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Hardware

Engadget Experiences the Solidoodle 3 3D Printer 70

Engadget reports that former MakerBot employee Sam Cervantes has brought to market — or at least to Engadget headquarters in prototype form — a working, cheap(ish) 3D printer from his own company Solidoodle. Originally, the new Solidoodle 3 printer was announced at $500; the price has crept up to $800, but that still sounds like a bargain in the world of home fabrication. Unlike the current MakerBot, it has no built-in card slot, so a computer connection is required for the length of a build.
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Engadget Experiences the Solidoodle 3 3D Printer

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  • by RobKow ( 1787 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:16PM (#42303749)

    The general process that includes lost-wax casting is called investment casting, and while it can be done with ABS, it requires the mold to be baked off in a kiln capable of much higher temperatures than with wax. Burning ABS at home probably isn't a good idea either. I'm not sure about how other materials would work.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:17PM (#42303755) Homepage

    The problem with these ABS extruders is not building the frame. The problem is not building a 3-axis positioning system. The problem is that you're welding a hot thing to a cold thing. That's always going to be a marginal operation. Without a better welding process (I've suggested aiming a small laser at the weld point) this will continue to be a flaky technology. I've seen about five versions of this technology in action, and they all sort-of work, but don't yield consistently strong parts.

    The ultraviolet stereolithography technology yields much better part quality, but still costs too much. Formlabs [formlabs.com] may succeed in getting the cost down to $3500 or so. They're demoing at CES.

  • Re:That.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:23PM (#42303783) Journal

    That... Is the stupidest name for a company/product i've heard in a long long time.

    If you object to stupid-but-cute names, why are you on "Slashdot?" B-)

    (I'd have a four-digit, or maybe even a three-digit, i.d. if I'd been able to figure out the URL when first told about the site over the phone.)

    As for "solidoodle" I think the name is great. Mnemonic, descriptive, easy to pronounce, and not TOO hard to get the spelling right. Google search for "solid doodle" (without quotes) spelling-corrects it to solidoodle and finds the company site and discussions about it, too.

  • Make & Re-use (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xeoron ( 639412 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:29PM (#42303809) Homepage
    I wish someone would make a companion 3d printer product that will recycle plastics into the plastic used to print things with some of these 3d printers. If you could turn most any plastic into a strong plastic ink source, then the cost of owning one of these printers goes down and gives people a reason to recycle with a fast gratification of making stuff.

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.

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