The Makerbot replicator was our first major purchase when we opened the space, made possible by generous donations from a number of members. It is a dual head extrusion type printer which works a little like a hot glue gun pushing out a fine bead of ABS or PLA plastic and layering these on top of each other to make a 3 dimensional object.
Instruction on how to use this machine is usually provided by Patrick who will run through the process of calibrating and operating the machine itself, along with how to produce printable files and what the limitations are.
Advice: The printing process is slow, and as it is our policy to never leave machinery operating unsupervised, be sure you bring a cut lunch and a book if you're printing out a large or complicated item.
Warning: The extrusion heads and build platform are hot, do not attempt to reach in to the machine while it is printing and ensure all safety covers are in place before you start.
Warning: The stepper motors are stronger than they look, do not attempt to put your hands inside the machine while it is moving.
We are still working on a user guide specific to our hackerspace, in the mean time information about this machine can be found on the makerbot website:
Jaycar Arduino 3D printer
Set up with PLA.
note: if your print starts to lean towards one of the corners then you'll need to lubricate the metal bars.
- Cupcake - a small printer that Mark P has kindly rebuilt. Needs a PC building to drive it, and a better home in the space!
- The Prusa - a larger printer donated to us by Michael R. It currently lives in the electronics room. Apparently it works, but we need to build a PC to drive it.