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7. Your First 10 Things to MakerBot

Bre Pettis Maker Media, Inc ePub

In which we provide instant satisfaction in the form of wonderful objects that appear as if summoned by magic spells from the luminiferous ether.

Between the time that you get your Replicator up and running and the time that you get good at designing your own things, youre going to want some things to make. This chapter focuses on a few things from Thingiverse that we think are great. But there are many more wonderful things on there; take the time to explore the featured and popular things to really find out whats out there.

Once youve mastered the first few things, youll be delighted, excited, and energized to try the rest. By the time youve mastered all ten, youll be ready to start your own designs!

"Hello, World" is a term from computer programmingits the first program you write, and usually prints out the words "Hello, World". In 3d printing, its the first thing you make, and we suggest this snake, which demonstrates how to make something with moving (well, flexing) parts out of a single object.

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8. I’m Not a Maker, I’m a Builder

John Baichtal Maker Media, Inc ePub

Joe Meno

I am a Maker.

But I don’t use 3D printers, or pliers, or hand tools. I use a toy. I use Lego bricks. I also use Lego wheels, beams, and plates. But I make more than Lego models. I make a lot more. It just so happens that the brick is only the beginning of the creations that I have made. Let me tell you the story of me and the brick, a story that is still being written.

The story begins decades ago when I was first introduced to Lego sets in Germany. I was an Army brat, and my family was stationed in Mainz, Germany. This was in the ’70s, so in terms of entertainment, there was a movie theater that my dad managed and really, not much else. TV was only the black-and-white Armed Forces Network, and it was there that I first saw a show called Star Trek, which gave me a love of space and science. It was also here that I got the Moon Lander Lego set, which was my biggest introduction to the bricks. I began building and making my own things, mostly underwater stuff because I happened upon some Jacques Cousteau books in the library and became fascinated with the seas. Space also appealed to me, and I built moonships and even my own monorail (it had a turntable to reverse direction and looked very blocky). I kept on building until we came back to the States, and left much of my Lego collection behind.

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Practice – Tack welds.

Jalopy, Mister Maker Media, Inc PDF



Your First Weld Beads

Just Two Dials – Speed of wire and amperage. Inside the welder side panel, there is a handy cheat sheet with wire speed and amperage (heat) recommendations for different thicknesses of metal.

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Practice – Trim “stick-out.” The distance between the welding gun and wire end is called stick-out. Squeeze the trigger and run the wire out an inch or two. Be careful! The wire is energized and will weld to any grounded metal. Without touching the trigger, trim the wire stick-out to 2" beyond the copper gun tip.

Practice – Tack welds. Tack welds are small, temporary spot welds that hold the metal together until you lay the final welding bead.

I am welding a pretty thick piece of metal (1" steel angle to a 6" steel plate) so I set the welder to G-3. The G represents welding amperage or heat and the 3 is the speed the wire is fed from the gun. Hold the gun tip at a 45degree angle to the corner joint. Touch the wire to the work.

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C. Temperature Conversion Table

Windell Oskay Maker Media, Inc ePub

This table gives the approximate relation between temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) (known historically as degrees Centigrade) and degrees Fahrenheit (°F) for a useful range of temperatures. It is worth noting that while the Fahrenheit temperature scale is commonly used in the United States, degrees Celsius or Kelvin are used in essentially all modern scientific work, both in the US and abroad.

The exact formulas for conversion between the Fahrenheit and Celsius are:


The Kelvin temperature scale, widely used by scientists, has intervals of the same size as the Celsius scale. That is to say, a temperature difference of 1 K is the same as a temperature difference of 1 °C. However, the Kelvin scale has its zero not at the freezing point of water, but at absolute zero, the lower limit of any thermodynamic temperature scale. Conversion from degrees Celsius to the Kelvin scale is straightforward:

The degrees symbol should not be used when referring to temperatures on the Kelvin scale: Room temperature is around 300 K, not 300 °K.

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Argyle, Andrew Maker Media, Inc PDF






Examine the board for obvious errors. You can fix broken traces by filling in the gaps with a permanent marker such as a fine-tipped Sharpie. Use a hobby knife to separate any traces that have smeared together.

Take the time to do a good, thorough job with this step, which can make or break your final product. For this reason, it’s smart to print several designs, rather than pinning all of your odds on one.




The chemicals used in etching are corrosive, and their fumes are irritating.

Follow proper safety procedures, wear a mask (or work in a well-ventilated area), and protect your eyes.

There are different types of etching chemicals: dry and liquid. Dry chemicals are less expensive, but require dilution, as directed on the packaging. For this project, we recommend ammonium persulfate, available at lab and electronics supply stores. You will need about 1 quart of etching solution

(etchant) to etch a 6" board.

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