One of my colleagues in the Art Department had asked me a while ago if I could 3D scan a toy dodo bird and if I could potentially check into what it would take to print a few copies of the bird to go with one of her current art pieces. Right after she had given me the toy, I got to work scanning it with my Next Engine scanner. It took a bit of work, but after dusting the part with powder (to dull the piece and cut down on reflections), I was able to patch all of the scans together and had a decent model that I imported into Rhino. I did have a few holes that needed to be patched so I used NetFab to patch up the holes using the automatic settings (the patches aren't great, but at the scale I am printing, you shouldn't notice; on top of the feet). I was pretty sure that our rep rap printers would have difficulty printing the bird without supports, I had not messed with supports in Sli3r (or they may have not even existed at that time). Anyway, this file had sat on my desktop for several months as I just hadn't had the time to look into having a service print the file and honestly I had forgotten about it. Marna mentioned the job the other day, and after getting the new Makerbot and seeing the supports that it was capable of printing, I figured this would be a great test piece. I rotated the dodo on it's side as the first attempt standing vertically had very little contact area with the bed and the print was being pulled off. I sliced the part with standard layer height and 10% infill just to see how things would proceed. After an hour of printing, I was left with a really decent print with a raft and support that was easy to remove. During this weekend, Jill was gone, so I showed Noah how to model in Rhino and then taught him how to use the Makerbot. He then continued to print ten dodo birds (along with two Harry Potter wands, three stretchlet bracelets, three two color traffic cones, and a few pizza cutter parts) over the course of the weekend.
I a really impressed with how easy the Makerbot is to use and I'm excited that Noah has taken an interest in creating things with it. He doesn't want the printer to be relocated to the studio now and thinks it should reside at home.
If you're interested in the dodo bird, you can head over to Thingiverse and download your own copy.