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I saw that my friend Thomas Edwards, tech artist and Dorkbot Overlord, was going to be at CES, so I asked him to share some thoughts on maker-friendly offerings at the event. Here’s what he sent. – Gareth

Sphereo is a radio-controlled robotic sphere, about the size of a tennis ball. While driving around a white sphere with an internal colored LED with your smart phone is pretty fun in itself, the Sphereo creators are dedicated to having an open API so that makers can link up the Sphereo with their own robotic algorithms!

Here is a short video of the Sphereo in action:

Cubify is a 3D printing service from 3D Systems. The service allows you to upload your 3D models and share them with or sell them to other Cubify members. If you upload an STL file and your 3D model passes a “3D Print Certification” that it can be made on a 3D printer, you can then order up a 3D print to be made.

Cubify is going a step beyond online ordering of 3D prints with their new Cube home 3D printer ($1299 MSRP). It will print objects as large as a 5.5-inch cube. ABS plastic print material comes in an EZ Load Print Cartridge ($50 MSRP) in up to 10 colors. STL printing files can be sent to the Cube on a USB memory stick or through a WiFi upload.

While not open source hardware like MakerBot, the Cube will ship as a complete device ready to make things rather than a kit (such as the Thing-O-Matic), and is expected to have an MSRP below the MakerBot Replicator assembled kit. Nice to see some competition going on in this area!

Here is a quick video look at the Cubify Cube:


Bio:
Thomas Edwards is a broadcast engineer and part-time technological artist living in Los Angeles, CA. He is a member of the Crash Space hackerspace, and co-curates the Dorkbot SoCal tech art organization.

More:
Catch up with all of our CES coverage

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. I thought you guys were having a blackout day today.

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      The blackout is between 8am and 8pm EST.

  2. Kevin Dalton says:

    “While not open source hardware like MakerBot, the Cube will ship as a complete device ready to make things rather than a kit (such as the Thing-O-Matic), and is expected to have an MSRP below the MakerBot Replicator assembled kit.”

    That’s a pretty bad reason to buy a closed-platform toy with a tiny build platform and only one extruder.

    The Replicator is only a few hundred more and the plastic is cheaper, you can use any APS spool (so you’ll save money there), and you get multiple print heads. It’s completely built, and it works out of the box, and you can actually buy it right now, unlike the Cube which isn’t actually in market right now.

    Oh yeah, and makers will prefer it to the Cube because they can actually, you know, hack and make things on it.

    And Cubify.. well, anyone who’s actually done their research will see that there’s nothing behind the curtain: http://cubify.com/api/index.aspx It’s all “Coming Soon” except for a small web api which is basically a simple interface for 3d systems to sell 3d printed stuff from their factory and take some business away from the far superior shapeways.

  3. RoBoBaLLS says:

    Robot Balls? sorry…. I was going to joke, but instead ” Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) “

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