The fine folks at MakerBot have impressed us enough with their Mario-themed RC racers and self-replicating 3D printers, but now the collective is looking to save mother nature with Project Shellter. Turns out, there’s a housing shortage in the oceans. Harvesting of shells has left many hermit crabs with no option but to take up residence in bottle caps and other debris they can squeeze their soft bodies into. MakerBot’s Miles Lightwood, has decided to crowdsource designs for artificial shells that hermit crabs can live in. Right now Lightwood is testing different shapes, materials and colors, looking for the combination that the critters will find most attractive. The shells are not intended to be placed in the wild — putting plastic into the sea wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly. Instead, the artificial domiciles are meant for domestic use, reducing the number that must be harvested for pets. You can get updates on the project from its Facebook page (at the more coverage link) and submit your own designs to Thingiverse, just make sure to tag them “shellter.”
Project Shellter: crowdsourcing 3D-printed homes for hermit crabs originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: 3d printer
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As soon as you see these little RC Koopa shells, you know that life can’t be that bad. In fact, they’ve already had a hallelujah-inducing impact on the world of the 3D-printing genius who created them. Ten days ago, Michael Curry (aka Skimbal) was among America’s 13.9 million unemployed, having been unceremoniously booted out of his ailing architect’s firm. All he had was a $700 MakerBot printer to stop his hands from idling, but he made the most of it. MakerBot saw his stuff and were as bowled over as we are, so they just gave the guy a job. We’re dusting off our Wii controllers and even those little plastic steering wheels in celebration.
3D-printed Mario Kart turtle shells race to rescue American economy originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 08 Aug 2011 08:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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If you’re like us — that is to say, wildly popular and devastatingly good looking — then you’re probably wondering why someone hasn’t produced an action figure in your likeness yet. Well wonder no longer, for the folks over at MakerBot just announced yet another handy tool to make at home 3D printing even easier. An addition to the aptly titled Thing-O-Matic, the Gen 4 Interface Board Kit v1.1 is billed as a DIY interface that lets you operate your thingy printer without having to attach it to a PC. The kit comes equipped with an SD card slot for easy independent operation, and because the board’s fully hackable, you can use it to control your robots or homebrew CNC devices, too. It sports nine programmable buttons and an LCD screen for feedback, and allows you to set and read temperatures, view build progress, or start a new project stored on the SD card. So what are you waiting for? Your self-aggrandizing bobblehead isn’t going to make itself.
MakerBot’s Interface Board Kit does PC-less 3D printing, turns your superhero fantasies into reality originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 22:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: 3d printing
, gen 4 interface
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CES 2011 Are you the creative type who hoped that you have a 3D printer in order to realize your designs from paper to an actual device/toy? Well, that dream can now be realized with the MakerBot, a highly affordable open source 3D printer. It works great with churning out just about anything as long as it remains within the 100mm x 100mm x 100mm boundaries. MakerBots will print on ABS, HDPE or PLA plastic – and before you wonder whether the raw material required is going to break the bank or not, fret not – it will come in 1 pound and 5 pound coils at $10/pound. The entire MakerBot will ship to your doorstep for a self-assembly process before it can get up and running, which is a project worth undertaking by DIY enthusiasts. At $1,225 a pop, you can bet your future toys that this is a whole lot cheaper than an industrial class 3D printer. If you feel the need to share your ideas with others, you can always head on to Thingiverse and do so. A video of the MakerBot in action is available right after the jump.
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MakerBot 3D printer looks like a win