Ultimachine plastic

For a client I just special ordered some black PLA from UltiMachine. 1  This will be my first experience purchasing from UltiMachine, but I’ve heard good things.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

  1. I have always bought MakerBot plastic, but they don’t carry black PLA. []

Would you be interested in some free MakerBot prints?

I have this pile of printed PLA pawns I’m not going to be using any time soon.  They’re of varying quality and interesting-ness.  If you’ve always wanted a MakerBot printed part but thought they were just too unattainable, now’s your chance!

I’m going to be at the East Bay Mini-MakerFaire this Sunday just walking around with my family.  If you’re going to be there too, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll bring a spare piece for you.  I’ll have at least nine pieces to give away.  (More if I try a few new settings.)  If you’re the only one to respond, you get all nine.  :)

October 21, 2010 | Comments Closed

Why doesn’t MakerBot carry PLA any more?

I just noticed they don’t have this any more.  It seems like it’s a popular choice and people1 are able to get it to print well.  The odd thing is that their store doesn’t say they’re out of stock, it doesn’t list this any more.

What’s up with that?

  1. who aren’t me []

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. []

Plastic wishlist

Glow in the dark plastic.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of fluorescing red ABS.1  But, how sweet would glow in the dark plastic be?

It’s like making all of your printed plastic objects twice as useful, since they can be seen at night as well as day.

  1. Is it just me or was this a stealth launch?  I didn’t hear about it anywhere and just happened upon this new ABS plastic while checking on the availability of the new Heated Build Platform. []

What’s so special about printed business cards?

If you’re thinking of the normal run-of-the-mill business cards and you’re thinking too flatland.

This is a 3D printed business card printed using two extruder heads, clear PLA, black ABS, and some special GCode to essentially laminate black text within layers of clear PLA.

I’m not even sure what I would build with this kind of tech.  Although, I think it would be super awesome to build models using clear PLA to create a variation on those “bubbles in crystal created by laser” thingies you see in gift shops everywhere.  Or, a white or black plastic dinosaur skeleton printed in a block of PLA “ice.”

How about a woolly mammoth?  Or caveman or alien or an entire 3D scene of spaceships attacking the deathstar suspended in clear PLA?

Homemade PLA

Ricardo Santos managed to create PLA in his home.  My Portuguese is pretty rusty.  Well, to be exact, non-existent.  However, that’s what Google is for!  Thanks Ricardo!

April 12, 2010 | Comments Closed

PTFE versus PEEK thermal insulating barrier

How do you choose whether to use a PEEK or PTFE barrier?  Well, I asked the benefits of using PEEK over PTFE thermal insulating barriers in an extruder assembly and Nate True gave a fantastic summary:

PEEK is more rigid and won’t bow out and leak everywhere with ABS. It would be better for PLA except that PLA likes to stick to everything. So PTFE (being not sticky) is preferable for PLA. ABS is very slippery by comparison so PEEK is more than adequate for it.


I’m still rockin’ my black ABS coil, so I’ll probably have to add a PEEK barrier to my MakerBot wish list.1

  1. The bit about BBQ is a joke about the over-use of acronyms. []
March 30, 2010 | Comments Closed

What’s so great about a RepRap anyhow?

When I read the RepRap blog or the RepRap builder’s blog I see people printing incredible things in PLA.  And I never hear about their troubles with PLA.  Nothing about it jamming or being fussy about temperatures.  What am I missing?  What are Darwins and Mendels doing that my little MakerBot isn’t?