Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Review of Getting Started with MakerBot

I just read the Make magazine about issue about 3D printing and the comparisons of hobby grade printers and decided I had to find out the details of at least one and this book was a good way to delve into it.
One problem or advantage of this particular 3D printer (MakerBot Replicator 2) is that it isn't closed source so if you want to make modifications to it to make it bigger or optimize the programming, you won't be able to. However, because it's closed source, that leaves all the major tuning work for the manufacturer so you get a more straight out of the box and up and running experience with it. Pick your poison.
Most of this book is dedicated towards the basics about 3D printing and what it's about and then setup and using the Replicator 2. Since I still don't know which one I plan on getting, I couldn't really validate these sections but all the instructions made it pretty simple to get up and running with the printer so I think that makes it worth having if you already have this particular printer and need help with it. Otherwise, this book may be too simple for you.
What I found useful for anyone that doesn't have a printer yet and wants to learn more is chapters 8 and 9. They go over the software you can use to make 3D models and things you need to take into consideration. Good stuff there. But then they go into details about how to use currently 3D scanners like the XBox Kinect and the Asus Xtion to get 3D models you can use to make something. That is worth knowing and made this book worth reading.
Overall, I would recommend this is you are planning on purchasing the Replicator 2 and don't have any experience with 3D printing. If not, you can find the information in chapters 8 and 9 elsewhere so it may not be worth it but going through it nonetheless is still a very good idea.

Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

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