Decommissioning Makerbot CupcakePosted: February 20, 2017
This was the first 3D printer I ever had
This picture shows the machine after its last Frankenstein operation circa 2011. I purchased it as a kit in the first place so that I could ultimately create some simple objects like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11255 to connect drinking straws so that my daughter and I could construct objects like geodesic domes.
Well, this machine never printed more than one or two objects in it wacky storied life until it was replaced with the original Up! machine, which just worked out of the box.
Those were heady days in the 3D printing industry. RepRap, and the notion of printers printing parts for themselves was still an ideal, and the likes of Ultimaker, Zortrax, and even Prusa, were just glimmers in their creators eyes.
The hotend for this thing (that mass of acrylic and steel sitting on the 5″x5″ platform in the middle there, probably weighed nearly a pound, consumed 3mm plastic, and just didn’t really work.
All those nuts and bolts, tons of acrylic, funky resistors, an even a piece of delrin. It was all well intentioned, and all very experiemental, and it all just didn’t quite work for me. Compared to a new modern extruder/hotend combo, this might seem relatively stone age, but it did have all the basics that we take for granite today.
I’m happy we built this machine. It was a great bonding experience, and it was then that my daughter and I cemented ourselves as ‘makers’. We went to a MakerFaire, played with electronics, sewed leds into a dress, and generally carried ourselves into the modern age of making.
I have since purchased an original Up!, an early prusa mendel, original ultimaker. Then I jumped into another realm with a ZCorp 650, ZCorp 660, then back down to earth with an Afinia Up Box, and lately Type A Machines Hub, and Prusa i3 MK2. That’s a lot of plastic, powder, glue and frustration right there in all that madness.
I purchased the first kit to make a little something for me and the daughter to play with. I’ve since explored the various ways in which these devices may or may not be utilized in the real of custom on-demand manufacturing. That journey continues.
This cupcake was both fun and frustrating as all heck. I’m a bit nostalgic to see it go, but now that it’s real value is in the various M3 screws and nuts, I’m happy to have let this particular nightmare in our printing history go.
RIP cupcake. You served us well.