Zoom in and enhance

Well, it seems that flipping one of the motor leads will flip the axis of a print.  This is good if you want to print up a mirror image of something without fiddling with software.  However, this does bring up two of my favorite TV and movie cliche/pet peeves.  These usually come in the form of our hero/heroine standing over the nerdy tech with a cluttered desk and asking the tech to do ridiculous things.

  1. Wait.  Stop – now take it back a bit.  Right there.  Zoom in.  Enhance that area.  [Insert revelation]  Great can you print that?123
  2. What if we reverse the polarity?4
  1. I’ve probably heard this exact bit at least half a dozen different times. []
  2. It probably started with Bladerunner. []
  3. I’ve got a funny story about Philip K. Dick the next time we’re out drinking. []
  4. Because, you know, reversing the polarity fixes anything.  Especially flipped STL’s. []

What I learned from my MakerBot poll

Here’s what I learned from the various questions:

  1. Why are you interested in MakerBot?
    • About 2/3 of people answered with some variation of “General interest in technology, robots, and stuff”, “Making ideas real, inventing, and prototyping”, or “MakerBots are awesome”.
  2. Have you heard or read about RepRap or RepRap.org?
    • Just about everyone polled (93%) who has heard about MakerBot has heard about RepRap.  I found this result a little surprising since MakerBot tends to get all the press.  My guess is that people see or hear about a MakerBot, do a little research, and then find out about RepRap.
  3. Have you tried to design anything in 3D?
    • 90% of people said they had tried to design things in 3D.  Given the ubiquity of computing power and 3D modeling software, especially Sketchup this isn’t shocking.
  4. Have you tried to upload anything to Thingiverse?
    • Only about 48% of people polled said they’ve tried to upload things to Thingiverse.  I suspect this result is as high as it is because of the recent MakerBot contest – but I have nothing to back up this guess.  I had designed several things before buying my MakerBot – but didn’t start uploading anything until after it was finished.
  5. If you had a MakerBot, what would you want to download from Thingiverse and print?
    • Nearly 1/3 of people polled named toys, puzzles, games, or game pieces as something they wanted to print off of Thingiverse.  This was more than “RepRaps/RepStraps”, “tools”, and “art/decorations” combined.
  6. If you had a MakerBot, what would you want to design and print?
    • It was about a four way tie for “Toys”, “Tools”, “Replacement or spare parts/stuff for fixing things”, and “Prototyping, designs, inventions, and making custom things.”
  7. If you had a MakerBot, what would you use it for? (Help starving children, make toys, make tools, etc)
    • More than a quarter of people of polled said “Toys.”  This time, “Tools”, “Replacement or spare parts/stuff for fixing things”, and “Prototyping, designs, inventions, and making custom things” were all about equal.
  8. Why haven’t you purchased a MakerBot yet?
    • 28% of people already had a MakerBot and 26% said they didn’t have $1,000.00 to purchase an awesome robot.  Another 8% said they were planning to purchase a MakerBot.  The most surprising results to me were 8% saying they wanted to wait for further improvements and another 4% saying they didn’t think they have what it takes to build one. 1
  1. A truly tragic 2% chose “My parents were killed by awesome robots.”  Even though my own MakerBot has already violated each of the three laws of robotics, I had never thought robot-human violence would ever have gotten this bad. []

MakerBot Poll Results Revealed!

Thank you for participating in my totally informal unofficial unsanctioned and highly illegal MakerBot poll. 1  Here’s how the answers broke down:

  1. Why are you interested in MakerBot?
    • 21% “MakerBot is the next big thing / Living in the future / Interest in technology / Making things on demand / Self-replicating robots are cool / Cheap prototyping”
    • 19% “Prototyping / Designing / Inventing / Making ideas a reality / Projects / Creativity on my desktop / Making custom things / Improving existing things.”
    • 19% “MakerBots are awesome / MakerBots look awesome / It’s a fun cool project / Everything about MakerBots is awesome”
    • 6% “Making things and stuff”
    • 6% “I love DIY and open source stuff”
    • 6% “I already have one or have purchased a MakerBot”
    • 6% “I want to bootstrap a RepRap / Design another printer / Print a second 3D printer / I’m interested in RepRap”
    • 2% “Empowering people / Helping people”
    • 2% “World domination”
    • 2% “Easier to make than a RepRap”
    • 2% “I make MakerBots”
    • 2% “Making the 3x2x1 Rubik’s cube
    • 2% “Learning how things work”
    • 2% “Making tools and other things to make life easier”
    • 2% “Making art and decorations”
  2. Have you heard or read about RepRap or RepRap.org?
    • YES!  (92.5%) versus No (7.5%)
  3. Have you tried to design anything in 3D?
    • YES!  (90.0%) versus No (10.0%)
  4. Have you tried to upload anything to Thingiverse?
    • YES!  (47.5%) versus No (52.5%)
  5. If you had a MakerBot, what would you want to download from Thingiverse and print?
    • 31% “Toys / Games / Fun / Puzzles”
    • 10% “Things to bootstrap a RepRap / Design another printer / Print a second 3D printer / I’m interested in RepRap”
    • 10% “Making art and decorations”
    • 10% “Tools and other things to make life easier”
    • 8% “I already have one or have purchased a MakerBot”
    • 6% “Upgrades for the MakerBot”
    • 6% “Making things and stuff”
    • 6% “Making replacement parts / Avoid replacement part costs / Spare parts / Fix things / Repairs”
    • 4% “Prototyping / Designing / Inventing / Making ideas a reality / Projects / Creativity on my desktop / Making custom things / Improving existing things.”
    • 2% “Things to amaze others and get people interested in DIY, RepRap, and 3D printing”
    • 2% “Things I would otherwise purchase”
    • 2% “Models of things”
  6. If you had a MakerBot, what would you want to design and print?
    • 18% “Tools and other things to make life easier”
    • 17% “Prototyping / Designing / Inventing / Making ideas a reality / Projects / Creativity on my desktop / Making custom things / Improving existing things.”
    • 17% “Toys / Games / Fun / Puzzles”
    • 17% “Making replacement parts / Avoid replacement part costs / Spare parts / Fix things / Repairs / Home repairs”
    • 5% “Things for my own business or as a business”
    • 5% “Things to bootstrap a RepRap / Design another printer / Print a second 3D printer / I’m interested in RepRap”
    • 5% “Making art and decorations”
    • 3% “Things I would otherwise purchase”
    • 3% “Stuff for homebrew DIY games”
    • 3% “Upgrades for the MakerBot”
    • 2% “New face”2
    • 2% “Pets bio-morphs”3
    • 2% “Things to amaze others and get people interested in DIY, RepRap, and 3D printing”
    • 2% “For home brewing.” 4
  7. If you had a MakerBot, what would you use it for? (Help starving children, make toys, make tools, etc)
    • 26% “Toys / Games / Fun / Puzzles”
    • 13% “Tools and other things to make life easier”
    • 10% “Making replacement parts / Avoid replacement part costs / Spare parts / Fix things / Repairs / Home repairs”
    • 9% “Prototyping / Designing / Inventing / Making ideas a reality / Projects / Creativity on my desktop / Making custom things / Improving existing things.”
    • 6% “Making things and stuff”
    • 6% “Things for my own business or as a business”
    • 4% “Things to amaze others and get people interested in DIY, RepRap, and 3D printing”
    • 4% “Things to bootstrap a RepRap / Design another printer / Print a second 3D printer / I’m interested in RepRap”
    • 3% “Empowering people / Helping people”
    • 3% “Models of things”
    • 3% “Making art and decorations”
    • 1% “I love DIY and open source stuff”
    • 1% “Science Olympiad”
    • 1% “Things I would otherwise purchase”
    • 1% “To learn more about how things work”
    • 1% “MakerBot and printer upgrades”
    • 1% “A space ship”5
    • 1% “Home brewing of brews, at home”
  8. Why haven’t you purchased a MakerBot yet?
    • 28% “I have one or have purchased this awesome robot!”
    • 26% “I don’t have $1,000.00 to spend on awesome robots.”
    • 8% “I’m waiting for MakerBot improvements or am worried about missing out on a newer better version after I purchase this awesome robot”
    • 8% “I’m planning to purchase or will purchase as soon as I save up for this awesome robot”
    • 4% “My friend has an awesome robot, so I just use theirs”
    • 4% “I don’t have the room for an awesome robot”
    • 4% “I don’t think I have what it takes to build an awesome robot”
    • 2% “It’s not worth $1,000.00 to make my own stuff with an awesome robot”
    • 2% “It’s not worth $1,000.00 to own an awesome robot”
    • 2% “I’m interested in MakerBots, but not interested enough to buy an awesome robot”
    • 2% “My parents were killed by awesome robots”
    • 2% “Robots ate my money”
    • 2% “Gray goo and Skynet”
    • 2% “It’s better and cheaper to build a RepRap from scratch”
    • 2% “I’m surrounded by awesome robots all day”
  1. Your IP address has been provided to the NSA.  They’ve got a couple of questions for you. []
  2. Your guess is as good as mine []
  3. I don’t know what this is.  Am I too old to get this? []
  4. Based upon this person’s other answers, I think they really did mean brewing at home of a home brew project.  For brews. []
  5. A new face and a space ship.  Right. []
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100% Chance of AWESOME

I rather enjoy writing WordPress plugins.  It started writing them out of necessity, but I’ve ended up writing several for frivolous reasons and fun.  One of my favorites is based upon the hard work of Rasmus.  Basically, it turns

[wordpress_shortcode data=’Totally awesome=99|Merely awesome=1‘]

into

Which translates, as the title would suggest, into a 100% chance of awesome.

I dusted off this plugin (probably written about a year ago) because of the numbers associated with the MakerBot poll I recently ran.  I find it very helpful to view such data graphically.  Hopefully you will too.

This is a lot more work than I thought…

I’m working on sorting through the answers for my MakerBot poll.  With all the open ended questions, it’s a lot more work to summarize the results.  However, I’m looking forward to seeing what they reveal…

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Cyrozap – ARE YOU HAPPY NOW???

Cryozap Cyrozap, I mean, is there anything else I can get you?  A moist towelette?  A cotton shammy?  Perhaps you would like a bloom from the titan arum?1  Shall I bottle the nuance of the Mona Lisa’s smile for you?  Please just tell me what the heck you want and I will just do it!!!

What will it take to make you happy???

Kidding aside –  thank you.  Apparently the mobile version of MakerBlock went quite mad when viewed on a mobile device.  I’ve yanked out the mobile version – so hopefully it will look a lot better now.

If you see a problem with the site, please let me know. 2

Update:  Cyrozap – sory fore mispellnig yoru mane.

  1. By some reports, it blooms about once every three years in the wild. []
  2. I may make fun of you a little bit, but I will absolutely thank you as well. []
July 24, 2010 | Comments Closed

MakerBot Cart

3 Shelf Cart

3 Shelf Cart

I had a dream last night which featured my MakerBot. 1 2 3  I had a dream I was working on my MakerBot in some fashion, I don’t remember how.  Then some neighbor I don’t really have in real life came over.  We talked for a while about something I don’t remember.  A little later we went over to his house and saw his work cart.  It looked like a pretty standard large heavy duty plastic cart.

As I’m looking at the cart I somehow don’t really notice anything that’s on it or how it has been altered.  Then my non-existent neighbor presses down on a large square section of the top shelf of the cart.  It presses in slightly and then I hear a hydraulic hiss as two square shelf sections, about the size of a MakerBot footprint, raise upwards.  He presses down on it again and it lowers.  Think of the pressure applied when using an entertainment center door – you press in, click, it pops out.  Press in, click, it stays closed.

I immediately think, “Wow!  It would be really neat if you could bolt a MakerBot to this hydraulic raising panel, include a power strip, a laptop/netbook and/or a USB cable, spool(s) of plastic, tools, supplies, replacement parts, and little drawers for keeping things in.”  At this point, still before 5am PST, I still think this would be neat.  When not in use, just lower the ‘bot into the cart and roll away. 4

Of course, looking back on this dream through the eyes of mild sleep deprivation5 other ideas come to mind.  Put solar panels on top and roll it outside for greener MakerBot printing.  Power it with a large6 battery.  Attach a motor for mobile MakerBotting and drive the entire MakerBot Cart to 7665 Commerce Way
Eden Prairie, MN and make heckle the guys at Dimension78

And, my all time favorite idea:  Attach larger wheels and some kind of suspension to the MakerBot Cart, or at least some kind of suspension to the platform that suspends the MakerBot itself, install solar panels and/or a battery, attach to a bike hitch and a bike, and bike around a MakerFaire printing and giving away stuff.

I think that would be pretty cool.

  1. This post was brought to you by insomnia and the Butthole Surfers. []
  2. Maybe it was this morning – in which case it was just a few hours ago. []
  3. I really shouldn’t be awake right now.  Anyhow. []
  4. Not… in… use?  Does not compute. []
  5. It’s been a long week.  Six full days so far at least! []
  6. Car? []
  7. Hey!  Why would I ever want a plastic cartridge when I can have this spooly snaggly mess trailing behind me?  Hey, can you drive and print at the same time?  Hey, I’m having some difficulty with these Skeinforge settings – a little help? []
  8. I wouldn’t really do that. []

Christmas in July!!!

A little while ago I posted my plastic wishlistGlow in the dark plastic was the only thing on that list.

Well, Vik Oliver managed to score some glow in the dark PLA.  Apparently it’s pretty expensive – but I don’t know how to convert 100m of 3mm plastic at NZ$60 to something I would understand. 1

  1. I’m guessing it would probably take a slide rule, a Commodore 64, and a very patient person speaking very loudly and slowly to put this all into terms I would understand. []