Difference between revisions of "3DPrintBeginners"

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(MakerBot Cupcake CNC)
(MakerBot Cupcake CNC)
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****Upon installation MakerWare only lists the Replicator or Thing-O-Matic
****Upon installation MakerWare only lists the Replicator or Thing-O-Matic
****To-Do: talk to the Makerbot support page later
=== Up! 3D printer ===
=== Up! 3D printer ===

Revision as of 14:53, 24 June 2013

Noisebridge 3D Printing for Beginners

The focus of this page is on understand the layout of Noisebridge, getting beginners up to speed. If you are interested in adding to this group you can contact Romyilano

Rough Draft

Noisebridge 3D Printing workspace

3D printing space

The Noisebridge 3D printing workspace is in the "front" next to the HackerStackers. I was just informed by a friendly Noisebridge member that they are shifting the space around and expanding it.

Hardware/3D Printing Workstation PC

There is a Windows PC inbetween the laser cutter and the Makerbot 3D printers. It is used for game development, 3D Printing and using the laser cutter. Since it has so many uses it is probably wise to be polite and ask anyone if they are waiting on you to print or cut something.

  • Magnavox Monitor - sometimes the monitor is blank. This might be a little obvious and i bet a lot of people are too scared to ask why it isn't working (i sort of was), but you just have to tap the channel buttons on the top + and - until you reach the PC. I think the monitor even serves as a television set so don't be surprised if you pop onto the news.
  • Login as guest is sufficient
    • There is a lasercutter login, so I'm guessing you don't have to be in the lasercutter login. I am guessing that this is for awesome lasercutting projects.
  • Saving Time - you can save a lot of time by doing a lot of stuff on your own computer. Some processes which are detailed later on in this wiki like "slicing" can sometimes take up to an hour or more to complete.

Hardware/Hooking your own Laptop to 3D Printers

This section will have material about how to set up your computer and hook it up to one of the existing 3D Printers.

Hardware / 3D Printers at Noisebridge

_I'm going to start out with a rough draft, linking existing highly excellent existing Noisebridge wiki pages that already exist. I was actually pretty surprised at how extensive and friendly some of the 3D printing pages were--the only thing is they just aren't all consolidated in one place -- Romyilano

RepRap Wiki Page

RepRap Machines

RepRap is the open-source 3D printer and should always get first priority. Many of the great 3D printing private companies springing up now that the 3D systems patents are expiring have lifted their designs directly off the open source RepRap community.

This page is out of date. I will do my best to update it

  • I see remnants of a RepRap party at Noisebridge
  • RepRap might be a challenge for beginners - the community does have a right to feel a little under siege and exploited, and these are intense hobbyists who might be like the comic book guy in the Simpsons. However, I have had mostly good experiences with RepRap people when I hung out at the TS in San Jose.
  • Like all open source projects, the emphasis might be not so much on easy usable great products that are simple. That is one of the disadvantages of open source, so it tends to scare away beginners. If we can do anything to mitigate that then that is cool

Makerbot Wiki Page

Really one of the friendliest! I'm not sure what's going on because the last update from May 2013 says that the Makerbot is no longer working but we have seen people use it. It's also confusing because there is more than one MakerBot 3D printer... I think there are fouro f them, one of them is labelled Peter K Suk so I'm worried about messing with it because it might belong to someone.

MakerBot Cupcake CNC

One of the printers is a CupCake CNC. There is really good documentation for this on the Makerbot website. It was the first MakerBot ever and sold as a kit...

Up! 3D printer

Up! 3D printer. don't mess with it or its boyfriend will come back and kick your ass!

This is an easy to use 3D printer. They are from China and have been extremely aggressive about hiring people from the hacker community to evangelize, but I haven't seen people be very open about this. They have good firmware, it is produced by elite university students. They are not part of the open source community.

  • Update june 2013 - I think this thing is broken. There is a message not to mess with it. Do not mess with the UP! printer or its boyfriend will come back and whup your ass!
  • I do not feel like doing free documentation for a private company that is giving checks to hackers. if someone is into that you can do it.

Type A! Machines

older Type A 3D printer prototype

Nice 3D printers produced in the Bay Area. They visit noisebridge a lot - I feel since it is a private company with noisebridge connections it is in their best interest to handle all their documentation, marketing, training themselves. If you want to do this free work then erase this entry and start wiki-ing away. I'm not really going to do free work for this. They are nice people and they need to do this if they want to become a successful scalable business.

  • we only have early prototypes of a Type A machine so far. it is mysterious, on its side.
  • (total rumor) I heard a rumor that there was money donated for a new type a machine but it is not here yet. somebody totally confirm this rumor so that i am not gossipping.

3D printing Software

You don't have to actually work with the 3D printers at noisebridge to get started. A big mistake a lot of beginners do that I see is getting overly obsessed with learning the CAD 3D software and then giving up. I recommend doing that stuff at home and then focusing on doing the 3D printing hardware when you are the space.

  • The Noisebridge members who created the Makerbot wiki put up some great software so I'm lifting a lot of the text directly off there.

Software: Making 3D Models

This is a huge, exhaustive topic and can take years to master. Try not to get too intimidated. There are a lot of people who studied industrial engineering and like all nerds they can spend a lot of time fussing over things that are technically interesting but not very pragmatic for what you as a beginner want to do.

As always, I'd like to favor open source software, but the stuff out there that is commercial is simply a lot easier for beginners to tackle, plus they can download this for free.

  • Tinkercard - https://tinkercad.com/ - disclosure that this was acquired by autoDesk recently after being shut down by a small start-up of Finnish guys.
    • Everything is done within a web browser, and they have a lot of "quests" and starter projects that are very helpful. The models that emerge are actually fairly sophisticated; I printed my first Arduino 3D case using a tinkercad model I found on thingiverse.

Software: 3D printer Drivers

3D printers need drivers. Think of the printer driver that you download and use to print on your laser printer or inkjet printer. If only you could get software drivers for online dates but--whoops that was unprofessional.

  • Luckily the open source community has provided many great 3D printer drivers. These are also called firmware.
  • You can hook up the 3D Printers directly to your laptop, plus downloading this free software will help you save a lot of time.

Here is the list of Driver software:

3D Printing Projects

This is just a rough overview of projects for beginners. This needs to be merged into a general page that includes both beginners and experts.

Relatively Recent 3D Printing Projects

Noisebridge 3D Printing Member Projects

It would be ideal to put our stl files here instead of on a commercial service. Noisebridge is an open source community. I think Thingiverse is very useful for beginners though.

3D printing Guide

  • Full disclosure: I am thinking about making a 3D printing guide printed as a zine or book. This could possibly be offered as a tangible object so that people could give donations to Noisebridge or sudoRoom but I haven't fleshed out the details yet.

Ancient History 3D Printing

3D Printing Anatomical Models

This one from 2012 is pretty weird. I wonder what happened to it? And why brains? So interesting! I am pretty surprised that this didn't branch off into the predictable erotica or porn 3D Printouts.

Ancient 2011 3D Graphics

This is super old. but it looked like it was off to a good start!


Fear of Noisebridge

Noisebridge has a lively discussion mailing list since there are many colorful personalities here. I don't think that these kinds of lists should scare you away from Noisebridge. Note that there are a lot of introverts here so those people tend not to talk a lot on the lists.

Good Patterns

  • Getting beginners up and running
  • Explaining really dumb and obvious things like "how to turn on the printer" - for some reason a lot of smart 3D printing companies do not feel it's important to do this. =D
  • Updating the equipment list so that even beginners can figure out what is going on
  • Training beginners to be educated enough to help repair broken 3D printers. a lot of people really want to help but they don't know where to start. Just getting them to be able to identify parts and then tip off more experienced members will lighten the work load and prevent burn out from the more experienced folks.
  • Training beginners to learn how to maintain the 3D printers and software, this is a great way for them to learn and help out Noisebridge


  • Too much discussion of private funding / someone's private or non profit 3D printing project business
  • Endless videos of neat 3D printing projects by the military, governmental organizations, multibillion dollar corporations. This is a good way not to learn 3D printing. trust me, we have all been there.