Author Topic: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review  (Read 53563 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Dave.
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 01:48:23 pm »
34:30, you somehow accidentally pressed the button twice. I think they need a little debounce for that rubber pad. Not that it matters much, but the missed message says "I'm going to move the extruder to various positions for adjustment."
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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 01:55:08 pm »
Methinks the screws nearest the front window needs some adjustment, especially the left one.  ;)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 02:56:50 pm »
Thought i'd take a look at the software to see if a dumb guy like me could use this and how hard it woud be to read a STL file and drive this thing. Might save me some money. I need some custom cases (i'm still not sold on the build quality of these 3d extruders. The outside is rough and brittle. Just look at the text uCurrent. It's not crisp and got weird bits sticking out of the side. same for the bottom. The strange thing is that these printers create perfectly fine polished inside surfaces. but the outside looks like crap. And it's the outside that is shown to the user ... opposite world. anyway, i need some complex injection molding case and my interest was piqued by the replicator since i don't have to assemble it, it comes prebuit and tested.

So , thought i'd install the driving program and see what it takes and what it can read and if it is easy and intuitive to use.

First problem : On the makerbot website there is no download link. It took me a while to figure out where to download it. Come on guys. why is there no big fat DOWNLOAD button on the main menu of your website with the link. why do i need to resort to a search engine to find it ? that's just dumb and sloppy. slightly annoyed by now...

During install : says it can't find python. fair enough , i don't have python. So i click the link. webpage opens. sweet ...

another dilemma : do i need 2.xx or 3.xx ? not a hint anywhere in sight. Installer screen doesn;t mention required version either... after 15 minutes puttering around on their wiki and forums i finally find an install explanation document: need 2.7.2  (slightly grumpy by now i had to more legwork to find some bit of info that should have been provided. )  .. well only 2.7.3 is there .. what now ? ( slightly more grumpy that there is another 'hoop' to jump through)

So i install that version. so far so good.

Back to replicatorg . Still can't find python. exit. relaunch . still can't find python. (elevated grumpyness now. i just installed it you piece of junk installer.) Oh well, i'll skip and guess i'll have to figure out how to do the assign directory .. sigh .. more stuff i gotta find an answer for ... (grumpyness gets another boost)

Install continues ok. (grupyness backdown a notch) then more problems. Unsigned drivers. Three of em... one for arduino two for makerbot industries. So i click cancel. i do not allow unsigned drivers on my computers. period. grumpyness spikes back up ... end of excercise.

[rant mode on]
1) When is the damned broken sauce community going to employ turnkey installers ? Give me 1 file that contains everything that is needed. i don't wanna have to collect stuff from other locations, i don't wanna read documentation or have to resort to web for an answer. I don't want to figure out what versions of what modules i need and where to find them.
Put it all in 1 zip file and give me a setup.exe with 1 click.  This is a commercially sold product. Shoddy work ! and don't give me lip about larger zip files. i need to download all the other stuff anyway. Disk space is cheap. I don't need another dll-hell like system. Throw everything that is needed in 1 directory under the %program files% path. ( python insists to write itself in c:\python . i refuse that.  retrieve the %program files% path and make yourself a directory in there and nest there. That is the way it should work. not hardcoded paths. and stay out of my c disk root path.

2) Sign your damn drivers !
[/rant mode off]

end experiment.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 03:00:48 pm by free_electron »
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Offline spyderjacks

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 03:03:58 pm »
For sure, the 'squiggly' bits in the raft are due to poor alignment at the front.  The front-left corner lifting up is also likely due to alignment problem.  I think the print head has to squirt against the platform, not simply lay it down.  The longer the drop, the more cooling and squiggles. 

Maybe it would go better if the corners were aligned first, rather than starting in the middle.  This might mean adjusting only a single knob, instead of two.  And then repeat the whole process a second time.  That would seem to work better.

A small piece of paper, 1" by 2" is more than enough.  This is a standard technique when aligning metalworking tooling.  You want to advance you tool (raise the platform in this case) until the paper just drags.  You are not trying simply for clearance - you want all 4 points to be a paper-thickness from the platform - and then the whole platform will be level.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 03:59:50 pm »
Yes, it's the built platform adjustment causing the wiggles. Was obvious after the video.
Fixed now and working a treat.

Dave.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 04:51:19 pm »
Go on Dave, tell the new bot to make the cylinder. Go on. You know you want to!

I'd like to see what's inside that underneath part also. And I agree about the thing having a separate power pack. Dumb. Staring at my HP printer with it's own separate power supply lump. 

 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 05:02:07 pm »
[rant mode on]
1) When is the damned broken sauce community going to employ turnkey installers ? Give me 1 file that contains everything that is needed. i don't wanna have to collect stuff from other locations, i don't wanna read documentation or have to resort to web for an answer. I don't want to figure out what versions of what modules i need and where to find them.
Put it all in 1 zip file and give me a setup.exe with 1 click. 
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it. You may technically (at least to my understanding) not bundle GPL licensed software together with software that is not GPL licensed. This is part of the political aspect of the GPL, to put a burden on people who want to close their source code, much like the open source community feels that commercial vendors are.

Looking closer this is not a problem with Python, however. I'm guessing they ust want to encourage you to use the latest available version of Python at any given time. (There may be other required parts that are indeed licensed under the GPL, though.)
2) Sign your damn drivers !
[/rant mode off]
Signing drivers costs money and is tedious. But, what drivers related to the Makerbot have signing problems? The only drivers I could find mentioned in conjunction with the project are the stock FTDI drivers, which are signed by FTDI and should not be a problem.
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Offline Slothie

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 05:05:42 pm »
I have a dozen or so of those power supply lumps under my desk. I still haven't worked out a decent answer to that problem. Spme of them get quite warm, so putting them all in a box with a multi way socket isn't an answer.
They are messy but they do keep the toes warm on a cold morning!
 

Online IanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 05:10:02 pm »
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it.

I don't think there is anything to stop you providing an original install kit for something like Python as long as you don't modify it or pretend you own it. Just deliver it as is and provide attribution of the source as appropriate.
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Offline Psi

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 05:36:16 pm »
Two pieces of those sticky velcro sheets would solve the power supply transport issue.
The whole psu box could be attached to the back of the unit.


They are messy but they do keep the toes warm on a cold morning!

Until your toes manage to slip under a mains plug, lifting it out of the socket and making toe contact with the conductors.  (hehe, zap)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 05:39:00 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 05:39:03 pm »
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it.

I don't think there is anything to stop you providing an original install kit for something like Python as long as you don't modify it or pretend you own it. Just deliver it as is and provide attribution of the source as appropriate.

Yeah it kind of depends on who you're asking. Richard Stallman would say that you'd burn in hell if you dare to mix drinks. Actually he says you shouldn't use any code that does not have accompanying source but that's another issue.

I don't know why it is but OSS (open source software) normally does have the fragmentation issue for numerous reasons. The goal of a project coder is for a software package to do one thing and do one thing well. The trick is to get it to couple with other software without breaking this tenant.

Packagers on the other hand have the laborious task of putting all this together, testing and juggling various licences among packages and serving up the "one click" solution that proprietary software users are used to.

Instead of the one click solution, what is needed is a separate tool that checks for correctly installed pieces, tests each one and reports what is missing. That would have hilighted the junk software that Dave had to reinstall (!) and saved all that custard chucking.

edit: I wanted "separate". I typed "seperte" and the browser spell checker suggested "perverter"  :o

 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 05:40:12 pm »
Two pieces of those sticky velcro sheets would solve the power supply transport issue.
The whole psu box could be attached to the back of the unit.

Nar, hot glue gun is the ticket!

Quote
They are messy but they do keep the toes warm on a cold morning!



Until your toes manage to slip under a mains plug, lifting it out of the socket and making toe contact with the conductors.  (hehe, zap)

Yow!
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 06:21:03 pm »
Solved a few of the wall wart issues the easy way. I added an external lead acid battery to the UPS ( original died a short and lonely death from overheating and gas loss, and was only a 3AH unit with a non standard footprint) and used the nice external 12V now available to run the ADSL modem instead of connecting it to the supplied 12V wall wart, which would keep disconnecting from the socket. The 5W draw from the modem has no effect on the UPS charger. Next added an extra battery, and will add more parallel capacitance as well to handle aging batteries.
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 06:28:05 pm »
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it. You may technically (at least to my understanding) not bundle GPL licensed software together with software that is not GPL licensed.

That is not true at all.  There is no restriction on distributing GPL software except that you have to make the source available as well.  There is no restriction on bundling it with any other software: plenty of commercial software packages include GPL tools along side, and do so perfectly legally.  For instance, many commercial microcontroller dev platforms include GCC compilers does this.

The limitation on the GPL is making derived works.  If you modify some GPL software, or include GPL code in your application, the derived work needs to be open source.  This condition applies no matter how you distribute it.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 07:07:41 pm »
Solved a few of the wall wart issues the easy way. I added an external lead acid battery to the UPS ( original died a short and lonely death from overheating and gas loss, and was only a 3AH unit with a non standard footprint) and used the nice external 12V now available to run the ADSL modem instead of connecting it to the supplied 12V wall wart, which would keep disconnecting from the socket. The 5W draw from the modem has no effect on the UPS charger. Next added an extra battery, and will add more parallel capacitance as well to handle aging batteries.

Just thinking out aloud here. My ups has battery terminals you should not touch. I forget now which one but I'm pretty sure one of the battery terminals is connected directly to one of the 240v outlet terminals.

Powering the router and then connecting Ethernet cable to a computer also connected to the ups might make computer make magic smoke? Yes?

And the telephone line is grounded also isn't it?

Worrying.

 ???
 

Offline amvakar

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 07:20:00 pm »
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it.

I don't think there is anything to stop you providing an original install kit for something like Python as long as you don't modify it or pretend you own it. Just deliver it as is and provide attribution of the source as appropriate.

Yeah it kind of depends on who you're asking. Richard Stallman would say that you'd burn in hell if you dare to mix drinks. Actually he says you shouldn't use any code that does not have accompanying source but that's another issue.

I don't know why it is but OSS (open source software) normally does have the fragmentation issue for numerous reasons. The goal of a project coder is for a software package to do one thing and do one thing well. The trick is to get it to couple with other software without breaking this tenant.

Packagers on the other hand have the laborious task of putting all this together, testing and juggling various licences among packages and serving up the "one click" solution that proprietary software users are used to.

Instead of the one click solution, what is needed is a separate tool that checks for correctly installed pieces, tests each one and reports what is missing. That would have hilighted the junk software that Dave had to reinstall (!) and saved all that custard chucking.

edit: I wanted "separate". I typed "seperte" and the browser spell checker suggested "perverter"  :o
That attitude of the separate tool is what makes open source software so terrible. The OSS community has decided that it is more fun to write new code and abstraction layers than follow standards, fix bugs or maintain mature projects to a level that a commercial tool could rely on them. Requiring a separate tool to maintain dependencies is completely inexcusable when the standard Windows behavior has been codified for many years and works quite well.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 07:36:53 pm »
As an end user I don't give a toss about the various license nonsense - I just want the damn thing to work with minimum fuss. Even if there are some restrictions on distribution, it would still be possible to have an installer go get whatever it needs and install it automatically.
Having it stop part way saying something else needs installing is just inexcusable - it should check at the start that it has what's needed.
The issue with the double press on the button skipping a page is just ridiculous - this, and other details like not suppressing leading zeroes on the temp display make it look like it's been rushed out with inadequate testing.
I'm surprised they still use a text display - if they are going to the trouble of a custom display, why not some nice graphics, maybe a touchscreen. Cost difference would probably have been covered by leaving out the wanky RGB LED strip.
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 07:43:29 pm »

I'm surprised they still use a text display - if they are going to the trouble of a custom display, why not some nice graphics, maybe a touchscreen. Cost difference would probably have been covered by leaving out the wanky RGB LED strip.

You can bet that these features are in the works. The UI is obviously a hard problem to solve, but harder still has been the actual printing mechanism to work with some sort of reliability. Now that seems mostly solved I reckon the thing can go gang busters with add ons and various models.

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2012, 08:08:39 pm »
I'm surprised they still use a text display - if they are going to the trouble of a custom display, why not some nice graphics, maybe a touchscreen. Cost difference would probably have been covered by leaving out the wanky RGB LED strip.

Maybe not at the volumes they are talking (thousand's). But on such a complex machine, it's probably moot anyway.
I would say a graphic display and touch screen would be overkill. I'd much rather see the text display and tact buttons personally.
Spend more resources on more important things than a graphical GUI.

Dave.
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 08:21:50 pm »
Instead of the one click solution, what is needed is a separate tool that checks for correctly installed pieces, tests each one and reports what is missing. That would have hilighted the junk software that Dave had to reinstall (!) and saved all that custard chucking.


No, it is quite simple.  At least for windows they should just provide a bundle that includes the python runtime and all the dependencies with a single installer.  This is simple and easy to do.  It does make the download fairly large, but a large fraction of their customers are going to need to download it anyway.  Better one big download than 5 small downloads.  If they are really concerned about the size they should just provide the software on CD with the maker bot.  You then provide a separate developers package that contains only the makerbot code and uses a system-wide python installation.

Simply providing a link to the download page is certainly not an acceptable solution for a professional product.  I also do not like the idea of installing python and other dependencies system-wide.  That has too much potential to conflict with other applications, and the only people who gain advantage are python developers who probably want to retain control over their python installation.

Incidentally, the only potential legal problem with this is not any open source license, but the MSVC runtime DLL.  This is required by the python and included in the official python distribution and is available for free download by end users, but cannot be redistributed by makerbot unless they buy the full version of visual studio.  This is normally not a problem as you have to buy it anyway if you want to sell code written in visual studio, but is really annoying for pure python application, as you would otherwise have no reason to use visual studio at all.  Probably they should just bite the bullet and pay for a single copy of visual studio to get this license, but I would be OK if the installer detected whether the correct runtime DLL were installed and sent you to the MS download site if necessary.  There is no reason to do this for python or any of the other open source dependencies.
 

Offline masterburner

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 09:53:13 pm »
What I don't get is why they chose for bloody Python again. Yeah, I mean sure... Open source, hacker community, portability and all that, but python is NOT the way to go in my opinion. It's not professional enough for a commercial product like this. Just develop a platform specific program for both windows, linux and mac and be done with it. And you can still open source the whole software.

Oh... Did anyone else notice the LCD backlight coming up when Dave turned the Z axis rod manually at around 27:02? Did they forget to put diodes across the steppers or something...?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 09:58:26 pm by masterburner »
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Offline samgab

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2012, 10:12:31 pm »
I'm a bit surprised that there isn't some form of locator system to it. An optical head locating method would be a good idea. Maybe in the next gen. Then it could self-calibrate.
 

Offline MickM

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2012, 10:43:12 pm »
Hi;
   They should provide a bootable live linux CD.
This is after all an appliance.

If you must run windows, then provide all needed files for XP/W7/W7x64.
For $2000 plus, that is the least that they can do.

Mick M
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2012, 11:21:12 pm »
The issue with that software is not with the GPL license. Claiming this is just the typical FUD. You can of course wrap open source software in an installer. If you are concerned, there are even open source installers. Most ironic, of all possible companies, Microsoft offers a free software installer creation toolchain, called WiX.

The issue they really have is that they have programmers who lack clue. And that is also in no way an exclusive property of open source. Their first big mistake is indeed using a wank language like Python. Pythons primary feature is that it happens to attract clueless programmer. And that is also independent of commercial or free Python software (yes, people do commercial software with Python).
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2012, 11:24:52 pm »
I'm a bit surprised that there isn't some form of locator system to it. An optical head locating method would be a good idea. Maybe in the next gen. Then it could self-calibrate.
I was thinking that some sort of auto-sensing would be a good idea, especially as they don't seem to have any locknuts on the adjustment, and platform position is clearly a very critical parameter for build quality.
I was thinking some sort of simple mechanical sensing of touchdown.
Or maybe even thermal - move head slowly down til it detects a sudden increase in thermal load!
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Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2012, 11:50:00 pm »
I'm a bit surprised that there isn't some form of locator system to it. An optical head locating method would be a good idea. Maybe in the next gen. Then it could self-calibrate.

Even with good cal, you still have the issue of no absolute position sensing.
I just had a fail on the example on the SD card (I found it, bottom of box), an it rattled the bot so hard I thought it was going to fall to pieces!
Obviously the positional accuracy got a bit out of wack...



Dave.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2012, 12:35:58 am »
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2012, 01:35:29 am »
There is another reason this installer deployment is annoying. I know they broke python deliberatly between version 2 and 3 . So there you have conundrum 1... What to pick. I also know from experience that some libraries may work fine in 2.7.1 but do not work in 2.7.2 because they need patching. I have a legacy python system at work that usese numpy, scipy and some other toolboxes.
A new version comes out with something i want to use... Well i have to wait until the libs get ported. And ot don't happen at the same time. Sometimes it takes months. That's just .. Bovinebyproducts...

So that is why i am so grumpy. You use a system that is known to be picky. Please give me an exact duplicate of what was used to develop it. That way : no surprises..

The three unsigned drivers it wants to install are an arduino driver and two makerbot industries drivers. It also installs the two ftdi drivers, which are signed.
Afaik this thing uses ftdi chips to talk. So why do we need these special drivers ?
I know some arduinos use a home-brew usb serial converter using another atmel chip. If that thing were pure cdc class it would not need a driver, just an inf file. But alas, it aint't...
The point is : i don't want unsigned drivers. Not because they are not signed, but because they have not gone through WHCL... And that is asking for trouble.

Besides, on windows there is the winusb layer. You don't need drivers if you don't want to go through the hassle of passing WHCL. Winusb is part of the os. Just use that api to talk to the machine. Done. Problems all solved.

I went to the makerbot forum. Someone had a question runiing this on windows 8... They have a two page long instruction sheet on how to disable the requirement for signed drivers ( yes it can be done, but is an elaborate process ). That is just .... Wrong. Sign your drivers or move to winusb.
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2012, 01:45:26 am »
[rant mode on]
1) When is the damned broken sauce community going to employ turnkey installers ? Give me 1 file that contains everything that is needed. i don't wanna have to collect stuff from other locations, i don't wanna read documentation or have to resort to web for an answer. I don't want to figure out what versions of what modules i need and where to find them.
Put it all in 1 zip file and give me a setup.exe with 1 click. 
They're not going to do that. GPL forbids it. You may technically (at least to my understanding) not bundle GPL licensed software together with software that is not GPL licensed. This is part of the political aspect of the GPL, to put a burden on people who want to close their source code, much like the open source community feels that commercial vendors are.

Wrong. The limitations are on linking.

Quote from: free_electron
I know some arduinos use a home-brew usb serial converter using another atmel chip. If that thing were pure cdc class it would not need a driver, just an inf file. But alas, it aint't...

It is pure CDC and it does just come with a inf.

Quote from: free_electron
The point is : i don't want unsigned drivers. Not because they are not signed, but because they have not gone through WHCL... And that is asking for trouble.

Because Microsoft's slapdash procedures cover every hardware configuration and catch every possible flaw.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 01:47:00 am by Monkeh »
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2012, 01:53:51 am »
Anyone else notice the lack of strain relief on the control board connection? Sloppy.. :)

I imagine they swapped to the external PSU so they don't have to go through all the certification for a mains power supply and can get a decently high voltage for their heaters etc. Why muck around with a crappy ATX PSU?
 

Offline bxs

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2012, 02:34:37 am »
Great video, thanks Dave.

I don't have the money to buy it, but even if I had, they would not get it.

This thing should do self alignment, not that manual thing, get some sensor guys.

It should come with that thing mounted on, if is because of transport, hey this thing should have a rest position here is locked and same to transport.

Also think that at least they should put a support at rear to mount the PSU.

About the soft, I read complains about no download at front page, but look better it's there  ;D

I'm a Linux guy so a got the replicatorg-0037-linux.tgz and tried to run and guess what? Yes, didn't work!

So I looked better, this soft is a mix of Java, Python, and some native binary sutff  ;D a hell of a mess  ;)

I have python 2 and 3 in my system, so I pointed "replicatorg" to phyton 2 but no luck, looked at terminal messages and guess what, fatal error in java, great... put java7 in a local dir and pointed "replicatorg" to use it, now it worked  ;D

But Murphy's law again, I click to close the "replicatorg" and in terminal I still get things like "# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:" at least is at end...

Well, the soft didn't impressed me a bit  :(

Finally, the quality of the exterior case that Dave printed out, maybe ok for the money, but still ugly.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2012, 02:40:04 am »
What I don't get is why they chose for bloody Python again. Yeah, I mean sure... Open source, hacker community, portability and all that, but python is NOT the way to go in my opinion. It's not professional enough for a commercial product like this. Just develop a platform specific program for both windows, linux and mac and be done with it. And you can still open source the whole software.

Do you have the least idea how wide-spread perl, python, php, and other open-source languages and libraries are in commercial software? Go take a look at the bottom of the readmes for big software suites some time.

This one for Photoshop CS5 is revealing: http://www.adobe.com/products/eula/third_party/pdfs/cs5_products_readme_20100428.pdf
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2012, 03:18:57 am »
Do you have the least idea how wide-spread perl, python, php,

Why, oh why, did you feel the need to mention the fucking P languages?

Perl: Unmaintainable. Perl's motto "There is more than one way to do it" in practice means everyone has his own way to shove some Perl up your ...

Python: A language by idiots for idiots. When was the last time you saw a non trivial Python program that didn't already throw a few error messages in your face at startup?

PHP: More security issues than you can shake a stick at and a library even more incoherent than the POSIX APIs.

Really, these three languages alone in their short time of existence have created more legacy code issues than probably all COBOL and FORTRAN code together.
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2012, 03:30:07 am »
Do you have the least idea how wide-spread perl, python, php,

Why, oh why, did you feel the need to mention the fucking P languages?

Perl: Unmaintainable. Perl's motto "There is more than one way to do it" in practice means everyone has his own way to shove some Perl up your ...

Python: A language by idiots for idiots. When was the last time you saw a non trivial Python program that didn't already throw a few error messages in your face at startup?

PHP: More security issues than you can shake a stick at and a library even more incoherent than the POSIX APIs.

Really, these three languages alone in their short time of existence have created more legacy code issues than probably all COBOL and FORTRAN code together.

Because despite above comments, the languages are out there in force in commercial products.

As to your comemnts about Python, every day. I rely on Python software on a daily basis and, because it's not written by idiots, it works fine.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 03:32:51 am by Monkeh »
 

Offline amvakar

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2012, 06:13:10 am »
Do you have the least idea how wide-spread perl, python, php,

Why, oh why, did you feel the need to mention the fucking P languages?

Perl: Unmaintainable. Perl's motto "There is more than one way to do it" in practice means everyone has his own way to shove some Perl up your ...

Python: A language by idiots for idiots. When was the last time you saw a non trivial Python program that didn't already throw a few error messages in your face at startup?

PHP: More security issues than you can shake a stick at and a library even more incoherent than the POSIX APIs.

Really, these three languages alone in their short time of existence have created more legacy code issues than probably all COBOL and FORTRAN code together.

Because despite above comments, the languages are out there in force in commercial products.

As to your comemnts about Python, every day. I rely on Python software on a daily basis and, because it's not written by idiots, it works fine.

Those commercial products succeed when the end-user does not need to know nor care about the language used. As long as updating the runtime breaks things horribly because the open-source maintainers decided that stable syntaxes and APIs aren't any fun, that is quite difficult.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2012, 06:22:05 am »
Do you have the least idea how wide-spread perl, python, php,

Why, oh why, did you feel the need to mention the fucking P languages?

Perl: Unmaintainable. Perl's motto "There is more than one way to do it" in practice means everyone has his own way to shove some Perl up your ...

Python: A language by idiots for idiots. When was the last time you saw a non trivial Python program that didn't already throw a few error messages in your face at startup?

PHP: More security issues than you can shake a stick at and a library even more incoherent than the POSIX APIs.

Really, these three languages alone in their short time of existence have created more legacy code issues than probably all COBOL and FORTRAN code together.

Because despite above comments, the languages are out there in force in commercial products.

As to your comemnts about Python, every day. I rely on Python software on a daily basis and, because it's not written by idiots, it works fine.

Those commercial products succeed when the end-user does not need to know nor care about the language used. As long as updating the runtime breaks things horribly because the open-source maintainers decided that stable syntaxes and APIs aren't any fun, that is quite difficult.

Because development and improvement are no fun, either. Welcome to the world of software development: Things move. You want things not to move? Don't move them for yourself.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2012, 08:29:25 am »
Dave: Having this good print out of the box gives me good impression of Makerbots (one of the few).. I have seen so many bad prints (apparently bad build/calibrated systems?) made wth their machines that this one looks amzingly good in comparision.

Like you noticed that Frosting-output (all jiggly) first layer was due way too big gap between nozzle and the heated platform. The first layer shoudl actually Squeeze a little so that it'll stick well ..

I have no experience of ABS printing, but at least with PLA (and reprap) one can get nice clean part-bottoms (allmost glass-like smooth) when using heated paltform.

I have seen some automaticly adjusting Build platforms, but usually it adds a lot mechanic/electronics and it's not worth the effort. Once you'll get it leveled, the only real adjustment will be z-direction (parts tend to live due weather, heat etc)

Usually I try to avoid rafts (messy, waste of material etc), unless the part is so narrow that it won't stand up on it's own.. Another reason for raft is a base for supports with some complex prints.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2012, 04:29:25 pm »
I have killed my replicator with that spiral cube example on the supplied SD card.
Printed just fine before that as you saw, ran the example, it vibrated the shit of the Replicator, and now the negative Y axis skips and locks up big time.
No obvious physical issues with belts, tension etc
Took the wife to the lab to show it off and print some stuff only to have it fail.
Using the old thing-o-matic to get the job done.
Not happy!

Dave.
 

Offline ftransform

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2012, 04:42:28 pm »
perhaps there is a Chinese agent putting a virus so they could corner the market

upload a rar of the file :p
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2012, 08:51:07 pm »
I have killed my replicator with that spiral cube example on the supplied SD card.
Printed just fine before that as you saw, ran the example, it vibrated the shit of the Replicator, and now the negative Y axis skips and locks up big time.
No obvious physical issues with belts, tension etc
Took the wife to the lab to show it off and print some stuff only to have it fail.
Using the old thing-o-matic to get the job done.
Not happy!

Dave.
That's a pisser mate.  :(
 

Offline johnmx

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2012, 09:12:30 pm »
This new version could be better, but IMHO it still is an expensive malfunction toy.
Best regards,
johnmx
 

Offline bxs

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2012, 02:48:09 am »
I have killed my replicator with that spiral cube example on the supplied SD card.
Printed just fine before that as you saw, ran the example, it vibrated the shit of the Replicator, and now the negative Y axis skips and locks up big time.
No obvious physical issues with belts, tension etc
Took the wife to the lab to show it off and print some stuff only to have it fail.
Using the old thing-o-matic to get the job done.
Not happy!

Dave.

It's hard to understand how a commercial product can have so many problems, for the problems it should still be in indoors development/testing, the thing is that the image of the company is on stake  :o

I just had a sort look at software and it really screams a bunch of software hacked together with some weak duct tape, fine the a home thing not for a commercial product.

They really need to use some of that 10M and invest in people to take care of the big problems and also the details...
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2012, 04:17:52 am »
It's hard to understand how a commercial product can have so many problems,

Their customer base maybe doesn't mind. Being cool and all that for just $1749.
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Offline jpelczar

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2012, 05:18:23 am »
They really need to use some of that 10M and invest in people to take care of the big problems and also the details...

I'm guessing: two guys (tops), overflowed with tasks to do all development and testing. No matter how good the engineers/developers are, things won't work properly if they're given too much work in short time to do.

Who else does it apply to: big money project you get all the work to do ?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 05:20:16 am by jpelczar »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2012, 07:11:18 am »
I wouldn't expect something perfect for the given price.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2012, 07:23:38 am »
I wouldn't expect something perfect for the given price.

The given price is $1749. I would expect something good for that.
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Offline Slothie

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2012, 08:33:22 am »
Speaking as a professional software developer of 30 years standing who currently makes his living programming Python, I would say that people who denigrate python as not suitable for professional commercial software are speaking from a position of ignorance. Python is an extremely powerful language that is both fast and reliable when used by people who know how to program properly. Like any powerful tool, however, its not idiot proof because idiots are so good at what they do.
All the shortcomings thar Dave experienced while installing the software could have been avoided if the developers of "ReplicatorG" had gone to the trouble of using the "py2exe" tool to bundle their software with the correct version of python runtime and any python library dependancies. But they didn't and that is why Dave had the problems he did.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2012, 08:41:01 am »
[t's hard to understand how a commercial product can have so many problems, for the problems it should still be in indoors development/testing, the thing is that the image of the company is on stake  :o
I just had a sort look at software and it really screams a bunch of software hacked together with some weak duct tape, fine the a home thing not for a commercial product.
They really need to use some of that 10M and invest in people to take care of the big problems and also the details...

I agree.
But I don't know how far they are ahead or behind the commercial competition, it could be that with all it's issues, the Makerbot is ahead.
But in either case they'd better be careful.
I've only had a brief play with a competing one and it seemed better on the software side, and on the hardware results side too, but that was only brief.
I've lost count of the number of people who've commented "what did you get a Makerbot for, they are crap, get XXXXXXXX" etc. So it seems they have to be careful about their rep. My failed example isn't helping with that I suspect.
If I paid $1800 for it, I'd be pretty pissed at this failure.
If I did something stupid to break it, then fine (although the software shouldn't let me), but running an example on the supplied SD card is inexcusable.

Dave.
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2012, 12:58:57 pm »
Dave, when I watched the video, I reacted to two things.
1) You took the platform adjustment process too lightly in my opinion. As far as I understand it, the purpose of the adjustment is that the distance between the platform and the head should be smaller than the height of filament track, so you get enough pressure for the first layer to stick to the platform. And then see what happened to your first print.
2) Then there's the rubber feet that you just threw to the said and said "who cares" when they didn't stick. They were likely there for a reason, obviously to absorb shocks. My guess is that's what killed it, maybe because all three platforms took a sharp turn at the same time and that created a shock which killed a stepper motor or made a dent in one of the gears or what have you.
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Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2012, 02:42:19 pm »
Uhoh ... Dave's not having a good week
The PSU broke and now the makerbot's ...
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2012, 04:49:17 pm »
Dave, when I watched the video, I reacted to two things.
1) You took the platform adjustment process too lightly in my opinion. As far as I understand it, the purpose of the adjustment is that the distance between the platform and the head should be smaller than the height of filament track, so you get enough pressure for the first layer to stick to the platform. And then see what happened to your first print.

Yep, great with hindsight.

Quote
2) Then there's the rubber feet that you just threw to the said and said "who cares" when they didn't stick. They were likely there for a reason, obviously to absorb shocks. My guess is that's what killed it, maybe because all three platforms took a sharp turn at the same time and that created a shock which killed a stepper motor or made a dent in one of the gears or what have you.

Nope, the rubber feet were on the unit when it failed.

Dave.
 

Offline EEMarc

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2012, 05:06:51 pm »
[t's hard to understand how a commercial product can have so many problems, for the problems it should still be in indoors development/testing, the thing is that the image of the company is on stake  :o
I just had a sort look at software and it really screams a bunch of software hacked together with some weak duct tape, fine the a home thing not for a commercial product.
They really need to use some of that 10M and invest in people to take care of the big problems and also the details...

I agree.
But I don't know how far they are ahead or behind the commercial competition, it could be that with all it's issues, the Makerbot is ahead.
But in either case they'd better be careful.
I've only had a brief play with a competing one and it seemed better on the software side, and on the hardware results side too, but that was only brief.
I've lost count of the number of people who've commented "what did you get a Makerbot for, they are crap, get XXXXXXXX" etc. So it seems they have to be careful about their rep. My failed example isn't helping with that I suspect.
If I paid $1800 for it, I'd be pretty pissed at this failure.
If I did something stupid to break it, then fine (although the software shouldn't let me), but running an example on the supplied SD card is inexcusable.

Dave.

MakerBot is far ahead in terms of marketing. Often, that is the deciding factor on who wins. You are dead on with their reputation. If their failure rate is say 5% then that is just a case of bad luck. If their failure rate is closer to 25% or even higher, then they have a serious problem to address. I claim without proof that it is the latter case. Each unhappy customer will do so much long term damage to their reputation that it will take a a number of happy customers to offset.

So far, I've been disappointed with the quality of their product's output. On the other hand, that is probably just me wanting it to act like a $50k 3D printer.
 

Offline PeteInTexas

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2012, 05:16:46 pm »
The spool in the back is inconvenient.  It would be nice to see if you are about to run out before starting a big print.

The display and buttons are at an inconvenient spot.  I would have placed it up high so its closer to eye level.  Maybe even angled.

I don't understand why the platform has to be adjusted.  Is it because the X and Y rods could be guaranteed perpendicular to the Z rods at assembly?  I don't think it will move THAT MUCH during shipping that you got to have four knobs that move pretty far.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2012, 05:58:47 pm »
I don't understand why the platform has to be adjusted.  Is it because the X and Y rods could be guaranteed perpendicular to the Z rods at assembly?  I don't think it will move THAT MUCH during shipping that you got to have four knobs that move pretty far.
The thing is made of wood, not the most stable of materials....
Re. the breakage - could it just be that one of the belts has slipped a notch?
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Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2012, 07:10:14 pm »
How much does a Z/3D printer that just works out of the box. "Like a normal printer. Hit print and wait for your piece". I guess that there are such machines. Not quite on the professional side for mass production.

Alexander.
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Offline Sylvain

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2012, 09:07:01 pm »
I think we should find a new motto for Dave, something like : "Don't [just] turn it on, make it faiiiiiil !!!"

kidding appart,  I'm really surprised at how such expensive things can be so "unfinished" and encounter such problems.
Entry level 3D printers have now been on the market for several years and several tens of thousands may have been sold by the different makers ... We shouldn't still see nearly prototype / home made things entering the market for more than 1.5 k$ ...

Further more, except -maybe- the nozzle there's nothing really new in that king of machines. Much of the technical (mechanic, electronic, programming ...) are perfectly mastered in other fields of the industry.

I of course don't ask these things to have a perfect and nice encluser or to be light fast and perfectly reliable for a 24/7 work but for more 1.5 k$ I think we can ask :
- Something working "out of the box" (even if one need to remove some pieces of tape and wait for an autocalibrating process like on any ink-printer...)
- A well made and simple to install/use software. Multiplatform / Opensource / Openstandard ... could of course be a plus.
- Something reliable and as idiot proof as possible for a normal amateur use.
- A predictable and repeatable precision

Are my wishes so unrealistic ?

Sylvain.

PS : Sorry for my English !
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 09:26:13 pm by Sylvain »
 

Online HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2012, 10:09:02 pm »
Your English is good Sylvain, your joke is even funny, maybe Dave can do this at the start of one of his Videos, ... or at the end would be better.

Quote
I imagine they swapped to the external PSU so they don't have to go through all the certification for a mains power supply and can get a decently high voltage for their heaters etc. Why muck around with a crappy ATX PSU?

Maybe they could've provided mounts somewhere for the PSU, just to keep it out of the way.

That's not a crappy ATX PSU. Meanwell are quite a good brand, it was 24v from memory. I have one of their open chassis higher end supplies and the build quality is really nice. It always runs cool, not that I really run it hard though.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #58 on: July 23, 2012, 10:58:43 pm »
Quote
I imagine they swapped to the external PSU so they don't have to go through all the certification for a mains power supply and can get a decently high voltage for their heaters etc. Why muck around with a crappy ATX PSU?

Maybe they could've provided mounts somewhere for the PSU, just to keep it out of the way.

That's not a crappy ATX PSU. Meanwell are quite a good brand, it was 24v from memory. I have one of their open chassis higher end supplies and the build quality is really nice. It always runs cool, not that I really run it hard though.

I know it's not an ATX PSU. The Thing-O-Matic used an ATX PSU, which is what I was referring to. As I said, they're probably using that Meanwell to get away from cheap ATX PSUs and supply a higher voltage (yes, it is 24V).
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #59 on: July 24, 2012, 01:35:09 am »
I think the superglue was to stick the feet on ( probably in the online manual somewhere, but was lost in translation.......) and definitely the adjustment of the platform is critical. I do think that a set of optoswitches for each axis would be good, and then you can align during construction, and only have a check during setup, along with a go-nogo block sent with each machine for adjustment of the platform. Then the platform can be made much more rigid, with no springs, instead a top and bottom nut ( and a pressed steel spanner to loosen if needed) to make a fixed platform.
 

Offline FJV

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2012, 03:01:40 am »
kidding appart,  I'm really surprised at how such expensive things can be so "unfinished" and encounter such problems.
Entry level 3D printers have now been on the market for several years and several tens of thousands may have been sold by the different makers ... We shouldn't still see nearly prototype / home made things entering the market for more than 1.5 k$ ...

I'm not suprised to be honest, when you compare the price against a more professional machine, then 1500$ is at least a factor 10 cheaper.

 

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2012, 03:15:58 am »
and why is it a factor 10 cheaper ? because you can't make a reliable machine that cheap. not yet.
take the 15k dollar machine - write off development , and assembly cost, profit and look purely at the material costs you can shave off maybe 2/3 so you end up with a 5000$ invoice just for the bits and pieces... tack on back assembly cost, modest profit for makerbot and you end up with a 7K$ machine.

as for development of the control software... apparently they didn't write much. it's a collection of miscellaneous assorted bits slapped together ( and incomplete as during install you have to do some legwork as well ) so they shouldn't charge for that . it was all free as in 'free beer' to begin with.

 
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Offline Sylvain

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #62 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:49 am »
I'm not suprised to be honest, when you compare the price against a more professional machine, then 1500$ is at least a factor 10 cheaper.

Of course but...

For example professional grade color laser printers are also maybe ten times more expensive than S.O.H.O. printers **but** that do not mean that if you buy a printer for your home, you will have to mount it by yourself, spend hours installing/calibrating it, may encouter fail after 3 pages printed ...

You can find this 1 to 10 (or more) factor in many fields (tools, computers, appliances ...) but it does not mean that if you buy non "professional" goods you can only expect to have "crap"/unfinished things.

Differences between "professional" grade goods and non professional can be found in many things : warranty, capacity of working hard 24/7, compliance with certain standards, size, speed, return on investment ...

If I apply this to my printer example a professional printer would accept A3 instead of A4, be able to print 100000/month, 20 pages/min, have a low price/page, can handle several ream in its charger, have a next day on site warranty and so on **but** -one more time- if you buy a 10 time less expensive personal printer, much of the time it will simply do what it is meant to with good results, decent speed and reliability ...

If the Makerbot would have cost says ... 200$ I could have been underding, at 1500$ sorry but no ...

One more thing, on this link : http://www.cnc-shop.ch/cnc3020.html you can see a product with nearly the same kind of problematics, same kind of precision and same range of price. I have never used it but just seeing it, I thing you can grant me that we are here in a other league of product.

Sylvain.
 

Offline Zad

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2012, 04:45:59 am »
To be honest, I agree. In terms of speed and quality, this is very much in the "before Epson MX80 9-pin dot matrix printer" stage. Even the good stuff is just a load of wiggly lines with poor detail and limitations on shape. Even for $500/£300 I have better things to spend my money on. When was the last time you saw a printer that needed assembly and calibration? For all the $10M investment, it still has the feel of something made in a bloke's shed. The hipsters will love that kinda thing, but not the 99.999% of the remaining populus.

I think Makerbot has to make a quantum leap with their next product, and abandon their traditional architecture. It shouldn't need expensive steppers that big, or have plywood panels with burnt wood that comes off over your hands. As Dave notes, it really needs positional feedback - it really isn't that expensive. Optical discs and IR sensing would maybe cost $1 in quantity.

Offline FJV

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2012, 05:20:04 am »
To be honest $10 million does not have to be all that much money, when you wanna design cutting edge stuff, but that's just my 2 cents.

What interests me is that if I were to have 2 Makerbots, I couldn't resist using one for making custom modifications. 8)

 

Offline tesla500

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2012, 06:02:19 am »
From my experience after we got a Fortus 400mc (about $100k) in at work, "professional" products aren't really any better. It's so bad that Fortus flies in a tech for all new system startups.

When we were setting it up, first the machine decides to slam the print head into the side of the machine during XY zeroing. After reseating some cards in the embedded Linux PC, it started working. However a few days later, it stopped again. After rebooting it a few times, it would no longer boot. They instructed us to restore the software using a supplied USB stick, but no luck, "Installation aborted" is reported on the screen and it reboots.

I connected a monitor to the Linux box, and actually got some useful feedback! The disk was corrupted and needed a FSCK run. But of course, I don't have the root password so I couldn't do anything. Tried the USB a few more times, and it randomly decided to work and restored the default image. That got the Linux box running again, but the Z axis auto zero now doesn't work, and the Y axis won't move when trying to print. We're currently waiting for a new Linux box to be shipped in from the manufacturer. If that doesn't solve it, the tech is coming back.

The manufacturer is also getting greedy like inkjet printer manufacturers, the 1.5kg material cartridges sell for $480 each for ABS and soluble support material, when the actual material cost is probably about 10% of that. The cartridges apparently contain about 20-30% extra material, but the onboard chip cuts you off at the stated capacity, and prevents you from refilling them. Looking at some blog posts, it's apparently not too hard to hack the security and refill them with your own material.

Similar to Agilent with licensed memory "upgrades", they charge $20k to enable use of the full build envelope, it's just a license key you install. Same for adding support for different materials, $15k each, and then you just need to change the $100 extruder tip. I can somewhat understand licensing the material support, as it probably takes a lot of effort to determine the exact head movements and extruder speeds required for each, but the build envelope is just like scope RAM, you already paid for the extra silicon, or in this case steel!
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2012, 02:46:11 pm »
Hmmh.. I think the only way for hobbyist is to get into 3D printing is to get fully open source thingies.. That way if there is faulty part (design or manufacture) there is at least chance you'll get some fix someday from the users. And if the machine body is made of off the shelf metal threads+nuts with printed plastic parts (like Reprap), it's open for hacks and evolution.

Of course there can/will be some imperfections and prototype issues due ongoing development and not all user-innovated variants are worth the plastic used to print. But I do hope these hobby.machines do get better in time.

And yes.. the material prising is really important argument. I can only hope this does not become like those Inkjet-printers, with those the ink price is astronomical.

 

Offline poorchava

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2012, 07:15:04 pm »
As for position feedback, i might be able to add something: stepper motors are actualy very rarely used with absolute position feedback. This is because stepper movement is practically quantified and it's a very fair assumption that if you send a pulse to the driver, and driver makes a transition to the next step in sequence, than the motor WILL move by one unit of distance. If a stepper motor loses steps then you need to either increase drive voltage (faster current rise in coils), increase motor size (more torque), align your mechanics better (less friction and drag), increase speed and frequency stability of your control system (tighter position control), decrease speed, decrease acceleration or upgrade motor drivers to ones with higher microstepping ratio possible (smaller steps at one time). That's why many commercially sold CNC milling/turning/cutting/plotting machines don't have position feedback. More expensive ones use servomotors, which need encoders because of principle of operation, so in that case encoders are an extra (and the price for single decent servomotor + controller can be easily 2/3 of this replicator's price)

A standard precision stepper has 200 steps per revolution. Typical division ratio for microstepping driver is from 1/8 to 1/32. that gives anywhere from 1600 to 6400 steps per revolution. I think an encoder with sufficient resolution will cost ALOT ($30-50 for incremental type and like 3-4 times that much for absolute type).

Bottom line: if a machine loses steps it is poorly designed or parameters are poorly adjusted.

As for printers I've ditched the ink printers loong time ago. Dunno how in other countries, but in Poland entry level, quite functional dual-carriage ink printer with two full cartridges costs like 10% more than the set or cartridges alone. Why buy a cartridge. Buy a 10% more expensive cartridge and get a printer extra :D. I've purchased a used LaserJet 4000 for $60 3 years ago and haven't refilled it yet (cartridge for 12k pages). And a refill costs like ~$15 tops even if you don't know proper people :D. If you do, then it is usually for free.

I love the smell of FR4 in the morning!
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2012, 08:11:43 pm »
As for position feedback, i might be able to add something: stepper motors are actualy very rarely used with absolute position feedback. This is because stepper movement is practically quantified and it's a very fair assumption that if you send a pulse to the driver, and driver makes a transition to the next step in sequence, than the motor WILL move by one unit of distance.

Plenty of systems use stepper motors with position feedback as part of a larger system.  With a stepper you should never lose steps: i.e., every pulse should move the shaft one step.  Often the link from the shaft to the load is not perfect due to backlash, slip, non-linear mapping between the shaft position and load (imagine a tape spool winding up where the diameter changes as you fill up the spool) or inter-dependence of multiple control axes.

Open-loop stepper motors and servos with shaft mounted encoders are cheap, easy to use, and good enough for simple or low precision applications.  Higher end systems or more complicated systems will generally use encoders (often linear encoders) to sense the actual position of the load regardless of whether the drive is a stepper or servo motor.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #69 on: July 24, 2012, 10:22:43 pm »
Stepper motors ... Tape drives
That's a good start for positional feedback by using a transparent rotary disk that has a LED on one side and a photodiode on the other side
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2012, 01:32:27 am »
Stepper motors with both home and end of carriage detection is good enough for most applications. High enough torque and right ramp profile means you should not lose steps.

As to printers, the Printer with the starter cart is often cheaper than the new cart, and I just phone my refiller to check they do that unit before I buy. Then buy a refilled cart and use the original then have it refilled. There are often starter cartridges that literally have a spacer moulded in to limit the fill volume, you have literally paid full price for empty air volume. I have a few laser cartridges that are now 6 years old and have been refilled dozens of times. I reckon I have saved around 1000 times the price of the original unit, just from that. Costs about 1/3 of the price of the unit wholesale, so both me and the refiller are doing well.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #71 on: August 05, 2012, 05:24:36 pm »
I haven't looked recently to see if they're going back, but the mention of printers and positioning made me remember that around the middle of the last decade printer manufacturers started using brushed DC motors and linear/rotary encoders for the platen and carriage instead of stepper motors. These can achieve accuracy in the <0.001" range so I don't think that's going to be an issue. Analog encoders are limited by ADC resolution, and using DC motors there is no defined step, so very fine adjustments can be made. At the expense of a bit more complexity in the software, they can get rid of the home switches and auto-calibrate a fixed platform by measuring the height of 3 of its corners, then storing the two slopes and using them when printing to compensate for any tilt.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2012, 06:17:11 pm »
Brushed motors have the advantage of a simple driver, but need the feedback. Now the cost of drivers has continued dropping to the point where the motor costs more with the feedback than the stepper motor does with the driver, so they moved to cheap pressed part stepper motors. The DC motor is still used where they need a high breakaway torque though.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2012, 06:44:07 pm »
To be honest, I agree. In terms of speed and quality, this is very much in the "before Epson MX80 9-pin dot matrix printer" stage.

I think the entire entry level 3D printing industry is still in this category, it's not just the Makerbot.
They all have no position feedback, they all (apparently) have grub on round shafts, they all have limited speed and performance, and they all (apparently) require tweaking in some way.

Quote
I think Makerbot has to make a quantum leap with their next product, and abandon their traditional architecture. It shouldn't need expensive steppers that big, or have plywood panels with burnt wood that comes off over your hands. As Dave notes, it really needs positional feedback - it really isn't that expensive. Optical discs and IR sensing would maybe cost $1 in quantity.

I agree they need to make a quantum leap in the next product and abandon their home-made roots.
The low cost $1K UP! printer for example looks the business, but has a small build platform and no dual extruder support. And that's the only two things keeping the Makerbot competitive at the moment.

I think it's the small things in the design that will make the big differences in the winning product.
The market will very likely slip into the traditional market share ratios within in the next few years. i.e. one company will have the majority of the market and become the defacto standard, with another major player (or two) the next biggest, and then dregs who will ultimately disappear. Where Makerbot will be in that crowd depends on their next product I think.
I expect dual extruder with water soluble support material to become the defacto standard platform.

Dave.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #74 on: August 06, 2012, 04:14:08 am »
When you can buy this in Staples or Rymans I will buy one

http://www.objet.com/3d-printers/desktop/objet30-pro

There is a definite future for the 3d printer and I'm hoping in another 5 years they are as affordable as a laser colour printer is today.
I get all my 3d printing done at shapeways for now and even they have problems with their equipment.

I'd like to get something printed in rubber for my motorcycle but it seems noone does FLEXIBLE black rubber just yet (and rubber that is fuel,heat and crack resistant).


David. 
David
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2012, 04:31:47 am »
I can get 3D fabbed rubber parts in Nitrile, Silicone or Ertalon and natural rubber very easily. Go to a seal supplier and they will make it for you to spec right there and then on a seal maker. Of course you do start with a bigger block though, and do subtractive manufacture on it. Ordered some seals for a special application, and ordered 10 so that I would have spares, at $12 each. Came in a plastic coin ziploc bag for the 10.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #76 on: August 06, 2012, 04:44:23 am »
When you can buy this in Staples or Rymans I will buy one

http://www.objet.com/3d-printers/desktop/objet30-pro

There is a definite future for the 3d printer and I'm hoping in another 5 years they are as affordable as a laser colour printer is today.
I get all my 3d printing done at shapeways for now and even they have problems with their equipment.

I'd like to get something printed in rubber for my motorcycle but it seems noone does FLEXIBLE black rubber just yet (and rubber that is fuel,heat and crack resistant).


David.

As affordable? Well  YMMV
My LED toner MFP came in at 499SGD
 

Offline djsb

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #77 on: August 06, 2012, 05:01:58 am »
£250 for a laser printer cartridge. WOW. As I don't have a laser printer maybe I should do some research before I open my mouth.

David.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #78 on: August 06, 2012, 05:12:30 am »
Steep, but I have seen them retail at that price. Wholesale or second source is often a lot less, and refilled are around 1/3 the cost of that price.

Why do you think I have a perfectly working Tektronix ( now Xerox) Phaser 360 printer on a shelf. Consumables were working out to close to $300 per month, and in the marketing blurb "Black is FREE". That just to turn it on, you would spend $500 every 2500 pages, though I had a workaround for that that got me to 5000 pages. the thing would either print 2 pages a day as test/clean, or you left it off and batched up jobs for a week otherwise you used a half of the supplies as startup on the thermal wax transfer drum.
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #79 on: August 06, 2012, 09:38:54 am »
£250 for a laser printer cartridge. WOW. As I don't have a laser printer maybe I should do some research before I open my mouth.

It depends a lot on what tier you're looking at -- the baby colour lasers, like the Samsung CLP-325 I was eyeing up recently or the Canon model I bought instead, clock in at around £40 - £50 per toner cartridge.  When you move up to more serious models the consumables get a lot pricier, but I imagine (hope!) they have correspondingly higher yields...
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #80 on: August 06, 2012, 06:26:27 pm »
£250 for a laser printer cartridge. WOW. As I don't have a laser printer maybe I should do some research before I open my mouth.

David.

Nah, i mean the printer costs 499 SGD and the entire set of extended catridges cost 304 SGD ...
It's the Epson AcuLaser™ CX17NF
 

Offline nixxon

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #81 on: September 20, 2012, 06:00:03 am »
According to makemagazine, Makerbot and the Replicator 2 will be introduced Sept. 29-30 in New York:

"Tour of the MakerBot Replicator 2":

nixxon

Edit: And then an official announcement from Bre Pettis, CEO Makerbot corp.:



MakerBot® Industries introduces the MakerBot® Replicator™ 2 Desktop 3D Printer, the company's easiest, fastest, and most affordable tool yet for making professional-quality models. Designed for the desktop of an engineer, researcher, creative professional, or anyone who loves to make things, the MakerBot Replicator 2 features 100-micron layer resolution, setting a new standard in professional looking models and true-to-life replicas. In addition, the MakerBot Replicator 2 enables users to make big objects, up to 410 cubic inches in volume (11.2" L x 6.0" W x 6.1" H).

www.makerbot.com/replicator2
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 06:36:48 am by nixxon »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #82 on: September 20, 2012, 08:04:27 am »
Seems like the wooden frame is history

Quote
Industrial-strength,  powder-coated
steel frame, made to handle high
printing speeds.
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #83 on: September 20, 2012, 09:13:31 am »
Makerbot Replicator 2.

Nice video. But how many pennies?

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2012, 09:48:01 am »
I'm a generation behind already.
Interesting looking build platform, some form arcylic?
No dual head?
Firmware looks the same  :(
But the new desktop software sounds good.
Lucky that Tangibot guy didn't get the money, by the time he delivered everyone would be using the Rep2 for 6 months!
Actually, it will be interesting to see the price.
If it is single head and more expensive, they might still be selling the Rep1.

Dave.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #85 on: September 20, 2012, 10:03:07 am »

Lucky that Tangibot guy didn't get the money, by the time he delivered everyone would be using the Rep2 for 6 months!


He raised only 10%. What happens to the money people put up?
 

Offline dda

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #86 on: September 20, 2012, 10:07:03 am »
The dual head is the replicator 2x (plus other 'experimenter' features - $2799) vs single head replicator 2 ($2199). Makezine is talking about makerbot going closed-source.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #87 on: September 20, 2012, 10:08:50 am »
Two headed monster!

 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #88 on: September 20, 2012, 10:55:50 am »
He raised only 10%. What happens to the money people put up?

Nothing. Money only changes hands if the funding reaches 100%.
It didn't get there, so no one is out of pocket. That's one of the neat parts about crowd funding.

Dave.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #89 on: September 20, 2012, 12:23:32 pm »
He raised only 10%. What happens to the money people put up?

Nothing. Money only changes hands if the funding reaches 100%.
It didn't get there, so no one is out of pocket. That's one of the neat parts about crowd funding.

Dave.

Just doesn't seem right. How are we supposed to fleece the dummy sucker investors of their cash now?

 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #90 on: September 20, 2012, 03:49:35 pm »
Just doesn't seem right. How are we supposed to fleece the dummy sucker investors of their cash now?

They aren't even investors. They donate or pre-order, often just pre-ordering merchandise, not the real thing.

How to do it right? Offer something unique, something even impossible, make it a fashion statement (there always seems to be suckers if you offer something tiny and shiny instead of robust and usable when it comes to electronics), promise the moon, add buzzwords (like Arduino or Python when it comes to electronics - both a sure sign that it is something from idiots for idiots).

Or do what this Amanda Palmer musician/artist/alleged scientology member tried. She raised 1.2 million USD on kickstarter to produce a music album, accompanying video, going on tour and whatnot. And recently went out to ask musicians to effectively play for some beer money and merchandising on their tour.

That's the way you do it. Find idiots, and when you have the money try to find some more idiots. She just recently reversed that decision after some bad publicity, but 10/10 for trying to pull that one off. And if I understand it right, she even did managed to find some musicians who already played for free.

By the way, if you want to know how much of the $1.2 million went to scientology? She says non.
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #91 on: September 20, 2012, 07:10:39 pm »
geez.
 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #92 on: September 22, 2012, 01:47:07 am »
The Mean Well (is there no one in China who "Understands English Well"?) GS220A24 costs US$80 on eBay and US$128 on Mouser.  Very pricey!  But the specs, if true, look good:  http://www.meanwell.com/search/gs220/gs220-spec.pdf

About putting "Made in the USA" or "Made in Brooklyn" on the outside of the shipping box, I suspect that either the MB people aren't flag wavers, which would be to their credit IMO, or they want to avoid vandalism en-route ("How far can I drop/throw this box?") which might be encountered in a number of areas of the world.
 

Offline dolabra

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #93 on: September 27, 2012, 03:03:06 am »
the more I think about it.   I think the Makerbot is irrelevant.   It's like comparing a ink jet photo printer to the industrial photo printer at your local drug store.  The revolution in 3d printing will come when the ability of an average person to design things in the same way that an average person has the ability to take pictures. Then 3d printing will become as available as photo printing.  I don't know anyone who prints pictures at home anymore.  It isn't worth it, for a few cents you get a photo that is why better quality than what you can produce at home without the hassle of buying ink cartridges and keeping your printer working well. If the average joe can create things and have them produced at the corner store, it will be a revolution.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #94 on: September 27, 2012, 03:21:12 am »
Another day, another 3D-printer kickstarter

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer

This time with a twist. A stereolithography printer for the price of a Replicator. Sounds a little bit too good to be true.
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Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #318 - Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer Unboxing & Review
« Reply #95 on: September 27, 2012, 05:12:54 am »
Another day, another 3D-printer kickstarter

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer

This time with a twist. A stereolithography printer for the price of a Replicator. Sounds a little bit too good to be true.

Time will tell, I know there have been people working on inexpensive stl-machines. No idea of this particular one though. It definitely looks like getting a lot of traction and I'm sure the adwantages over Rep2 will make some people to reconsider their purchase.
 


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