Our 3d Printer arrives!


Team 2950 just got their shipment from makerbot for the 3d printer!!! Here it is.
We are currently using it to print a iphone 5 case. Can’t wait to see what we could do with it. Any ideas?


Congrats this makes me so excited that they are starting to ship the makerbots out. Did you get a shipping invoice from makerbot or donors choice before it shipped. Good luck with the printing.


There is no picture linked.


I believe we did get a shipping invoice and I’m having some trouble uploading the picture any advice?


You have to right click, open link in new tab:




All: The FIRST donation 3D printers haven’t shipped yet - that won’t happen for at least 2 weeks. This post surely refers to a printer bought directly.

Here’s the plan…

December 14th, noon Eastern: FIRST Choice will open to take orders. If a team selects a 3D printer, they’ll be required to indicate their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice selections for printers. All of their credits will be consumed and they will be put in the 3D Printer lottery.
December 16th, 8am Eastern: The lottery model expires, and we will pull the report of teams that opted for printers.

December 16th, noon Eastern: Notifications will start being sent out of who does and does not receives a 3D Printer. Those not getting one will get their 150 Credits back at this time to choose other FIRST Choice items.


I believe this is one of the printers offered through DonorsChoose.org

This link indicates they got funded on or before November 14th.

We applied through DonorChoose.org on November 14th, and got fully funded on Nobember 21st. No word on it shipping yet though. It may be after the holidays since they do not want to risk a package arriving when the school is not open to receive it.


Explore http://www.thingiverse.com/ and have some fun!

I’ve uploaded many of my prints with that same printer here, for some additional ideas: http://eric.segonline.net/2013/3dprints/


If you are planning on using it to create useful objects during build season, why not design and print something like them right now.

Maybe you’d like to print some small gears or pulleys, for instance… give them a try now so you can try different settings to see what gives you the best resolution and reliability.

Maybe you’d like to print some mounts or covers for sensors… try mounting a few typical sensors on one of your old robots using some parts you have designed.

Do you have the option of using different materials… ABS is tougher, but PLA is harder. ABS also shrinks more when printing and is a little more difficult to get the first layer stuck to the print bed. If you are using ABS see how big you can print something without having warping be an issue.

Try printing hollow cylinders… check inside diameters and outside diameters. I find my outside measurements are usually pretty good, but inside measurements are often undersized a bit. You’ll want to know about any offsets that you require before build season starts.

The phone cases and thingiverse stuff are fun ways to get started, but I doubt you’re going to find the parts that you need for your robot on thingiverse. If you want the machine to be useful, go take a look at last year’s robot and find a part that you think should have been made on a 3D printer. Make it… see if it works.

Oh, yeah… take some time to get to know how the machine works, read some forums to find out what part is going to fail first, and consider ordering a spare. After one year with a Solidoodle I’ve had a student melt the PEEK tube, I’ve had the resistor heater burn out, and I’ve done an exceptionally thorough job clogging the hot end.

Now I keep spare resistors and a spare hot end in stock, so that if I have a clogged hot end I can just swap it out with a good one and work to clear the clog without significant down time.

You don’t want down time during build, eh?



we applied through donorschoose and were funded in about 1 day. I have some prints that we have done so far of an Iphone case, and iphone stand, some chains, and a shark. Hopefully today we will have some more designs.


Print snowflakes. Even the simplest one from Thingiverse will do. Print them and tweak your printer settings until the snowflakes are perfect. They take ~12 minutes each and mimic complex flat objects similar to what could be done on a robot.

I’ve fine-tuned my printer to get rid of issues with ooze, infill, extrusion speed, and even how Slic3r calculates its infill runs. It also produced something that looks great on a Christmas tree or stuck to a window. A hobby knife helps to clean up the ‘bad’ ones so they look good from a distance.

When you get frustrated, the Owl figurine from Thingiverse is a good print even for an out-of-tune printer. Unlike many other prints, it does well when scaled down to 50%. It’s also a good conversation starter when put on a desk at work.