WE DID IT!!!! THANK YOU TO ALL OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS!!! Philly just got a HUGE rapid-prototyping upgrade. HOORAY!!
Q: What’s this all about?
A: NYC-based MakerBot Industries (http://www.makerbot.com) is rapidly expanding with their wildly successful Cupcake CNC. But Philadelphia doesn’t yet have one! So we at Hive76 are raising funds to get one for everyone to use, learn from, and enjoy. This CNC currently prints in ABS, HDPE, and PLA plastics, chocolate, and frosting.
Q: What does the Cupcake CNC do?
A: It prints objects, not ink. Think of it as a computer-controlled hot glue gun on steroids. Even better, many of its own plastic parts are themselves printable. This means that once we get one MakerBot we can make more with it. Printed objects are extremely sturdy; they won’t crumble when you touch them. Check out: http://www.thingiverse.com/ for some examples.
Q: What will we use it for?
A: What won’t we use it for? We currently have plans for at least the following: simple one-off plastic supports, electronic housing designs, 3D art, mind-bending object puzzles, medical implant design with University of Pennsylvania, speedy frosting of cupcakes.
Q: How do we make it?
A: While the schematics are open source (this robot is a combination of open source software AND hardware), MakerBot Industries sells a super cheap and readily available kit. So we’re going to raise the funds to do it! Then we can get one ASAP and get to work making things awesome, and making awesome things.
Once we get the kit then we’ll all pitch in together to learn how to assemble it! It should take a weekend to solder/assemble and up to a week to get everything going. This is really bleeding edge stuff.
The absolute best part of the Cupcake CNC is that it is completely extensible — when a new design comes out we can just download the .stl files for the the new parts, print them out as solid plastic parts, and then upgrade our own machine.
want to see more? Check out: http://www.makerbot.com/
got questions? Contact Jordan Miller, (713) 291-8518 or http://www.Hive76.org
ABS == same plastic used to make LEGOs, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Yes, you can print LEGOs too: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:591
HDPE == high density polyethylene, used in human hip replacements, among other places
PLA == polylactic acid, can be rendered from corn and is completely biodegradable. also suitable for human medical implants. w00t!
CNC == computer numerical control – we give instructions to a computer and the computer drives the robot to print our our objects
3D printed chocolate and frosting have been rumored to exist in the wild but few hard records exist of this tasty technology.