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    Frequently Asked Questions, MakerBot Labs


    What is MakerBot Labs?

    MakerBot Labs is MakerBot’s platform for all things experimental. From the Experimental Extruder that enables you to try new materials, to open APIs for developers to have more control over our 3D printing platform, to hardware mods, you can have more control over your 3D printing experience. With the support of the MB Labs Community, you can collaborate with other super-users to explore what’s possible with 3D printing.

    How is this different than other MakerBot platforms / products?

    MakerBot Labs is an experimental platform for the most advanced users of desktop 3D printing. Unlike MakerBot brand products and platforms which are thoroughly tested to create an easy and super-reliable experience, MakerBot Labs is all about hacking and exploring through trial and error. Supported by the MakerBot Labs community, users have the ability to answer questions and solve challenges not previously possible. Due to their experimental nature MakerBot Labs products are not covered by MakerCare, MakerBot Support, or Warranty.

    Where do I find MakerBot Labs?

    MakerBot Labs lives online at makerbot.com/labs.

    What products fall under MakerBot Labs?

    1. Modifiable Hardware (Experimental Extruder) - Designed for the advanced user looking to push the limits of what's possible with MakerBot 3D printers. Customize your 3D printing experience with a modifiable hardware design including interchangeable nozzles.

    2. Custom Material Print Modes - Unlock advanced print settings with the Experimental Extruder and other MakerBot Labs hardware. Once you’ve found the settings that work best for your chosen material, save a custom Material Print Mode and share it with the MakerBot Labs Community on Thingiverse.

    3. MakerBot Labs APIs - Get under the hood of MakerBot hardware and software. Developers can access documentation about APIs and collaborate with other developers to interface with and expand the capabilities of MakerBot 3D Printers.

    4. MakerBot Labs Community - Browse, collaborate, discuss, and download. MakerBot Labs on Thingiverse is the community for discussing Material Print Modes, software APIs, and hardware mods.


    Are MakerBot Labs products supported by MakerBot?

    MakerBot Labs is a platform created by MakerBot that is self-sustained by its community of creators and experimenters. MakerBot does not provide direct warranty, MakerCare or customer support for MakerBot Labs, however we provide the platform for user-generated resources, collaboration, and more.

    Which MakerBot printers will MakerBot Labs work with?

    MakerBot Labs is not exclusive to any specific MakerBot printers–it is a platform that hosts experimental products and community generated content.

    Who is MakerBot Labs for? Who is it not for?

    MakerBot Labs is for the engineers, developers, and other advanced users who are looking for a sandbox environment to experiment in. It is not for novice users, or for those who may wish to have an easy, reliable experience—for that we have the core MakerBot products.

    If I post hardware or software mods, will MakerBot incorporate those into their design and patent them? What are the legal qualifications around contributing to the MakerBot Labs community/API (eg. COPPA, Creative Commons)?

    Thingiverse terms apply to all physical modifications / designs that are uploaded to MakerBot Labs and Thingiverse:

    1. User owns all rights

    2. User licenses design to MakerBot for use on Thingiverse

    3. User provides secondary license (aka Creative Commons) to the public / Thingiverse community for specified uses


    Can I use the MakerBot Tough PLA, PLA, and ABS in the Experimental Extruder?

    You can try using any material you would like. That’s the beauty of the Experimental Extruder, your only limit is your own comfort with exploring and pushing the envelope. Just keep in mind that some materials are more difficult to print than others—refer to MakerBot Labs for more information from the community.

    Is MakerBot Labs good for schools or universities?

    That depends. If the particular teacher or faculty member just wants an easy and reliable 3D printing experience then no. If they are looking for an experimental sandbox environment, and a more hands on exploratory experience then maybe.

    Do I need to buy the Experimental Extruder in order to participate in MakerBot Labs, APIs, advanced settings, or community?

    Not necessarily, though we do recommend using one if you will be experimenting with 3D printing so that you have the ability to change nozzles and try materials. You can however access Hardware Mods, Custom Print Modes, MakerBot Labs APIs, and other MakerBot Labs forums without owning the Experimental Extruder.

    Who moderates the MakerBot Labs Community?

    The community is moderated by MakerBot’s Thingiverse team and the community itself.


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