[Lab] your personal experience with 3d printing

Adrian Jones adrian at woodsgood.ca
Thu Sep 3 12:28:53 EDT 2015

Many thanks, Ross.
Your praecy makes for interesting and insightful reading.
I'm looking forward to receiving my Genesis Duo before Christmas (2015 I

.... Adrian
PS. Check out my latest clock (www.wooduino.ca ) I'm on to my next which
explores the metaphor of flowing time.

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: your personal experience with 3d printing (j ross)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 01:14:34 -0400
From: j ross <waterfallclose at gmail.com>
To: Jason Cobill <jason.cobill at gmail.com>
Cc: "lab at artengine.ca" <lab at artengine.ca>
Subject: Re: [Lab] your personal experience with 3d printing
	<CAHK-2ZJahgTi2C51=hMRBBh+-VmKZt4LH0LwGYWLTdhy18Nffw at mail.gmail.com>
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My opinion only, but basically the story (probably apocryphal with many
holes) goes like this:
- One of the early makers of 3D printers that were more accessible and was
based on open source work in the reprap community.
- makerbot replicator was one of the first really popular 3D printers that
sort of worked well and had a large community
- Replicator 2, 2X were the first really successful "commercial" 3D printers
to hit the market in numbers, slick, good looking and well hyped.
Software was pretty complete, simple and well integrated and time had
actually been spent on industrial design.  Bre Pettis, teacher & maker,
becomes poster boy for 3D printing and the maker movement in general.
- Sold to Stratasys then came out with the current gen Replicator family.

Maker-to-market success story right? Problem?

Basically they built on the open source hw/sw community and the more
successful they got, the more closed their product became, pissing-off
everyone that was on the journey with them at the expense of a big corp
buyout. Now Makerbot is owned by one of the two big players that have been
in the market since the beginning (Stratasys and 3D Systems) and that have
very little real interest in making better and cheaper products for the
maker market as a whole since they make most of there money from business.
The newest generation of printers are not that great at all compared with
even some of the kits available - arguably because most of the original
staff were fired or left in the process.  But they are flashy and have some
"advanced" features like wifi and cameras but the reliability and print
quality is no better (many will say worse since they have several known
issues) and they're still very expensive. $8k for a Makerbot? Please... But
they have a sales and marketing machine with a corporate budget now so can
market much more broadly. The product is completely closed and the maker
open ethos has been left behind.  The documentary "Print the Legend" is
worth watching.

I for one was quite dismayed to watch this unfold since I bought an early 2X
and really enjoyed using it. And I met and talked to Bre in New York before
the World Maker faire a few years ago and really liked him.  But when my
2X's brain died recently and I checked the replacement cost, there was no
question in my mind that I would not be supporting them anymore.  I look
forward to my "Frankenstein" coming back to life soon with a fresh, open
source, smoothie board brain, giving it a new paint job and very likely a
slew of other mods and upgrades - it was sold as "Experimental"
after all :).
As I mentioned above, the Ultimaker 2 is, I believe, one of the best 3D
printers out of the box at the moment and has stepped in to remove the bad
taste left in my mouth by Makerbot.  They are a successful company with a
great community and committed to the ideals of openness in the maker
movement.  Their product is just as slick as Makerbot and much better
quality in every way.  For someone or group that just wants a printer that
works so they can focus on the business of learning 3D design and rapid
prototyping - this is the current leader, in my opinion.  Expensive but all
high quality parts and great software - very important. There are so many
others out there now (even Dremel has one) that you can certainly find ones
that are cheaper and arguably just as good for the job.  There are sooo many
caveats to this though.  The main one is that hobbyist 3D printing is really
still a "hands-on" activity and no one should confuse them with the
fire-and-forget technologies we have around us like document printers.
Even the so-called pro printers require regular maintenance.  And as Michael
said, constructing your own is a good way to learn how to maintain it. But
don't buy a low cost printer - or any hobbyist level printer for that matter
- if you have no intention of "getting under the hood"
occasionally. And as a corollary to that, and to paraphrase Stephen, best to
get one that will not penalize you for trying to do so.

On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 2:39 PM, Jason Cobill <jason.cobill at gmail.com> wrote:

>    I'm not up on the gossip - what's Makerbot doing (or not doing) to 
> disenchant their user base?
>    I ask because if I was going to buy one, I'd probably consider them 
> first - they seem to have a pretty robust hardware and software product.
>    -Jason Cobill
> On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 12:13 AM, j ross <waterfallclose at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I own a Makerbot Replicator 2X and an Ultimaker 2.  There are lots of 
>> great printers around right now, but after doing my own research I 
>> recently settled on the Ultimaker 2. Not cheap, but it's open, great 
>> quality, has all the points that Stephan mentioned (standard 
>> filament, heated bed, large print area, open, etc.) great community, 
>> good software, hackable and very reliable (as this gen of printers 
>> goes) and takes lots of different filaments.  I've done many 
>> successful ABS and PLA prints with it - no problems so far.  In my 
>> opinion, it's a solid, no regrets choice if it's within your budget.
>> My Makerbot 2X is getting a brain transplant - the main board fried 
>> after the stepper cable came loose - too many demos.  I've replaced 
>> it (almost
>> done) with a smoothie board since I (like many others) have become 
>> quite disenchanted with Makerbot of late.
>> Jeff
>> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 3:42 PM, Tom Burns <tom.i.burns at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I own two 3d printers*
>>> * if you consider kickstarter payment to be "ownership".. Neither 
>>> have shipped yet.  Peachy printer's a year overdue, and the Genesis 
>>> Duo's now talking about being 4 months or so late.
>>> The technology's changing very quickly so I'd suggest you buy the 
>>> best available printer when you're ready, and not buy into a project 
>>> that will likely be out of date by the time it's ready.
>>> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 3:23 PM, Stephen Burke 
>>> <steve at envirolaser.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi Benoit,
>>>> My personal experience over the past 6 years has taught me that if 
>>>> you want to build one, and this is your first 3D printer, make sure 
>>>> it is a VERY simple kit, otherwise it may become one of those
unfinished projects.
>>>> It would make sense in high school only if the focus was assembling 
>>>> a device, not necessarily using it.  You can expect to put 30 to 40 
>>>> hours into assembling a 3D printer, and another 10+ making sure it 
>>>> works properly and consistently.
>>>> If the need is to have a working 3D printer for use in class as a 
>>>> tool to make projects, then buy a printer that allows for generic 
>>>> filament and uses open source components and software.  Find 
>>>> something that can handle multiple materials (PLA, Nylon, ABS, 
>>>> Carbon Fibre, etc), has a heated build plate, and a large print 
>>>> volume (8? x 8? x 6? or larger is nice).  A machine like this will 
>>>> have very few limitations so it could be used for multiple projects.
>>>> I sell 3D printers from MakerBot, ROBO, 3D Systems, Cubify, Full 
>>>> Spectrum and, maybe soon, Printrbot.  I also sell a wide variety of 
>>>> filaments from Taulman 3D, ColorFabb, FlashForge, Proto-pasta and
>>>> Chances are, I will have the 3D printer and material that will suit 
>>>> your needs for your high school.
>>>> Stephen Burke
>>>> 3D Artist
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