Even failure can be a success!

The photos bellow show how a failed print tells a potential story and can lead to success! The extreme cavitation or whatever you want to call it, caused the layers to not fuse properly or there wasn’t any plastic flow but what caused that? I figured I would take apart my extruder to see what was happening, after all I built it and know every bolt.

Here is what I found:

-First it was a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon with some coffee!!

-The cartridge bearing that supports the axle of the extruder motor had released some of the grease that it was packed with when it was originally assembled at the factory; I expected to see this when I took it apart. This could have caused slipping or contamination but it is difficult to tell as the drive gear was grease and debris free. While cleaning the grease was a nesseccay step as it had some plastic fragments in it and that could have lead to contamination later, I feel this is inconclusive but a worthy cleaning step never the less. A bit of acetone to wipe it clean off.

-Next I looked at the filament drive gear to make sure it was catching the filament properly. Simple enough but there wasn’t any debris in the hobbs to prevent engagement or to cause slippage. I gave it an acetone wipe also. Again, inconclusive but a worthy task. 

-Then I considered the spool jaming on the filament wind itself. It looked like as the filament came off the spool it was under itself causing drag. This could lead to the printer head lifting a small amount causing lack of fusion in layers, but my spool turns quite freely. Yet again inconclusive but I spent a second and fixed it easily.

So now I have run the same print and have had much better results. My regular amazing results I expect from my machine. I love my Makerbot Thing-o-Matic! I learn from it as much as I build with it and both experiences are so satisfying! Once again this machine astounds me at every print!

In this photo you can see the missing or malformed plastic.


This photo shows the resulting run after cleaning and a slight filament rewinding. Much better!




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rostock delta robot 3D printer by Johann – Thingiverse

Rostock delta robot 3D printer by Johann – Thingiverse.

I blogged about a Rostock drawing machine a while back but here is a computer controlled version someone uploaded to thingiverse.com. There is a link to a video that you should see. This is what is so exciting about open source design. People are making and sharing these incredible things!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Makerbot blog post about yours truly!

I have had a lot of success this year at school and my newly acquired skills at 3D digital modelling have found their way into my work.

I made a chair for my furniture class that was around the idea of disability and our perceptions of what is “broken.” I designed a chair that only had three legs where it clearly should have four. It was the result of a combination of sketch models and research around disabilities, 3D printing organs, and stem cell technologies.

The link bellow is to a post that my friends at Makerbot Industries put up on their blog. I uploaded the chair project and all the details to thingiverse for others to enjoy and hopefully to have someone actually make one too!


Here is a picture of the completed chair.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radial motor 3D print update

Soooo… I have been very busy making some fun stuff to upload to Thingiverse,com and this radial motor model has been one project that has been so satisfying to make both digitally and  physically. I love making models and this demonstrates my ability to take an idea through several phases; concept to idea to digital to print then through final assembly.

I could not have done all this one year ago. I credit my school (obviously) but also the people at Makerbot. One day they said “me too” to 3D printing but wanted an affordable machine when compared to the $30,000+ price tag of the current state of art. Now they are leading the way in the table top manufacturing revolution!

I also said “me too!” Now with their support I am doing things I could never had guessed. My bot and I make regular appearances at my school for in class demos of what anybody can now do at home. I have also learned so much about 3D printing, not just file setup and modelling but the settings of the machine as it prints or generates a tool path. I can adjust them for each print allowing me an incredible level of control over my prints. this can not be said for many of the industry machines out there.

Anyhow…Bellow are a couple of images from my radial motor. There is one showing the body components being printed, The delicate looking but robust parts (thanks to my settings) being assembled and the completed motors. The Brown one was a second run and printed off so much better. The size difference pushed the limits of my TOM (Thing-O-Matic) and it took much longer to print all components but the results are so much nicer than the black version. It handled the overhangs better and the parts are rock solid. It is huge, the biggest thing I have printed off …yet!

This link is to Thingiverse, if you would like to see more pictures:


Here is a link to a video of it in action on the Youtubes!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My LEGO collection

It is no secret, I love LEGO! I have been collecting it for most of my life. I still have elements from my childhood, discontinued pieces and collector promo sets. I collect mini figures, Technic, Star Wars and other sets that interest me. I like to build complex machines and use my LEGO as a part of a design process to figure out concepts and ideas for various projects. The photos show my current collection. There is more around my house here and there but this is the bulk of it.  I was interviewed for a TV segment back in 2006, klick the link bellow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radial or Hula Motor by sirmakesalot – Thingiverse

If you have been following my blog, or not, then you may be aware that I love the 3D revolution that is taking place. I proudly take my place at that helm and move forward with every design and print. In that spirit I present my latest model upload to the Thingiverse community; The radial engine model has arrived!

It is a work in progress and I have yet to print it off so as I do I am sure there will be necessary adjustments made to the various components. I hope there is a brave printer operator that is able to give it a go and offer up some advice.

As I go I will as per usual blog about my progress so stay tuned!

Radial or Hula Motor by sirmakesalot – Thingiverse.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T-800 Exo-skull print

Here is the results of my terminator print. It took 14 hours 35 minutes. The resulting print is pretty good but has some lops and strings. I printed it with full support material.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment