11 February 2013


Yes, it's true. I am now the proud owner of a MakerBot Replicatorâ„¢ 2 Desktop 3D Printer

It arrived last week and I excitedly rushed home after work to get it out of the box and play around. An hour later I was holding my very first 3D print: a nut and bolt.

Since then I've been busy and here are the results:

Why now?

I'm not going to tell you this wasn't a bit of an impulse. I mean, it's not like I can claim it as a tax deduction or anything. No part of my job requires it and I could live a perfectly happy life without one.

For a few years now, I've been having whimsical little brain farts about art, design and utility. Lately though, those little impulses have gotten louder and they've culminated in an overwhelming urge to be creative, and not just in a digital sense. There's something about creating something physical in the real world. Woodworking seemed like a nice place to start but the thought of all that sawdust..... also I'm not able to use woodworking tools in my little apartment. Makerbot seemed like a logical next place to go.

I have a folder on my computer filled with Sketchup models of things I have designed. If it were just about design it would end there but it seems that my head (and by extension, my hard drive) is not a sufficiently strong container anymore. When 3D printers were first announced a few years ago I got really excited but the technology was DIY and really fidgety. People who own such devices seem to spend about half their time building, tweaking and maintaining it.

The mechanics and control of a 3D printer are interesting but, much like this blog, I'm notorious for endlessly sharpening my pencils and never writing anything. Before I settled on a barebones Wordperss install I could easily spend 4 hours theming and coding my site and then have no time for writing the actual blogs. The same could easily apply to a DIY 3D printers. They just weren't ready yet. So I waited.

With the advent of Makerbot Replicator 2 the platform finally seemed stable enough for me to jump in.

So far I'm completely ecstatic with the results. I still have a lot to learn about how to get the best possible print but as you can see I've printed some fairly complex objects so far.

Expect more about this as I get my maker-legs and feel free to leave suggestions for things that I should try next.

Filed in: Sketchup   Makerbot  

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