First 3D print of 2014 was a Wabbit for my niece. To her and her generation  it’s just normal to choose a rabbit from Thingiverse, download it and then print it out.

First 3D print of 2014 was a Wabbit for my niece. To her and her generation it’s just normal to choose a rabbit from Thingiverse, download it and then print it out.

I highly recommend Carla Diana’s great new book on 3D printing “Leo the Maker Prince”. Whether you’re 6 or 60 it’s a great intro to the world of 3D printing and of course tonnes of fun. #makerbot

Get it from Amazon

I highly recommend Carla Diana’s great new book on 3D printing “Leo the Maker Prince”. Whether you’re 6 or 60 it’s a great intro to the world of 3D printing and of course tonnes of fun. #makerbot

Get it from Amazon

And here’s the data printed out.

And here’s the data printed out.

My forthcoming iPhone app called Kennedy allows you to not only capture the now with surrounding context but also lets you export that data as either a CSV or JSON file. That means you can then use it to create data visualisations or even 3D models from your data! The video shows the exported CSV data used to create a sphere that maps the weather conditions - spiky bits are when it was raining and non-spiky was when it was sunny. Nothing earth shattering but kind of fun.

This is a physical representation of my Twitter activity from 2008 and 2012. Tweets, read in from a CSV file, are mapped across the grid for the entire year. The height simply represents the number of characters in the text which is pretty stupid but served fine for a test. #makerbot

I knew this wouldn’t print, but I did it anyway. Still kind of like it. The form is created from Prince’s Kiss, after being generated and then exported as an stl in Processing.

Always print a Field Notes clip when I get a new filament colour. This is Jet PLA in orange bought from Amazon.

Always print a Field Notes clip when I get a new filament colour. This is Jet PLA in orange bought from Amazon.

3D Printing is Abused

Wise words from Ron Arad. Whilst printing lots of things is part of the process of getting to know 3D printing, pushing the buttons to see what happens (and god knows I’ve done my fair share of printing unneeded things), eventually you have to stand back and ask what is this good for? I don’t think the world needs anymore Darth Vader key rings or badly designed jewellery.

You look at Ron Arad was doing with rapid prototyping years ago and it’s better than 99% of the stuff on Thingiverse. But of course, he’s Ron Arad.

Prototyping a little box/enclosure system using a snap-fit tab on the #makerbot Works pretty well though more to do yet.

Prototyping a little box/enclosure system using a snap-fit tab on the #makerbot Works pretty well though more to do yet.

Any electronic project needs to be held in some kind of enclosure. In the past I’ve used off the shelf boxes and then drilled or cut the required openings or I’ve had laser cut boxes made that I then stick together. But I’ve never been happy with any of these solutions. I also tried using my original Thing-o-matic Makerbot but even if I could fit it on the build plate I’d just get a huge amount of curling and warping.

So when I was needing an enclosure for the latest version of my Happiness Machine I revisited the Makerbot except this time I had the Replicator 2 but more importantly I had the latest version of Makerware, the printing software created by Makerbot. Printing with the raft option, just on standard, the results were fantastic. Yes this is not yet shop bought quality but it’s getting there and it was certainly good enough for the exhibition it was planned to go in. No warping, no curling, just nuclear green loveliness!

The reason I upgraded to the Replicator 2 was so I could use it to create this kind of thing, so my studio at home could do everything I needed it to do to create the things I make to a certain level of quality. It’s been fantastic to see the quality level advance so much and I know it’s going to continue to get better. It also means I can now start to create some more interesting forms and shapes to enclose these things…

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

In December 2010 I bought and built a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. Now two years later I have a Replicator 2. This blog is an on-going diary of everything I make with this wonderful machine; a machine sent from the future.

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