We got Matt Wettergreen’s MendelMax up and printing in two days. Thanks to all those at Hive76 who helped out with the build, especially Chris, PJ, Brendan, and Rob! Here’s a timelapse from the first day:

Below is a video of the finished bot printing with the latest Marlin firmware (smooth acceleration and fast travel times)! It turns out PLA sticks to a heated aluminum bed provided in the MendelMax kit. Wow. Completely Awesome. I couldn’t believe how little of the heat from the aluminum bed actually radiates away (you can only barely feel the heat an inch off the bed at 75 degrees celsius). That’s a huge feature.

Congrats to the Mike Payson and the MendelMax Team on their inspired Mendel remix. It’s a fantastic RepRap 3D Printer.

 

We the People


High Resolution 2D Pen Plotting with a RepRap. Happy Leap Year.

 

We are excited to announce a very hacking winter-time Hive76 open-house hosted by NextFabStudio:

Hive76 Open House
December 20th, 7pm – Midnight
@ http://NextFabStudio.com/ @ 3711 Market Street

This Hack-tacular event will be at NextFabStudio and will get us free access for the night to some of their most awesome tools, such as: CNC plasma, CNC embroidery, e-textiles, electronics, 3D printers, shop bots… Check out all their equipment.

There will be food too.

So Awesome.

Now we need to brainstorm project ideas, let’s start things off in this email thread. Please reply-all so the proper NextFab people (cc’ed above) can tell us if this is possible and, if so, the logistics for how to make it happen.

All details are here on the Wiki

I’m proposing the first project (we can have many of them!!)…

A double-set of Hive76 chess pieces and boards. This will make use of their lasercutters, embroidery equipment, and possibly the electronics and 3D printers too. I really want a double-set (4 different colors) so we can play Bughouse Chess (You will love this game)

If we get really creative maybe some magnetics and electronics could be enabled as well.

Let’s get hacking!

To Join in on the Discussion, please join our mailing list

 

Build Your Own 3D Printer!

ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO SIGN-UP!

In collaboration with NextFabStudio, we are offering a state-of-the-art and upgraded RepRap printer kit and accompanying 3-day Build Workshop from August 26th-28th. The class cost is $998 ($1,200 for non-members) and includes EVERYTHING you need to get up and running, and more importantly, a fully calibrated and fine-tuned robot.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN-UP

Check out the time-lapse video below from our first class in Baltimore where we got 10 printers up and running in 3 days.

We’ll help you and a friend or two to build your very own open-source RepRap 3D printer, which has more than 4x(!!) the build volume of it’s closest competitor, the MakerBot Thing-o-Matic. Note that you will save $202 off the class if you’re a member of Hive76 or NextFab Studio. Total class cost for members is only $998. This is a crazy cheap deal! You can’t even buy a MakerBot for that price, let alone learn how to assemble it and fine tune it correctly in just a weekend.

There’s lots of additional bells and whistles on this bot that you won’t find anywhere else: custom machined aluminum motor couplers, linear bearings, the latest RAMPS electronics, and much more!

Any questions or concerns? Click Here to contact Jordan.

First RepRap World Tour 3D Printing Class from jmil on Vimeo.

 

A few months ago Enrique Muyshondt (President of DesktopFab, aka Endeavour on IRC) gave us a set of Sells Mendel parts that he had cast for our work on various research projects at UPenn and here at Hive76. We slowly assembled it and got it running, and thanks to this past weekend’s RepRap World Tour stop in Baltimore, we have it running! In addition to 3D printing like a champ, we’re now using it to work on the firmware and customize printing scripts for tissue engineering research. We are grateful for the support!

The parts are cold cast bronze, this means Enrique painted several layers of bronze powder into his molds and then cast them with resin. What came out were the brown parts you see in the pictures and video below.

This 3D printer rocks. The RepRap 3D printing project still has a lot of rough edges, but that’s why we love it. We’ll have BronzeBot on exhibit at the next RepRapWorldTour in Baltimore, and then back in Philly in August to do it again.

Slideshow:

 

The Prusa Mendel build is finally complete! Here’s a Stanford Bunny:

Prusa Mendel Bunny Print by jmil

PLA bushing sliding on precision ground 8 mm rods is actually quite smooth movement. I don’t think it can go as fast as the original Sells Mendel (which was ball bearings sliding over the rods), but it’s only half the printed parts and the z-axis is much smoother motion too. I will try oiling or greasing the bushings to try to get smoother and faster motion without losing steps. So definitely some tradeoffs but overall a super awesome bot. The Prusa is also fully parametric and entirely made from OpenSCAD. All sources are available on github FTW.

As this is the first bot I built that I actually own, I named this awesometown after my HS science teacher, Mr. Sloate, who really got me into Biology and now, robotics for Biology.

What will we print next?

 
Chris building a BoomCase

Chris building a BoomCase

Our entire building at 915 Spring Garden is taking part in Open Art Studios this weekend, and we’ll be there too!

Almost 30 studios will be open to the public, including Hive76! There’s a ton of different medias people use, everything from textiles to clays to electronics.

Come join us on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, from noon – 5 pm at Hive76. We’ll also be upgrading our MakerBot with a new MK5 Extruder so we’ll be printing in tip-top shape again soon!

 

Come to Hive 76 for our last open house for November, this Wednesday the 17th. As always, there’s a ton to see and a boat-load to do.

  • At 7:00PM, we’ll be updating our Scrum board with the latest status of our projects.
  • After the Scrum meeting, we’ll be holding elections for our management team. ┬áIf any members wish to cast a vote but are unable to attend the meeting, please check the Member’s group discussion for instructions.
  • At 8:00PM, we open the doors for our regularly scheduled Open House meeting. There will be free pizza and soda, and maybe even a few college drinks for sale in the ‘fridge as well.
  • Continuing our new tradition of Mini-Projects For Open Houses, we’ll have parts available for any visitors to make Bristle Bots. If you didn’t come out to make glow sticks last week, then you missed a ton of fun.
  • Adam will be showing off the MakerBot and training any interested parties in its basic operation,
  • and Sean will be bringing the skull of the Flaming Zombie Dummy to the Hive 76 “Trophy Case”.

As always, it will be pure, crystallized awesome. What else are you going to do on a Wednesday night, watch reruns of MythBusters?

 

Symmetry Design for 3D printing

Printed half-object. Print its mirror image (see instructions above), then glue together.

If you are designing objects for printing on MakerBot, the convention is to not try to print anything with overhangs. Well, what if you really want to? Simple… just cut your object in half, digitally. If you design with symmetry in mind, you can save yourself a whole lot of time and effort. Design and model half of your object. Print it out. Then invert your x or y axis, and print again. Bang, you get the exact mirror image of the first half-object. You won’t have to do any more modeling, processing, skeining, or converting to .s3g. bonus is that a single .s3g file on your SD card will be able to print both the left and right half-object. you will need to glue them together at the end, but this trick is most useful if your object has a lot of overhangs when trying to print it in one-shot. Just glue or epoxy them together to get a complete object.

This works really well for sphere-like (not quite spherical) objects, such as heads. See here: Symmetry Design — Blender Monkey Suzanne

Symmetric Monkey Head Print

Best of all, editing your hardware settings to flip either the X or Y axis means you can print the same .s3g file twice, once for each “half-face” of the object. Because the gcode is identical, this will always necessarily produce an exact mirror image.

 

We love MakerBot, but we needed a better way to print larger objects (like parts for a Mendel). So I started experimenting in the lab at UPenn for how to get a heated platform up and working on 3D-PO.

The first design involved multiple layers of silicone fused together around a nichrome core. We told MakerBot about it, and they wanted more! Then Eberhard Rensch in Germany heard about it (go Internets!), and he went to town on a simplified software design. Awesome!

Of course the design is very simple, totally open (and transparent!). Hooray for Universities. So Mike and I bought a bunch of materials, refined the design a bit, and made a bunch more platforms. It was pretty risky but we trusted our gut and listened to all the awesome members right here at our favorite hackerspace. And we also made use of plenty of Hive resources to get the job done.

But we had gotten ahead of ourselves a bit… we don’t have the infrastructure to sell/invoice/ship/advertise this type of product. We could build that infrastructure, but we really love the core MakerBot community and don’t want to see market fragmentation. So we shipped them off to MakerBot to sell through their store. Check out this blog post and also the wiki page explaining how it works and how to use it.

It’s been an awesome experience: idea -> it works! -> invest in yourself -> Success!!

And about that Mendel… Fynflood’s assembling like gangbusters, check it out!!