What is Desktop 3D Printing?
Imagine a robot that sits on your desk, and builds anything you tell it to from a spool of bioplastic.
Imagine that it makes these things by heating up the plastic then squeezing it out like toothpaste from a tube. Imagine it smells faintly of caramelizing sugar.
Imagine that the designs for the printer, the software that runs it, the software that designs things to be printed, and almost infinite quantities of pre-made designs, are all free.
And imagine that if you are smart, you can buy the parts to build the printer for $500. Or if you are smarter, you can buy a kit of guaranteed compatible parts for $825.
I don't have to imagine any of that, I've got it sitting on my desk right now.
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Category Archives: Software
For a while now I’ve been exclusively using Slic3r for converting .stl files to .gcode files, so I can print things on my home-built 3D printer. The current version of Slic3r is 0.7.0, and it does what I expect it … Continue reading
Rich over at RichRap has just started a series of posts on using Slic3r for preparing STL files for printing, explaining the effects of the various parameters. His first article also includes some good info on calibrating your extruder output, … Continue reading
I’ve just fixed some key settings in Slic3r. Retraction Speed is now 7mm per second (down from 100!), and the Retraction Distance is 1mm. There is still slight room for improvement, but this is the best I’ve had it running … Continue reading
Retraction is the technique of sucking molten plastic back up into the heated extrusion nozzle of a 3D printer. Like squeezing the edges of a toothpaste tube to suck back in some of the toothpaste you accidentally squeezed out. The … Continue reading
Here’s a quick and dirty guide to getting your motors working on a MakerGear Mendel Prusa 3D printer kit. I assume you: installed your arduino software installed the Pronterface printer control software installed your copy of MakerGear|Rick’s version of Sprinter, … Continue reading
I spent yesterday evening carefully adding to my raygun model in OpenSCAD. The image to the left is a screen capture. This morning I told my Mendel Prusa to print the model in clear PLA plastic. This is my first … Continue reading