Saturday, February 26, 2011


*UPDATE* Webcam may or may not work depending on it's mood... it seems to be angry alot recently...
*UPDATE 2* Seems to be working better now, using a different software :-) bonus is that it's a live feed now, instead of a picture every 5 seconds!
I just added a webcam to the MakerBot so that you all can see when it's printing!

I'll generally try to leave my last couple printed parts on the platform to give you something to see other than a blank bot, but I'll make sure to tweet when I'm starting a print!

The link to the MakerCam is

and my Twitter URL is:

Friday, February 18, 2011


Plastic plastic plastic... SHEESH it's expensive....

I've done some looking around, but still haven't found where I'm going to buy my next spools of plastic... Here's my research so far: Google Spreadsheet

I price printed parts that I sell by the gram+print time+human time+extra parts, so I converted all plastic prices + shipping to $ per gram (or in most cases cents per gram)

As you can see, The cheapest plastic I've found so far is the Alibaba traded plastic, but their minimum order is 21 KILOS, which is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more than I need...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weighted Storage Cube

After printing Emmet's Heart Gears was looking at various derivatives and parts using the base gear structure, and found whosawhatsis weighted storage cube version! It turned out quite nice, printed in shiny black ABS. All the gears spin nicely, though the teeth don't quite mesh sometimes... I think I'll try shaving off the bottom layer or two of each gear, that should help quite a bit...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Makerbot just came out with a stepper extruder... but, alas, it's not easily compatible with Gen3 electronics... I'm kinda dissapointed with MBI, since, I'd love a stepper extruder, but it seems that I'd need a set of Gen4 electronics, and being a college student, I don't have the funds for that at the moment... Unfortunately, Gen4 + Stepstruder upgrade comes out to close to $500... which is way out of my price range. I'll probably upgrade at some point, but it's really too bad that the 3000 cupcake cnc owners out there are being left in the dust!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines day!

It's valentines day, so I thought I'd post my latest love themed print: Emmet's Heart Gears After some fussing about trying to figure out the assembly process, I finally got it put together, and it's AWESOME! the gears move really smoothly, and the whole piece feels quite sturdy.

Printed at 0.4mm/layer with 25% infill on non-heated acrylic with a raft. Plastic is the Makerbot fluorescent red :-) under a black light, it's amazing, but my camera has difficulties shooting at things bathed in UV...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Little bottle cap

While perousing the isles of OSUsed (the campus surplus store here at Oregon State University) A friend of mine found these great little bottles, from the chemistry department, appearing to be made of pyrex.

They have threads on the neck, but no cap, and seeing as I have a MakerBot, I figured it'd be a good idea to make one!

A bit of quick design (and a couple failed attempts) later, I had a cap!
The cap works great, not waterproof yet, but a quick dip in acetone would fix that... For me they'e mainly decorative, but I could see them being quite usefull!

Designs are Here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Iris box (and a companion cube)

I got my Iris box (or rather, J_Hodgie's iris box to print well at last! allbeit with some issues (the layers don't seem to like to stick together all that well)

But, It printed!!!

I didn't print the entire base, just a ring, that way i can use it as a fan airflow control later on...

Seeing what the iris looked like at the end of the print, I couldn't help but drop a companion cube ( through it :-)

Max platform size print

I just printed the largest based part I've printed so far, but again, ran into the issue of the part sticking TOO WELL!!!

Usually I wouldn't complain, but after this print, the entire base 3 layers of the part detached, staying on the raft, as the raft clung desparately to the platform.

Oh, and did I mention, the print took an hour and a half!!!!!


The part is a gear one of my friends for their ME101 project, hopefully it'll come out better when printed in white...

Possible laser etching attachment

I'm working up designs for a laser etching attachment for my makerbot (think, and am thinking of using a laser similar to ( this to etch/burn leather and wood (i would go with a supre high power diode, but I think this laser would work fine... However, before I can purchase the laser, or even do too much of the design, I'm sending the FDA an email requesting permission, as it is above the legal limit for laser pointers in the US. I believe that I should be able to get an exemption for this laser module, since it will be used within a device, and not as a pointer... Fingers crossed...

Friday, February 4, 2011

First couple long prints done! And not too shabby either!

I just finished printing the leafs and one of the rings for, and with the high-res settings I have running, the leafs took 1.5 hours, and the base ring took 1 hour 9 minutes... whew... I'll post pics when the entire thing's done!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ENGR 248 Midterm

I'm currently in a class at Oregon State University called ENGR-248 (Engineering graphics) , which is an intro class for 3D modeling. Personally, of the various CAD softwares I've tried (AutoCad, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Blender, Openscad, and a couple others I can't remember) my favorite is definitely Inventor. However, Here at Oregon State University, they use SolidWorks :-( Luckily, the programs are fairly similar, but the class is definitely reinforcing my preference of Inventor over SolidWorks.

Back to the point:

For the midterm in the class, we had to design a part based on a a couple other drawings with dimensions and such, and I decided it'd be fun to print it!

I scaled the part down to 1/4 size in RepG and pressed print! 40 minutes later, I had a physical copy of the part I designed for the midterm!

I know, you're probably saying 40 minutes for such a small part??? well, I used the wrong skienforge profile (used the 0.2mm/layer 197PWM profile) which runs MUCH slower...

the part looks OK, other than the increasingly aggravating Z axis wobble...

Interestingly, Even with the Z wobble, the outside dimensions of the part were still almost exactly what they should have been (+- 0.05mm)

I am quite pleased with the part overall, and may even use a version of it in my designs for a better Z-stage :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Uh Oh...

I recently opened up my MK5 Plastruder to clean it out and check the tension on all the bolts, but to my horror, something was amis: My question, is the black goop in the pictures normal? or is something going very wrong...
I know for sure the goop wasn't there when I put the MK5 together the first time, nor was it there the last two times I took it apart...

The goop is a pasty oily completely opaque substance, but is a bit stickier than normal motor grease... Any ideas? should I wipe it all off and rebuild the MK5, or should I stop using the motor? (it still works great, runs fine and smooth with no stalls all the way down to PWM 175... even when pushing filament...)

Not too sure what to do...

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

*UPDATE 2/2/2011*
Thanks to everyone who responded here and on the Google Group! It's nice to know that this isn't a fluke, and that the motor is in fact OK... now to load the filament back in and start printing!