Filament Spool


Early this year I purchased a Printrbot simple to have a printer I could keep on my desk at home. I didn’t need anything big, just something for printing pretty things and parts to fix stuff around the apartment so it was a perfect option.

While it has been a fantastic printer there was one drawback to it. That is that there is no place for the filament on the base model. There is an upgrade kit for the 2013 model (I am not sure it it works with the 2014 model that I have but I think so) that adds one on top but it was not really what I was looking for since it is only slightly adjustable width wise with some mods. Also I know me and I would knock it over.

Using some parts and scrap from around the makerspace along with several printed parts (it is always fun printing parts for a printer on the printer you are printing them for) I designed something that will fit just about any filament spool, holds the spool in such a way that the printer barely has to work to un-spool more, and can be used to keep the printer from spinning off my desk when it decides it wants to start shaking and walking while printing.

The parts are now up on thingiverse with all the instructions to make one of your very own.

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, 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!

Frankie’s at it again…

Prusa i3

Looks like our old pal Frankie Flood is at it again! This time he’s building a Prusa i3 RepRap 3D Printer.

If you’re keeping track, he was building Prusa Mendels back in June, a Mendel 90 back in July, and a Rostock in September. I think he holds the record for the most 3D printers built in Milwaukee! (Or at least the most different models of 3D printers.)

(The Prusa i3 is the most recent iteration of a RepRap designed by Josef Prusa. It’s open source, which means you can download the design files, and build your own, and even make changes to it. Josef is also working on a new hotend which looks pretty sweet!)

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.