Tag Archive: thing-o-matic


3d printed ornithopter

Partially 3d Printed Ornithopter Test

Flight has fascinated people for so long – I’m certain that no family of life has engendered so much envy than birds.  I was inspired by a video from Festo of their new flapping, flying, bird-like machine – their beautiful ornithopter – so I had a go at making my own.

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Blurry photograph of my emergency cufflinks on my shirt cuffs.

Emergency cufflinks doing sterling duty holding my cuffs closed.

This morning, I had a bit of a wardrobe catastrophe.  Nothing dramatic like a snapped thong or an impossible hairstyle – no, I couldn’t find my cufflinks.  Anyone who knows me knows I am both messy and forgetful – so it was only a matter of time.

So what did I do?  I designed and printed a new pair before I left for work this morning.

Truly, I live in the future.

All of the successful prints I've done so far

Egg cups, dice, chocolate molds and sundries

I’ve had an operational 3d printer (a Thing-o-matic) for 10 days now, and already it’s changed how I look at, and how I live with, the world.

That sounds like a needlessly dramatic statement, but it’s really very close to the truth.  Here’s how a 3d printer sneaks up on you, changes you, and gives you super-powers!

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A 3d Printed Basic Egg Cup

A basic egg cup model, printed on a Thing-O-Matic

An emotional roller-coaster ride ends on a metaphor-busting high note!  This Saturday, I finally managed to assemble the Thing-O-Matic kit I got as my Christmas present this year.  Saturday – it was assembled!  Such anticipation and elation!  Sunday morning – despair!  Error reports and fruitless forum searches.  Monday – relief and excitement!  We got it all working, and a day of prints both successful and hilariously disastrous.

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I think, in my own build process, I’ve got as far as the 1 minute mark in this timelapse video of the people at Betaworks building a Thing-O-Matic 3d printer.  I am both encouraged by this (woo! 1/3 of the way through!) and discouraged (only1 minute?).  I’m a little envious of their team of clever assemblists, all working in parallel to put it together, but we’ll manage I’m sure!  Lovely bunny print at 3 minutes 10 seconds – can’t wait until I can print my own!

Congratulations to Betaworks on their new, and exciting, tool/toy!

I have a Thing-O-Matic!!

Or rather, I have a pile of the parts of a Thing-O-Matic.  My slightly delayed Christmas present this year (and by rights should be my present for the next few years, it’s worth more than just one year’s Christmas) was a Thing-O-Matic – one of the leading horses in the home 3d printer race.  A weird half-way house between Star Trek replicator and inkjet printer, once I finally manage to assemble all the pieces, I will be like Mickey in the Sorcerers Apprentice – able to set it printing 3d models of buckets and brooms, endlessly repeating as long as it has a steady stream of ABS plastic to spew out.

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