Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Makerbot TV S01E04 - MK7 Extruder

Episode 4 of Makerbot TV, from the weekly video series at Makerbot Industries, has just been delivered to the masses.  While somewhat light on content this episode its still very entertaining.  This episode is primarily about the MK7 Extruder and its use of the new 1.75mm filament.

The MK7 is the "next big thing" for the makerbot machines, or any 3D printer machine based on the rep-rap model, because they've compacted the design so you can fit two into the same build area as the old stepstruder!  It should be noted that the MK7 itself doesn't have dual extrusion, you have to get TWO MK7's to do dual extrusion.

Dual extrusion, via the beta software, of two different colors of filament, or IMHO, two different types of plastics is a big jump forward for the home 3d printers!  The main reason you'd want to print out and item with two different types of plastics is that one plastic would be your end product while the second plastic could be some water based plastic that can be washed/melted/blasted away after you're done printing that's used as a support structure.  This use of a base plastic and a support plastic would allow for very complex prints in one go with out the need for assembly.  Very Cool.  Traditionally this was only available on high end 3d printers.

A Single MK7 is available for purchase and the dual extrusion software is still in beta(and requires two MK7's), but this new makerbot tech upgrade looks very promising.  Here is the fairly short video:

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!


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