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Makerbot Thing-o-Matic 3D Printer Review 117

rsk points out this "review of the $1200 Makerbot Thing-o-Matic 3D printer. After a 16-hour self-assembly and a few weeks of use, a blown PSU was replaced with a higher powered PSU via a mod to the Thing-o-Matic. Video of the Thing-o-Matic printing out little solar panel mounts from Google Sketch-up included in the review. Final thoughts suggest that the Thing-o-Matic is not a great gift for non-engineers: 'You need a decent understanding of robotics, hardware, software, electronics and mechanics, need a little hand dexterity and a ton of patience.'"
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Makerbot Thing-o-Matic 3D Printer Review

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  • "3D Printer?" (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, 2011 @09:38PM (#34961900)

    Why not call it what it is, a consumer-oriented CNC milling machine. It is arguably in the same family of devices as the 5-axis Hermle C60s in the factory where I work. (We use those giant machines to cut some really *tiny* parts, it's pretty awesome to watch them do their thing.)

    I'm not knocking the Thing-o-Matic in any way. I want one.

  • Re:"3D Printer?" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Friday January 21, 2011 @09:42PM (#34961928) Homepage Journal

    Why not call it a milling machine?

    Er, because it doesn't perform any milling? It performs deposition - adding of material. Milling is carving away - subtracting the material.

  • Re:I would think... (Score:5, Informative)

    by phooky ( 645 ) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @01:54AM (#34963060)

    We initially inverted the head/model relationship because (at least when we were getting started) the extruder was a heavy, delicate bit of equipment, and the models being printed were very small and light. Moving the model means moving less mass. If you're printing in ABS, the material is viscous and sticky enough right out of the nozzle that it isn't perturbed by the platform motion. The disadvantage of this scheme is that it reduces your build area significantly, you need good model/platform adhesion, and tall models have a bit of an inverted pendulum effect. However, you don't have to worry about the head getting jammed or shaking apart as it slams back and forth at high speed.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong