3D Printers discussion

After making/modding a couple sticks there a certain things which I wish there were just easier ways to do. For example, some one wanted me to mod an 8-way IL stick into a four way one. I did it, but it took a while for something that is pretty simple.

Something has come to ay attention that could make stick modding way easier for a good chunk of change. The makerbot: MakerBot Industries - Robots That Make Things.

Now what it does is pretty simple. It takes 3D model files and makes them out of extruded plastic. I can think of few things this can do for the arcade stick hobbyist.
You can make custom button and joystick parts to mod with. I can see That you could make your own restrictor gate for the brand of your choosing. Even button parts.

The catch is that it is about $1299 to start, but take a look and discuss.
I have a feeling these things will start to show up a lot more in the future.

I’ve been reading a lot about these especially the Repraps. I did see one commercial “personal” 3D printer product that was around $2000. It’s a full machine (unlike the makerbots where you have to basically build it or make the parts for it) and comes with it’s own 3D software. The name escapes me right now but they come in a variety of colors, and feeds in acrylic string from a large spool (they sell those too). The detail is good to excellent to a point where there’s minimal sanding/filing.

Be careful with these printers.

The low-ends really aren’t useful for much beyond creating small parts. You’ll be lucky if you can build anything above 6 inches height. The low-ends are really limited in what size of items they can ‘sculpt.’

Another potential problem is software. A fellow I talked to has a higher-end printer and STILL gets bugs with the software.

IF you’re serious about this printer, try and get a wax/build-up material that’s at least partially recyclable. Even with a mere 20-40% material reusability, that’s still cheaper than having to put in new material into the printer all the time. The wax/build-up has to meet certain criteria before it’s reusable.
You will have a few ‘duds’ along the way to creating perfect parts.

Right now, these machines are very useful for replica part creators and modelists in addition to hardware manufacturers. For the rest of us, these may be just a bit too expensive to buy for a hobby!