We're back from Maker Faire and had an absolutely amazing time - it was amazing to meet some of our supporters and show off the final, production version of ProtoCycler...something we've never been able to do before. We were a huge hit as always, with everyone from teachers to makers to researches wanting a first hand look at the units in action. Kids were particularly big fans of the grinder, though the standout for the show was watching all the different colours show up on our spools as the day went by! Siraj ended up staying in Toronto to make sure everything kept running smoothly here, and we're still on track with everything production wise - awesome, but sad that he couldn't make it. We did manage to show off some of his work through both our production videos and some production samples, which caught the eyes of Tormach in particular...they were exhibiting there too, and it was great to talk with them about what we're doing. All in all it was an amazing faire...but words just don't do it justice! So in this three part blog, we've got many many photos on our experience, some standout 3D printing exhibits, and some non 3D printing stuff that's still pretty awesome. Without further ado...
ReDeTec at Maker Faire
It looked a little eery without anyone around, as the booth was pretty much packed all weekend once the show started. We had a black and silver unit on hand, pumping out PLA and ABS, with tons of samples and info.
We had to go into manual mode to turn the fan down, as we were running the units in <10 C weather, and as everyone knows from before the fan tuning is important to get good spooling! Nevertheless, we got some great filament :)
We couldn't help but noticing that the "In Space 3D printing and recycling" booth featured...us! We talked with them for a while, as ProtoCycler makes up 2/3rds of their solution - the grinding and extruding parts.
Other awesome 3D printing stuff at Maker Faire!
One of our favorite things at the faire - muscle activated, 3D printed prosthetics. This is *awesome*, and probably our favorite thing from the whole faire.
Some massive busts, made up as a collaboration between many people with many printers. Super cool, and a great reason to make your own filament...
Lulzbot was showing off their new super nozzle - a 1.2mm nozzle that printed beautiful, solid, heavy parts. The look and feel compared to standard prints was night and day - they just felt like a whole new level of professionalism, and we can't get over how quickly they print! That red vase only took 6 hours, and you can see some of their real time printing of the clear bowl in our video recap of the 3D printers we liked at the faire.
Ben Wiley at Multi3D was showing off some new conductive filament...it's solderable, and super conductive at a claimed 0.006 ohms/cm!
Directly across from us were the folks at Gorilla Maker - they make some massive printers, and had tons of colourful stuff on display. The larger prototype has a 2'x2'x4' build volume, and feeds 8 - yes, eight - filaments into one nozzle to print "one cat per hour" - or one pound of filament! If that's not begging for a ProtoCycler as a partner, we don't know what is...
One of the highlights of the faire was getting to meet and speak with Josef Prusa. We always love the work they're doing, and it was great to finally meet the man behind the dream. Their latest and greatest has 4 colour capability, can print in almost any material, and has 3D bed leveling - even accounting for skewing in the X and Y axes!
We're pretty excited to see how this one turns out. It wasn't working at the faire, but apparently it's a 3D-printer-meets-MIG-welder contraption that lets you 3D print in real, full metal.
One printer we were pretty excited by was the Delta Go. While it initially seemed like just another cheap alternative, we came become more and more impressed over the weekend as they demonstrated just what it can do. Printing upside down, picking it up by a support tower and shaking it - nothing stopped it from making fantastic quality prints, quickly, from a beautifully designed unit that's just $499! Check it out printing upside down in our video recap of the printers we liked at the faire.
Delta was the big thing this year, and DeltaWASP was trying to top everyone with this massive unit that used a screw extruder (think of a built in ProtoCycler) to pump out plastic. You guessed it - it's also featured in our video recap.
Despite DeltaWASP's best efforts, it was SeeMeCNC who took home the "biggest printer at the show" award - their Part Daddy is *massive*, and is of course the last printer in our video.
Other awesome stuff - random
Ok, I admit it, I want one. These guys race tiny cars they hack together all across the USA - and it looked way, way too fun to ignore. If anyone's looking for a way to really combine hacking, racing, and fun...this is probably your best bet!
Doodlematic lets you draw your own 2D video games and then play them in real time on your phone or table - think Super Maria World, but made yourself just by drawing! We gave it a try, and it surprisingly fun and effortless.
A huge shout out to DigiKey for helping us through development. Through we're switching suppliers for volume production, they really do set the bar impossibly high with their delivery...we've NEVER waited more than 12 hours, ever. How is that even possible?!
Last but not least, and one of our favorite exhibits that wasn't 3D printing related, was this truly amazing circuitry and soldering work. The level of craftsmanship and dedication displayed by Kimio and Mariko Kosaka is incredibly impressive - even the tools used to make the bottle circuits and skeletons were handmade!
Anyways, that's a wrap for this week. More production updates to come early next week...stay tuned as always, and if you were in New York as well, hopefully you enjoyed the faire as much as we did!
-The ReDeTec team