For the next 3 days I will be attending the 3d print show at London (Yes, I am THAT lucky!!!) and I'll try making short posts on the various things going on here to keep you up to date, and hopefully (when I'm going back and catching my breath) something more in depth.
So let's start!! Right now I'm listening to the opening keynote of Bre Pettis, and he is talking about the history of makerbot from the start (using piping and soldering googles) to the new sexy makerbot. In between, a cocktail machine with a very dangerous “random” button!
After maker bots obviously it's time to talk about the digitizer. Bre highlights the fun of using it for random strange stuff (from crumpled up paper to his kid's play doh sculptures for christmas presents).
Thingiverse is up next: the website started out even before starting manufacturing makerbots, with the innovative idea of having a place where to download real objects. Now hundreds of objects are uploaded daily and it has space for users from all over the place.
For the various uses of makerbot Bre talks about houses, the heat shield for the Rover and robotic hands. Prosthetics cost 100,000 $ and are impossible to buy for kids because they grow them out too quickly. The Robo hand costs few bucks to build. Bre talks about a kid that was left handed but had no fingers on the left hand and had to learn to use with difficulties the other hand. With a change in the original Robo hand project to make it suitable to draw, he could draw with ease for the first time and chose to do a picture of his dad.
And he feels like iron man with the robotic hand, not anymore a disabled kid.
Pretty small things of kKcie Hultgren, specialized in set designs uses her printers to try out the movie sets to discuss with the producers and during the rest of the day she uses it to make unique furniture for doll's houses.
Education: kids ask “does it make lego?” And when answered yes they say “ok, move out of the way now!”. Ryan Cain uses makerbots to teach erosion, with small houses and a landscape that floods and washes away all the small houses.
And finally as a fun note “stand tall”, a smiling kid that comes back from an amusement park having had the possibility to go on various rides even though she is 1/2 inch shorter than the minimum height, because dad (now with superhero status) printed 1/2 inch shoe soles for her shoes.
Last part of the keynote, beautiful object culture
As an artist Bre admits he had a scarce success, selling 100$ of art objects in 5 years. Managing to be able to show people the stuff he made with art galleries was difficult, and this was depressing. He then passed to the sharing culture, making hundreds and thoudands of clicks and really being able to show his stuff and make friends through this. And his self esteem gained a lot of points.
Bre closes with his manifesto, underlining how it's important to Make things done, without thinking or planning too much, otherwise you postpone things and get nowhere. Certainly not the best approach when making airplanes as he admits himself, but great to make innovative products.
Questions! On recycling the objects and the possibility of making filaments with the used up pieces. Always an interesting question but bre gives no “hope” on this subjects. Though there are some interesting products doing this the nozzle size must be quite bigger to give decent results otherwise all debris will clog it making unhappy costumers. And one thing is obvious: makerbot just wants happy costumers.