16 SERVO 07/08.2018
My main interest is in robotics, and 3D printing is the perfect tool for this. It’s so much easier to design a part in a CAD program and print it out rather than hand fabricating it. Literally,
your only limitation is your imagination!
The Create Express is an easy printer to assemble and
use. So much of the hardships of setting up a printer are
already worked out for you. I also found it to have far fewer
software problems than other printers.
A Little Intro to the
I use this printer mostly for robot parts,
but the range of things you can do with one
is limitless. One of the popular websites for
3D printing is Thingiverse. There are
hundreds of pre-designed items for
download in the form of .stl files which is a
file with a “sliced” design in it.
Among the many projects I have
downloaded or designed are sensor holders
for robots, a whole walking robot,
quadcopter propeller guards, spring-loaded
windup cars, tool holding cups, and
Metropolis’ Maria robot.
Most designs for a 3D printer start with
a part drawn in a CAD program. There are
many CAD programs on the market — most
of which are very expensive and made for
professional designers and engineers. Some
companies offer less expensive or free
versions to students or hobbyists.
There is also a lot of freeware on the
Internet for both graphical and command
line CADs. Most of these are open source. I
use OpenSCAD which is both free and open
source, but has a bit of a learning curve to it.
After designing a part, it’s then put in a
The best testimony I can give about the Maker’s
Tool Works (MTW) Create Express printer is
since receiving it over two months ago, I have
been running it constantly day and night.
Besides having it printing while I do my normal
work, before going to bed I put on one of the
longer prints to run at night. 3D printers for the
hobbyist are one of the truly great things to
happen in the last few years.
PSU lid on printer shows
large size of print area.