Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making a MakerBot

The turnaround on getting a print done can be lengthy and expensive and I felt that having a way to test things at home would be great.  I used this as an excuse to buy a MakerBot. The MakerBot is a 3D printer aimed at the hobby enthusiast. Typically you buy it as a kit and put it together yourself.  It prints using ABS plastic filament that is forced through a heated nozzle and extruded in thin layers.

My wife, Kate, helped with soldering and construction. We almost got divorced the first day but the second day went really smoothly.  You have to fiddle with the MakerBot a fair amount to get prints to come out nice, but it's a lot of fun.

I had multiple failed attempts including this one:

 Funny enough, I don't have a picture of the one that turned out great.

In the end, the MakerBot didn't work for my Thesis. My parts are too complicated and it took too much fiddling. BUT it is an awesome machine, we're glad to have it, I learned a lot about the 3D printing process and we have printed many other fun things, such as Christmas ornaments.