Github made their 3D printer available to all of the staff by throwing it on the intranet and placing orders by chat client,
Since the majority of employees aren’t present in the office at any given point, GitHub uses a company-wide chat to communicate, and utilizes an internally-developed, open source bot–Hubot–to complete tasks for them. Hubot can solve math problems, search YouTube, pull photos from Google Images, and queue up music over the office audio system, among many other things. Once Mike found MakerBot’s MiracleGrue slicing software on GitHub, he immediately started developing an application that allows GitHub employees to start prints remotely, through Hubot. He employed one of the office’s vacant Macbook Airs as a dedicated 3D Printing server, hooked it up to the Replicator 2 via USB, and began testing.
After less than a week of work, the results were pretty amazing (although Mike assures me, the code is “stupid simple”). GitHub employees can now request a print in the company-wide chat, with a message like “Hubot: 3D me https://tinkercad.com/things/9Ji3HC0Ukqq-desk-sign.” If the machine isn’t active with someone else’s print, Hubot will accept Thingiverse download links or TinkerCAD part links, which it can parse through to find and download the .stl file. From there, the file is automatically downloaded onto the Macbook Air, sliced in MiracleGrue with default settings, and sent directly to Replicator 2, where the print begins. And since the open Macbook Air faces the bot, you can request webcam shots from Hubot at any time, giving employees the freedom to start (and kill, if necessary) prints from anywhere, whether it’s from the other side of the office or the other side of the world.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!