EEVblog #237 – Makerbot Thing-O-Matic Unboxing

Dave got a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. A look at what’s inside the box, plus some bonus rants.
if it takes this long to un-box, how long will it take to build?

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  1. I’m of the opinion that any of these homebuild printers that costs over a thousand bucks is waaay over-priced. I’d appreciate your take on that Dave.

    Good Luck, David in Jakarta

    • Yeah, I think they are still too expensive for the mainstream. You’d have to be a keen “early adopter” to buy one. But buy it people do…
      I would not have bought one with my own money, but that’s just my own tight-arse opinion.
      If you can afford it, and it works for you and is valuable, then it’s well worth the money and good value.
      But if you are just playing around, then IMO it’s a lot of money to hand over.
      I got this one for free, so I’m not complaining :->

      So whilst I think that they are quite expensive, as to whether they are “overpriced”, well, you’d have to look at the actual BOM cost and profit margins. I don’t have that data. But if they are overpriced, then there is a big market waiting to be tapped for a lower cost / lower margin model.
      It’s open source, so anyone can do that….

  2. I just love your new lab! Boy I’m so jealous 😀

  3. The tape you wondered what it is seems to be polyimide tape aka Kapton tape. It’s quite good temperature resistant tape. I think you’ve seen it inside some elektronics before.
    Oh .. and your new lab looks great ..

  4. I recently bought and built an Ultimaker (it was actually printing as I was watching this 🙂 ). I have to say that I was a bit surprised at the amount of parts on this thing. Then again it might be because of the front panel (which IMHO is pointless) and the automatic build platform that Dave got. I dunno, my printer just seemed less complicated some how.

    This was also the first time I actually saw the print bed in someone’s hands and wow, it’s tiny! The Ultimaker version is gigantic in comparison. Makerbots new printer seems to be going in the direction of the Ultimaker setup (I know the Ultimaker wasn’t first but it’s my only reference) though and will get a larger print area which is great.

    Once you get this thing assembled I’m sure you’ll find yourself coming up with stuff to print that you never thought you’d need. I know I do 😀 Right now I’m designing a custom enclosure for a little project I’m working on. The satisfaction you get from designing something on your computer, get it over to the printer, hit print and a few minutes later you have it in your hand… it’s amazing.

    And no, I wont be getting any money for mentioning a competing printer so don’t even go there 🙂

  5. Will you be recording a time laps of putting each module together ?

  6. I completely agree with Robert although I’m not the owner of an Ultimaker. The really tiny build platform was also the first thing that I noticed when watching the video. I have recently built a RepRap together with some fellow students and it has a 20x20cm print area and only costs about half as much as a TOM. What also amazed me was the amount of circuit boards included, our RepRap only has one eurocard and some stepsticks(motor drivers) sitting on that eurocard so total size of the electronics stays within 10x16cm. That being said, it looks like the TOM a well prepared kit (with a nice wiki) and looks like it is easy to put together.

    I personally like the idea of RepRap where the printer is built from 3d printed parts and stuff you can buy locally. Also you can print the parts for a RepRap and give them to other people who want to build one, or print improved parts for your own RepRap.

  7. You know, if your (main) camera has a composite/component output that is active when in use (and, ideally, if you can hide the menu and info readouts), you could pick up a cheap USB capture stick for <$20 and use that to provide the live feeds. DealExtreme has some – I've got SKU 11267 which works just fine, and there's also SKU 113103 which has component inputs.

    Anyway, it'd avoid having to hold things in front of two different cameras when doing live shows, plus I imagine it'd be more convenient to have your camera on a tripod than using the built-in one on the laptop.

    The capture sticks appear as a plain old video capture source in Windows, and should be usable with whatever software you use for the live shows.

  8. Haha! I smell everything! My wife thinks it very weird, but hell- she doesn’t know what she’s missing.

  9. Are you planning build video and review of completed printer?

  10. Definitely nice, if I could afford one. Or have the time to build it.

    Kapton tape’s fairly expensive – I know we used to pay $80 for one roll of it (the thin stuff), so that huge roll and all the other rolls probably account for a good chunk of the cost…

    Impressed with the quality of the stuff though.

  11. hi, great blog!

    are you going to build / review this succer ? and make video…


  12. Hello Dave,

    did you allready finished the Makerbot? Are you happy with the printing quality?

    Best regards from Switzerland.


  13. And dave proved to be right again, regarding the end of the kits – the new makerbot replicator comes pre-assembled, so they already started their way away from kits…

  14. I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s posts daily along with a mug of coffee.

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