Yesterday at CES, Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis announced three new 3D printers, including a massive, fifth-generation Replicator capable of producing objects that are 45.7cm tall and 30.5cm wide/long. Interestingly, all three new models -- there's also a simple, one-button version and a desktop prosumer version -- sport clear plastic sides. 3D printers are very susceptible to disruption from even slight breezes (the wind cools the plastic between the nozzle and the previous layer) but there's a completely batshit patent on the totally obvious "invention" of putting see-through sides on a 3D printer, so in general printers don't ship with sides, and manufacturers don't publicly advise their customers to add plastic sides to their machines.
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The Evil Mad Scientists were presented with a challenge: inscribe one of Cliff Stoll's hand-blown Klein bottles, an object of surpassing beauty and odd topology. They modified an Eggbot plotter to etch the surface of a Klein bottle with a diamond engraver attachment.
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The Mug Marker is a Don McRae's cardboard mug-decorating robot that uses an Eggbot-style EBB controller board and stepper motors to draw precise patterns on your favorite coffee-mug. Lenore from Evil Mad Scientists has a writeup on the design process and the way it performs.
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When Jesse Vincent's boss stole his beloved keyboard, it set him on a long journey to make his perfect and ideal keyboard from scratch (ish -- he bought the keycaps premade). This slide deck documents nine generations of scratchbuilt keyboard prototypes. Vincent is now planning a Kickstarter based on his experiences, making some kind of custom keyboards for the world.
Building a keyboard from scratch
(via O'Reilly Radar)
MakerBot have announced an update to its Replicator 2 3D printer, this one an experimental model with two heads:
Targeting a higher-end market, the 2X features dual heads for printing more-complex objects. “For the daredevils out there, the Doc Browns, the MacGyvers, the test pilots, we haven’t forgotten about you,” says Pettis in a YouTube video released in advance of the announcement. Whereas the Replicator 2 uses PLA filament, the 2X — like the original Replicator — uses ABS filaments. But the 2X is supposed to run more smoothly, and print in multiple colors and even multiple materials.
“There are many ABS filament fans out there that want to keep using ABS, even though it can be a trickier and more challenging product to use,” Pettis says in MakerBot’s press release.
MakerBot Announces More Advanced Replicator 2X 3-D Printer [Nathan Hurst/Wired]