Archives for the ‘Makerbot’ Category

Cupcake CNC transformer

So Make: recently introduced a contest to give away a Cupcake CNC FDM machine kit, and I came up with this entry…

What’s cooler than transformers? A Cupcake CNC transformer with a Bre head? This is a fully articulated assembly that transforms from a Cupcake CNC to a Bre-bot.
I started with a snap-together design (see the attached concept sketches) but migrated to a bolt-together kit or various reasons. The final design allows for fine adjustment of the joint tension so the transformer can stand in any position but still be movable, positionable, transformable!

Buildable in two Cupcake CNC builds (see screenshots), this transformer is assembled with commonly available 6-32 (3/4″ long) flat head machine screws and corresponding lock nuts. NOTE: may be substituted with M3.5 x 20 screws and nuts. 15 sets of screws and nuts are required.

Download the .stl files at Thingiverse.

UPDATE: Thanks a bunch to Frank for printing one!

UPDATE: Here’s another print:

IMG_0008 IMG_0009 IMG_0010 IMG_0012 IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0019

MakerBot Cupcake assembly

I spent the weekend assembling my new MakerBot Cupcake CNC, which went very well. Of course I had to document the build, so I set up my old webcam on a tripod over the bench and used Gawker to capture a frame every 30 seconds over the 11 hour build:


This is certainly not an over-engineered machine. Rather, it is designed to be just enough — finding a careful balance between cost and functionality — and that is what makes this such an elegant solution. The design of the MakerBot is very clever, primarily using laser-cut plywood that bolts together. The X and Y sliding suspension parts are ground rods and plastic bushings, which is a little loose and may be a source for some inaccuracy… we’ll see when I get it fired up.

finished MakerBot

The best part about the MakerBot is its open-source nature and the community of hackers that are constantly tinkering with it. I can already see room for improvement, and I plan to get busy on it too. For starters, I moved the Plastruder PCB off to the side of the assembly so I can see the mechanism working.

Also, I cracked several of the acrylic Plastruder parts by tightening down too much on the screws. I might have chosen polycarbonate instead ($$) for strength reasons, but I understand the cost trade-off.

I can’t wait to start making stuff… this is an awesome little machine!