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Make: Getting Started with MakerBot Paperback – 6 Jan 2013
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About the Author
Bre Pettis is a founder of Makerbot, a company that produces robots that make things. Bre is also a founder of NYCResistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn. Besides being a TV host and Video Podcast producer, he's created new media for Etsy.com, hosted Make: Magazine's Weekend Projects podcast, and has been a schoolteacher, artist, and puppeteer. Bre is passionate about invention, innovation, and all things DIY.
Anna Kaziunas France is the Digital Fabrication Editor of Maker Media and the Dean of Students for the Fab Academy program. Formerly she taught the "How to Make (Almost) Anything" rapid prototyping course in digital fabrication at the Providence Fab Academy (at AS220). She is also the co-author of Getting Started with MakerBot and she compiled the Make: 3D Printing book. She loves Providence, Rhode Island and is in the process of scanning and printing it.
Jay Shergill (MakerBlock) is a blogger, maker, and tinkerer who explores 3D printing and design. He's shared his 3D printing knowledge on his own blog, and also posts regularly on the MakerBot blog.
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Top Customer Reviews
easy to follow for a beginner with excellent links to useful Internet sites
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the RepRap project. That is simply glossed over. I did not like that they are
using Makerbot as a verb. i.e. you can Makerbot this and Makerbot that. But
still it is a Makerbot book. I would have prefered them to use the word
"print". The preface is alot of thanking and praising by the three authors. It
goes into a brief explanation of 3D printing, why they started Makerbot and why
you might want to 3D print things and how you could do it using a Makerbot.
Discussed were the different parts of the Replicator 2, unboxing and setting up
the machine, downloading from Thingiverse, STLs, GCode and Makerware. It also
explained some of the settings in Makerware, care and maintenance. These pages
are really just a setup guide for the Replicator 2. It goes over things you
might want to do prior to getting a Makerbot. It builds excitement, sort of
like those old RadioShack electronic books I used to read as a kid. Basically
it says you are getting a factory that can make anything so think about the
things you want to make while you are waiting for it to arrive. It goes on to
list things that you might be interested in, such as replacement parts, gifts,
products etc within the design constraints of the machine. It talks about how
this machine is so much better than the previous ones the made. It is bigger,
more precise and faster. Since this book is Replicator 2 centric it mentions
how much faster it is than the Replicator 1 and goes on to talk about how huge
the build platform is and how you can build really large things and also how
precise it is. The numbers cited for the Replicator 2 seem to be mostly
theoretical limits. The book goes on to briefly discuss the Makerbot
Community such as the Makerbot Operators Google group, Makerbot User Groups
etc. The book talked about some of their exploits such as the Museum scans on
Thingiverse and some other community projects. Further reading mentions the
software you might want to get familiar with such as web based software and
openscad and placement of the machine. There are many commentaries by actual
users that have been taken from interviews, blogs and Thingiverse posts. The
book then goes on to discuss ABS and PLA, and safety issues and how much better
the Replicator 2 is over the Replicator 1 now that it has a steel frame. In my
opinion the book gets much better after page 74. It covers some nice things to
print from Thingiverse to get you started. It then proceeds to discuss how to
design your own printable objects and considerations for the design to make it
print well. Overhangs, water tightness, warping, friction fit and moving
parts, surface finishing and making large objects by gluing things together.
Further reading starts going into detail about modeling software such as 3DTin.
The book continues with 123D Catch,ReconstructMe and then fixing up scans. It
mentions netfabb, Meshmixer. Meshlab and Pleasand3D and then describes the
process of fixing the scans. The book then continues with coverage of
Thingiverse on page 175. The appendix begins on 187 and contains some nice
references and details on using OpenScad and exporting files to STL.Although
this is a Makerbot Replicator 2 book through page 75, there is still plenty of
information here that would be of use to most people, even me. Although short,
it touches upon most of the things you need to know about 3D printing for these
Much as computers initially created little excitement in the business world, and really only took off when they became available at a reasonable price to consumers, replicators are likely to follow much the same course. As they become available at modest cost to hobbyists, uses will expand exponentially in many unanticipated ways. Now most of the replicas are produced using a kind of plastic, but it is likely there will be major advances in materials that are available over the next several years that will allow printing in sturdier materials. This will allow for the home manufacture of most small items that one can imagine. And the size of replicable items is increasing rapidly, current models allow creating an item that fits into ~400 cubic inches, that size limitation is very likely to quickly expand.
This book is several things, an introduction to 3D printing, a user manual for MakerBot Replicator 2, a general overview of the field, including access to libraries of items that have already been created and made, and an introduction to the various types of 3D software that are used to control a replicator. The authors approach the field from the open source viewpoint, so that once the Replicator is in hand with the build filaments (materials that are used to create/build the replicated items), additional costs should be minimal as free software is available to control the printer.
While one can find most of this information online, the book is a good introduction to the field, and will open minds to the possibilities that exist. Exposing children to the the possibilities inherent in the process will, I suspect, will be one of the most creative approaches. The development of this field is definitely going to be fun to watch.
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