Meeting and Seminar
8, Monday, 2010
3D Printing Ideas Real: A Demo and Talk
J. R. Warmkessel, Founder Bay Area MakeBot users group
The 3D printer was first
designed for rapid prototyping in the commercial arena. With the advances
in technology, and the significant drop in price, this technology is now
available to enthusiasts and hobbyists. The RepRap project
is an open source 3D Printer, designed for at home use. A RepRap 3D
printer heats ABS or PLA plastics and extrudes it in thin layers to build
the final product.
There are multiple
implementations of the RepRap project, with the best-known
version being the MakerBot CupCakeprinter. The CupCake printer
is a complete kit that includes everything that a user needs to build and
use the printer at home.
The 3D printers use standard
CNC (Computer Numeric Control) phases to design and print the products. CNC
has three phases: CAD, CAM, and Cut.
CAD, or Computer Aided Design,
is the process by which parts and assemblies are designed. The final
product of this phase is a software file, often STL (Stereo
CAD software includes SolidWorks, Rhino, and GoogleSketchup.
CAM, or Computer Aided
Machining, is process of converting the STL file into set of sequential
commands that serve as instructions for the printer (called G-code). The MakerBot uses Skeinforge CAM
Cut is process by which the
machine (in this case, the 3D printer) creates the final product through
execution of the G-code. The MakerBot uses ReplicatorG Cut
Discussion will include the
benefits of 3D printing, and of using the RepRap project for 3D printing, the
pitfalls, problems, and limits of 3D printing, and finally, the future of
3D printing and the RepRap project.
founder of the Bay Area MakeBot users group, is a
self-taught Jack-of-all hobbies. He has not only been building kits for
over 15 years (eg K2 radio, EggBot,
MakerBot), but designing his own and other
projects using the Arduino Platform, ShopBot, and the Epilog Laser Engraver. Other hobbies include Flight Instruction,
Aircraft Repair, and Ham Radio Operator. Professionally, he started his
first software corporation in 2009.
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