Hanselminutes on 9 - Bill Steele talks about 3D Printing with Makerbot Replicators and more

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I was at CodeMash and talked to Bill Steele about 3D printing. He had a few 3D printers at the event, even one that he'd printed with another 3D printer! 

If you haven't seen a 3D printer in person, you really need to check it out. It's amazing. In this video Bill not only explains how these amazing things work but also gives me a closeup look at the objects being printed. He talks about the MakerBot but also alternative designs to the MakerBot that enable even larger items to be printed.

The future is now and it will be printed in 3D.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      kettch

      I won't be able to resist one of these much longer.

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    • User profile image
      Glucose

      That's EXACTLY how I felt.

    • User profile image
      Clint

      trust me, i don't think they are totally here yet.  lot of tweaking and knowledge.  The biggies is: can you do 3d modeling to make the new parts?

    • User profile image
      chrissie1

      The only problem I see here is that it uses plastic, and cheap plastic ist still made of crued oil at this point int time.

      But yeah, he can have my money if they can get it down to 500$. YOu can then make a custom raspberry pi case.

    • User profile image
      slaneyrw

      Can you look at the high quality WMV file size.... 1GB ?  The high quality mp4 is only 72mb.

    • User profile image
      Dan

      @slaneyrw - For some context, when you submit a video to Channel 9, the video you submit is set as the "High Quality WMV" and the other versions are built off of that encoding, hence the disparity.

    • User profile image
      etienne

      For auto-replication, have a look at http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page

    • User profile image
      Glucose

      Bill has launched a KickStarter and you can buy these here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2105227104/ultra-bot-3d-printer?ref=live

    • User profile image
      Rob Gibbens

      CodeMash? Or That Conference?

    • User profile image
      dthorpe

      @Clint: Yes. All 3D printers require 3D solid models as input. If you create your own models, you can print them. The trick is to make sure the models are "solid", aka "water tight". Most 3D graphics tools are tuned for video production, which does not require true "water tight" solid models. You can get away with meshes that have no thickness (think: clothes, hair) when you're creating a model for video, but thickness is required for 3D printing. AutoCAD, Rhino3D, 123D, and MOI are modeling apps you can use to create 3D solid models for printing.

      There are many different styles of 3D printing hardware, too. Each has its own strengths and challenges.  I use a ZCorp Z406 powder printer to print in plaster and clay: http://dannythorpe.com/category/ceramics/

      As for your comment about "not totally here yet": true, if you're expecting something that is as hands off as a modern laser printer. 3D printing still requires a lot of "user participation". There are a few 3D printing systems that are truly hands-off appliances, but you pay a premium for it: such machines from ZCorp / 3DS and others cost $20k and up. You can expect 3D printers from the maker space to require a bit more hands-on engagement. First you have to build it, then you have to feed it, understand its quirks and limitations, etc.

    • User profile image
      Glucose

      Rob - Actually I think it was a Developer Day in Ohio somewhere/

    • User profile image
      Ross Bradbury

      I saw a lot of Stir Trek lanyards in the video and it was at a cinema so was probably stirtrek.com (Columbus, OH)

    • User profile image
      Glucose

      Ah, yes, it was StirTrek.

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