While a vast improvement over previous extruders, the MK7 can still prove challenging for those wanting to get started with PLA. However, while PLA is more picky in the settings surrounding how it is printed, its benefits over other printing materials make getting over the calibration hurdle well worth it. It has little to no smell when extruded, can be used without a heated bed, undergoes less warping and cracking and can produce highly detailed features and surfaces when used in conjunction with a cooling fan. So read on and with any luck you'll be happily printing with it too. While following applies directly to those using an MK7 on a Thing-O-Matic using skeinforge 35, those using other machines and configurations should find some of this information useful. It is also likely that the following instructions will apply to those who own a Replicator as the MK8 appears to be very similar to the MK7. Be sure to have a look at the 'Tips & Troubleshooting' at the end. Continue reading
Dec 5, 2012 : Please note that this post contains out of date information and is in need of revision. May we suggest these other fine links?
These days there are a number of personal 3D Printers to choose from. Personal, hobby, open-source, accessible, desktop, or whatever else you want to call them; they are a new breed of 3D Printers. A 3D Printer you can own and operate in your own home, producing before your eyes anything you can imagine with materials an order of magnitude cheaper than previous commercial 3D Printers.
Below are some statistics and descriptions of currently available or soon to be released personal 3D printers.
THIS IS NOW A LEGACY POST:
For more in-depth, up-to-date content, please see this post: Thing-O-Matic MK7 PLA Set-Up and Troubleshooting (Likely MK8).
Printing PLA on a makerbot is a question that OFTEN comes up among Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic owners. I mean, it sounds like a great material, nice smell, natural glossy finish and the potential for VERY fast printing. When I started printing with Makerbots new MK7 I gave PLA a try to see if makerbot had managed to work some kinks out of their extruders. I'm happy to say that yes, you too can be printing with PLA in no time.