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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 @06:16PM (#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 @06:17PM (#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 [] 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 @06:23PM (#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 @06:29PM (#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.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell