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Comment Nice, but incremental (Score 5, Interesting) 91

Disclaimer: I own a MakerBot Replicator 1, and haven't used any of the models published in the article. These printers look promising and have attractive price points, but here are my two big complaints about home 3D printing that none of them address yet, AFAIK.

1. printing with ABS plastic literally stinks. If your printer's in the garage or shop it's probably not so bad, but woe to the user that keeps one of these printers in a home office. Good ventilation is a must, but breezes and drafts can significantly mess with your print quality. I prefer to print with PLA (corn-based) plastic, because it smells like Mrs. Butterworth's imitation maple syrup. Makerbot's already doing this with its Replicator 2-- as I understand it they've given up on ABS for their first version and only print with PLA.

2. Overhangs. I doubt any of these printers can yet print an overhang that's more than 2mm without post-processing support. Gravity tends to pull overhangs down during the printing process, meaning the object's designer has to take the orientation of the printed object into account when designing it. As amazing as home 3D printing is, this is a pretty severe limitation once one gets past printing cubes and scans of heads.

The first company to produce a 3D printer that can handle big overhangs has my upgrade cash.

Comment TV in the dining room? (Score 5, Insightful) 372

It's a matter of personal taste, of course, but I'd keep the TV out of the dining room and spend the money on something else. You need a place to get away from information overload.

We've declared our dining room to be a screen-free zone-- no TV's, laptops, iPads, smartphones, whatever. It's the one room in the house where we sit, eat, and converse as a family.

I find the half hour or so when people aren't checking Facebook, tweeting, playing minecraft, checking their calendar, etc to be pretty refreshing. It's amazing what you can find out when you ask a kid how their day was.

Comment Alternatives to Thingiverse (Score 4, Interesting) 37

About a month ago there was a kerfuffle on Thingiverse coinciding with MakerBot's announcement of the Replicator 2 and a perceived change to the Thingiverse Terms of Service. It resulted in an "Occupy Thingiverse" movement where users uploaded protest models to the site.

It seems to have died down, but since then a few folks started their own free-as-in-freedom alternatives to Thingiverse-- it'll be interesting to see if MediaGoblin can gain more traction than they did.

Comment Re:I'm ready. (Score 1) 422

Wow, what a downer.

I'm a lot more hopeful. I think the challenges brought on by climate change are going to unleash a wave of human creativity and problem-solving the likes of which we have never seen before. We're going to adapt and thrive, and our grandkids are going to wonder why we dilly-dallied for so long in the first place.

But then I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

Comment My favorite part about this video. (Score 4, Insightful) 100

When I hit that video the first time, the first couple of comments on that video aren't "cool!" "nice job!" or anything resembling constructive criticism. It's all "this is the wrong tech for the job" "seems like a hell of a lot of effort just to read what's already on the top of the card," etc.

Haters gonna hate, I guess. But what ever happened to just enjoying a hack for a hack's sake?

I think it's clever. Who cares how much time the guy spent, what technology he chose, as long as he enjoyed doing it.

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