Well friends, the experiment is winding down, and it’s a good thing!
What does this mean? The little operation known as CryptoPrinting will be closing its e-doors as of this post (there are no orders pending).
We are doing this in the spirit of victory because:
- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining enough general acceptance that our service is no longer needed. It is only a matter of time until iShapeways accepts BTC.
- Others with 3D printing experience and a willingness to take these new forms of payment are now everywhere! In addition to those selling filament (Techpaladin and Protoparadigm being some of the first), there are now a number of other suppliers who can provide all of the components you need for your own 3D printer for BTC (shoutouts go to Makergeeks and Ultimachine in this regard). Surely more and more of these will pop up over time.
- As open source is what allowed the little experiment you are viewing now, we wanted to make sure to open up the method for making NFC-enabled tokens. It’s not hard, but in case you weren’t sure how to go about it:
How to make your own 3D printed NFC-enabled stuff:
- Make sure you have an STL model whose size (and printing orientation) will allow an NFC sticker to be enclosed entirely within the part.
- Slice your STL, preferably with 2 solid layers prior to the generation of infill. You will place the NFC tag onto these solid layers before the infill layers start.
- Go into your G-Code, finding the ‘Z up’ move which defines the beginning of your first infill layer. You want to add two things to your G-Code:
A) An offset in position so that you can access the part. Typically I just copy the last G1 command before the layer change, adding 50-100mm to the last y coordinate displayed. This will move the part away from the extruder.
B) A pause so that you can insert the NFC tag. 5-7 seconds should be enough.
- With your modified GCode, you should be able to watch your print with NFC sticker in-hand, waiting for the special offset command and the pause. If you can place the NFC tag inside the part in the time defined, it will move back and begin printing on top of the tag. From this point on, it’s just a normal 3D print! (or so it would appear).
Note: Using very thin layer heights may be problematic. You might prefer something in the 0.2 – 0.35 mm range. Thinner layers should only be attempted after the process is understood.
There once was some discussion of accepting donations if there seemed to be enough reason for it. Ultimately, there was no ethical justification for requesting donations from anything operating like a business. Now that we’ve given away what little IP we might have had for general use, we feel justified in posting a donation address (though we have no expectations in this regard). Please donate here if you feel so inclined:
Future efforts of venture altruism will continue in the spirit of open sourcing all the things. We will keep our presence on Twitter — @3DP4BTC. If you have a need you think we might address, please feel free to reach out.
Thanks for everything!