#3dprinting

Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing

Back in the Fall, I was invited to contribute to Make Magazine's Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. (That's me on the front page, squinting at the Ultimaker wiki.)

If you're in the market for a 3D printer, it's a great place to start! We spent a weekend really putting these printers through their paces.

Being a Social Hacker

I may spend a lot of my time working on robots, but I like people. I've noticed this in my professional life: I'm happier and more productive working on a small team, rather than solo.

My day job has me working alone a lot of the time, so at the beginning of March, I decided to take matters into my own hands and "find the others." I knew about Noisebridge in San Francisco, but they didn't quite seem like my people — when I joined their IRC channel they suggested I jump in front of a train, in fact.

So I was delighted to discover a hackerspace right down the street from me: Ace Monster Toys in Oakland.

Fixing the Heated Build Platform's Bolts

I love my heated build platform. It's the best upgrade my MakerBot has seen. No other change has improved my print quality and confidence to this degree.

But if you look at the pictures on that page, you'll notice my least favorite feature: the bolts, or as I call them, the MakerBot Industries Amazing Nozzle Destroyers. Fortunately, there's an easy fix.

Using PLA with the MakerBot Plastruder MK5

Polylactic Acid is a compostable plastic that can be made from renewable resources — usually plants. Compared to ABS plastic, it's much harder, warps much less, and can be crystal clear. When I first got my hands on some PLA filament in 2009, it had the potential to be my new favorite plastic...but getting it working took time.