First Look: The MakerGear MakerBot

June 18, 2009

I was just going to order the MakerBot CupCake CNC 3D Printer Kit but they never seem to be in stock so I guess I’ll just have to figure it out.

One of the more interesting aspects of MakerBot (I think since I don’t have actually have one yet) is the customization capability…plywood is ok, acrylic is ok but what about [material of choice goes here]. A CorianBot??? Thin, etched, backlit Corian is translucent…that could be very cool. Could double as a cutting board in a pinch. A BambooBot? I’m looking forward to seeing what types of Bots emerge.

For this bot I am using ¼" maple plywood that I purchased in 4’x8’ sheets (off Craigslist) a few months ago. The plywood is somewhere between thirty and fifty years old. The maple sheet was sold to me as cherry (honest mistake I think), the other sheet is mahogany. I purchased them as I thought they sounded interesting but I didn’t have a specific project in mind at the time. The maple sheet has a thin (approx. 1/30”) veneer over a solid core – one side has maple veneer and the other side is probably birch veneer. Not sure what the core is made of but the plywood is solid, flat and 6mm thick. The other sheet has mahogany veneer on both sides. I expected to have some difficulty laser cutting it but so far so good. Wish I’d purchased more when I had the chance…

Of course, I was preoccupied making sure the first piece for the first cut was properly aligned and the laser settings were correct and I put it in upside down (birch side up). Ugh! Oh well, as long as it is sized properly I’ll still use it.

This plywood is really nice and I can’t wait to get this bot printing!!

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