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  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 18:26
    MakerBot Retail | Yale’s Eberhart to Speak in Greenwich

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    From Early Adopter to 3D Printing Master
    John Eberhart, a lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture, remembers a time when the only tools available to an architecture student were two hands and a lathe. Times have changed.

    Join us at the MakerBot Retail Store in Greenwich, CT this Thursday, April 24th and discover how Eberhart is using MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers to change the way students think about architecture. Eberhart will discuss his 15-year career as a professional architect and instructor at the Yale School of Architecture. Click here to register.

    Eberhart was always an early adopter. He began his career at Yale as a student of architecture and was the first in his class to use a 3D computer rendering to present his final project. Yale hired Eberhart right out of college, and he got to work making the architecture program one of the most technologically advanced in the country. He even purchased a high-end 3D printer in 1999. However, there was one big obstacle: cost.

    “Yale architecture students have to pay for their own building materials, and our earlier 3D printers ran students $200-400 per print,” Eberhart explains. Those prohibitive costs are a thing of the past and Eberhart’s students have made thousands of successful prints since he purchased his first MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers last year.

    MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers Unleash Student Creativity
    The ability to 3D print early iterations of a design gives students the opportunity to incorporate greater personality, risk, and creativity into their conceptual drafts. Eberhart says that many students are taking advantage of the broader range of possibilities by letting their imaginations run wild. In the past few years, he’s seen more elaborate lattices, curvy Frank Gehry-esque designs, and far-out concepts than ever before.

    Don’t miss John Eberhart’s lecture and Q&A this Thursday at the MakerBot Retail Store located at 72 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT.

    Register here.

     

  • Monday, April 14, 2014 - 16:22
    MakerBot Academy | Explore the Great Pyramid of Giza

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    We launched MakerBot Academy last year to equip teachers with the resources they need to give their students a world-class education. In March, we released a 3D printed dissectible frog kit to guide students through basic anatomy without all the messy guts and formaldehyde. Now, the latest content pack from MakerBot Academy takes students beyond the natural world to give them a glimpse of an ancient civilization.

    Explore the World’s Most Famous Tomb—From Your Classroom
    Have you ever wanted to peer inside a pyramid? How about one that stood as the world’s tallest structure for 3,800 years? Get your students in touch with the past with Great Pyramid of Giza content pack from MakerBot Academy.

    The content pack includes a two-part print of the pyramid and a lesson plan that explores the engineering, design, and construction process behind this legendary structure.

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    Feel the Effects of Thousands of Years
    Three walls of our 3D printable model represent the pyramid’s modern appearance. But the fourth wall presents the ancient wonder as it would’ve looked in 2560 BC, gleaming with polished limestone that was later stripped to build other pyramids. Students will learn how erosion and human interference created the worn, jagged look the pyramid is left with today.

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    Explore the Mysteries Inside
    Open the model to reveal a detailed diagram of the multi-chambered tomb and guide students through the most complex internal structure ever discovered in a pyramid. This lesson will bring Egyptian culture to life, and show how it influenced the mummification process, other burial customs, and the pyramids themselves.

    Don’t let ancient curses or mummies get in the way of a great lesson: download the Great Pyramid of Giza content pack from Thingiverse today.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 19:55
    MakerBot Stories | Engineers of Smart Toys Hack Hardware

    Five years ago, Ian Bernstein was working at a robotics company and dreaming of controlling robots with his smartphone. “Back in 2009, nobody was doing it,” says Bernstein, a cofounder and CTO of Orbotix, a Boulder, CO, company that makes connected toys. The Sphero is a versatile robotic ball that can be used as anything from a tool to teach children programming to a ball in a game of miniature golf.

    “When we started Orbotix, I was building all the Sphero prototypes with paper clips and brass and stuff like that, and you can only go so far,” Bernstein said. “Having the MakerBot and being able to make more advanced parts, we’re doing bigger and better things now.”

    The next big thing from Orbotix is a cylinder with wheels that’s a Sphero crossbred with a remote control car. Originally known as the Sphero 2B, it’s now called Ollie.

    Bernstein made the breakthrough prototype of an Ollie on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. He printed the wheels in green PLA and other parts in purple, so he dubbed his prototype The Joker. Late one night at the Orbotix office, The Joker hit a jump and flew through the air, clearing four stacked Sphero boxes. The moment was captured on video, and that’s when everyone knew that they had something special in Ollie, Bernstein says.

    “We're doing bigger and better things now.” – Ian Bernstein, cofounder, Orbotix

    Hacking is essential to Orbotix’s company culture, and having 3D printers (back to a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic) allows employees to play around with hardware too. “Hack Fridays” are reserved for experimenting with new ideas. Also, Bernstein says, “Meetings have gone from a lot of arguing to, ‘OK, cool idea. Make it!’” Orbotix now has two MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers in Boulder and another at their outpost in China.

    If you can’t wait for Ollie to launch this fall, watch the video for a preview. And Orbotix offers a free ramp for your Sphero on Thingiverse.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 17:55
    MakerBot Events | THIS TUESDAY 4/15! Francis Bitonti at the MakerBot Retail Store, Greenwich, CT

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    Meet the Designer
    Come by the MakerBot Retail Store in Greenwich, CT this Tuesday, April 15thth from 6:30-8:30pm to meet acclaimed designer, Francis Bitonti. He will be speaking about his studio’s new 3D printed Bristle Dress, and discuss their expansion into cloud manufacturing with the Cloud Collection. The Bristle Dress will be on display along with 3D printed pieces from the Cloud Collection.

    The MakerBot Retail Store is located at 72 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT. Click here to register. Space will be limited!

     

  • Friday, April 4, 2014 - 21:26
    MakerBot Desktop | The Best Place to Keep Your 3D Models

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    We’ve already learned how MakerBot Desktop is easy to connect to and create 3D prints with, but it’s also the ideal space to collect, organize, and share your digital models. In this post, we’ll explore the amazing capabilities of the MakerBot Cloud Library, a secure, cloud-enabled system for managing your personal designs and collections of 3D printable files.

    Smart Storage
    Log into MakerBot Desktop with your MakerBot account and check out the Library tab. You’ll see four sections: All Things, Purchased Things, Thingiverse, and My Designs (Private). Let’s take a closer look at what we can use them for.

    All Things
    Just like it sounds. This folder will contain every model you’ve saved from MakerBot Thingiverse, purchased from the MakerBot Digital Store, and personal files you’ve uploaded from your computer.

    Purchased Things
    Every time you purchase content from the MakerBot Digital Store, your files will appear here. We’ve also given you two free Digital Store samples to get you started. They are in the Free Samples folder.

    Thingiverse
    When you are viewing a Thing page, click Collect to save the Thing file(s) to your Library. You’ll have the choice of saving it to the Things to Make folder, or creating a new folder. Any design you publish to Thingiverse will be filed in the My Designs folder.

    Note: A Thing is what you see in the list views in the Library, and can consist of multiple files that you can print or prepare.

    My Designs (Private)
    This is where you can store files you’ve uploaded from your own computer that did not originate from either Thingiverse or the MakerBot Digital Store. Click +New to either add a new Thing or new folder. When you add a new Thing, a dialog box will open allowing you to navigate to your file in order to upload it. Feel free to name it and add a description. You can also add files to your My Designs (Private) folder by adding a model from your computer to the Prepare Screen and then saving it.

    Note: These are designs you’ve chosen to not yet share on Thingiverse. If you decide to share any of them later, MakerBot Desktop makes public copies of them but keeps the private copies in the My Designs (Private) folder.

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    If you’re not sure where a particular Thing is filed, you can always use the keyword search function to find it.

    Once you’ve found the file you’re looking for, click on it for more detailed information, including (if it’s from Thingiverse) the designer’s username, the date it was published, and any other information the designer posted to the Thing page. Once you’ve sliced and saved the file, it will save to the My Layouts folder in this detailed view.

    Part of Your Workflow
    The MakerBot Cloud Library can also be central to your design and discovery process, and can be woven into your workflow in different ways.

    – If you’re just browsing Thingiverse for inspiration, or don’t want to start printing quite yet, collect Things now and they’ll be ready to print for later—all in one place in your Library.

    – Upload your personal files to your Library to keep those projects organized.

    – If you made some changes to a file and saved that layout, go back to that file within the Library and find your personalized layout ready for you to print again.

    That wraps it up for the MakerBot Desktop education series. We hope it’s the beginning of your exploration of this best-in-class software that runs MakerBot products, which are setting the standard in 3D printing and 3D scanning.
    Thanks for joining us. We can’t wait to see what you make!

     

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 17:00
    MakerBot Stories | Designing Innovative Products in a Tiny Space

    Bill Phelps has a home office in Tarrytown, NY, a 35-minute train ride from midtown Manhattan. It occupies 100 square feet between the ground floor pantry and a playroom. There are bookshelves, a swivel chair, and a desk with a computer and a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

    “What you’re looking at here — this tiny space — is a product innovation hub,” says Phelps. And from this space, Phelps brought more than a dozen products to market in a year for an $80 million consumer-product-goods company. When the MakerBot Replicator 2 launched, “one of the best things was it was completely affordable, so I went and purchased one on my credit card, and I later asked to expense it,” says Phelps. In two weeks, he printed 50 to 100 parts for prototypes — “and that alone paid for the printer.”

    Before MakerBot, Phelps says, one of his new products would have a prototype budget of $10,000 to $20,000, which was enough to pay for two or three mockups. Rapid prototyping allowed him to be more nimble while spending less. Moreover, he said, “it took away a lot of the arguments.” If a designer makes something one way and the boss thinks it should look different, they can print both options and compare.

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    A few months ago, Phelps co-founded Ringblingz, a startup that makes rings that allow teenagers to put their phones away yet know when they have an important message: a text from mom, a Snapchat from their best friend. During a three-month residency at the R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator, Phelps and Ringblingz had access to an array of six MakerBot Replicator 2s and a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, and Phelps was able to try hundreds of ideas on his way to launching Ringblingz. Phelps and his team launched Ringblingz at SXSW last month, and Wearables Week named them Best Newcomer.

    Phelps says there’s no difference between the difference between the set of Ringblingz prototypes made on a MakerBot and “what I used to spend thousands of dollars on” for each prototype. For a product designer today, he says, “you literally don’t need more than a MakerBot and a computer.”

    "You literally don't need more than a MakerBot and a computer." — Bill Phelps

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 20:32
    MakerBot Events | THIS FRIDAY 4/4! Francis Bitonti at the MakerBot Retail Store, NYC

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    Meet the Designer
    Come by the MakerBot Retail Store in New York City this Friday, April 4th from 8–10pm to meet acclaimed designer, Francis Bitonti. He will be speaking about his studio’s new 3D printed Bristle Dress, and discuss their expansion into cloud manufacturing with the Cloud Collection. The Bristle Dress will be on display along with 3D printed pieces from the Cloud Collection.

    The MakerBot Retail Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street in Manhattan. Click here to register. Space will be limited!

    If you can’t make it Friday, come see Francis and the collection at our Greenwich store at 72 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT on Tuesday, April 15th from 6:30-8:30pm.

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 16:35
    MakerBot Filament | Spring into Filament Savings

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    Get the Filament You Need—for Less
    You made it! Winter is officially over, and it’s time to treat yourself to some springtime savings. For the rest of April, we’re taking 10% OFF when you order four or more spools of large and 1kg size MakerBot PLA or ABS Filaments.

    MakerBot Filament is the best, most consistent filament for MakerBot 3D printers including the new MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer (Fifth Generation Model) and the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer. For your convenience, the April promotion can be redeemed through online, telephone, and retail store orders.

    Make the most of your spring and save today.

     

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 15:45
    MakerBot Partners | Empowering Indiegogo Users

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    We’re big fans of Indiegogo, and the amazing community of Makers it supports. Crowd funding is a powerful tool for independent designer, inventors, and entrepreneurs, many of whom use MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers to bring their projects to life. Some of our favorite projects like Robohand, the mechanical hand designed and created entirely on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, surpassed their funding goals thanks to Indiegogo campaigns.

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    Special Offer Just For Indiegogo Makers
    The Indiegogo community is a consistent source of inspiration for MakerBot. That’s why we’re giving Indiegogo users the chance to own a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer with four spools of Natural or True Color MakerBot PLA Filament for only $1,899.

    Email sales@makerbot.com or call us at 347.334.6800 and reference your Indiegogo username to get in on this special offer.

     

  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - 20:20
    MakerBot Sales Team | Now Available on Saturdays

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    Six Days A Week
    Happy weekend, everybody! With the release of our Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers, the MakerBot Sales team’s lines have been ringing off the hook. We wanted to make sure everyone has time to talk to our product experts, so starting tomorrow, our sales lines will be open every Saturday, from 9AM–6PM EDT.

    Have you been curious about 3D printing? Want to know which MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer to buy? We’ll answer all your questions and help you decide which products and services in the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem are right for you. Email us at sales@makerbot.com or call 347.334.6800 to speak with a MakerBot Sales representative.

  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - 17:37
    MakerBot Desktop | From Digital to Physical

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    Steps to Success
    Every now and then we’re reminded 3D printing is not science fiction, but a real technology used every day to make amazing things in homes, studios, schools, and businesses. At MakerBot we’re proud to be leading this Next Industrial Revolution with the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem, which makes desktop 3D printing and 3D scanning affordable and reliable for everyone, and includes a variety of products and services to help unleash your creativity.

    One of the newest members of our family is MakerBot Desktop, a complete, free 3D printing solution for discovering, managing, and sharing your 3D prints. As we learned in last week’s post on connectivity, MakerBot Desktop was built to access the powerful software capabilities of the new Fifth Generation line of MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers. This week, we’ll take a look at how to use it to go, in just three simple steps, from a 3D design to a 3D print.

    1. Find a Model
    Whether you make your own digital 3D models or prefer to use ones that are already made, MakerBot Desktop gives you three ways to get started:

    – Did you design your own model? MakerBot Desktop will open any STL or OBJ file. Just make sure you save your file as one of those types in the design software you’re using. Click Add File in MakerBot Desktop, and navigate to where the file is saved on your computer.

    – Want to browse through free designs? Click on Explore in MakerBot Desktop to see the hundreds of thousands of 3D printable things on MakerBot Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. Simply click Prepare next to the file name, and MakerBot Desktop will open up the file in the Prepare tab.

    – Looking for high-quality, original prints? Check out the MakerBot Digital Store by clicking Store in MakerBot Desktop. Buy individual models or collections, all designed by our experts. A print file for your purchased model will appear in your MakerBot Cloud Library.

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    2. Prepare Your Model
    Once you have your model open in the Prepare tab you can change its orientation, scale it up or down, or even add another model to the virtual build plate.

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    You may also want to change some settings before printing. Click Settings and choose if you want to print with a raft, support, or both. A raft is a base on which your model will be printed, and can help it stick to the plate. Supports can be printed to hold up overhanging parts of your model. Both the raft and supports can be easily removed once the print is finished.

    You can also choose your resolution: low, standard, or high. The higher resolution, the longer the time it will take to print. For more information on preparing your model, visit MakerBot Desktop Advanced Options page in the MakerBot support website.

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    3. Send the File to Your MakerBot Replicator
    When your model is set up the way you like it, you can go ahead and click Print.

    – If you’re printing via USB stick, MakerBot Desktop will slice your file when you click Print. When the file is ready, click Export Now, and save the file to your USB stick. Then plug the USB stick into the port on the MakerBot Replicator, and navigate to USB Storage on the LCD Display. Find your file and push the control panel dial to print.

    – If you’re printing via USB cable, LAN, or Wi-Fi (coming soon!), MakerBot Desktop will slice your file and send it over to your MakerBot Replicator when you click Print. All you have to do is press the control panel dial to confirm and start the print.

    Show the World Your Work
    If you printed a file from Thingiverse, MakerBot Desktop will prompt you to share a photo of your print. Select Share to Thingiverse, and the MakerBot Replicator’s on-board camera will take a photo of your build area. Push the dial again to post the photo to the Thing page.

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    Now you’re all set to start printing. Go ahead and explore all the exciting options MakerBot Desktop offers with your new MakerBot Replicator. And stay tuned next week for when we’ll go over how to use the MakerBot Cloud Library!

     

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 21:05
    Thingiverse | Customize a 3D Printed Tree

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    3D print a forest of unique, customized trees using Thingiverse Customizer. With about a dozen parameters, the Customizable Tree allows you to easily generate all the flora your inner arborist desires.

    We just upgraded Customizer to a more recent version of OpenSCAD (2013.06), so we created the Customizable Tree to show off some of the new features. It now supports recursion, or the process of repeating similar shapes, in modules and functions and the scaling parameter for linear extrusions which allows the tree branches to taper.

    Additionally, the tree customizer uses a new library we wrote for handling 3D vectors and a small library for converting hue-saturation-value colors to RGB. The 3D vector library comes with some helpful functions for rotating vectors toward other vectors as well as a module for visualizing vector paths.

    Now that we’ve upgraded, we can’t wait to see what kinds of recursive designs you come up with!

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 19:52
    MakerBot Retail | Eva’s Fantastical Furniture Springs to Life

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    Upgrading the Design Process
    Industrial Designer Eva Arnason fell in love with furniture making as a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Now that Eva is the Assistant Manager at the MakerBot Retail Store in Boston, she’s taking her love of furniture design to the next level by incorporating desktop 3D printing into her creative process.

    “I had been making furniture the old-fashioned way at a small custom furniture store that specializes in desks and shelving. When I heard MakerBot was opening a store in Boston, I wanted the opportunity to get back into the digital side of design.”

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    Under Pressure
    For her most recent project, Eva incorporated the natural contours of a piece of wood into a table. However, she needed to ensure her abnormally shaped table could support weight from any angle. So Eva created a 3D printed prototype on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. She used this miniature table prototype to test the strength of her design by putting pressure on various points across the table’s surface. Now she can design the perfect base for her creation before cutting a single piece of wood.

    “I used to spend hours making small wooden prototypes by hand,” says Eva. “Now I can use 3D printing to quickly test my designs before creating them.”

    Visit Eva and the rest of the crew at the MakerBot Retail Store on 144 Newbury St, Boston, MA. And don’t forget to explore our vast collection of ready-to-print content on MakerBot Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models.