We often make the mistake of using hardware specs for determining a printer’s quality. That is, when we refer to a machine’s resolution, what we are really saying is what the manufacturer has told us about the quality of its components. For a laser-based printer, that would be beam diameter and for a DLP printer, that would be number of pixels in the projector. Instead, what we should be looking at is the quality of the actual prints that come from any given machine. Rather than determining a machine’s quality based on product descriptions, we should measure the smallest (positive and negative) features it can print.
For those of you who have not yet inspected a part printed on Ember in person, you now have the chance.
During a yearlong studio lead by Professor Guvenc Ozel, students at UCLA used Python scripts to generate complex architectural structures and printed them on Ember. After exploring numerous additive processes, the students were able to finally bring the - otherwise difficult to print - creations to life with Ember.
Using Fusion 360, teams from Minneapolis, Boston and San Diego designed a handle that attaches to the top of the Ember printer, making it easier to transport. Essential to the design of this handle were the collaborative tools in Fusion, which allowed designers to easily share and modify their iterations across the team. The teams used a combination of T-Splines, direct editing and parametric modeling to create a simple and effective solution for taking Ember on the go.
With the Super Bowl coming to the Bay Area in a few weeks, I decided to model a coin to print on Ember. (For you non-sports fans, commemorative coins are flipped at the beginning of games to determine who starts with the ball). Eventually, I’ll have it investment casted, but for now, I want to demonstrate the technique I used for supporting my model.
I just returned from CES in Las Vegas where I spent three days working with artists who used Wacom tablets and displays to design models to print on Ember. Observing the designers work enlightened me to new workflows for producing 3D models, especially in the creation of sculpted parts. Through a combination of software like Sketchbook Pro, Maya and Mudbox, designers like Craig Barr modeled lifelike characters with a degree of detail that made Ember the perfect machine to bring them to life.
CMYK + W resins for the Ember 3D Printer are now available, giving you the ability to mix and match resins to customize your color palette.
You often ask where you can see Ember up close. There are a few Ember events planned in the coming weeks but to start, we will be on site at the MJSA ConFab 2015 this Sunday, October 18th at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New york City.
A year ago, we announced Spark and our intention to design and manufacture a 3D printer. At the time, we didn't even have a name for the printer, but we did have a vision for providing an extensible platform and sharing the source of our work to inspire others to create new approaches to 3D printing software, hardware, and materials. Today, we're taking another step on that path, and I'm excited to share Ember's mechanical design files.