Tag Archives: make

The Definitive Makerbot Open vs Closed Source Discussion

I did my best to document all the different points of view that are relevant to the open source hardware world but are spread all over the interwebs.

The original Makerbot founders.

This post got big, fast. Really big. After the jump you can find key quotes from Bre Pettis, Zachary Smith (Hoeken), Adrian Bowyer, Josef Prusa, etc.

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Make Magazine Is Planning The “Ultimate 3D Printer Shootout” Issue

If any single publication can claim to represent the maker movement, I suppose Make Magazine is it.

John Abella says they are working on a massive guide to 15 hobby-level 3D printers, to be released in November. It looks like some of the designs they’ll be comparing are the Printrbot, 3D Touch, SeeMeCNC, Felix, Lulzbot, Up!, Solidoodle, Makerbot Replicator and Ultimaker.

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Arduino Leonardo

The new board from Arduino, the Leonardo, is pretty much an Uno except that it doesn’t have a dedicated chip for USB communication. The serial port runs in the same chip that runs your sketches (the ATmega32U4). This means that if you reset the board you also reset the USB connection. However, because the serial port is virtual it means that the board can run as a (HID) keyboard or mouse.

Arduino Leonardo

Freetronics LeoStick

The simpler physical wiring means that the Leonardo is cheaper ($20), but it also means that there’s less flash memory and some of the pins have changed, so Uno shields might not work with the Leonardo.

If the Uno footprint is just too big there’s the LeoStick from freetronics ($30).

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MAKE Magazine Interviews Alicia Gibb of the Open Source Hardware Association

MAKE’s interview with Alicia Gibb, President of the Open Source Hardware Association, is well worth a read.

Why does open source hardware need an Open Source Hardware Association?
There are a lot of excellent things done by the community that don’t really have a cohesive web presence to live under. We hope to give the community a bit of structure by organizing information around open source hardware under the Association. The other reason is that currently a lot of our knowledge about open hardware is colloquial, and as you cited in your recent blog post, we have unspoken rules. We hope to create a resource to make all these things more transparent and provide a formal entity that can answer questions about how, why, what, and the best practices of open hardware.

How can the makers out there who design hardware help? How can the supporters and users of open hardware help?
We are not as much asking makers what they can do for us, but rather what we can do for them! The best help and support is an understanding that we’re flying by the seat of our pants, but also want feedback to know how we can best serve this community. Of course, there will also be the aspect of financial support that we hope at have. We’re not sure if this will be purely donation-based or if we should charge for membership to raise funds, but we definitely want involvement from the community for that!

and more…

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Printable Folding Construction Demonstrated With Robots

Sometimes you just can’t get from where you are, to where you want to be, in one step. For example, open hardware tends to work with stock materials, which means flat sheet is popular. It’s usually cheaper to obtain and work than a large block of the same material. But there aren’t very many ways to use a flat sheet if it stays a flat sheet. A couple popular ways to fold a flat sheet into a useful volume are illustrated.

Folding box by YanaPonoko. Thingiverse #17659

Parametric Flex Box by Juerd. Thingiverse #17327

Can this folding idea be taken even farther? For example, can we fold flat surfaces not just into structures, but into mechanisms as well?

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Apertus, Open Source Cinema

The goal of the Apertus project is to create a powerful, free (in terms of liberty) and open cinema camera that we as filmmakers love to use.

That’s the vision of  Apertus, which has a significant number of contributors and seems well on the way to a “modular camera system” based on the open source cameras Elphel is producing.

Prototype Apterus camera with a tablet-PC mounted on top. By Oscar Spierenburg.

Why an open source cinema camera? Well, as Sebastian Pichelhofer explains

If you look at recent press releases from big companies you might notice the lack of real information or technical details. Marketing departments are often able to spin slightly re-worked features as something entirely brand new by making up new words, backed up with doctored images and charts which focus only on the most positive changes that seem to create the impression of great leaps in development.

For industry professionals this is a very frustrating development as they need to invest a lot of time to find out what the camera actually does by reviewing the device from each manufacturer in person or relying on trusted reviewers. Some of these reviewers are approached by the big manufacturers to create demo footage or entire films to promote their gear for them…

This is exactly why I fight for open hardware and free software: honesty. We are not afraid to explain what exactly happens inside our camera, after all Apertus is also about open knowledge and open education.

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Hardware Innovation Workshop

Do we really need more gatherings for people to talk about innovation? Yes. Yes we do.

Make Magazine is hosting a bunch of people to talk about, “shaping the future of manufacturing and the global economy.” Sounds good to me. A bit of hyperbole never hurt anyone.

Personally I think it would be more accurate to put “business” or “profit” somewhere in the name of the convention. As you can tell from the lineup of presenters, this is primarily a for-profit networking event.

  • Kai Backman, Co-Founder & CEO of Tinkercad
  • Massimo Banzi, Co-Founder of Arduino
  • Carl Bass, President & CEO of Autodesk
  • Ayah Bdeir, Founder of littleBits
  • Greg Borenstein, author of Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot
  • Liam Casey, Founder & CEO PCH International
  • Allan Chochinov, Partner & Editor-in-Chief of Core77
  • Jeremy Conrad, Co-Founder of Lemnos Lab
  • Ben Einstein, Principal of Bolt Accelerator Program
  • Brad Feld, Co-Founder of Foundry Group
  • Travis Good, Co-Chair of Hardware Innovation Workshop
  • Ted Hall, Founder & CEO of ShopBot
  • Mark Hatch, Co-Founder & CEO of TechShop
  • Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, Founder of Chumby
  • Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables
  • Tod Kurt, Co-Founder of ThingM
  • Catarina Mota, Co-Founder of openMaterials
  • Tim O’Reilly, Founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media
  • Bre Pettis, Co-Founder of MakerBot Industries
  • Bryce Roberts, Co-Founder of OATV
  • Jay Rogers, Founder & CEO of Local Motors
  • Nathan Seidle, Owner & CEO of SparkFun Electronics
What I wanna know is who let that guy in? Apparently, “Greg Borenstein is an artist and researcher in New York.” He seems a bit out of place in a list of CEOs, partners and founders. Oh, wait, “He recently finished writing a book for O’Reilly about the Microsoft Kinect, titled: Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot.” O’Reilly Media publishes Make Magazine, and is hosting the event. I wonder if he’s going to wear a shirt without a collar just to mess with everyone else.
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