Matt, a member of the Technology High School robotics team and Thingiverse contributor has been working on a 3D-printable extruder for the Makerbot Cupcake CNC.
In the first image you can see him working on the 3D model in Autodesk Inventor. There didn’t seem to be a way to import the DXF files into Inventor, so Matt laboriously made measurements from the DXF files in another application to draw a new 3D model.
On Wednesday (13 May 2009) the resulting STL was loaded onto our Dimension BST and began a four hour print (second image). The next day we had ourselves a printed plastruder body. There were a few small errors, but it sure is beautiful (third image)!
Matt and Mr. Sylvester (our robotics teacher and resident machine shop wizard) discovered a process to import a DXF into Inventor and extrude it upward to create a 3D model. He pretty much just leveled up his productivity and said his goal is to put one cool thing on Thingiverse each week.
On Friday Matt started creating a new 3D model directly from the DXF files. The design will use holes tapped by the user rather than embedded nuts. We should have a printed head early this week. Possibly even printable repacements fore the big and little dino brackets. This would remove the need for any laser cut parts and thus the less-than-fun experience of peeling the protective layer from both sides of each laser cut piece.