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DresnerRobotics
01-06-2011, 02:37 PM
So here's the deal guys.

I just picked up a MakerBot Ultimate (http://store.makerbot.com/cupcake-cnc-ultimate.html) (with the new MK5 Extruder), it's going to likely take me a few weeks get up and running and comfortable with it.

Now, in the hopes of benefiting the Mech Warfare competition I'd like to propose the following:

The MakerBot will be available for Mech Warfare competitors for use. This is only available to competitors that are qualified on the Roster list, meaning that you've made substantial progress on your mech. Exceptions may be made if getting printed parts is integral to your overall progress, but this will be on a case by case basis. Also, if you need help designing parts, let me know and I can see what I can do about assisting you in design. My hope is that we'll pretty quickly create a nice little library of 'ready to go' parts such as camera and gun mounts. I HIGHLY encourage people to use http://www.thingiverse.com to upload and share the parts they're having made. This makes it available for anyone to use and provides a nice repository for our Mech Warfare parts. This is not required, but would be nice!

In addition to this, if you are a member of this community and make a contribution of $50 or more to Mech Warfare, you will also qualify to have parts printed for free. If you're a Mech Warfare competitor and are having a considerable amount of work done on the 3D printer, I ask that you also consider making a donation (a lot of you already have). This offer is retroactive, meaning if you have already made a contribution to Mech Warfare, you are eligible. I'll be sending out an email to all that have donated

Now with all that said, we need to be reasonable with this. The idea here is to provide inexpensive 3D printed parts to our community while raising some funding for the competition. Please use common sense, if you donate $50 and want me to print you all the parts to build your own Makerbot, obviously I'm going to lose money on it. I'm not doing this for profit, I'm doing it to keep the competitions treasury bank growing and get people parts they need for projects.

Depending on what kind of requests I'm getting and in what quantity, the leadtime may vary from 1-4 weeks. Luckily, this printer has the automated build platform add-on so that should help keep productivity up.

I'd like feedback on this, obviously this is all new to me, but I think a 'community open' 3D printer could be mutually beneficial for the competition and community.

jes1510
01-06-2011, 03:28 PM
Nice! I really dig this concept!

master_of_robots
01-06-2011, 03:42 PM
while (Tyberius.makeFreeParts() == true) {
Tyberius.coolPoints += 1;
}

RobotAtlas
01-06-2011, 03:42 PM
That's the best idea of 2011!

DresnerRobotics
01-06-2011, 04:09 PM
Billy Zelsnack had a great idea of using www.thingiverse.com to upload parts to be made. Not a requirement, but I highly recommend it. That way- others can benefit from the parts and we have a centralized location to store Mech Warfare parts. Again, not required by any means if you'd like to keep your designs private (and I promise confidentiality as well).

billyzelsnack
01-06-2011, 04:22 PM
I'll donate printer time to help with the potential workload/turn around time for parts made available on thingiverse.

DresnerRobotics
01-06-2011, 04:24 PM
I'll donate printer time to help with the potential workload/turn around time for parts made available on thingiverse.

Fantastic! + Rep from me Billy, very generous.

Likewise, if anyone else out there with a 3D printer is willing to donate time/materials from their printer, I can email UPS labels to cover the shipping cost of parts (this cost comes out of the $50 donation).

billyzelsnack
01-06-2011, 04:28 PM
I'll have the choice of any color as long as that any color is black!

elaughlin
01-06-2011, 04:59 PM
I wouldn't mind helping designing parts if any one needed help with that. I enjoy using Inventor, so, it's also good for me.

Tybs, like the idea a lot. Always wanted to get my own printer, was going to wait until next year. Thanks so much for offering this up to everyone.

elaughlin
01-07-2011, 08:44 PM
What type of files do you need for the Makerbot?

lnxfergy
01-07-2011, 09:00 PM
What type of files do you need for the Makerbot?

STL is the format most acceptable -- that way a makerbot user can easily re-generate the gcode with their own machine's specifications. Most CAD packages have a way to export STL. It's a good idea to export the file after setting the standard units to millimeters so that the STL is correctly sized for printing (although I believe you can scale fairly effortlessly in newer versions of the makerbot software, but I haven't tried it).

-Fergs

elaughlin
01-07-2011, 10:25 PM
Thanks Fergs, I will look into the STL export for Inventor. I always use millimeters anyways so thats good. But its good someone already has experience with it and can tell all of us the important points for first time users.

lnxfergy
01-07-2011, 10:33 PM
Thanks Fergs, I will look into the STL export for Inventor. I always use millimeters anyways so thats good. But its good someone already has experience with it and can tell all of us the important points for first time users.

STL export is super simple in inventor -- as long as the part is set for millimeters, you just do the export through the regular menus and are all set. You shouldn't have any trouble. The only real gotcha that I've come across is that sometimes weird shaped parts with sharp corners won't go from STL into g-code too easily. Adding a small radius to the edge will typically fix the problem.

For those really interested in nitty gritty details -- the STL files out of inventor are ascii STL files (sometimes called stla), which work great for the Makerbot, but not so well for anyone trying to take Inventor models into ROS as meshes. There is a tool out there called "ivcon" distributed in raw C-source that does a pretty good job converting Ascii STL to binary STL if you should ever need it.

-Fergs

Luis Rodriguez
01-11-2011, 11:33 AM
I own several printers and wil be bringing a Thing-O-Matic and an UP! printer to the games! I would be happy to help in anyway. I won't be competing...yet...but will be in attendance with my brother, Micheal Overstreet and another memeber from our hackerspace in KC. Let me know how i can help. And yes definetly post STL's and native files to Thingiverse.

Luis Rodriguez
Makerbot Cupcake CNC and Thing-O-Matic owner
UP! 3D printer owner
possible competitor