Bre Pettis talks about MakerBot at Gnomedex. It is the basic MakerBot info (It’s open source! It can kind of make itself! File sharing for physical objects, etc.). There are a few new announcements in the talk
1. Support Materials – The next version of the MakerBot will have the ability to print 2 or more materials. This will allow for more complex shapes and put the MakerBot on par with other more expensive 3D printers.
2. MakerBot 3D scanner – 3D scanners can be built out of milk cartons now so it makes sense that the MB folks would work this into the system.
There is some other fun stuff coming as well, a conveyor belt to help automate production of parts, an LCD display, and of course, Twitter support.
Bre Pettis also posted some photos from Gadgetoff, an exclusive tech meetup where the latest and greatest in gadget technology is on display. Below are two photos. The first is a 3D printer constructed out of foam core board. The structure is the least expensive part of 3D printing tools, so this won’t reduce the cost dramatically, but it is cool from a sheet “I can’t believe they did it” perspective.
The teddy bear on the right is covered with capacitive touch sensors. Not much to look at, but it demonstrates how easy it is too to add hardware to toys. Web development has been a huge area of development over the last 5-10 years, toys might be the next big thing.
The notion of a factory in every home is romantic, but glosses over the difficulties of manufacturing. It isn’t just pressing print and collecting your object from your MakerBot a couple hours later. Processes, finishing, and other secondary operations are required to turn a hunk of plastic or wood into a finished good.
This tour of the Rickenbacker guitar factory shows how difficult building a relatively simple wooden object can be. Plastics and their special properties add orders of magnitude to the complexity of manufacturing. Thanks to @ReBang for the tip.
This cool paper art project from Craft: is cool on its own, but it is an instructive project from customizers. Make photographs a big part of your offering. People like looking at pictures of things and it gives them an easy frame of reference to judge the quality of your product.
Typograhy and 3D Printing – Cool project completed at Shapeways. These structures are fun to look at aesthetically, but it also shows off how sturdy the 3D print is and more importantly, how well Shapeways packs their prints.