I love to root for the underdog: David vs Goliath, Buffy vs the entire Hellmouth, the Baudelaire twins against Count Olaf and his evil theatre troupe. Today the role of the underdog will be played by the affordable consumer-level MakerBot Replicator 2 ($2,200), going head-to-head with the wickedly expensive Dimension Elite ($24,000 + $3K/year service contract) at the JMU Engineering Department. Of course, since Stratysys acquired MakerBot last year, this is a friendly fight indeed. :)
Battle time! We used owens’ Customizable Menger Sponge design on Thingiverse to print a 26mm Level 3 Menger cube, pictured on the left below. John Wild in Engineering was kind enough to use the Dimension Elite to print a 26mm Level 3 Menger cube for us last summer, pictured on the right. The Dimension Elite prints with a dissolvable support material, so they didn’t have much trouble removing the supports from this tiny model. Our model on the left didn’t need any supports at all since it was printed on its corner(!), so the holes are actually clearer on our Replicator 2 model. It looks great!
Settings: A 26-mm Level 3 model prints up in just under 90 minutes with no raft or support with MakerWare .2mm/standard on a MakerBot Replicator 2. You can even get a decent print using the .3mm/low resolution! The model prints on its corner, supported by a very clever custom stand designed by owens on Thingiverse.
Thingiverse link: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:71021
We love these so much, we are printing them whenever we have the chance. If we make enough of them we could stick them together build a Level 4!