I’m very fortunate in that, the company I work for has a number of electronic enthusiasts, folks interested in 3D printers, and the plain adventurous. After several chats over coffee we came up with the idea of starting a 3D printing co-operative at our work place. The idea is each employee interested buys in, and with the funds we then purchase a 3D printer and material that the co-op members can use.
After doing some research we decided to go with the MakerBot Replicator™ and have it shipped built. The Replicator™ is a 3D printer that allows you to print in two colors at once and clocks in at around $2000 with the dual extruder.
You can see a picture of it here from the MakerBot website:
Around nine of us got together and raised the funds for the printer, and our company also chipped in extra $500 to help us out. They have also graciously lent us a room to set it up in so we have a place to use it.
There is around an 8 week lead time on delivery, so the printer should arrive around the same time as the Raspberry PI is delivered. With access to the MakerBot I’ll be able to print a case for the Raspberry PI as well as cases for the Arduino Thermostats.
One of my work colleagues is a dab hand at the 3D design on Blender, so we are going to have some training session for the co-op members which should be cool.
Once the printer arrives and I get the opportunity to design some cases on Blender, I’ll post the details on this blog – including links to the 3D OBJ files so those readers interested can re-use them for their own projects.