Not sure how many have seen these news, but here it is!
let the quadcopter frame building begin...um....I mean printed? :-)
Yet another extruder (MK8)! I haven't even had a chance to install my MK7 yet :-(
I've had every extruder since MK4, in constant hopes that the next one will cure my printing woes. At ~$200 each, this addiction is getting expensive.
Tuning a Makerbot to even get a build to complete requires hours or days of black magic and laboratory-like experimentation. The official documentation is scanty and out of date, and you basically end up Googling to see if anyone put a decent guide out there somewhere (here's the best one I found). I love the Makerbot concept and team, and think they'll eventually go far. But right now, we're closer to the first plywood-mounted Apple 1 than we are the Mac.
Basically, if you think tuning an autopilot is hard, just try a Rep-Rap-based 3D printer. The open source hardware movement still has a long way to go in usability. That's why documentation, easy setup utilities and overall ease-of-use is our priority at 3D Robotics this year. Going mainstream means sparing regular folks the sort of setup procedures that only an engineer can understand.
Props, to me, are a scary proposition coming off a DIY printer- I can see the disintegration now. I'm all for experimenting though! Personally I'd go the mold route when it comes to props. (Mmmm, a nice 16" layup done in CF...)
John: I agree. I think delamination would be a serious concern. I'd CNC a prop before I'd 3D print it.
More interested in the ultimaker http://blog.ultimaker.com/
I looked into the Makerbot for my Firefly mini frame. Problems, that I've gather from people who have these ABS extruder printers is heat warping. Trying to print anything that's perfectly straight like frame arms, and props is very difficult. Also problems with large volume items. That's one of the reasons why Shapeways was my choice, due to the laser process printers. One possible use of it the Makerbot is the printing or motor mounts. They are relatively small in volume, and don't involve long lengths.
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