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Engadget Experiences the Solidoodle 3 3D Printer

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the strong-enough-to-stand-on dept.

Hardware 70

Engadget reports that former MakerBot employee Sam Cervantes has brought to market — or at least to Engadget headquarters in prototype form — a working, cheap(ish) 3D printer from his own company Solidoodle. Originally, the new Solidoodle 3 printer was announced at $500; the price has crept up to $800, but that still sounds like a bargain in the world of home fabrication. Unlike the current MakerBot, it has no built-in card slot, so a computer connection is required for the length of a build.

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That's great and all... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303575)

But can it print up a good site UI for engadget? Seriously, that site is hideous.

The top stories list on the right side is straight up illegible. Whoever chose that font over all those busy images needs to be taken out back and shot.

I guess that's what you get when you run a business using mostly unpaid intern labor...

Re:That's great and all... (0)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 2 years ago | (#42303667)

Engadget is another site that looks much better at the mobile media query. Shrink the browser horizontally to get rid of the tangential junk.

1998 called. (-1, Redundant)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42303835)

They want their blog template back.

Re:1998 called. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304305)

Did you warn them?!

-1 Troll, but color me intentional (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304575)

But can it print up a good site UI for engadget? Seriously, that site is hideous.

No one gives a shit if you think the site is "hideous." Your fucking interior decorator nitpickery is what's fucking hideous. Go home and hang some nice chintz curtains, or arrange your lace hankies, would you? You fucking fop [wikipedia.org] . You effete, snobby, point-missing, useless waste of life. If I could color the characters in this post rainbow on black, I fucking would, just to put a twist in your snarky, worthless, and probably stained, knickers, that you no doubt limp-wristedly dragged on over your Calvin Klein socks.

Whoever chose that font over all those busy images needs to be taken out back and shot.

And I'd re-post this whole fucking message every time you posted if I knew who you were. In Comic Sans.

I guess that's what you get when you run a business using mostly unpaid intern labor...

Ooooo. Aren't WE the presumptuous one? Maybe it's just your TASTE that sucks.

You fucking twunt.

Re:-1 Troll, but color me intentional (1, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42305069)

Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.

Re:-1 Troll, but color me intentional (0)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about 2 years ago | (#42305721)

Very Monty Python-esque. Well done, Sir Troll.

Re:That's great and all... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42305923)

The top stories list on the right side is straight up illegible. Whoever chose that font over all those busy images needs to be taken out back and shot.

Fix your screen gamma. The contrast between the text and the images is very strong on a properly adjusted display.

Re:That's great and all... (0)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#42306291)

Looks great to me, though I have Adblock and NoScripts (on Chrome) on by default for every site I visit, unless that site has proven to me that I can disable them. Endgadget is a single column article with pictures interspersed, on a clean white background.

That.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303641)

Is the stupidest name for a company/product i've heard in a long long time.

Re:That.... (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#42303737)

Yup, sounds like your usual solid waste slang. Yes, it uses an extruder in the "printing" process but would I really want customers to remember it like that!?

I'll eventually get some sort of 3d printer in any case though. At some point I'd want to print out swag witches and staves and stuff to go with my ever-longer attempts to make a game. The experience (and money, and government regulations) would be fun.

Re:That.... (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42304173)

If you want the experience.. I had great fun building a Mendel90, a Reprap type printer. I recommend it :) Makerbot used to be seen as a good source of printers too, until their EULA rewrite on Thingiverse painted the whole company "ugly" in the eyes of the open source community. There's a few other commercial Reprap knockoffs you could look into, best to just ask around on #reprap on freenode IRC

Re:That.... (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#42303783)

That... Is the stupidest name for a company/product i've heard in a long long time.

If you object to stupid-but-cute names, why are you on "Slashdot?" B-)

(I'd have a four-digit, or maybe even a three-digit, i.d. if I'd been able to figure out the URL when first told about the site over the phone.)

As for "solidoodle" I think the name is great. Mnemonic, descriptive, easy to pronounce, and not TOO hard to get the spelling right. Google search for "solid doodle" (without quotes) spelling-corrects it to solidoodle and finds the company site and discussions about it, too.

Re:That.... (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#42305221)

Not stupid but too long. The most succesfull new companies or products tend to be have names that are short visually or when pronounced:

Facebook or even just FB
Twitter
Google
iPhone
Android
XBox
PS3/PSP
YouTube

YouTube is a stupid, grammatically incorrect name. But it the internal vowel "rhyme" between "you" and "tube" gives it more impact than "YourTube".

I'd prefer something vsually more creative for the name of a 3D printer though. How about "3Doodle" with the logo resembling something l33tish like 3D00DL3, or a visual palindrome like 3DOODE with the last two characters being a left-facing "D" and a curvy "E" made to look like a right-facing "3".

Re:That.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306389)

Good thing I don't have you on my marketing team. ;)

Re:That.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306951)

"I'd have a four-digit, or maybe even a three-digit, i.d. if I'd been able to figure out the URL when first told about the site over the phone."

You are a fucking retard then. Why would you share that?

ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 2 years ago | (#42303697)

Saw a makerbot being demonstrated with black ABS plastic at a conference last month. The parts made with it were STRONG. (Replacement components of the print head had been manufactured this way.) Also a sample was being made with internal, hollow, completely enclosed and sealed, honeycomb cells, which made it very light without substantially reducing its strength or dimensional tolerances. Should be ideal for things you need to float. (Try building THAT without a 3-D printer: You'd need to bond two or more pieces together.)

I understand one of the problems with the makerbot that metal-frame follow-ons like this are trying to address is that the wooden frame flexes and changes size with relative humidity, making tolerances lower than they could be with a metal frame.

Does anyone know how well ABS works for lost-"wax"-casting originals? Or same question regarding other "hot-glue plastic wires" that could be fed through these machines?

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303725)

Yeah, it's impossible to put a gas-releasing chemical into the feedstocks of a molding process. And do you have measured numbers for your claims of "very light" and "without substantially reducing its strength or dimensional tolerances"? Did you measure and test that, or are you wishing it to be true?

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42304105)

I have a printed owl figurine about 10 cm tall, with hexagonal 10% infill. It is really light, sturdy enough that it won't break without taking a hammer to it, and dimensional tolerances vary a bit with FDM machines anyway. Given that all axes use stepper motors, the tolerances are predictable enough between prints if you use the same settings.

The 0.1 mm mentioned on the article is nothing special, by the way. With Slic3r you can go down to 0.01 and someone has done that... but a hollow model took a full day to print. I print at 0.1 or 0.15 all the time, depending on the accuracy I need. You can even choose to only infill once every x layers, so you can do it with a thicker line and spend less time printing that pattern over and over.

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (3, Interesting)

RobKow (1787) | about 2 years ago | (#42303749)

The general process that includes lost-wax casting is called investment casting, and while it can be done with ABS, it requires the mold to be baked off in a kiln capable of much higher temperatures than with wax. Burning ABS at home probably isn't a good idea either. I'm not sure about how other materials would work.

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#42303969)

It's been done, but I'm having trouble finding links.

  • ABS strikes me as a bad idea because of the fumes.
  • PLA has been used [reprap.org] to do casting. It's a bioplastic based on corn so I don't believe it's toxic when burned like ABS is.
  • PVA seems like it might be ideal. PVA dissolves in water, so you could make your mold and then just flush the positive out of it with hot water.

I know I've seen this on Thingiverse. I believe I've also seen people make negative molds on a Makerbot, use that to make a was positive, then use that to make a negative and cast from there.

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42323361)

I wasn't aware that a substance being edible means its combustion products are non toxic.

One of us must be fucking retarded at chemistry.

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42304057)

Any printer that uses G-code can use Slic3r to slice up meshes for it. Slic3r has a number of different infill patterns, and I'll admit the honeycomb one is the neatest by far. It does slow the print down a bit compared to rectilinear though, but it's good if you want quality rather than speed.

People have built Repraps that can do the same thing for $300. The lowest one was $250 or so, I think. Of course, they require self-sourcing and a bit of skill with various tools like soldering irons, screwdrivers and the Arduino IDE. Not ideal for the general consumer.

ABS has not been tried for lost-wax methods, afaik, but PLA (another material often used interchangably, lower melting point and more eco-friendly) has been used to cast aluminum. http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/ [3dtopo.com]

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 2 years ago | (#42309361)

When building a honeycomb structure, is it possible to close over an air gap without building up a structure beneath? i.e. how do you put a lid on over an empty space?

Re:ABS solid doodles are STRONG. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#42323383)

i.e. how do you put a lid on over an empty space?

Same way you put a roof on a house, i.e. start from the middle and work outwards.

Lost ABS casting (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#42310893)

Check out this guys information on Lost ABS casting [thingiverse.com] . Very interesting!

Casting tricks (2)

naroom (1560139) | about 2 years ago | (#42311891)

The main point of casting from a 3D print is to change the material from being "3D printed plastic" to being any other flowable thing: metal, urethane, transparent resin epoxy, silicone, plaster of paris, etc. What your 3D printer is bringing to the table is the shape. So the key feature you're looking for, if you want to do molding and casting, is getting the right shape out. Material strength is relatively unimportant.

ABS has an impressive material strength, but if you're planning on casting, you should look into PLA printing instead. PLA's material strength sucks compared to ABS, but man is it easier to make good prints with it! You can get better resolution on it -- PLA at 0.1mm vs ABS at 0.2mm -- and the warping and curling issues are greatly reduced. It's a lot more reliable to work with.

The other big reason to use PLA is that it dissolves away in boiling water. [thingiverse.com] Stick your PLA mold and whatever you casted into it into a crock pot for a day, and the PLA's gone.

Any 3D printer that can print ABS can also print PLA. Check out the MakerGear M2 [makergear.com] : Metal frame, way cheaper than a Makerbot, and it beat the Makerbot and several other contenders in Make Magazine's 3D printer roundup recently. Good accuracy, speed, and print quality. Good business ethics too (Makerbot's not so popular around here these days since they suddenly changed to closed source.)

As a note, if you're truly obsessed with getting the right shape, you should be looking at milling machines, not 3D printers. Milling machines go down to more like 0.001mm resolution. The process is detailed here. [coredump.cx]

Last, this is an awesome set of pictures showing lost PLA casting (plaster of paris -> metal) [3dtopo.com]

Makergear M2 is *NOT* Open Source (1)

hirschma (187820) | about 2 years ago | (#42311981)

Like Makerbot, they went closed source for their latest printer - the M2 that you're touting.

I have an M2, and it's a great printer, but there's nothing Open Source about it, sadly. Well, except for the fact that Makergear looks to the community for help with support and such.

Re:Makergear M2 is *NOT* Open Source (1)

naroom (1560139) | about 2 years ago | (#42312299)

Aww, damn! I was hoping someone could fill the void in my heart Makerbot left. Ahh well. Thanks for the correction.

Re:Casting tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42312343)

People like you are the reason I keep going to this time-sink website. Good information all around... thanks!

Flaky technology solving wrong problem (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#42303755)

The problem with these ABS extruders is not building the frame. The problem is not building a 3-axis positioning system. The problem is that you're welding a hot thing to a cold thing. That's always going to be a marginal operation. Without a better welding process (I've suggested aiming a small laser at the weld point) this will continue to be a flaky technology. I've seen about five versions of this technology in action, and they all sort-of work, but don't yield consistently strong parts.

The ultraviolet stereolithography technology yields much better part quality, but still costs too much. Formlabs [formlabs.com] may succeed in getting the cost down to $3500 or so. They're demoing at CES.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303981)

Formlabs is being sued right now over that printer. I believe 3d systems has the relevant patents.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304157)

Another fine example of patent law driving innovation and diversity in the marketplace.

Actually, it is a fine example. (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42304485)

Article 1, Section 8: ..."To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

You'll note the intent is to create an exclusive right. It is obvious that during the period of that right, the inventor has control, which in turn encourages invention. It is also obvious that should party B attempt to use party A's invention during this period without in turn securing that right from the inventor, the phrase "securing... to authors and inventors" means the government is authorized to intervene.

You'll note the authors didn't say they were encouraging taking other's ideas without recompense, either.

If you don't like it, feel free to cobble up a constitutional amendment and see if you can make it fly. It's worked before.

I can't say I much appreciate the present length of the terms of patents or copyrights (although I make part of my living from them), or the muddle that's been made out of fair use and so on, but complaining about patents limiting distribution of an idea is to completely miss the point and intent of the system as envisioned by the founders. It's working at least vaguely like it was intended to, which is more than we can say for the rest of the constitution.

Re:Actually, it is a fine example. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42305085)

I agree with you as far as hardware goes. Patents are a good way to encourage invention and development of this type. It's in the software realm that patents are destroying innovation. Patents were never meant to cover software, copyright should be used there. The silliness in the software patent business does far more damage than good.

Re:Actually, it is a fine example. (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42308091)

I'd like to see software covered under copyright as well; the kind of thing where you can't copy my binary or my source code, but you're perfectly free to write your own code that does something similar or the same. But that's because I'm a small operation, and I don't have to justify X dollars of investment.

Unfortunately, just like hardware, companies put a lot of money into developing things, and they're looking for some protection for that investment. Copyright doesn't really cut it; and I think that's why patents ended up filling in, as it were.

It's not good for the little guy (nor is hardware patenting, for that matter... as soon as you say "lawyer", I say, "goodbye, little guy") but it works for corporations, and they're running the show, have been for a while.

To resolve that larger problem will take a lot more than unhappy inventors. Frankly, I don't think it can be done -- I see us as so far down the slope of corporate oligarchy, complete with a happy and couch-bound bread-and-circuses entertained populace, that it's now impossible to fix the system.

I'd love to be proved wrong, but there isn't even a hint of it that I can see.

Re:Actually, it is a fine example. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306083)

Two people can have the same idea and make the same things, but only the one with the money and the lawyer can do anything with it.

That doesn't sound like a great system to me.

Obviously you like it, but then you probably can't imagine anything better - or perhaps you did and it was already patented.

Re:Actually, it is a fine example. (2)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#42306459)

They didn't get the idea independently, it's just that stereolithography is really old already.

The real patents have expired and that patent on using weak points to allow breaking off the supports should never have been granted.

Re:Actually, it is a fine example. (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42308059)

I don't think it's great system either; but it is the system and it's working as designed. So you're not going to get it changed, or at least much, by low-level bitching or simplistic protests. The only thing I really "like" about it is that the government is operating within the limits it is authorized to; I actually find that rare and precious, these days.

Anyway, if you want to change it, you need to get after a constitutional amendment, because that's the source of the mechanism.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304619)

I wouldn't be surprised if 3D printers started having some form of on-chip DRM on them in their next generation or so. Even wood mills, like the CarveWright have DRM built in.

Only a matter of time, as DRM is pushed by the big money, and OSS people don't have huge wallets.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 2 years ago | (#42304953)

They're being sued over the automatic generation of easily removable scaffolding which has weak points created by reducing the exposure time of the resin at those points. If they turn that feature off, they may no longer be infringing. However, I don't know if that will help prevent their demise, since they've already infringed, and the company suing seems to want them gone.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#42306475)

They haven't shipped and the device hasn't been used commercially ... 3D Systems is basing their suit completely on supposition. No way in the world even the dumbest jury in Texas would judge it infringement if they simply removed the feature, no the real problem is that they are going to drag out the proceedings to run up legal costs.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304973)

Delamination is a problem within FDM printing, but for most uses this either doesn't matter or can be worked around by creatively aligning the part for printing. Look at the Prusa Mendel: all of the shear loads on the printed components are perpendicular to the layers, making them fairly sturdy machines. The most common plastic part failure mode on these printers is warping the X carriage from improper cooling of the print head. Also, proper selection of the extrusion volume vs layer height and print speed can improve self adhesion.
Photo set resin printing can produce amazing looking parts with higher resolution and geometries impossible to print with FDM, but has a much higher initial investment (projector or laser scanner, vs mostly hardware store parts) and requires a medium that must be used in a ventilated area. For many hobbyists that's a non-starter.

Re:Flaky technology solving wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42305579)

You are wrong.

To begin, a FDM printer is not extruding hot plastic onto cold plastic. It is extruding *very hot* plastic (215-240c, compared to the melting point of 105c) onto hot plastic (Build chambers are often heated 40-100c). The entire point of FDM is to apply material that is hot enough to fully fuse to the previous layer. Part strength is anisotropic but layer delamination is not a failure mode of properly printed parts.

FDM is actually one of the strongest 3d printing processes and is known for producing parts that can be used in mechanically demanding applications (when compared to alternative processes like laser/solvent fusing of plastic).

There are dozens of problems with hobby 3d printers, but layer adhesion is not one of them.

Make & Re-use (4, Interesting)

xeoron (639412) | about 2 years ago | (#42303809)

I wish someone would make a companion 3d printer product that will recycle plastics into the plastic used to print things with some of these 3d printers. If you could turn most any plastic into a strong plastic ink source, then the cost of owning one of these printers goes down and gives people a reason to recycle with a fast gratification of making stuff.

Re:Make & Re-use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304053)

Check out the filabot on kickstarter.com.
It turns plastic into little shards which it then melts into a filament.

Issues: Different plastics have different melting points, some break down before they melt, some shrink as they cool, and some don't stick to themselves unless both sides of a weld are hot.

Re:Make & Re-use (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#42304067)

"I wish someone would make a companion 3d printer product that will recycle plastics into the plastic used to print things with some of these 3d printers."

That might be a good idea, but it probably would not be a cheap device (cheaper than the "printer", though).

In the meantime, commercial recyclers have sprung up that will buy your waste. Not at a wonderful price, but it's better than nothing.

Re:Make & Re-use (3, Informative)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42304121)

These exist. There's even a contest to build a reliable, sub-$250 home filament extruder. Filabot used to have the lead, but http://www.3ders.org/articles/20121023-making-a-plastic-filament-extruder.html [3ders.org] is also fairly interesting. But none of them seem to be close enough to finalized to actually use in daily life yet. I've heard someone say that it'd be easier/cheaper to just buy loads of plastic pellets rather than dealing with impure plastics from recycled materials. Pellets seem to be about 1/5th to 1/10th the price of good filament.

Re:Make & Re-use (1)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about 2 years ago | (#42305775)

3D printers are not Mr. Fusion. You can't just toss in any old banana-colored plastic and get good results. You've got to know the difference between thermoset and thermoplastic families, and then the properties of the individual resins in each (PET, ABS, PVA, HDPE, etc. etc.) Then you've got to consider the numerous additives that most plastic parts will have in them, UV inhibitors, metal particles for EMI shielding, etc. Some plastics and additives are benign, others are quite toxic when heated.

If you want decent, consistent results, leave the recycling to Waste Management and start with known raw materials.

Re:Make & Re-use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306541)

This just shows there is a market for a Mr Fusion to make plastic pellets. As you mentioned, only certain plastics could be used, however I believe these are already marked?

Awesome / Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42303817)

This printer, like others of its ilk, is awesome. It is totally cool that they are making these at a price that is not out of reach of many people.It is fascinating to watch and amazing when the finished product comes out.

But, there is a lot of oohing and ahhing over the breathless 3D printer stories and it is creating expectations that FAR exceed reality. Even on the $20,000 printers, it is still just basically a computer controlled hot-glue-gun. That means the output models, and that's really all they are, are crude weak and course. Literally, their surfaces are course from layering molten plastic strings one atop the other. They are weak, can't take much pressure and have a low shear and tensile strength.

If you wish to create small crude models or sculptures, this is for you. If you fantasize about manufacturing usable parts, you've already been oversold.

Re:Awesome / Meh (1)

Zeussy (868062) | about 2 years ago | (#42304851)

Well the SD itself has multiple 3d printed parts. I have printed gears and other parts I would happily use in robotics and other projects. The ABS plastics it builds are surprising strong and robust. I would not call the parts that much weaker than the equivalent injection moulded ABS part.

Re:Awesome / Meh (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 2 years ago | (#42305813)

Have you used one before?

A poorly printed model can have limited stength across the grain, but that can be improved with a few tweaks to print speed and heater control. They are surprisingly strong in line with their filaments, and the slicing software can cross hatch these to give better strength in multiple directions.

I have no problem using my Solidoodle ABS prints for structural applications, but like anything you have to understand there are some some limitations.

Re:Awesome / Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42306909)

No, I've never used a 3D printer. But, I have handled and used a fair number of their printed output. They are really neat to watch and make some cool models, but the fact is that the strength, tolerances and quality of the output is unimpressive, to say the least.

That they are "surprisingly strong in line with their filaments" doesn't make them any more worthwhile. Despite you being surprised, the output is still very poor quality and strength.

Read the comments to my post. Do they not seem like apologist excuses to you? The post above yours says; "I would not call the parts that much weaker than the equivalent injection moulded ABS part." So, it is weaker. Hmm.

Card slot? (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#42303885)

What does it need a "card slot" to make a sound when done? What's wrong with a good old fashioned piezoelectric buzzer to make a beep?

Re:Card slot? (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42304131)

It needs a card slot to store the print instructions on, so you don't need a computer to be on, active and not-disrupting-the-usb for the duration of the whole print. Trust me, it can be immensely frustrating if your print is halfway done and suddenly your computer goes "welp don't need that usb anymore oh hey that's a usb let's recognize it again!"
Then again, that computer was always a spaz.

Re:Card slot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304515)

It needs a card slot to store the print instructions on, so you don't need a computer to be on, active and not-disrupting-the-usb for the duration of the whole print. Trust me, it can be immensely frustrating if your print is halfway done and suddenly your computer goes "welp don't need that usb anymore oh hey that's a usb let's recognize it again!" Then again, that computer was always a spaz.

Perhaps a job for a Raspberry Pi.

Re:Card slot? (1)

Zeussy (868062) | about 2 years ago | (#42304819)

The writers of Repetier-Host are writing Repetier-Server that can be run on a RaspberryPi to remote your 3D printer of choice. See here for the plans https://github.com/repetier/Repetier-Host/issues/64 [github.com]

usb inferior to serial and ps/2 for many apps (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42309697)

that's a clear argument for serial port use. since almost all motherboards have that, that is what should be used for machine control. just as serious department stores and restaurant POS systems use the serial and not USB, that "spazzing" behavior you mention is a problem

Re:usb inferior to serial and ps/2 for many apps (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 2 years ago | (#42309731)

What's ironic is that most of the electronics sets use a simulated com port for communication.

Re:usb inferior to serial and ps/2 for many apps (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 2 years ago | (#42311395)

Um, you're being funny right?

Most motherboards I see today do not in fact have serial ports anymore at all because USB has taken over.

To be fair, I'd use Wifi direct or Bluetooth to transfer the instructions to the device wirelessly to its on-board memory.

Re:usb inferior to serial and ps/2 for many apps (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#42361203)

don't know everything about your machine's motherboard, do you? post the model number for me.

no, I'm not being funny. go look at the motherboards on egghead.com or fryes. they have serial port - the header pins will be there and can be hooked to cable going outside the chassis even if most of the time that isn't done.

Re:usb inferior to serial and ps/2 for many apps (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 2 years ago | (#42371781)

You feel like running your mouth off, go right ahead:

http://www.dell.com/ca/p/inspiron-660s/pd [dell.com]

#1 desktop on Dell's website. No, most people don't have home-built custom PCs, they order them mail-order like this.

Sure, my motherboard has one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebabcock/3600893754/in/set-72157619247481171 [flickr.com] but that's because I'm an enthusiast and shopped around for one that did. Quite a few did not at the time.

This isn't news either, Intel's been trying to kill off serial ports since 2001: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/10/04/intel_to_kill_floppy_drives/ [theregister.co.uk]

TFS writer didn't read TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304123)

"Originally, the new Solidoodle 3 printer was announced at $500; the price has crept up to $800..."

The Solidoodle 3 was announced a month ago, for $800: http://www.solidoodle.com/2012/11/solidoodle-3-3d-printer/
The Solidoodle 2 has been shipping since last summer and still costs $500.

Re:TFS writer didn't read TFA (1)

Zeussy (868062) | about 2 years ago | (#42304835)

Although the base SD2 comes with no bed heater which makes it basically useless. The bed heater upgrade has "crept up" from $49 to $99. Although now some people are modifying theirs to not use the underpowered bed heater, but to use a large silicon heat mat instead. So if you want to go that option the base model is useful.

3D Printing is not The Answer to Everything (2)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 years ago | (#42304331)

The Answer to Everything is ... wait a minute -- uhmm...

Re:3D Printing is not The Answer to Everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42304513)

42

Re:3D Printing is not The Answer to Everything (1)

funkboy (71672) | about 2 years ago | (#42304743)

beat me to it by just a few minutes...

Who uses cards anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42305793)

No need for a fancy PC just a headless raspberry pi, you can remote in at any time and initialize a print and get an email/text when its done.

Hasn't "crept up to $800" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42305855)

The S2 is still available for $500+. The new printer is an addition to their line for people wanting to make bigger prints.

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