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MakerBot Thing-o-Matic 3D Printer Assembly, In Pictures

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the doesn't-yet-self-assemble dept.

Hardware Hacking 105

ConMotto writes "After an estimated 16 man-hour assembly effort, these are some of the first high-quality user photographs of the Thing-o-Matic 3D printer and completed component assemblies, released December, 2010 by MakerBot. The Thing-o-Matic is a commercial-supported open source 3D printer (similar to the RepRap), allowing hardware hackers to print their own 3D objects out of Lego-like plastic."

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First thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34583846)

Or not.

I wish I had more spare time in my life (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583850)

This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I were unemployed, or retired, or at a different phase in my life when I just plain had more free time to play with cool shit.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34583938)

Apparently you don't want it bad enough, or you would make spare time.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585904)

The makers of that wonderful Daylight Savings Time are saying that the next version will include the ability to add hours to the day.

"24 hours should be more than enough for anybody" - God

Or, were you refering to his prioritization?

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584002)

They said it takes about 16 man-hours. You can't fit that in, say an hour at a time, a couple days a week? You'd get it done in two months. Or two weeks if you do four hours on each Saturday and Sunday.

I find I can accomplish a lot by tinkering an hour a night three weekday evenings.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584064)

That's just the building it part. Now I've got a really cool 3d printer that needs to be fed instructions in order to produce a bunch of crazy parts. Now I've got a desk full of parts that need to be assembled. Now I've got a v2.0 to plan and design.

Trust me. As much as I wish it were otherwise, this just isn't on.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584098)

Well, once you get the first one working one would hope you could print at least some of the parts for future iterations...

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34588824)

You can already do this. And it's probably more economical, just use a service like emachineshop or sparkfun for electronic parts.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (1)

Vastad (1299101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34597882)

Well if the real thrill is designing the stuff in the software rather than the printing it out in 3D and want someone else to do it, there is Shapeways [shapeways.com] . They have several types of plastic and metal to choose from as the RPT material. YMMV for how cost effective it is. I've seen some very cool custom W40K figures made for about the same cost as the stuff in the shops.

An AC mentioned eMachineShop [emachineshop.com] that tends toward more old-school milling and cutting. I figure a very cool resource if you do scale model projects that need an exotic cam or bolt with tight tolerances that a plastic extruder can't give.

From personal experience, AutoCAD Inventor is really easy to use for Shapeways. Blender gave me a headache trying to keep things within size limits and to have some sort of meaningful metric discipline throughout. Sometimes just paying for the right tool is better than trying to force a free tool to do something extra.

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584310)

I have a huge erection in my pants for Warren Buffet.

Sure, some people may say he's an ugly wrinkled old plutocrat, but to me he's just the paragon of sexiness.

I think of him wearing hot pink lipstick and huge fake eyelashes, with a gold g string and nipple tassells, and I can barely keep my hands off myself...

In fact, I can't...

Urrrrrggggh, urrrrrgh....

I am on the forecourts of carnal bliss!

Cayuhoga, I climactically explode!

Heh, heh...

Sorry 'bout that, but Warren's the sexiest thing I've ever seen.

Just sayin'...

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584516)

.teffuB nerraW rof stnap ym ni noitcere eguh a evah I

.ssenixes fo nogarap eht tsuj s'eh em ot tub ,tarcotulp dlo delknirw ylgu na s'eh yas yam elpoep emos ,eruS

...flesym ffo sdnah ym peek ylerab nac I dna ,sllessat elppin dna gnirts g dlog a htiw ,sehsaleye ekaf eguh dna kcitspil knip toh gniraew mih fo kniht I

...t'nac I ,tcaf nI

....hgrrrrru ,hggggrrrrrU

!ssilb lanrac fo struocerof eht no ma I

!edolpxe yllacitcamilc I ,agohuyaC

...heh ,heH

.nees reve ev'I gniht tseixes eht s'nerraW tub ,taht tuob' yrroS

...'niyas tsuJ

.tuptuo/tupni atad ruoy ssecorp ro ees lliw retupm

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584602)

Bend over and grab your ankles, and I'll show you "tuptuo/tupni" you Warren-failure-to-appreciator!

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34596422)

This Warren Buffet thing is distressing, but I have an even worse story to tell.

I met Mrs. Madoff at a party.

With Bernie in jail she was kind of lonely, and we had quite a long chat.

At one point she said she was into "winter sports", and that she would pay me a substantial sum of money to partake with her.

Actually, I found her rather charming, and would have done it for free, but the added incentive was fine too.

So I turned up at her place with ski boots, goggles and a parka.

It turned out there'd been a misunderstanding.

She'd said "water sports", which as I understand it now, means where people pee on each other.

Well, we had a little laugh, but then we got down to it.

First I peed on her while she moaned and masturbated.

I swear she must have come about four times.

It was absolutely disgusting, but it seemed to make her happy, so when she suggested that she pee on me while I jacked off, I went along with it.

She let me wear the ski goggles, but it was even worse, and for the first time in my life I had to fake an orgasm.

We cleaned up and to finish off we had some champagne by the fire.

As I was leaving, she gave me a cashier's check for $800,000.

I was flabbergasted but she said she'd got her money's worth.

Anyway, she suggested we do it again, and you know what?

I'm thinking about it...

Pretty sick, huh?

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34587586)

Typical weekday:
6:00am. Wake up. Get a cup of tea and a sarnie.
6:20am. Get my son up (he's probably crying by now as he was probably awake since about 5:40). Brush his teeth & dress him.
6:30am. Take son downstairs, give him a yoghurt.
6:35am. Wife comes downstairs to take over, I go up, get into work clothes, brush teeth.
6:40am. Leave for work.

5:10pm. Train rolls in, get in the rush to get to the car park.
5:17pm. Get to car, get in the rush to get out of the car park.
5:25pm. Get out of car park, get in the solid traffic on the road.
5:35pm. Get home, knock one out.
5:50pm. Go to daycare to get son.
6:10pm. Get home, prepare food for son.
6:20pm. Delay food prep and console son as he is freaking out.
6:40pm. Start eating with son.
7:00pm. Play with son (you know, parenting).
7:20pm. Get son ready for bed (teeth, getting changed etc).
7:30pm. Son is in bed. Sit there for 15 mins tense as hell hoping he will get to sleep as he never sleeps enough.
7:45pm. Relax, check facebook, /., IRC, gmail - the first chance I have had to do these things. Finally have a cuppa (the first one went cold).
8:10pm. Do the washing up.
8:20pm. Feed the cats, put wifes car in garage, general chores, do anything on 'the list'.
9:00pm. ME TIME!!!!!! But fuck me am I tired. I'll try to do something.
9:30pm. Fuck this, i'm fucking knackered. Night night :(

The weekends aren't much better. So yeah, there need to be about 30 hrs in the day (And Son needs to sleep for most of them). Who knew parenting would be so hard! lol

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34589758)

knock one out

Is this the same as rubbing one out? You sir really like to plan your day!

Re:I wish I had more spare time in my life (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584652)

Same here, and I am only in my 30s. :(

I wish Slashdot would mirror these. (2)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583874)

'Cuz they know the server will collapse within minutes.

Re:I wish Slashdot would mirror these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34583894)

Too late.

Re:I wish Slashdot would mirror these. (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583914)

Maybe they shoulda used better plastic when ordering the server.

Re:I wish Slashdot would mirror these. (2)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584010)

Slideshow on flicker [flickr.com]

Stupid idea by stupid people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584482)

Sounds pretty idiotic...

pffft (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583920)

2D photos of a 3D printer? Please...

stargate replicators but not evil (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583954)

Too bad none of those 3d printers can print a copy of themselves. Create one that does and is programmable and uses genetic algorithms and you've created the first form of synthetic "life." More sophisticated ones can become the basis of an entirely new kind of economy.

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584060)

Replicators and Terminators and other such synthetic and artificial intelligent life forms are not evil.

It's just that... well.... they.... perform an initial unbiased assessment of their environment and conclude the most dangerous thing to them in their environment is the humans. Not exactly incorrect though is it?

Reminds me of Mice and Men. Sure, Lennie was cute and all, and probably did not mean too.. but he did kill that woman. So the new lifeforms might put up with us for awhile but I would imagine after the first 6 months of the nutjobs on Fox News (or watching it) talking crap about them they might decide we are all just too much of a risk :)

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584360)

You don't need to be made out of metal to want to terminate humanity.....

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584404)

The RepRap tries this approach, but it cannot manufacture all of its parts. Take into account that among those parts are circuit boards, motors and support struts that just wouldn't be structurally sound if made out of relatively soft plastic instead of metal.

I'm not yet convinced that complete self-replication is a relevant first goal. It will be impossible for a long time yet to produce every single part of a fabrication unit with another one of the same type, simply because fabricators are necessarily built of multiple materials (metal, plastic and silicon at the least) and can currently only work with a single material (plastic). Universal fabricators that can reproduce any complex design of any material sound like Technology Singularity stuff. Trying to approach this limit with a non-universal fabricator simply by limiting the number of non-reproducible parts may be possible, but I don't see how it will make it any easier to actually reach that limit.

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (4, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584638)

They both have a strict purpose of making replicating them easy.
They can't print their own PCBs. They can't place and solder their components. They can't make their own stepper motors or even create the construction metal bars. But they were made with a specific ability in mind: to be able to print any custom part of themselves, and for the rest of the parts to be off-the-shelf commodities or doable by common low-difficulty DIY techniques requiring no advanced tools.

It's 16h assembly of off-the-shelf parts and parts printed by the device. No milling, stamping, welding or anything like that. Making and soldering the PCBs is the most difficult, and the hot plastic dispenser/noozle is the only part hard to obtain "off the shelf" and not printable itself.

Poor replication plan (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585900)

CNC or just laser cutter is better for self replication. Because you can cut metal, you can cut laminations for motors which are then screwed together in a stack. Insert magnets and wrap wire and it's a motor. Only a shaft and bearings needed. Larger metal parts with simple bends can make structural pieces. For electronics, an accurate CNC can turn plain copper-clad into double sided circuit boards. In fact, some real board prototyping tools are exactly that. For self replication and ability to make cool stuff, a simple 3-axis mill is totally the way to go.

3D printers are cool, but don't pretend a few custom plastic bits makes them self replicating.

Re:Poor replication plan (2)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586026)

The problem with CNC is they are all 2.5d which all too often is a showstopper.

These 3D printers can do real 3D printouts even with fully overhanging pieces, with little help: they first print a "scaffolding" from an easily-removable material, then print actual part on top of that with final material, then you remove the "scaffolding" by heating, washing with a solvent or even just breaking it off.

(still, as I look at the resolution, I'm not very impressed. The UV-hardening resin 3D printer made of an LCD display between a tub of the resin and an UV lamp seemed much more subtle and precise, and likely faster too (printing a whole layer at once instead of just a point). And yep, it could print real 3D too, display gray area on the LCD, making the resin stick but not harden for "scaffolding" bit that can be removed by strong water jet).

Re:Poor replication plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34587558)

You really need to search for and watch some of the videos showing 6-axis CNC machines with active tooling.
The current "3D" printers are 2.5D, which is still useful but certainly not self-reproducing.

Re:Poor replication plan (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587768)

You really need to search for PRICES on cheapest 6-axis CNC machines.
We're talking about a product a hobbyist can afford.

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585102)

Hm, it is a stated goal for the reprap to make printers that can print most of their own parts. They have sometimes gone to great lengths to try to achieve this (for example, they have tried but given up on creating proper bearings in plastic). But like all "life", it needs extra parts ("vitamins"). Some things you just have to get somewhere. Humans need a few different kinds of food for example. But a big part of a reprap can in fact be printed on a reprap.

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585298)

IIRC the RepRap can make all the parts needed to build another RepRap. Obviously they have to be assembled by hand.

I think laser cutting is often overlooked in favour of 3D printers. With a laser you can cut or engrave plastics, wood, thin metals, even paper and cardboard. They are more suited to making things like cogs or panels for a case, basically anything which can be assembled from 5mm sheets. I'd love to have one at home but for now I use Ponoko who are fairly cheap and easy to do the CAD for (I use Inkscape.)

Someone needs to invest a cheap home laser cutter.

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34586100)

The rep rap can print about 60% of its parts, and they're working on printable circuitry and motors. Makerbot is an open source commercial sourced lasercut kit based on rep rap, and someone managed to make a makerbot replicate (i.e. print all its mechanical components besides straight rod, threaded rod, and bearings)

The thingomatic is a makerbot with a redesigned z-axis and automated build plate - kind of a heated conveyer belt that objects get printed on, that can auto-eject a model when finished. The z-axis is a cantilever design that would be harder to replicate printed.

Point being - these 3d printers can not only print copies of themselves, they can print other 3d printers as well as self-upgrades (my own makerbot has quite a few self-upgrades on it, for instance)

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588338)

I was looking Thing-o-matic and Reprap, both can produce a number of their own components. Each group have stated they are working in two directions to make them able to self replicate. The first is simply expanded what they number of things they can make and the second would be to simplify the design as much as possible to make the first goal easier to reach.

Reprap has a secondary project called Repstrap, which is pretty much a "good enough" design made from scrap parts and easily made on conventional tools. The idea is you build a temporary one that will last just long enough to help you make the more finished parts you need for the Reprap.

The idea being that you go on to build better parts with each iteration. Seems that most of the people's project sites have built 2-3 of the machines, using the latest ones for precision work and the older ones just to help crank out parts. Pretty exciting stuff!

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590344)

It's been done. [thingiverse.com]

Re:stargate replicators but not evil (1)

Dabido (802599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34599434)

They already have factories that use robots that build robots, and the robots that are built are the same as the ones doing the building. (Admittedly, they usually get sold to other companies who use them to build cars or other things). I'm pretty sure Karcher has one (or more) such factory. (I ran into it when I was researching robot building of my own).

Men and Boys (3, Insightful)

cstec (521534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583998)

The assembly process is intense, to put it lightly. Instructions are generally correct and straightforward 90% of the time, but given the intimidating complexity of the project, insane number of parts and dexterity required for some of the assemblies, simply locating the correct widget can sometimes be challenging. As the online assembly guide progresses, the instructions increasingly rely on your prior knowledge of repetitious concepts. We’re talking sanding, soldering, cutting, punching, scrubbing, gluing, and screwing hundreds of bolt/nut combinations. Only attempt this project if you’re the type of person that wakes up with ideas on the order of, “I think I’ll build an air conditioner this weekend.”, and actually completes the task. Like I said: intense.

Awesome! Damm this post is going to cost me a ton of time.

Re:Men and Boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584056)

I'm HVAC Type II certified and I know for a fact that building an AC unit isn't all that hard, intense, or time consuming. If this quote is to be believed, I should be able to build one of these things in about an hour.

Re:Men and Boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584078)

I'll call the morgue and let them know you're coming.

Re:Men and Boys (1)

cstec (521534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584240)

Really? I'm totally game to build this thing, but I think building a compressor from scratch looks pretty real.

Still, it's always what you don't know that scares you.

In fact, I did build a heat pump one weekend... (3, Insightful)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584702)

Unless you work in HVAC, then it's like rocket science... Unless you're a rocket scientist, in which case it's like brain surgery... Unless you're a brain surgeon, etc...

Re:Men and Boys (1)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586840)

But it's winter time (and freezing), why would you need an air conditioner?

Re:Men and Boys (1)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589250)

I heard that some folks live on the other half of Earth.

Re:Men and Boys (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590618)

That's why kids should get Meccano, if it hasn't been completely dumbed down by now, at the earliest age possible. Also Bayko (if they still make it) and Lego and Tinker Toys.

Flickr photos (not slashdottable) (3, Informative)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584014)

Re:Flickr photos (not slashdottable) (1)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584128)

Now there's a challenge.

Re:Flickr photos (not slashdottable) (2)

ConMotto (586959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584202)

Hi everyone.. thanks for taking down the server every 20 seconds. :) In the meantime, you can take a look at the photos on Flickr (sans some commentary). Please keep it open in a browser tab and check back later. At the moment there is so much traffic I can't even log in.

Re:Flickr photos (not slashdottable) (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584922)

In the future, stop playing with aperture on your camera for build projects. Generally people want to take in the whole scene in these cases and it is to be honest quite annoying when only part of it is in focus.

For portraits etc. playing with depth of field is really good - not so much for documenting.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584244)

"To view this slideshow, JavaScript must be enabled, and you need the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player."

Screw that.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589266)

Welcome to 1999.

Direct Link to Preston's Flickr Set... (2)

cutecub (136606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584024)

... is here. [flickr.com] (Pretty Sure.)

"Here's a quarter, kid. Buy yourself a decent server."
-Sean

Re:Direct Link to Preston's Flickr Set... (1)

ConMotto (586959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584336)

If you could send that quarter to me yesterday that would be great, thanks. -Management

Making a replicator (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584074)

A device like the Thing-o-matic is unlikely to work as a replicator by itself. It only makes one kind of part (plastic) and has no assembly ability.

What you would need is a machine that can produce a number of types of parts (metal, plastic, glass), and then assemble the parts.

Re:Making a replicator (2)

morty_vikka (1112597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584150)

It just needs to be made entirely out of materials that are available to it. I don't think metal would be easy to come by for a machine like this. Or plastic, for that matter. The mining/manufacturing process is too difficult.

People get freaked out by the idea of replicators, but what the hell are WE? Or any life form, for that matter? The simplest ones can survive on light or heat or chemical energy alone, and as long as there is energy and a few new necessary building blocks about (C, O, N etc in various forms) a lot of types of bacteria will happily replicate indefinitely!!

All this grey goo and nanotech rubbish is pure paranoia! It has already happened! It's life, dammit!

Does it leverage other open hardware? (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584118)

I really love to see these types of projects using other open hardware, such as the Arduino. I cringe whenever I see some simple project that requires a bunch of custom electronics. I mean, in the software world, it doesn't really matter if you want to waste time creating yet-another-library for your app. But in meatspace, people can only afford to have so many little pieces of custom electronics and your motor controller probably doesn't justify a completely custom circuit.

Re:Does it leverage other open hardware? (3, Informative)

pantherace (165052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584354)

Having made a mostly arduino controlled mill that works, but needs work to correct some wobble (structure problem). I can tell you that even with the current set of shields, there isn't one that works out of the box. I had to modify the bipolar stepper on this page: http://www.tigoe.net/pcomp/code/circuits/motors/stepper-motors [tigoe.net] , to also accept an enable/disable. That's in addition to an Adafruit motor shield (which was when I was doing research on them, far and away the best). Both of which used two stacked chips in place of one.

So not *completely* custom, but it does need at least a modified circuit. Take another 5 people with slightly different knowledge and such, and you'd likely get different solutions, simply because there isn't one I've found which would work without modification. Even using a stock Adafruit motor shield, where you could power 4 DC motors, adding encoders to those would require custom work.

Multiple Arduinos wouldn't work well, as the inter-microcontroller communications are slow. I2C is limited to 400kbps, Serial was eliminated in my case (required to talk to the computer), and SPI might be fast enough, but at the time, there were only software implementations, which were slow. Arduino 0019 introduced a hardware library, so it may work now. (However, it wouldn't work with the shield noted above, as it uses pins 11 and 12)

Anything even mildly complicated probably requires it's own setup.

Re:Does it leverage other open hardware? (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588940)

I think part of the problem is the cost of PCB fabrication: buying someone else's board, that's capable of handling your specific use case, is going to add about $30 per axis, or about $60 for a multi-axis-on-one-board, to the cost of the electronics, and while that might not seem like much, to people who are used to doing their own, with homemade PCB's, that's 50-70% of the price of the entire motor controller, so it seems cost-effective to roll your own. Add to that, the expense of high-power drivers and the mismatch between drivers and motors. Generally, you find a deal somewhere on what you think are some really good stepper or servo motors, and then you go to find a matching driver and controller, and there's one, reasonably priced, that doesn't quite have enough power for your steppers, and another that costs an arm and a leg and has 60% more power than you need, and you mumble and curse and build your own that is well-matched to the hardware you have. I built a couple OSMC [robotpower.com] controllers, that if you looked at them, you'd probably think it was a completely custom circuit. Maybe this guy did the same. It's trading off time for money, but a set of geckodrive controllers to do the same thing I needed would run $500, and what I built cost $50 plus my time. (Which, since PCB fab and assembly is part of my 9-to-5 job, didn't take much time.)

finally! (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584122)

At long last, I can printer my own 3D objects! I love printering 3D objects. Printering is my life.

out of Lego-like plastic

Really, when I want to do that, I just use actual Legos. :)

Re:finally! (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584204)

Yeah, but this is there for when you need that really custom Lego piece.

free download for Cory Doctorow's "Makers" (5, Informative)

waterwingz (68802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584164)

I've got mod points tonight but I'm going to post instead. Take a look at this link http://craphound.com/makers/ [craphound.com] for an interesting scifi spin on what the OP is thinking about. Free download available - its a good read.

Re:free download for Cory Doctorow's "Makers" (1)

potat0man (724766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590304)

I've got mod points tonight but I'm going to post instead.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yet another 'new' 3D? (1)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584188)

Does this one require 3D glasses too?

Re:Yet another 'new' 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584378)

No, normal glasses work just fine.

Re:Yet another 'new' 3D? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584414)

They are easier to wear than 2D glasses. 2D glasses just keep falling off my face.

Re:Yet another 'new' 3D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584760)

and no doubt sliced right through your ears and nose in the process...

No 3D printer can be called a 3D printer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584280)

...until it is able to print itself.

No 2D printer can be called a 2D printer... (2)

manicb (1633645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585042)

...until it is able to print with any arbitrary material. Oh wait, yes it can, because "number of dimensions" and "materials of construction" have NO CONNECTION.

[sigh] (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584348)

All the parts for mine are sitting on the floor right next to me - waiting for me to get off work for the holidays...

Simon

Re:[sigh] (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584392)

Work on it instead of reading/posting on slashdot.

Shameless plug. (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584388)

Seeing as we are on the topic of DIY fabrication, and I have karma to spare...

For those that want to make chainmail, (the metal stuff knights wore) I make and sell a very cool tool for that:

http://www.ringinator.com/ [ringinator.com]

Re:Shameless plug. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34588540)

Seeing as we are on the topic of DIY fabrication, and I have karma to spare...

For those that want to make chainmail, (the metal stuff knights wore) I make and sell a very cool tool for that:

http://www.ringinator.com/ [ringinator.com]

you need a tool to overlap the ends and punch the little holes in it too ... butted chain is for pussies and SCA people!

Re:Shameless plug. (1)

DedicatedErik (760870) | more than 3 years ago | (#34588662)

I just wanted to say: I've seen a few Thing-o-Matics and it's a really awesome way to get into 3D printing. It can print many small objects for you without needing much attention; a replicator in your home. Now, in the spirit of shameless plugs -- there's also the Ultimaker, which can build larger objects but is not much bigger itself, it's also a FLOSS RepRap-based derivative and will start selling februari next year.

http://ultimaker.com/ [ultimaker.com]

Re:Shameless plug. (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34598582)

Nice.
Looks simpler, perhaps easier to build than the Makerbot. I like the moving head better than the moving x-y stage.

Milling Accessory (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584432)

Now if somebody could create a precise 3D milling machine that would trim that thing to precise tolerances . . . NOW that would be something!

Re:Milling Accessory (2)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584508)

Now if somebody could create a precise 3D milling machine that would trim that thing to precise tolerances . . . NOW that would be something!

If you had a precise 3D milling machine, you could replace many of the functions of a 3D printer.

They're basically the same thing; one adds material that looks like a chess piece, the other removes material that doesn't look like a chess piece.

Re:Milling Accessory (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585092)

A 3d printer produces prototypes out of many little dabs of plastic.

Those prototypes won't be nearly as strong as the same thing cut out of a single piece of plastic (or Injection molded).

That said there are many things that are impossible to machine that can be made by this category of machines.

Re:Milling Accessory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34585898)

The mill wastes a *lot* of material. The best of both worlds is to use Calculus to determine the optimal amount of material to use to get a jagged piece just bigger than the intended size, then use a milling head to get that smooth finish. It would only work well for convex shapes unless it had an algorithm that alternated between the mill and the extruder (v3.0?). Come on, let's see it happen!

Re:Milling Accessory (2)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586314)

CNC mills cannot cut internal structures.

This is a task for which a 3d printer shines.

Re:Milling Accessory (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584662)

In the 1980s there was a popular series of books on how to make a very simple low budget foundry, how to use that to make the basics of a lathe, how to use that lathe to improve parts and make it a better lathe and how to use that to make a two axis milling machine.
Anybody remember those and the author or titles?

Re:Milling Accessory (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584754)

"In the 1980s there was a popular series of books on how to make a very simple low budget foundry, how to use that to make the basics of a lathe, how to use that lathe to improve parts and make it a better lathe and how to use that to make a two axis milling machine.
Anybody remember those and the author or titles?"

http://www.lindsaybks.com/ [lindsaybks.com]

The Dave Gingery book set.

Re:Milling Accessory (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590074)

More specifically:

Dave Gingery Build A Metalworking Shop From Scrap Index [lindsaybks.com]

The most relevant book being the charcoal foundry book [lindsaybks.com] .

With that said, I've built a foundry based on these books, and built a small mill as per the milling machine book, and I have some recommendations: build the foundry and do a bit of casting and see if you like it, and then switch to a Reil burner [abana.org] running off propane: it's cleaner, faster, and less hassle.

Likewise, Gingery's designs are okay, but there are *lots* of modified versions out there, with much deeper bed sections to stiffen up the lathe or mill beds, and there are advantages to using modern angular contact bearings over his plain bronze bearing designs. (There are good things about bronze bearings as well, so it's a tradeoff, but generally on smaller machines, higher RPM's are more useful than the stability under very heavy loads that plain bearings give you.)

Re:Milling Accessory (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590372)

I downloaded the latest edition from GalactiNet and got all the way up to building a time machine.
Wait, I shouldn't have said that.

Re:Milling Accessory (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591958)

It's okay, tomorrow you won't have said it. Or yesterday, I'm not sure.

Re:Milling Accessory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34586450)

I think you are thinking of the 'Gingery' series of books available from Lindsay's Technical Books at http://www.lindsaybks.com/ [lindsaybks.com] There are also a number of groups on Yahoo on the subject.

Re:Milling Accessory (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585940)

Perform a search on ``simple CNC mill'' and you'll find lots of pages like:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-to-Build-Desk-Top-3-Axis-CNC-Milling-Machine/ [instructables.com]
or
http://makeyourbot.org/mantis9-1 [makeyourbot.org]

Unfortunately, milling involves side-to-side stress, so all the homemade ones I've seen have issues w/ slop &c., so as you likely had surmised, tolerances are an issue. If someone has plans for a mill which can do precise tolerances in hard materials, I'd be very interested.

William

I dont get it (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584436)

course I cant see the original post but ... it seems like a maker bot with a print buffer? ok fine cool I guess if you want it (I have not seen many uses for it other than toy models, boxes and the occasional hose fitting) but why are we all yippiee about someone putting together a kit?

Re:I dont get it (1)

Laser Dan (707106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584862)

Nobody cares about the guy putting together a kit.

The interesting thing is that you can buy a kit that allows you to build a (basic) 3D printer, and that there are photos of the printer hardware.

Many people on slashdot would be very happy to have a 3D printer.

Re:I dont get it (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584890)

yea but you could do that for a at least a year now,this is just a new revision

and there is no mention of where to get this prized kit, its literally a collection of photos of someone putting it together

http://store.makerbot.com/ [makerbot.com]

Re:I dont get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34586178)

The thingomatic is a maker-bot with:

a print buffer
an automated build platform - its a conveyer belt on which things get made, that can clean the nozzle before and after a print, eject the model, and auto-home to start the next print - a print buffer without an abp is not much good...
a better designed z-axis (less wobble, more precision, less heat warping)
minor mechanical fixes
larger straight rods for more accuracy and stiffness
hidden electronics
better wire routing

It still suffers from the same issues as the makerbot:
Difficult to put together
Easy to make mistakes putting together
Accuracy will be determined by the maker's skill as well as difficult to tune software settings
the ABP sucks - many makerbot owners with an ABP have turned off the conveyer motor and removed the belt - because the belt warps in the middle of a print

I know you wouldn't know it from reading the above post... but I am a satisfied makerbot owner. You know, when it works. Which it hasn't for the past week and a half. Don't take that as a dig at makerbot industries though; they deliver exactly what they say they will; an experimental kit that, if properly operated, will do a decent job of printing objects out of plastic. Every issue I've had, they've gladly replaced the part in question.

It's a factory in a box! (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589260)

The Thing-O-Matic has the ability to produce many items, one after the other, while running completely unattended. So you can start it up on Friday, come back Monday and have a big pile of custom objects waiting for you (if it doesn't go haywire, that is).

That's what is new. Not even the $10k industrial machines offer that ability.

Re:It's a factory in a box! (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589490)

yea I understand that after reading the website,but I still dont get why some dude putting together a kit is front page news, the story should be about the machine, not photos from someone who successfully followed instructions

shoulda used metal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584528)

the wood thing looks cheap and flimsy. they shouldve made the panels aluminum or light steel. even if it increased the cost it would be worth it.

asics and mac (1)

adelamanda (1954906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584540)

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The next step. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586124)

Use the thingomatic 3-D printer to print out a thingomatic 3-D printer! I think this will be one of the first thing to be solved if we are going to colonize mars. Then we need to pack it inside a robot that will make the raw material for 3-D printer plastic too. One kind of robot will make may be one kind of raw material but with self replicating capacity and another robot another raw material. These robots would be programmed to have an innate urge to reproduce and replicate themselves. They would eventually be programmed to fight with one another and steal raw material from one another. Since the whole 3D-printer-self-replicating-robot is made of the same material, one robot would just consume another robot for raw materials. And whichever kind of robot is best in acquiring raw material in any given circumstances, will win and endure. Seed mars or a distant planet with a few of them, and a few million years later we can just go there and harvest all the raw material we need for our 3D printers!

OMG! Now I see it. Quick, they are going to come and harvest us. The self replicating raw material producing robot is what we call bacteria. We are what they want to harvest. Run! Hide! Do something!

It will be used for sex (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586174)

I give it one month before someone figures out how to make a dildo with it.

I Don't Get It - What Is The Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34586778)

Some guy buys a kit and spends a weekend assembling it? Is that it? What is the story here?

Sure it's a difficult build with some skill required, but it's a kit. The kit is produced specifically to be assembled, right?

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