Filling In The Holes

FanGrillIcon

After dropping a small tool into the electronics under the MakerBot, I 3D printed four compound-mitered grills to cover the holes and protect the electronics in the base of the printer. The hexagonal-grid grills were fabricated directly with space for the printer’s wiring and all edges aligned to fit a 3-D box corner perfectly. Another great self-fabricated improvement for the MakerBot 3D printer. Continue reading

Improving Our 3D Printer Footing

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When the original foam-rubber feet fell off the MakerBot 3D printer, I fabricated improved feet that hold fast and also provide sound and vibration isolation from my desktop. Using nothing more than the 3D printer itself and some common self-adhesive vinyl standoffs, the 3D printer no operates quietly and with very little transferred vibration to my desk. All for just a few cents worth of plastic filament and common self-adhesive grips from the hardware store that cost less than $3 USD. Continue reading

3D Printable Spool Supports

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To make the most of our #SciFund crowdfunding support, I printed additional custom supports for less than $1 USD so we can use smaller-diameter lower-cost filament spools than those included with the MakerBot itself. I can now buy spools for $31 USD instead of $48 USD from the printer’s manufacturer, saving a third of the price for a dollar’s worth of effort. Continue reading

3D Printed Leveling Gauge Bracket

3D Printed digital indicator bracket with small rare-earth magnets installed.

The very first item I created using the new MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer was a tool that enhanced the use of the printer itself! The first crude Replicator Bed Level Jig was used to create a more polished version of the jig, and this has been used to regularly balance the 3D printer’s build plate ever since. Continue reading

Tools To Start 3D Printing

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Anyone starting out in 3D printing will need a few simple, basic tools to enhance their success with RepRaps, MakerBots and other FDM printers. Most of these are available at local Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight or Hobby Lobby stores and will cost less than $30 USD all together. Continue reading

MakerBot Replicator Prepares For Work

The MakerBot Replicator post Icon

SOLID Learning received the MakerBot Replicator provided by our sponsor, Bre Pettis, and took care of a minor issue with one extruder nozzle with hte help of the excellent MakerBot customer support staff. We will soon be developing and testing our educational robots! Continue reading

3D Printing in Education

A simple RepRap 3D Printer

Educators, school administrators and researchers like those at Penn State are exploring the educational potential present in 3D printing from the RepRap to 3D objects and tools that can be folded into existing classes and curricula. Continue reading

Crowd-funding a Mobile Makerspace

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In order to reach rural schools and isolated educators, STEMulate Learning will use past crowd-funded equipment together with a few new items to create a Mobile Makerspace. This project will be run through the KickStarter crowd-funding site on the recommendation of several supporters from our past RocketHub efforts. Continue reading

Customer Support from SparkFun

SparkFund Electronics Flame Logo

A note to our supporters: SparkFun Electronics provided excellent support in dealing with a nonfunctional servo acquired for the SOLID Learning pilot program’s robot designs. Before responding they had already sent the replacement part! Continue reading

SOLID Learning Robot – Stepper Motors

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“ANALYSIS: Stepper motors provide an expensive option that is very precise but power-hungry even when idle. Steper motors are best suited to fixed robotic designs requring incremental repeatable control over a large span.” Continue reading