MakerBot and Legos

Update 5/26/2011: MakerBots, DIY 3D printing, and the science of calibration has come a long long way in the year since this post.  I’ve been distracted with other projects, but I’m pretty confident that I could print some very reasonable lego-compatible bricks.

Having printed a few legos, I haven’t printed any more.  I’d certainly like to – but the print resolution isn’t quite there yet.  The pieces don’t stick to each other very well and stick to real legos even less well.  Official legos are engineered to ridiculously exacting standards, so they always fit together.  I mean, have you ever seen a lego piece that didn’t fit other legos?  I’ve never even heard of such a thing.

My latest batch of MakerBot tweaking may have brought me closer to the dream.  I printed up a new Vader head, which turned out beautifully.  I had lowered the one particularly warped Z axis rod below the top toothed pulley edge by about 1mm – which has nearly eliminated the Z axis wobble.

With printing from an SD chip, eliminating wobble, reducing slack on the X and Y belts…  I think I’m ready to take another run at printing up a lego piece.

By the way, as fun as it was to print up four 2×2 lego blocks using the Skeinforge multiply feature, I don’t recommend it.  There’s a lot of cleanup between pieces that just makes it not worth it.

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