A Cupcake CNC is not something you get at a bakery. It isn’t something you eat. It isn’t even something shaped like a cupcake, though it’s conceivable that anyone is free to re-invent the shape of anything. Regardless, the Cupcake CNC is “an open, hackable robot for making anything.” And just for the record, “hackable” in this context is completely acceptable and even encouraged. According to its originators, the Makerbot is a 3D positioning system with a toolhead that does the work and the electronics to drive it.
The point behind the Makerbot is that anyone can use it to turn “ideas into objects.” The process involves heated plastic that is forced through a tube that extrudes it into the shape of objects. Just as extrusion works for cheesy, corn snacks, in the case of Makerbots, the process can be used to fashion, say a knife for opening the bag of cheesy, corn snacks. Or a bowl for serving the aforementioned cheesy snacks. From the necessary to the whimsical, to the downright silly, if you can imagine it, you can build it with a Makerbot and a sheet of plastic or many layers of plastic.
The Makerbot is cheaper than other 3D printing devices because it comes in a kit and some assembly is required. Even better, the Makerbot’s CAD files have been released, fully downloadable from their site so that all willing participants might take a shot at designing things. It’s like an app developer for the physical world. Conceivably, the future will consist of a Makerbot in every pot – well, in every home. Upon discovering an urgent need for a tool, the homeowner would simply download a design, feed it into the Makerbot and print one or more.
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