Tag Archives: Thingiverse
MakerBot Announces MakerBot Academy: 3D Printers, Supplies and Curriculum for Schools
MakerBot wants to put a 3D printer in every school in America.
MakerBot was inspired by President Obama’s call to action to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. In the most recent State of the Union address, the President said, “a once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”
MakerBot Academy is the company’s answer to this call. Beginning this week, individuals and corporations interested in helping put MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in schools can visit DonorsChoose.org, a crowd funding site for teachers, and pledge to financially support the program. Teachers then register on DonorsChoose.org for a MakerBot Academy bundle.
Each MakerBot Academy bundle contains a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, three spools of MakerBot PLA Filament, and a full year of the MakerBot MakerCare Service and Protection Plan. MakerBot will also support the teachers with the development of ongoing 3D printing curriculum that teachers can participate in and utilize in the classroom. MakerBot will leverage Autodesk’s software and educator curriculum as well.
Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, has personally pledged to put a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in public high schools in MakerBot’s hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. In addition, Ralph Crump, original inventor of FDM 3D printing technology and founder of Stratasys, has pledged his support.
“As a former teacher, I believe strongly in creating a new model for innovation. A MakerBot is a manufacturing education in a box,” said Bre Pettis. “We need to encourage our teachers and our youth to think differently about manufacturing and innovation. When you have a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer, you see the world differently. Instead of waiting for someone to create a product for you, you can create your own. It can change the whole paradigm of how our children will see innovation and manufacturing in America.”
Pictured above, Bre Pettis and Scott Crump.
The White House has responded positively to this initiative. “We are thrilled that MakerBot and America Makes are joining a growing coalition of citizens working to give American students the ability to design and make almost anything,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director for Technology and Innovation, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “As the President has said, we all need to think creatively about giving our young people the tools to be ‘the makers of things, and not just the consumers of things.’”
MakerBot is also launching a MakerBot Thingiverse Math Manipulatives Challenge. Math Manipulatives are one of the most requested items on DonorsChoose.org and are an item that can easily be 3D printed in the classroom. The MakerBot Thingiverse website will hold a week-‐long design challenge, from November 12 through 18, 2013, for its members to quickly develop a variety of different math manipulative 3D designs that can then be available immediately to teachers that receive the MakerBot Academy 3D printing package.
Desktop 3D Printer Maker Gets into Apps
MakerBot has been non-stop with major announcements this year. There was the launch of the Replicator 2X at CES, then the release of of the desktop 3D scanner MakerBot Digitizer, and of course the industry-shaking $403 million acquisition by Stratasys.
In addition to selling 3D printers and 3D scanners, MakerBot also operates a website called Thingiverse. And today, the Thingiverse team has a big announcement: the launch of the Thingiverse iPhone app.
“[The Thingiverse] iOS app lets you carry Thingiverse in your pocket or purse all the time,” said the Thingiverse team in a blog post. The app lets you browse Thingiverse and check out featured, noteworthy, and popular designs, all on your phone. You can add items to collections or share via email or social networks.
You can also upload your own photos of things you’ve 3D printed. ”As the world’s largest 3D printing community, we believe that everyone should be encouraged to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience,” said the Thingiverse team.
You can download the Thingiverse app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch a the App Store.
Here is a photo gallery with screenshots from the app.
MakerBot’s Desktop 3D Scanner Now Available for Sale
Their first product is called the MakerBot Digitizer, and is now available for sale. The price tag: $1400, plus an optional $150 for a MakerCare Service Plan. We covered the features of the 3D scanner last week, and here are more details.
“It’s a powerful and elegant tool for turning physical objects into digital designs,” said MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis.”You put something on the turntable, and it turns. Lasers shoot at it,” Pettis explained. “It’s a powerful tool that’s going to give you a whole new way of looking at things.”
Benefits of the MakerBot Digitizer
Professionals can create 3D models without having to start from scratch. Home users can explore the frontier of 3D scanning and then print them on a 3D printer or share on Thingiverse.
You can order the MakerBot Digitizer here.
Here’s a video from CEO Bre Pettis announcing the MakerBot Digitizer.
MakerCare Service Plan
In addition to purchasing the 3D scanner, MakerBot is offering a service option, called the MakerCare Service Plan for $150. MakerCare is designed to make your MakerBot Digitizer ownership experience as smooth as possible. The plan lasts a full year from the order ship date of your MakerBot Digitizer. If anything goes wrong with your MakerBot Digitizer during that time, you can contact the MakerBot Support team to identify the source of the trouble. The Support team will provide any replacement parts necessary, or arrange for you to ship your MakerBot Digitizer back to the company for repair.
3D Scanning Makes 3D Printing Possible
Last week, two 3D scanning projects were launched on Kickstarter, looking to raise crowdfunding.
- Fuel3D, which bills itself as “a handheld 3D scanner for less than $1000″ rocketed past its target of $75,000 and is now over $200,000 raised with 23 days to go.
- Volumental’s 3D Scan-to-Print Web App, on the other hand, is still short of its $20,000 goal (they’ve raised about $12,000 so far).
Let’s take a deeper look.
First, why is 3D scanning important?
While the popularity around 3D printing continues to rise, sourcing good designs to print remains a challenge. Sure, you can buy a MakerBot 3D printer and download some 3D designs from Thingiverse, but what if you wanted to capture something in your home or office? That’s where 3D scanning technology comes in.
New entrants to 3D scanning
On the high end, there is expensive software and equipment used by professionals. Fuel3D is directly competing in this area of the market with a much more affordable solution.
Hardware innovation blog HackThings wrote, “Fuel3D is a handheld 3D scanner that’s capable of capturing extremely high resolution mesh (250 microns) and color information of objects in 3D, for around $1000. According to the creators, that’s an order of magnitude less than today’s commercial solutions of comparable resolution.”
On the low end, there is free software such as Autodesk 123D Catch. And MakerBot has announced plans for real-world copy and paste technology. This is the area that Volumental is competing. The web-based software connects to a depth camera, like a Kinect, and builds a model on the fly.
HackThings wrote about this solution, “It works as a combination of inexpensive sensor hardware and sophisticated cloud-based software. Log in to their web service, plug in a $300 depth sensor via USB, walk around the object you want to scan, wait for processing and then click “print” to get a clone either via an online printing service or on your own 3D printer.”
Kickstarter campaigns comparison
It might seem surprising that the higher priced solution has raised more money to date on Kickstarter, but this side-by-side comparison gives us some insight into the mentality of crowdfunding. Supporters don’t want to fund things that are perceived to be free; instead, they want to pledge to campaigns that are changing the market. Fuel3D is reducing the cost of high end 3D scanners by an order of magnitude, while Volumental is competing with free.
If you want to back either campaign, or both, here are videos and links to each project.
The 3D Scan-to-Print Web App by Volumental
Finding Inspiration at the U.S. PTO
If you are looking for novel designs that can be 3D printed, New York-based intellectual property lawyer Martin Galese has lots of ideas, and none of them are his own.
Mr. Galese instead has a very creative approach for sourcing his designs; he finds them in detailed drawings from expired patents from the U.S. PTO.
Here, for example, is a cutting edge watch stand concept from 1979, U.S. Pat. No. 4,293,953, which claims, ”an improved watch stand so that a wrist watch can serve as a night table clock when no being worn on a wrist.”
And here is a self-measuring bottle from U.S. Pat. No. 836,466, dated 1906. It’s incredible that the original designer developed this concept without the support of CAD software, and now it can be brought to life through 3D printing.
His work was recently featured in the New York Times blog, including a chopstick holder from the 1960s and a portable chess set from the 1940s. He told the New York Times, “If you look at the figures in older patents, the 19th century patents are really beautiful. They’re really works of art.”