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!!