go traditional? Write your admiree a note, but put it inside a totally cool MakerBot-made Love Note Box. There are three to choose from.

Want to get weird? Give them something that truly represents your heart. Your 8-bit human heart, that is.

There’s always the old standby, flowers. Choose from daisies, roses, and wild flowers, then scale and color as you wish. You can’t go wrong, and you better believe no one else is going to give them flowers made on a MakerBot.

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Hey New Yorkers! We’ve done the work for you! If you swing by the MakerBot Store in Manhattan, you can pick these up from our extremely popular Gumball Machine. All of these designs, plus some awesome two-color Animal Keychains (in bunny, cat, and, yes, panda forms), are available for a limited time.

 

What’s that? You don’t know about the MakerBot Store? Let’s fix that! There are tons of amazing things for sale and a growing slate of educational events going on.

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Nokia 3D Printing Design Challenge!

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Something rad happened recently on Thingiverse when the mobile device company Nokia uploaded a design for the shell of a Nokia Lumia 820 that can be downloaded and 3D printed. Killer!

We saw this at MakerBot and took the liberty to adapt the design to work perfectly on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. The result is impressive and a perfect fit for this phone.

Now Nokia is holding a 3D printing challenge to let designers from anywhere join in the action. Here’s what they say about the challenge.

Express to impress

There are a couple of things you need to take into account to impress the judges. Firstly, you should consider how to make an aesthetic and artistic design, which most appeals to smartphone users. Secondly, you should try and consider the practical aspects as well. For example, perhaps you might want to create a shell that allows for a bigger battery or one with a heavy-duty speaker. Go crazy and let wishful thinking and imagination combine.

The fantastic five

Your idea will be judged on very clear criteria, broken down into five categories, each of which will have equal representation in the final decision.

  • Clear articulation of designs in written language and visuals where possible
  • Real life possibility of being made into a mobile phone cover
  • Aesthetic design and creativity
  • Likelihood that mobile consumers will take interest in your design
  • Community support for your idea

We’re thrilled that our own design master Matt Kroner will be involved in the judging! Go to Nokia’s announcement post to get all the details. Good luck!

 

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New MakerWare Version Available For Download

Stop what you’re doing! MakerBot MakerWare 1.1.2 is now available for download, and it involves a couple good fixes you may find interesting.

As always, head over to the MakerWare page for the latest downloads. Here’s what’s included in this release:

●  It is now possible to save directly to an SD card on Macs.
●  There is a gcode verifier that checks for errors in gcode when printing over USB or when printing to file.
●  There are now bot-specific messages during firmware uploading, so MakerBot Replicator 2 users will no longer be told about a reset button.
●  When connecting to a MakerBot with version 5.X firmware, there’s now a message recommending that users upgrade to a newer firmware version.
●  The newest firmware is now the default when uploading firmware.
●  Some Windows users running anti-spyware applications received an error message due to an incorrect localhost address. This has been fixed.

You can view troubleshooting information for MakerWare over on our Support pages. If you still need some technical support with your MakerBot or with using MakerWare, contact support@makerbot.com.

If you would like to share your ideas or feature requests with us, drop us a line at thoughts@makerbot.com.

 

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