Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Evolution of BPC's 3D Printers

Back in 2011, I was fortunate to meet Brook Drumm, who sold me one of his early production Printrbots (left, below - please note, it is resting inside an egg crate... this is not part of the printer.  I just need somewhere to put my laptop while I am teaching).  His original goal was to get these printers in the hands of kids (see original Kickstarter project) and we helped him do just that.  Of course, by now, the PrintrBot has become more sophisticated - while still remaining rather affordable.  (In fact, I have a couple of boys who have used their Bar Mitzvah money to purchase and build their own!)

Since January 2012, when Makerbot first announced that they has a consumer machine that could print two colors at once (dual extrusion), I have wanted one....  Now, a year or so later, I have finally purchased my first Makerbot Replicator (right, below)!

As you may know, Makerbot has recently come out with a new Replicator 2 (single extrusion) and will soon be releasing the Replicator 2X (dual extrusion).  I had a tough decision to make.  In the end, I decided to go with the Replicator 1.  Not only was the price more realistic ($1999 vs. $2799), but the Replicator 1 still runs with open source software, while the newest Makerbots come with Makerbot's own proprietary software.  (Read the controversy, as well as Makerbot's response.)  I feel like, in the spirit of Making, I needed to share the open source model with my students.

Stay tuned!

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