Blender Institute, a platform for 3D design and animation, are collaborating with Lulzbot 3D printers. This project a continuation of Lulzbot and Blender Institute’s approach to open source and aimed at enhancing collaboration. The Blender Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an important figure in the Free and Open Source Software community (FOSS). Providing  open source design tool software for 3D movies, games, and visual effects. While Lulzbot, a product line of Aleph Objects take an open source approach to hardware through their 3D printers.

The Lulzbot mini 3D printer in use by Blender Institue. Image via Lulzbot.

The Lulzbot mini 3D printer in use by Blender Institute. Image via Lulzbot.

Blender plan to use Lulzbot to experiment with 3D design files before uploading them to their Blender Cloud. Once uploaded these printable files will be shared with the community to download and use. An example of this process shown with ‘Big Buck Bunny’, pictured below, and Agent 237 whom are two of Blender’s most popular characters. Additionally, Blender are hoping to use the Lulzbot printers in order to facilitate future character development. The printer shall allow the design team to view character designs in physical 3D form.

The Blender character of Big Buck Bunny having been 3D printed on the Lulzbot. image via Lulzbot.

The Blender character of Big Buck Bunny having been 3D printed on the Lulzbot. image via Lulzbot.

Andy Goralczyk, Art Director at Blender Institute explains the open source vision:

Everything that we do is going to be Creative Commons. It’s going to be online and we have a platform called the Blender Cloud and there we publish everything that we do.

3D printing as a community is often associated with open source through the sharing of 3D designs and it can be argued that desktop 3D printing’s initial growth was a result of open source and its impetus on the community of users. Relating to this, Goralczyk said: “I’m really amazed to see what people can get out of it, and the community is so strong and powerful right now. That’s one of the big driving factors. People should go into 3D printing because it’s a community effort and we can all just collaborate.” Natural therefore, that Lulzbot and Blender Institute want to enhance this growth and expand on what has worked thus far. Elsewhere in the maker community, check out 3DPI’s round-up of 3D printing day celebrations.

Featured image shows a design from Andy Goralczyk. Image via Twitter. 

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