Makerbot’s goal is to do for fabrication what blogging did for publication. Rather than needing to own a press in order to get a story out, with the advent of blogs, people could publish with the click of a mouse. Likewise, with 3D printers, the price is usually exclusive to institutions. Makerbot seeks to enable “desktop fabrication” with this beautiful hack.
And the specs are not bad. It uses the same feeder material as typical 3D printers – ABS plastic, which it melts in the “plastruder” (combination of “plastic” + “extruder”). ABS, as it turns out is the same sturdy stuff Lego blocks are made of. The accuracy is .1 millimeter on the X and Y axes and .3 millimeter in the Z axis (vertical). It can handle printing objects up to 10 cm by 10 cm by 13 cm. This version requires being plugged into a computer while printing, but there is a memory card built in for future expansion to print computer-free.
Some stuff Zach printed out during the weekend: