3D Printed Tardis

Ahhh, Dr. Who. A British classic loved by generations of slightly different characters. My son happens to be one of those people who are fans of the good doctor (I’m warming up). So, when I saw plans for a Tardis on Thingiverse, I knew I had to make it.


I printed the pieces for the Tardis over the last few weeks on our Makerbot Replicator 3D printer, then painted them navy blue.  I still need to add the signs but it is all assembled and looks great.  I’d also like to add some small LEDs inside to make it light up.

The plans for printing the Tardis seem to be one of the better sets on Thingiverse. Printing them on the Makerbot 3D printer is very easy. All you need is the files, and a computer with the MakerWare software connected to the Makerbot with a USB cable (the Makerbot also accepts a SD card but printing directly from a PC is much easier).  The Makerware software turns the drawing files into g-code files that the Makerbot can understand. After MakerWare renders the g-code data it sends it to the printer and Bob’s your uncle.

If you want to print your own Tardis at the Makerspace, the stl files are on the computer in the 3d printing area in the Things folder on the desktop.

The project page on the wiki is here.

Thanks to Joe and Buggs and anyone else who helped me with friendly advice on 3d printing and the Makerbot.



March 3D Printing Meetup


Join us on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 from 1pm to 4pm for the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup! We’ll be hosting it at the new Milwaukee Makerspace located at 2555 S. Lenox St. in Milwaukee.

The Meetup group is over on meetup.com, but we welcome anyone to come to the meeting and learn about 3D printing. We’ll have a few printers on-hand (as well as many printed objects) and will provide a nice introductory talk to the subject by one of our members. After that we’ll melt some plastic and create some real-world things.

This event is free and open to the public, so come on down at learn about 3D printing!

3D Print What Now!?

3D Lids

Have we mentioned that living in the future is awesome?

You may have seen MattN’s post about printing art object on our MakerBot Replicator, and hey, a lot of our members love art, and art enriches our lives, but we don’t want you to think that 3D printing is just limited to making pretty objects.

Let’s say you need a lid for your jar… perhaps some special purpose lid, to turn your jar into a bank, or a strainer, or a shaker, or a fruit fly trap… Well, you can do all those things. Here’s a great post about jar lids. I know, you’re thinking that jar lids aren’t very exciting… but that’s because you probably haven’t downloaded and printed a jar lid. It’s the future, and it’s here today!

But seriously, sometimes I think we get so caught up in our tools, that we forget that we can do amazing and everyday things with them. Like make crazy lids for jars.

And the best part is, you’re not limited to what others have done… With a little bit of work, you can be designing your own jar lids that will make you the envy of your next canning party.

I’m such a “blockhead”

I love architecture, and I also love blocks!  Several years ago I started designing my own “building blocks” in Solidworks, with the hope of eventually machining them out of wood.  That will probably not happen soon…about a year ago I tried using the Makerbot “Cupcake” model 3D printer at the Milwaukee Makerspace; the results were ok, but i found it to be an unreliable device.  Now we have a Makerbot Replicator, THE newest thing…I didn’t like it at first; turns out I had a few minor settings wrong, and now the results are fantastic!!

I have hundreds of designs for these little cubes, now the next step is to start printing them in “batches”, ie, start at midnight and come back at 8 am to hopefully collect 8 of ’em.

I hereby renounce work, sleep, food, etc… :)


MakerBot Visit [Video]

My motto isn’t “better late than never” but let’s pretend it is for now… Remember when the MakerBot guys stopped by the space in June? Well, at least one member said he would be out of town, and hoped there would be video… So here, my friends, is some video. Sorry it took so long…

Also worth noting, Milwaukee Makerspace now has its own MakerBot Replicator, and we may just bring it to the next 3D Printing Meetup.

3D Printing Meetup ReCap

Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup

It was just a few weeks ago we mentioned the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup we were planning, and being the first meeting, we weren’t quite sure how it would go. Luckily, we’ve seen over the last few months that more and more members have built (or are building) their own printers, and we’ve got some “friends of the Makerspace” in the area who have also built printers. All of that coupled with the great visit from MakerBot last week made us pretty hopeful this would be a grand event.

We met in the lab at UWM and they’ve already got a few printers there. The monster is a ZCorp Z402 (like they have at Freeside Atlanta) and there’s a few Prusa and MendelMax models as well, and they’re making more parts all the time. Here are the numbers I scribbled down:

Our friend Michael didn’t bring his Stratsys FDM 1600 as he said it would need a small truck to transport it, and he likes to let it warm up for two hours. He did however bring a certain part he printed, and the quality looked amazing.

3D Printers

I heard more than one person say that the event felt like what we’ve heard the old Homebrew Computer Club was like. A bunch of people really excited about new technology, and willing to build it themselves. No one really has it all figured out yet, but we’re having fun trying.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Frankie Flood for hosting the event at UWM. The lab they have there is like a Maker’s Playground or something… very inspiring.

As for the meeting itself, it was totally informal. No slides, no presentations. We just introduced ourselves, and then we all talked and looked at all the printers, and printed some things. Since 3D Printers are still a fairly new thing, I think everyone who brought one was just happy to geek out about it with others who were just as enthusiastic. I’d also guess that almost everyone walked away learning a least a few tips & tricks.

So will we do it again? I’m sure we will. There’s no set date or time yet, but we’ll let you know. And if you missed it, I’d recommend you try to make it to Sector67 in Madison on July 21st, 2012 for 3D Printing Camp.

MakerBot Brings the Awesome!

R. Maker

As we mentioned, the fine folks from MakerBot Industries were planning a visit to our space, and I must say, they did not disappoint. It was all part of Matt & Michael’s Miraculous Midwest MakerBot Tour, or MMMMMT as we’d call it at Milwaukee Makerspace. (We’re big on the ‘M’ words.)

The Crowd

Besides the excellent pizza from Classic Slice and various local libations, they brought two Replicators and plenty of plastic. They got both machines up and running, kicking out some awesome objects, and then Michael Curry (Skimbal) stayed behind to keep the Replicators happy while Matt Griffin from MakerBot (along with a small crew) set out to capture some of Milwaukee’s charm in 3D. We first set our sights on the Bronze Fonz, and made a few more stops on the way to pick up the food & drink. How did the Fonz turn out? We’re not sure yet… Matt, let us know, we’re eager to print it!


Apart from the hi-jinx involved in circling the Fonz with an iPad, seeing the Replicators at work, as well as some of the samples of previous prints, was great. While we’ve had an old MakerBot CupCake at the space, and a few members now have their own printers, I’ve not seen any match the quality output of the Replicators. (Not yet anyway!)


I’d just like to give a big thanks to the MakerBot folks for taking the time to hang out with us and show off their wares. If they happen to come to your town, or you can see them at a Maker Faire, I’d highly recommend it.

And hey! If you’re interested in the 3D printing thing, you can join us for the first Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup on July 1st, 2012 at UWM to learn more about it.

A Visit from MakerBot

MakerBot Industries

Milwaukee Makerspace Members, mark your calendars for the evening of Monday, June 25th, 2012 as we welcome the fine folks from MakerBot Industries to the space. They’ll be here to show off their Replicator and talk about 3D printing. (Rumor has it they may even provide us with some food & drink!)

MakerBot is one of the original names in affordable 3D printers. (They even got their start at a hackerspace.) They also brought us Thingiverse, which provides “digital designs for real, physical objects”, produce the awesome MakerBot TV, and kick out some great blog posts as well.

If you’re not a member, you can still attend the meeting. Besides seeing what MakerBot has to show you, we’d love to give you a tour of our space and have you meet our members. Just stop by around 7pm, the door will be open. :)

3D Printing Meetup

Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup

3D Printing is getting more and more popular, and we’ve got a bunch of members who have built printers, or are building printers, or just know a heck of a lot about 3D Printing, so we figured we should meet up and discuss the topic.

So if you’ve ever wondered what in the world a MakerBot was, or heard of RepRap or Printrbot, or just wanted to see an actual 3D Printer laying down molten plastic to make a real-world object, well… we’ve got just the ticket.

Join us for the first Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup! We’ll be meeting on Sunday, July 1st, 2012 at 1:00pm. We won’t be at our space because we’ve partnered with our friends at UWM for this one! Details are below.

UWM’s Kenilworth Square East Building
1925 E. Kenilworth Place
3rd Floor; Room 368
Milwaukee, WI

If you’ve got a 3D Printer, feel free to bring it! If you don’t have one, check out the different ones at the meetup. Bring some questions, and we’ll provide the answers. And of course we’ll show off things you can print and we’ll melt some plastic. :)

Note: This event is FREE and open to the public! Everyone is invited.

Project Remake

Project Remake

It’s Monday, May 14th, 2012 and that means we’re just about to hit the deadline to submit something to Project Remake!

MAKE Magazine and Schick Xtreme 3 launched a contest to see how you can turn what would normally be waste into something useful or beautiful. They’ll be giving away five MakerBot Replicators. Oh, I guess there is also a 2012 Nissan LEAF™ and a trip to World Maker Faire New York, but honestly I was most interested in the MakerBot, as the CupCake we have at Milwaukee Makerspace is a little wobbly, and it would be awesome to get a Replicator for people to use. :)

I entered over a month ago, and now that it’s down to the wire, all the totally awesome entries are flowing in. Looking through the gallery I keep saying to myself “Whoa! That’s an awesome idea!” and then I think I have no chance…

But honestly, it’s been fun just watching all the new entries, and by continually bugging the other members, we’ve now got 6 projects that came from Milwaukee Makerspace, and that’s pretty cool. We actually take a lot of pride in the amount of scrounging and re-use we do at the space, so even if none of us win, we’ll just keep remaking things anyway, because it’s what we do, and we have fun doing it.