We’ve launched the MakerBot Automated Build Platform! I’m endlessly happy about this. I’ve hacked on this for the past year. I began full time work about two months ago when I started working at MakerBot Industries.
The Automated Build Platform is a totally new way of printing your 3D objects. For the first time ever multiple objects can be printed in succession without the need for human intervention. Up until now, the 3D printing industry has been focused on making one part at a time. You had to manually remove your object from the build surface and prepare your machine for the next build. This is true for all other 3D printers on the planet. MakerBot is the first to bring to you a truly automated 3D printing experience. That era is over and the new dawn of personal manufacturing has truly begun.
Read my previous posts to see how the project developed into its current incarnation:
It’s an awesome addition to the CupCake, and it has all the printing advantages of the MakerBot Heated Build Platform built in. Optimized to work with the beautiful and reliable MK5 MakerBot Extruder, you can look forward to watching your desktop factory auto-eject your dreams into a parts bucket of unending awesomeness!
You can listen to a discussion of the ABP in an interview with Liz Blessing .
Later today, from 6 to 10 pm I’ll be running a MakerBot build party at NYC Resistor. I would really appreciate anyone coming in and lending a hand to get a few bots up and running. I’m trying to build a bot farm at MakerBot. It’s like a computer graphics render farm, but for real objects.
Calling all NYC MakerBot operators! We’re building a bot farm and we need your help! Today (Thursday, September 2nd) at NYC Resistor (map) we are throwing a build party. The goal: assemble three MakerBots in four hours. Drinks and snacks will be provided.
A bot farm is a group of MakerBots available to a group of people ready to print whatever is wished. We would love to print more of the great things popping up on Thingiverse, but here at the bot cave our machines are mostly used for developing future hardware and software. To increase the awesome we need to increase the number of bot hours available for printing. We need more bots and we need your help building them.
Everyone is encouraged to attend. There will be three or more kits for assembly. Just let us know you came for the build party and we’ll get you started on a task. If you’re thinking about buying a Cupcake CNC, this is a great opportunity to experience the build process. Feel free to bring your own MakerBot and work along with us. Several MakerBot employees will be in attendance, building bots and ready to help. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
It was brought to my attention today that Wolfram Alpha widgets can be embedded in web pages, a useful tool for anyone hacking on their MakerBot. Andrew Plumb and Tony Buser have embedded a few widgets in the PID Controller Tuning and Adjusting the Thermistor Settings pages on the MakerBot wiki.
A few hours ago MakerBot Industries released the Plastruder MK5. I’m pleased to say that it utilizes the thumb screw design in my Paxtruder, which has proven much more reliable than the pinch wheel of the Plastruder MK4.
There are numerous other improvements, so head on over to the wiki page and learn more.
Download the source files
MakerBot Industries is giving away ten 3D printers to teachers across the world. The giveaway is open to any teacher at any grade level. So if you teach anything from finger painting to quantum physics you’re eligible. Bre Pettis and I are both former teachers and will be selecting the recipients. I’m really looking forward to all the great educational material that will be produced to support MakerBots in schools across the world.
Before August 23rd send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info. We may publish the ideas/lesson plans on the blog or wiki after the contest ends.
* Your name
* Your school’s name
* The address you’d like the MakerBot sent to if you are chosen
* A paragraph describing how you would integrate the MakerBot into your curriculum. Include some description of the learning environment and what you teach
* A lesson plan that you will implement if you get a MakerBot
Teachers who get a MakerBot will be expected to join the MakerBot Educators Google Group and document their experience with the MakerBot so that the other teachers can be inspired!
If you know a teacher who is interested, please pass this information along.
A good friend of mine, Noah Rothman, is creating a comedy sitcom called Start Up. I encourage everyone to check out his kickstarter page for more information or help fund the project.
Jason Sharp has always had a less than stable career. Floating from job to job, business to business since college, all he ever wanted was stability, a reliable pay check and at least one bar night a week. Well… He’ll always have the bar night.
“Start Up” is not a traditional office comedy, unless you’ve been blackmailed into a money laundering scheme too. Jason’s new love interest, Tara Basani, is only interested in his start up company. Now, in order to keep her in his life, he must keep the proceeds from his boss’s criminal venture flowing in any direction that he can. “Start Up” is the story of Jason Sharp’s relationship between the woman he hired only to be close to, his slovenly author roommate, his effervescent, vaguely criminal boss and a reformed alcoholic office manager with profound daddy issues.
MakerBot Industries is looking for an electrical engineering wizard “with a deep and masterful understanding of the workings of electrons and how to control them.”
This is a great opportunity to help build the future! If you know anyone with some EE chops, please pass this along.
This past Saturday you may have missed a great time at NYC Resistor’s Halfway to Halloween party. I don’t know what it is, but costumes maker everything more fun.
See the NYCR writeup for a time lapse of the event.
See photos on the Flickr stream.
A few hours ago I printed on an automated conveyor belt build platform. The hardware is functional, but I’m sure I’ll think of improvements over the next week. I’ll post a better video and pictures in the next few days.
UPDATE 2010-04-29 0606: Here’s a second test.
UPDATE 2010-04-30 0314: It works.
UPDATE 2010-05-01 2230: It even conveys large area prints like butterflies.
UPDATE 2010-05-02 12:22Over night print test yielded ten beautiful bottle openers. No major effect on mylar conveyor belt. Here’s the eleventh being printed.