MakerBot Automated Build Platform Launched!

We’ve launched the MakerBot Automated Build Platform! I’m endlessly happy about this. I’ve hacked on this for the past year. I began full time work about two months ago when I started working at MakerBot Industries.

The Automated Build Platform is a totally new way of printing your 3D objects. For the first time ever multiple objects can be printed in succession without the need for human intervention. Up until now, the 3D printing industry has been focused on making one part at a time. You had to manually remove your object from the build surface and prepare your machine for the next build. This is true for all other 3D printers on the planet. MakerBot is the first to bring to you a truly automated 3D printing experience. That era is over and the new dawn of personal manufacturing has truly begun.

Read my previous posts to see how the project developed into its current incarnation:

It’s an awesome addition to the CupCake, and it has all the printing advantages of the MakerBot Heated Build Platform built in. Optimized to work with the beautiful and reliable MK5 MakerBot Extruder, you can look forward to watching your desktop factory auto-eject your dreams into a parts bucket of unending awesomeness!

You can listen to a discussion of the ABP in an interview with Liz Blessing .

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9 thoughts on “MakerBot Automated Build Platform Launched!

  1. Congratulations Charles for a very nice job! I have been following your efforts on this for a long time. As to support for your efforts, I just placed my order for Automated Build Platform, along with MK5 head on the MBI-shop :) This is getting all too exiting – now I can truly have an small automated factory in my workshop :) And besides – this could be an major step towards winning that Gada(?) prize ?

    1. Thank you. I’m pretty excited to have this out in the world and seeing all the cool stuff people do with it. I’m also excited to have more time for other projects. I’m working on the bot farm right now.

      1. Bot farm is very interesting concept. It’s affordable and scalable solution to many small scale production needs. I’m seriously trying to find an affordable solution for my electric vehicle parts that I’m developing. So far MB has been great success to me. But as my eGUI display case is an round object of 100x100x20 mm, I’m going to modify the desing a bit so that it can be printer with ABP. Similarily, in my first prototype electric motorcyle conversion I cutted many small nylon parts with my DIY CNC for mounting the lithium batteries to the frame of the motorcycle. I can now take all those parts and just print them – awesome! And if I ever need more production capacity, then I’ll just build another bot – sounds like a very scalable and affordable to me. The bot farm concept could be very fast at buildig things since there are 16 (?) individual printheads all doing their thing, simultaneously. Very much like parallel computing except this scales better – no immediate need of special software supporting parallel units or special setups – in bare-bones setup they can be used just like individual machines. Very good idea this whole bot farm thing!

        If you would like to see the prototype electric vehicles I was talking about, those can be found from http://yty.net/c and http://www.ecars-now.org

  2. I don’t mean to rain on your parade ( as I thin the ABP is awesome), but two things you said are incorrect:
    “he 3D printing industry has been focused on making one part at a time. ” and “This is true for all other 3D printers on the planet. ” – clearly you haven’t been paying attention to the RepRap Mendel project, becuase for over 6 months, it’s been quite happily printing multiple objects at once in the 200×200 build volume using a multi-object format called a RFO file ( which contains multiple STLs loaded and laid-out in a “tray” format).
    the format specification is here: http://reprap.org/wiki/MultipleMaterialsFiles

    and here’s an actual printed tray:

  3. AWESOME!

    And congratulation on being hired!! I’m sure that your innovations will benefit us all.

    I see you’ve switched to PET as the conveyor? Is that because of the higher tensile strength or because of different adhesion-properties?

    I’ve ordered one right away to fit it onto my Huxley (mini-mendel). The relatively small build envelope is perfect for it.

    B.t.w. the quick-fit couplings are nowhere to be found on this side of the pond! A real shame but I found a way around it:

    http://blog.erikdebruijn.nl/archives/144-Another-non-printed-part-less.html

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