Getting Started with MakerBot

Ready to join the personal fabrication movement? This hands-on book shows you how to make a wide variety of physical objects with the amazing MakerBot 3D printer.

It’s handy when you need a replacement for something lost, broken, or no longer made—like a knob on your stove. You can make things instead of buying them, or solve problems with inventions of your own. The possibilities are endless, and MakerBot is the fun, affordable, and inspiring way to go. Get started with your own little factory today!

  • Set up your MakerBot Replicator 2 and understand how it works
  • Learn the basics and print 10 useful objects right away
  • Make objects with sturdy yet biodegradable PLA
  • Get examples of real-world problem solving, from ceiling hooks to hermit crab shells
  • Choose from thousands of free designs on Thingiverse.com—and share your own
  • Repurpose disposable products by making them part of your design
  • Design your own 3D objects, using SketchUp, Autodesk 123D, OpenSCAD, and other tools
  • Use 3D scanning technology to replicate real objects around you

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3 thoughts on “Getting Started with MakerBot”

  1. Very nice tutorials. I would have liked a little bit more history on the founders of Makerbot and of the RepRap project. That is simply glossed over. I did not like that they are using Makerbot as a verb. i.e. you can Makerbot this and Makerbot that. But still it is a Makerbot book. I would have prefered them to use the word “print”. The preface is alot of thanking and praising by the three authors. It goes into a brief explanation of 3D printing, why they started Makerbot and why you might want to 3D print things and how you could do it using a Makerbot. Discussed were the different parts of the Replicator 2, unboxing and setting up the machine, downloading from Thingiverse, STLs, GCode and Makerware. It also explained some of the settings in Makerware, care and maintenance. These pages are really just a setup guide for the Replicator 2. It goes over things you might want to do prior to getting a Makerbot. It builds excitement, sort of like those old RadioShack electronic books I used to read as a kid. Basically it says you are getting a factory that can make anything so think about the things you want to make while you are waiting for it to arrive. It goes on to list things that you might be interested in, such as replacement parts, gifts, products etc within the design constraints of the machine. It talks about how this machine is so much better than the previous ones the made. It is bigger, more precise and faster. Since this book is Replicator 2 centric it mentions how much faster it is than the Replicator 1 and goes on to talk about how huge the build platform is and how you can build really large things and also how precise it is. The numbers cited for the Replicator 2 seem to be mostly theoretical limits. The book goes on to briefly discuss the Makerbot Community such as the Makerbot Operators Google group, Makerbot User Groups etc. The book talked about some of their exploits such as the Museum scans on Thingiverse and some other community projects. Further reading mentions the software you might want to get familiar with such as web based software and openscad and placement of the machine. There are many commentaries by actual users that have been taken from interviews, blogs and Thingiverse posts. The book then goes on to discuss ABS and PLA, and safety issues and how much better the Replicator 2 is over the Replicator 1 now that it has a steel frame. In my opinion the book gets much better after page 74. It covers some nice things to print from Thingiverse to get you started. It then proceeds to discuss how to design your own printable objects and considerations for the design to make it print well. Overhangs, water tightness, warping, friction fit and moving parts, surface finishing and making large objects by gluing things together. Further reading starts going into detail about modeling software such as 3DTin. The book continues with 123D Catch,ReconstructMe and then fixing up scans. It mentions netfabb, Meshmixer. Meshlab and Pleasand3D and then describes the process of fixing the scans. The book then continues with coverage of Thingiverse on page 175. The appendix begins on 187 and contains some nice references and details on using OpenScad and exporting files to STL.Although this is a Makerbot Replicator 2 book through page 75, there is still plenty of information here that would be of use to most people, even me. Although short, it touches upon most of the things you need to know about 3D printing for these machines.

  2. Everyone Should have a Makerbot another element in the coming industrial home revolution when we all have replicators etc. This book is another great Make or DIY book specific to makerbot and a must have for anyone with or planning to get/build a makerbot. buy the book and build yourself one of these 3d printers.

  3. Good introduction to 3D printing The book is a good introduction to 3D printing. The content is well-structured und easy to understand.Only criticism: the hand-made illustrations are not very good. The reader gets a low cost feeling …

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