An iTunes model for 3D printing

by Joseph Flaherty on April 5, 2009


Bre Pettis, hardware hacker extraordinaire recently announced his new Makerbot 3D Printer. The Makerbot is an opensource 3D printer based of the RepRap project. The machine is an FDM style 3D printer that depoists a long plastic filament that has been heated and constructs models as you might a clay coil pot. A video demo below:

What separates this offering from other home brew or low cost solutions is the fact that it comes with an iTunes style store for downloading. Thingiverse is an online repository for 3D designs that can be manufactured with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, or the fabrication tool of your choice.

People tend to get over excited about the prospect of 3D printing without thinking much about what they would build if they had one. Computer Aided Design tools are relatively hard to use. Once you know how to use a CAD package it then comes down to your design skills both aesthetic and functional. For 3D printers or any advanced fabrication tool to take off an iTunes like experience is going to be a prerequisite. The Makerbot/Thingiverse combo needs a LOT of polish, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.


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  • Cartridge

    Very interesting post, I see that this can be used in the making of rings too which is just great for manufacturers.

  • receipt printer


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