MakerBot Cupcake assembly
Monday, 24 May 2010
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.
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!