I have a Makerbot Thing-o-matic and a Reprap Prusa. I like them both .. The Makerbot gives slightly better prints than the Prusa, but I can still make some adjustments on the Prusa to make it almost the comparable quality. I recommend everyone to get a 3D printer. It’s so much fun!!
Here are some example printouts:
I’ve added a webcam to my 3D printer. If you get an error message, it means I’m not printing anything. The web page requires Java.
I am so happy with it. I can really recommend Makerbot Thing-o-matic to anyone who wants to make stuff in 3D. In fact, everyone should have one! I was lucky to get the new stepper based plastruder when I ordered, and it works so well. I had thought the quality would be poorer than Shapeways etc, but it’s really comparable (for the stuff that uses the same print process).
I’ve printed in PLA and ABS. Both are great. PLA doesn’t stick so well to the platform, but is really beautiful. After I moved away from the automatic build platform and just started using blue painter tape, PLA also sticks well. ABS works well, but smells more during printing. You need good ventilation, which actually is negative for the print warping. PLA doesn’t smell during printing.
The automatic build platform is cool, though the base isn’t completely fixed (there is a plastic belt, and if the object is pushed slightly the plastic belt lifts off the surface slightly). So for really precise builds, it’s probably better to not use the ABP (automatic build platform). But for my use, it works well and I’m happy.
I really feel this concept will create some serious waves. It’s great stuff. Just now I’m printing a holder for Nespresso-coffee-capsules. Yesterday my kids made some designs on 3dtin.com and we printed it on the thing-o-matic. Easy even for a 4 and 6 year old. Sketchup also works well, with the STL plugin, but 3dtin is clearly the easiest (though not as powerful). Another cool online CAD program is TinkerCAD.