Chapter 8. Designing for the MakerBot

In which we provide the reader with detailed tutorials on how to bring envisioned objects into 3D printed reality.

Now that you have experienced the instant gratification of printing, it is time to explore the rapid prototyping capabilities of your MakerBot by designing your own things. You probably have many project ideas already and this is most likely why your purchased a MakerBot in the first place!

Once you understand the general design constraints of 3D printing you will be able to start creating your very own things. In this chapter we provide an overview of a variety of 3D modeling programs and tutorials that will get your desktop factory cranking out your own designs in no time!

General Design Considerations

While there are several general considerations when designing for a MakerBot desktop 3D printer, none of these are actual constraints. As long as you keep these considerations in mind, any of them can be addressed in the design.

Equipment Capabilities

When designing your models, you should take the Replicator 2’s equipment capabilities into account. A MakerBot’s positioning resolution is in the sub-millimeter range. For the Thing-O-Matic, the X and Y axes can be controlled to within 85 micron (about 0.003") and the Z stage to within 4 micron (0.0002"). The MakerBot Replicator and Replicator 2, with their improved frame and superior electronics, can position the print head on the X and Y axes to within 11 microns (0.0004") and the Z stage ...

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