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.
6 thoughts on “MakerBot – 3D printer on the way”
Sounds like a good plan; I’m also just getting into local manufacturing, went with the printrbot for my first build, but The Replicator looks sweet!
I think it’s a great area to be interested in now, a bit like the web was back in the early 90’s.
I’m sure in a few years the price-point will be reached where they become affordable as home appliances.
I think you’ll be suprised how fast the price is coming down. I actually think it’ll be the other way around – The price falling will trigger improvements to the quality at the new price point due to exponential adoption 🙂
My printrbot was 499, that’s pretty dang cheap already!
That’s a great price! You could well be right, and as more players enter the market I have now doubt we will see the whole thing feeding back into itself i.e. lower prices triggering more demand, more functionality and better functionality appearing and so on.
There has been some great news on the printer front this week, especially the MIT “Robot Printer” which looked damn cool.
I like your blog, as well, interesting stuff!
Hello, I am also interested in setting up a 3d printer co-op with a few friends as I don’t think I can justify the cost for personal use. Could you comment on you experience as well as some of the details on how you handle the co-op (supplies, time sharing, lessons learned and the likes). Thanks in advanced
Thanks for your comment. No problem I’d be happy to write a separate post on the co-op!
All the best.