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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:That, or... (258 comments)

Shoot. I was looking forward to trying this.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:That, or... (258 comments)

You're definitely correct. If someone thinks this machine will perform magic they are obviously wishing away reality.

Have you seen what Kinect can do with 3d analysis? Kinect + 3d extruder could do a lot of fun stuff. Most of it wouldn't be useful in a practical sense but you could start making sellable art with this technology. scan yourself with kinect and print an action figure of yourself.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:MIT's Fablab (258 comments)

Their Mantis bot looks inviting at first: $100 DIY CNC.

At closer look, that's $100 without the electronics, and you need to cut the wood yourself. The DXF file provided on the website is incomplete as is the BOM.

I was originally looking at building one of those but after realizing how open-ended the work would be I've moved onto the idea of getting a kit. This CNC looks perfect for me and is the cheapest option.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:So let me get this straight (258 comments)

You have it wrong.

You pledge to support X dollars. Depending on your pledge, if the funding reaches it's goal, you get the CNC. If the funding doesn't reach it's goal, you pay nothing.

So you decide what you want (just the plans, the electronics, the entire kit, or a preassembled unit), pledge the right number of $ and select your reward.

You aren't giving them money for nothing. Consider it a preorder system where you don't have to pay unless they get enough orders.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:One problem (258 comments)

Please elaborate and include alternatives at a similar price point.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:That, or... (258 comments)

Depends on your use case. Someone trying to reproduce parts for their car at first step is probably going to fail.

I want one for milling circuit boards and aluminum panels for synthesizer modules. A small machine like this is perfect for me.

For 3D replication, look at what the Kinect can do. It's only a matter of time before someone finalizes a 3d scanner with kinect -> print with a 3d extruder.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:Unit can also do 3d printing (258 comments)

It could be done but a lot of the cheaper devices have the lead screws bound directly to the motors with epoxy. So you can't really swap out the axis motors that easily. The spindle seems easier on a lot of designs though.

Seems like most people after building one machine, eventually build another, and another :) They're complimentary, once you have one you have the main tool needed to build another.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:Nothing New (258 comments)

You are definitely correct, however...

I've been researching these for the last month, and what I found is that there are similarly functional kits available that would work out to be about $600 apiece.

Alternately people have been building them from scratch for about $200-$300. While you use the parallel port for I/O you need a stepper driver board to provide the voltages necessary to drive the stepper motors. A quality board like that costs over $100 on it's own. You need to figure out the math for the power supply to provide the right voltages to your motors, the right parts, a workshop for cutting them, etc, etc. It's a huge undertaking in time.

This is the cheapest option for a complete kit at your door. It's also the cheapest option at $520 for an assembled unit at your door.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:That, or... (258 comments)

If you posted on the reprap forums very likely you could find someone in your area with the means to print objects in 3D.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:Unlikely (258 comments)

They haven't gone after reprap or any of the other more expensive hobbiest options for a CNC or 3d printer like makerbot, zen toolworks CNC, etc, etc.

You will probably see legal action when 3d designs start showing up on bittorrent :)

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:Unit can also do 3d printing (258 comments)

I believe one of the issues is you design a mill for power, and an extruder for speed.

The drive electronics can't really be both. For a hobbiest it shouldn't matter too much though, your designs will just be created slower.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:Please support this project! (258 comments)

I trusted it enough to back the $390 for a kit.

I emailed the creator and he was very quick to respond, and seems very genuinely excited and interested in this project.

I agree there is definitely a risk in the project since it's not proven, but after contemplating it I decided to take that risk.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Unit can also do 3d printing (258 comments)

With a relatively modular design, it would be simple to interchange the drill for a 3d extruder.

This would then be able to work as a 3d printer like the Makerbot, or RepRap.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Re:One problem (258 comments)

Depends on what your goal is. There's plenty of free 3d modellers, plenty of free or cheap PCB routing software choices.

For actually controlling the mill, in linux there is ECM2 which is a robust platform. http://www.linuxcnc.org/

For PCB design there are a ton of choices but a popular hobbiest choice is EAGLE from CADSoft.

In the future there will probably be a repository of available plans for download anyways, so people will be able to mill and print items without the need to design them first.

more than 3 years ago
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Cheap 3D Fab Could Start an Innovation Renaissance

th0mas.sixbit.org Please support this project! (258 comments)

This is the cheapest path for a CNC and 3d printer in every home.

I have done quite a bit of research on it and it's competitors (Zen Toolworks CNC, Mantis CNC, Makerbot, Cupcake CNC) and none lead to a completed kit for this low of a price without serious time investment, trial and error, and knowledge.

more than 3 years ago
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Equipping a Small Hackerspace?

th0mas.sixbit.org Get a desktop CNC! (174 comments)

A desktop CNC can be equipped with a plastic extruder so it could function as a 3d printer, plus it can mill circuit boards, wood, aluminum panels, enclosures, etc, etc.

I've done a lot of reading on the subject lately and the easiest and cheapest way to get one without spending a ton of time doing your own work is:

http://mydiycnc.com/

For $400 (if they reach their goal) you will be able to get a complete CNC kit including spindle.

Alternately if that falls through the next cheapest option is a Zen Toolworks kit. They are available from Amazon but you need to get a spindle, stepper motor driver board, and power supply to go along with it.

Total cost works out towards the $600 range.

More expensive than that are the cupcake CNC, lumenlab CNC, etc. But those are the cheapest options above, aside from the Mantis CNC which costs around $300 completely outfitted. Unfortunately it also takes the most time as you have to cut all the parts by hand and the guy who designed doesn't seem too interested in helping random people build their own.

more than 3 years ago
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First Ethernet Switch In Space

th0mas.sixbit.org Rebecca! Save yourself!! (141 comments)

He's a nerd! Save yourself Rebecca!

(before you mod OT look at submission again ;) )

more than 6 years ago

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