TERES-I Laptop 3D plastic models are on GitHub

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Yesterday we got great news.

One of our customer has been working to 3D capture the TERES-I plastics for a while and he uploaded on GitHub and released the files GPLv3+ and the CC by SA 4.0 License.

Now you can print your own plastics and modify them for your own needs.

Makerbot Lays off 20% Of Their Workforce

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Makerbot company is founded in 2009 by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer and Zach Smith to engineer and produce 3D printers.
Their printers builds on the early progress of the RepRap Project and they owns Thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/) one of most popular site for sharing 3D printed designs.
Zach Smith was one of the founding members of the RepRap Research Foundation, a non-profit group created to help advance early research in the area of open-source 3D printers.
So Makerbot started as Open Source Hardware company (like many of the other 3D printer producers).

Being one of the most popular 3D printer producing company in 2013 they were bought by Stratasys Incorporated and they turned on 180 degrees, by closing their Makerbot Replicator 2. This pissed off a lot of the open source community, as Makerbot took all improvements community was sharing on thingiverse, compiled it into their one package and closed it. You can read this blog post for more info on this subject: http://josefprusa.cz/open-hardware-meaning/

First Makerbot was selling their printers as kits, thus their major customer base was makers/thinkerers with skills to build the printer, later they started to offer the printer assembled (and lot more expensive) to expand their customer base with people who have no skills to build. This way they got totally disconnected to the community which actually built the company – the small amateurs with no so deep pockets. Who will pay $2000 for assembled printer when you can buy kits for $500 and build one?

By going closed source and forgetting their roots this situation was predictable. So it was no surprise when they recently announced that they will layoff 20% of their employees.

Prusa i3 the leader among the non professional 3D printers is in stock

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Few months ago I was interested to try how 3D printers work. I googled a bit and I found thousands of variations online.

Even there is site which compare them here: http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/

As I just wanted to play a bit making frames for our LCDs and Box prototypes for OLinuXino and had no intention to do any production with this printer I wanted to get something as cheap as possible so even if I break it during the assembly to not regret much.

I check all these super duper $140-300 range printers trying to order online and found that all of them are either “out of stock” either “give me the money upfront” and wait XX months until I attempt to produce it either my printer is $300 but shipping to Bulgaria is $400 so none of these was acceptable.

I soon realized most of these sub $300 were just vapour-ware and if you really want to buy something in stock it goes close to $700-800.

Finally I found Jelwek in Poland, which was accepting Paypal, I selected the medium printer they have and cost EUR 475 + shipping to Bulgaria by courier (which I found is normal post later) EUR 25 and ordered one. After about a month the kit arrived by post.

There are lot of documents how to assembly Prusa i3 on the net. For Jelwek this is shown here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/105048182@N02/sets/72157642944311244/

When the kit arrived I was a bit disappointed, the quality of the used parts was a bit low, three of the steppers were second hand, disassembled from old machines which was seen from the scratches and the cable cuts just the one for the extruder was new one.

All rods and shafts were cut by hand with not clean cuts and with lot of whiskers on the edges. Anyway when assembled the printer ran without problems, I already blogged about it here.

Many friends asked me about this printer after I blogged – they wanted also something cheap to start with 3D printing, so I asked our Chinese agent to try to locate low cost Prusa i3 clone and he sent me sample.
The kit arrived and here how it looks:

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It’s seen that these kits are done by professional manufacturer – all motors are new and the shafts are directly coupled, you even get tools necessary for the assembly of mechanics like cutters, heat-resistant Kapton tape etc. which I had to supply additionally for the Polish kit I got first. The PCB is also all-in-one with integrated Arduino and drivers on same PCB. There is fan to cool the material exiting the extruder.
So after we inspected everything we decided to stock it, here how it looks assembled:

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Now these kits are in our stock.

Note these are not assembled and require knowledge both in mechanics and electronics to make them work. Sure the final result is worth the efforts, it’s a great pleasure to see something working which you built with your own hands 🙂

3D printer with A20-OLinuXino-MICRO and 10″ LCD

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Active 3D printers made 3D printer with A20-OLinuXino-MICRO and 10″ Touchscreen interface.

All we can say is WOW – nice encolusre!

This is Open Source project and you can download all files on their web.

OLIMEX Summer of Hacking – 3D printing group first print with DIY Prusa i3

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This is the 3D printing group from OLIMEX Summer of Hacking initiative.

Their job was to assembly Prusa i3 3D printer kit and to learn how to use it. It took them a week to complete the printer.

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It still is a bit bulky but everything functioning correctly!

Today was the day to test it:

The first printed object was Mr. Pacman:

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It worked very well for first attempt! Now is time for calibration and some in deepth experiments with the temperatures, speed of printing and other parameters!

Well done boys!