Tag Archives: Arduino Materia 101

Tutorial: 3D print a LEGO-compatible LED brick with Arduino

LEGOs have been the perennial building blocks for DIYers for decades, and therefore, it’s no surprise that the bricks are being paired with Arduino to bring ideas to life. Now Makers, what if you could 3D print those very same plastic pieces? 

Over the past couple of weeks, our friends at Arduino have been designing LEGO-compatible creations using their first 3D Printer: the Arduino Materia 101. To demonstrate just how it easy it is to get started with the Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) powered device, the company’s resident 3D specialist Kristoffer has been releasing new tutorials, including bricks with some added light effects.


Over the past couple of weeks, our friends at Arduino have been designing LEGO-compatible creations using the company’s first 3D Printer: the Arduino Materia 101. To demonstrate just how it easy it is to get started with the Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) powered device, Arduino’s 3D specialist Kristoffer has been releasing new tutorials, including bricks with some added light effects.

First, the Maker designed a brick using the parametric 3D modeler FreeCAD, though just about any CAD or 3D modeling software could do the trick. He then went on to remove the knobs from the block, while hollowing out the top to make an LED holder. Kristoffer does note that a box will need to be added in order to fill the brick. After merging the brick with the box and adding a cutout for the LED, you’re well on your way to creating a blinking piece.


“To compensate for the expanding nature of the plastic, we will make the bottom edges of the brick a little bit thinner. To make the brick printable we will make the cylinder on the of the brick touch the print surface when we print it,” Kristoffer writes. Given the extremely small size of the print, the 3D specialist advises to use a lower temperature (195 or 200℃) and a lower speed. This will allow the Materia to extrude thicker plastic and ensure that the previous layers have enough time to cool down.

Interested in making your own blinking brick? You can find Arduino’s entire step-by-step tutorial here, as well as several other LEGO-compatible projects here.

3D printing a LEGO-compatible servo holder and Arduino Micro casing

Arduino continues its 3D printing tutorial series for its brand-new Materia 101.

It’s no secret that LEGO has been the perennial building blocks for DIYers spanning across decades. And, it’s also no surprise that the bricks are being paired with the Arduino open-source platform. Together, they are enabling Makers to bring their wildest ideas to life. If you recall, late last year, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi announced the launch of the company’s first 3D Printer: the Arduino Materia 101. The device, which is powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, is currently available for pre-order. In an effort to lower the barriers of entry and get Makers started, our friends have published a series of tutorials, including this LEGO-compatible servo holder and Arduino Micro casing from Kristoffer.


First, the Maker designed a brick using the parametric 3D modeler FreeCAD, which is capable of holding a small servo. The 3D-printed brick itself is comprised of two 2×4 LEGO pieces, that joined together, serve as the project’s base. Next, make a hole for the servo, carve out a groove for the cable, extend the cylinders beneath the brick, and like that, your piece is just about complete. As Kristoffer notes, print your piece standing up with the side with the open cylinders facing downwards (as pictured above). Now, you can easily add wheels to LEGO robots and use variously-sized servos. Follow Kristoffer’s 10-step tutorial to get started.


Meanwhile, this isn’t the only LEGO-comptaible, 3D-printed piece the Maker has whipped up recently. Kristoffer also designed an enclosure for the highly-popular Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4) using a Materia, which can beused together with this DIY power function IR receiver.


In order to make the casing as minimal as possible, the Maker used a Micro without header pins. Meaning, Makers looking to create one of their own will have to solder straight onto the Arduino PCB board itself. However, in true open-source fashion, Kristoffer encourages anyone to modify the design to accommodate for the ATmega32U4 based Arduino with headers or something else.

Interested? You can head over to his step-by-step breakdown of the project, and download all the necessary FreeCAD files here.

3D printing a remote control box with Arduino Materia 101

Earlier this fall, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi announced the launch of the company’s first 3D Printer, the Arduino Materia 101. The device, which is powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, is currently available for pre-order. In an effort to lower the barriers of entry and get Makers started, our friends have begun to debut a series of tutorials, including this remote control box from Kristoffer.


In today’s constantly-connected world, we’re finding it increasingly more useful to control our computers, music players and other entertainment systems all with the click of one remote. In his latest tutorial, Kristoffer devised an add-on to a previous lesson, which demonstrated how to control a PC using Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4) and an IR sensor. The add-on is comprised of a custom 3D-printed case that was created using Freecad and the newly-unveiled Materia 101.


Ready to get started? You can access the entire step-by-step guide here. Also, don’t forget to check out the team’s previous tutorial!


Rewind: A look back at some of the notable 3D printers from 2014

Evident by the countless number of new releases and the sheer volume of devices throughout Maker Faire’s 3D Printing Village, 2014 was certainly quite the year for 3D printers — and it’s only getting bigger. In fact, recent Gartner reports suggest worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 217,350 units in 2015 — up from 108,151 in 2014. These shipments are expected to more than double every year between now and 2018, by which time units are projected to surpass 2.3 million. As a result, the market once valued at $1.15 billion will rise to an astonishing $4.8 billion in 2019, with consumer demand fueling the charge.

With the year just about over, we thought we’d highlight some of the next-gen machines that grabbed our attention over the past 12 months. As we look ahead, the future appears brighter than ever, which leaves us excited to see what 2015 has in store.

So without further ado, here’s a look at some of our favorite printers from 2014…

Arduino Materia 101


Earlier this fall, Massimo Banzi announced the launch of the company’s first 3D printer, the Arduino Materia 101. The device, which is powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, is currently available for pre-order.

Sintratec SLS Printer


Based on the Atmel ATSAM3X8E MCU, the Swiss startup has taken to Indiegogo to unveil the world’s first desktop laser sintering 3D printer.

Dremel 3D Idea Builder


Announced back at MakerCon 2014, this ARM Cortex-M4 powered machine is certainly aimed at the mass market, catering to experienced Makers and novices alike. Capable of creating models of just about anything, the printer is equipped with its own on-board software, a color touchscreen, and can function as either a standalone device or connected to a computer. The toolmaker’s printer recently went on sale at Home Depot and Amazon.

gCreate gMax 1.5


After last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign for its large and versatile 3D printer, the gMax, gCreate has returned with a pair of upgraded systems: the gMax 1.5 and gMax 1.5 XT. Like the original, each of the printers are powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) along with a RAMPS 1.4 shield.

RepRapPro Huxley Duo


RepRapPro has debuted its newest Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E Cortex-M3 based 3D printer kit, which is the offspring of its successful predecessor, the Huxley.

CEL Robox


The team over at CEL previously introduced its newest desktop 3D printer and micro-manufacturing platform, Robox. After having the chance to see the Atmel | SMART MCU based device at Electronica 2014, its creators may be right, Robox may very well “demystify” the 3D printing process.

Bad Devices’ BadPrinter 2


Italy-based Bad Devices launched its latest 3D printer, the BadPrinter 2 — which is based on an ATmega2560 MCU. We had the pleasure of checking it out back at Maker Faire Rome, and certainly look forward to what the team has in store for 2015.

Printrbot Simple Metal


Printrbot’s first all-metal 3D printer immediately caught the attention of Makers following its debut earlier this year. Powered by an AT90USB1286, the machine certainly stands out from the pack with its metal construction and GT2 belt pulley system. The device was even named one to watch in 2015 by MAKE: Magazine!



After a successful Indiegogo campaign last year for its all-in-one, low-cost desktop personal fabrication device, FABtotum began shipping earlier this fall. The printer’s main board is powered by an ATmega1280 while an ATmega8 lies within its hybrid head. With a 210x240x240 mm build area, and a 24% print-to-printer size ratio, the FABtotum is already a solid choice when picking out a high-end printer. Heck, even Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi called it “undoubtedly the coolest 3D printer at Maker Faire New York.”

SnowWhite by Sharebot


The Italy-based 3D printing company has expanded upon its popular FFF machines and Arduino partnership to SLS powder printers with the SnowWhite that is expected to launch early next year. Compared to the FDM, its creators say that the printer will use a system of thermoplastic powders that, starting from a digital file in CAD, creates 3D objects thanks to the sintering and fusing of a thin layer of polymer powder at a time. Oh, and the price tag will only be about $25,000.

Yvo de Haas’ Plan B


Designed by 22-year-old Maker Yvo de Haas, Plan B is an open-source platform driven by an ATmega 2560. Unlike other 3D printers on the market today, this device works just like a desktop printer. The process is similar to the SLS process, but instead of using a laser to sinter the material, an inkjet printing head deposits a liquid binder onto a layer of gypsum powder.

LulzBot TAZ 4 


The open-source printer, which was named MAKE: Magazine’s “Most Maker Machine” for 2014, is an extremely versatile device designed to bring DIYers’ wildest ideas to life. With more consistent, higher quality prints than ever before, TAZ 4 is designed with a series of plug-and-play features ranging from a dual-extruder mount to the ability to print two different colors or materials at the same time.

3&Dbot by PUC-Rio


A team of Makers has created the world’s first autonomous 3D printing robot named 3&Dbot. Tethered to a base with four omni wheels, the entire printer itself can move to and fro in any direction — dependent upon the print data it is fed. After extensive research and development, the group of visionaries at PUC-Rio decided to embed an [Atmel basedArduino board with wireless communication built in to its body. We’d say 3D printing is on quite a roll! Perhaps, the start of a new trend?

Hardcotton’s Elemental


Designed by the crew at Australia-based startup Hardcotton, Elemental is the world’s first pressure controlled stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer. Powered by an Atmel | SMART ATSAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU, the device is destined to become one of the latest and greatest innovations in the consumer space with its unique spin on 3D printing.

Makeblock Constructor I


Shenzhen-based company Makeblock, known throughout the DIY community for their mechanical parts and electronics modules, recently released a 400-piece DIY 3D printer kit. Inspired by the demands of the RepRap open-source community, the Makeblock Constructor I is powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560).

Smart Box by SmartBox Lab


Based on an ATmega1284P MCU, SmartBox is a low-cost 3D printer boasting a rather large building space and an LCD screen, which is just as easy to afford as it is to use. The machine was successfully funded on Kickstarter, garnering well over its initial $6,000 goal.

Sculptify David 


Created by Columbus, Ohio-based Todd Linthicum and Slade Simpson, David aspires to provide Makers the ability to use a variety of materials for their 3D-printed projects right out of the box.



Part 3D printer, part CNC router, all powered by an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560).

M-One by MakeX


M-One is described by its creators as a “personal desktop factory” for Makers, designers, artists and engineers. Since its debut in June, the open source DLP 3D printer attained 134 backers and over $180,000 in funds, exceeding its initial $100,000 target.

The New PancakeBot


3D-printed breakfast? Yes, please! The latest iteration of the platform – which made its debut back at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 – comprises an acrylic body packed with Adafruit motor shields, an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280), two stepper motors, a pair of belt drives and a vacuum pump. The PancakeBot also made an appearance at this year’s inaugural White House Maker Faire, where it even created a flapjack for the President himself!

The PartDaddy by SeeMeCNC


A 16.2-foot-tall delta style printer. Need we say more?

Which 3D printer are you most looking forward to in the new year? Share your favorites below! 


Tutorial: Getting started with the Arduino Materia 101

Earlier this fall, Arduino Co-Founder Massimo Banzi announced the launch of the company’s first 3D Printer, the Arduino Materia 101. The device, which is powered by an Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) and a RAMPS 1.4 shield, is currently available for pre-order.


In an effort to lower the barriers of entry into this mainstream-bound technology, Arduino has revealed that it will be sharing a series of tutorials for beginner Makers, starting with this step-by-step guide from kengdahl.


The tutorial even has a treat inside: an Octocat g-code file! After completing the inaugural tutorial, download the file to print a tiny tentacled creature for yourself!


Arduino encourages Makers to follow along as they introduce a number upcoming guides in the days to come. Meanwhile, don’t forget to pre-order your own ATmega2560 based printer today!

More details revealed around the Arduino Materia 101

As recently reported on Bits & PiecesArduino co-founder Massimo Banzi gave the world a sneak peek of the company’s first 3D Printer, the Arduino Materia 101. First shared on the Arduino Twitter account and introduced on the Italian television show Che tempo che fa, the white and teal device will be presented next weekend at Maker Faire Rome.


While their entry into the 3D printing space may seem like an interesting one, it is not entirely shocking. In fact, a number of machines are driven by Atmel megaAVR and AVR XMEGA MCUs — the same chip used to power a majority of Arduino boards.

Writing for MAKE Magazine, Mike Senese notes that the open source 3D printer is the largest piece of hardware that our friends over at Arduino have launched to date.


“It’s an interesting move for the company, but not an entirely disconnected element, as many of the printer developments in the 3D community have used [megaAVR powered] Arduino boards for control. Moreover, it further indicates how bigger companies are starting to release 3D printers,” he writes.


After quite a bit of buzz over the past couple of days, Arduino has revealed the full specs of the newly-unveiled Materia 101 3D printer, which was developed in collaboration with Italian 3D printer manufacturer Sharebot:

  • Printer Size: 310 x 330 x 350 mm
  • Printer Weight: 10 kg
  • Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Build Volume: 140 x 100 x 100 mm +/- 5mm
  • X and Y Resolution: 0.06 mm
  • Z Resolution: 0.0025 mm
  • Filament Type and Size: 1.75 mm, PLA.
  • Extrusion diameter: 0.35 mm
  • Experimented filaments: Cristal Flex, PLA Thermosense, Thermoplastic Polyuretane (TPU), PET, PLA Sand, PLA Flex
  • LCD display 20 x 4 with encoder menu

The electronics board will be compatible with Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) with open source firmware.

UPDATE (10/16/2014): Arduino has announced that they have made the Materia 101 available for pre-order from their online store. The printer will be priced at $727 in kit form, and $887 fully-assembled.

While you wait for your printer, the team has shared several documents and resources around the product, including its detailed manual and Github repository with all the source files.