Sep.26, 2013

At the Nashville Mini Maker Faire last weekend, MIT student Mateo Pena Doll from the New Valence Robotics showed off their printer, a fully automated 3D printer designed for schools.

Ian Lee of Make spoke with Mateo Pena Doll:

... (Mateo Pena Doll) says they have talked to many schools that have 3D printers and the problem they hear over and over is that teachers very often need to print many copies of the same part. With most traditional 3D printers this means loading up a part in the software, starting the print, coming back in a few hours to remove the part, then starting the next print. Rinse and repeat for 30 students…


New Valence's printer solves this problem by adding specialized software and hardware to the printer. The printer can hold a queue of print jobs and then automatically remove parts after they have been printed. It then begins the next print job without any human interaction required.

They've also developed web-based management software that makes it possible to completely monitor and control the printer remotely via the web. This could be very useful for schools that may have many teachers sharing a single printer that stays at a remote location.

Though this early prototype looks similar as the design of Solidoodle, we expect there will be much changes in their final version. But it is indeed a nice idea for users who need to print many copies of the same item. It reminds me the BotQueue developed by MakerBot co-founder Zack "Hoeken" Smith. But instead of controlling one printer, BotQueue lets you control multiple 3D printers through the Internet and turn them into your own manufacturing center. It allows you to create a print queue which contains jobs. Your connected bots will grab jobs and produce them. As each job is completed, the operator is prompted to remove and verify the output. Upon successful completion, the bot will grab the next job and start producing it. This continues until the queue is empty. And if one of the printers is busy/out of service, the next available printer automatically takes over the next job.

I guess we will see more of this kind of software and hardware improvement in the future, as more companies are trying to design their printers to be as user-friendly as possible. Watch below 3Distributed, user of BotQueue, describes their setup. Hugh's company makes and sells RepRap kits, which includes many 3D printed parts. In order to keep up with demand, they have a fleet of machines to print out the parts they sell. This fleet is now at 5 bots, and they use BotQueue to keep it running. It is pretty awesome to watch.


Posted in 3D Printers



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I cant wait to go through additional from you. That is really an incredible weblog. Nouveau maillot fc barcelone 2014

AJ Perez wrote at 9/29/2013 3:29:15 PM:

Thanks for the comments! My name is AJ Perez, and I am the co-founder of New Valence Robotics. If youre interested in what were doing to improve education, sign up for our website mailing list on

chronoseptor wrote at 9/27/2013 12:41:00 AM:

That automated part remover is fancy.

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