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"The problem is that these requirements are not communicated to the user during the modelling process, so the model that the user designs is not well optimised to be printed, and must often be fixed with other software."

I couldn't agree more - finding out your design won't work after you've manufactured it is sort of like finding out your code won't compile after you've deployed. There needs to be better feedback during the design phase to make hardware as easy and fast as software.

This is exactly the problem we're trying to solve at Plethora, albeit with CNC milling instead of 3D printing. We have an add-in for 3D modelling programs that tells you manufacturability issues in real time as you design.

For those who are interested, check it out here: https://www.plethora.com/how


Those metal beams are called aluminum extrusions and are sometimes referred to by the brand name "80/20".

They're super fun and useful in prototyping - kind of like an erector set for adults.

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Thanks! What other items often go together with these aluminum extrusions? Is there a place or a book to learn about this topic, or is it something that people only learn through experimentation and mimicking?

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In addition to the 8020 beams already mentioned, there are also MakerBeam (http://www.makerbeam.eu/) and OpenBeam (http://www.openbeamusa.com/).

Primarily they are used for building structures quickly and easily - a saw and a wrench are the only tools you need. The standardized brackets for each beam type allow you to make 90 and 45 degree angles.

But they are often used for more than just framing. The 3D printing community has embraced extrusions because you can also use them as bearing surfaces, mount motors and servos, limit switches, etc. Basically anything that has a hole big enough for a machine screw can be mounted to a beam either directly or through an easily made mount (usually to get the angle that you want - all it takes is some sheet metal).

The quickest way to learn is to look at examples. The OpenBeam website has lots of examples. The system is so simple that you can understand exactly what is going on just by seeing a picture.

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You're right, Pittsburgh should be on this list!

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Dude - talk to Jim - he wants to do it! We did the 3D Cookout and it went really well!

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I ran a 3D Photo Booth at the 2012 Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire back in September. While not nearly as cool as the one in the article, we did scan over 90 people over the course of the day and print out over 40 at the fair with two makerbots.

http://jherrman.com/2012/10/introducing-scanbooth/

We couldn't have scanned so many people without some automation for streamlining the scan process and cleaning up the scans for printing. I posted the rails app we used and automation scripts on github:

https://github.com/jherrm/scanbooth

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I'm in the US on a fiber connection and I constantly wait for buffering. It's only gotten worse over the past year.

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At vmworld 2010 Samsung had a big TV playing a Steve Jobs-esque keynote presentation introducing some new product. The really odd thing was that it was entirely faked. The speaker, the audience, the applause, everything. Somebody there has a crazy obsession with Apple and has led their company into the uncanny valley of imitation.

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Cargo cult PR? ("Apple has presentations by Steve Jobs; Apple is successful; therefore, Jobs-esque presentations cause success.")

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The chaos monkey strikes again!

http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2010/12/chaos-monkey-how-n...

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Dang! Beat me to it.

It's evolving, adapting and spawning other chaos monkeys.

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Jason said in the closing remarks of LAUNCH something to the effect of "I am so happy, let's go to the W and get drunk." After arriving at the W, I checked my phone and saw the article on Google's blog - some timing! I feel for him and all of the people that lost their jobs.

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Wow the German site asks you to measure your foot with a paper, pencil and a ruler. Although ShoeFitr must already have your shoe in their database, the huge win is there's nothing asked of the user besides what shoe they already like and you can find it from brand name and colors.

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Correct. I didn't say it's better.

But it's possible to solve the other use case. 3D-foot-scanners are already out there for shoemakers, so taking measurements could become easier in the future.

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We're hoping to launch the new version of our comic creation website http://chogger.com before the holiday break. Lots to do in the next 3 weeks!

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