Saturday 13 July 2013

#3DPM Event Night - 10th July 2013

Mark and I turned up outside the offices of the MDDA on portland street, with some trepidation after getting through the tail end of Manchester's rush-hour traffic. This was the first time #3DPM had put together some 3D printers for members to use and we wondered if our great plans to really push forward 3D printing, and provide us with proof we could create something sustainable.

Meeting John Keys of the MDDA for the first time (not for Mark), we were introduced to their swish offices and our space for the evening. We got access to their largest very comfortable meeting room, so a big thank you to John Keys and everyone else we've worked with at the MDDA for that! Parking around the offices didn't appear to be that much of a problem, as by this time the daily office types had moved on and the evening revellers had to arrive. The only issue we had was one of Manchester's finest traffic wardens was just about to ticket Keith's car as we unloaded the two 3D printers and the tons of ancillaries he'd brought with him for #3DPM. Swift diversionary tactics whilst Keith bought his ticket prevented him 'winning' one of Manchester city’s lottery tickets.

We all went about setting up Mark’s Mendel 90 and Keith’s two MendelMax 1.5’s 3D printers. All three self-built machines set up to print ABS or PLA. Keith and Mark went through the basics of each machine. The initial designs were created on Sketchup, and saved on a USB stick so that the designs could be read directly by the printers. One of Keith’s MendelMax’s was heavily modified to make movement of the printing head more efficient and reliable. Keith outlined his top-tip being that in order to remove your printed item from your base layer, pre-spray the base-layer with Insette hairspray. He swears by it, and the proof was in the pudding after printing a lettered key-ring, it came right off!

Between chats about printing, and swapping tips and how-to’s, we ratified our principles and decided to cut the list down to seven. #3DPM now has a solid set of principles that we’ve posted earlier in ‘The ratified operating principles’. John was on hand to discuss at length the ideas MDDA had for the future of 3D printing in Manchester. Suffice to say we’re doing everything we can to help move that forward, as per our principles. We also wanted to start from the next meeting a few projects for all group members with varying levels of difficulty, together with carrying on the teaching and learning element.

Our next meeting is at MDDA again on Wednesday the 17th of July at 7pm. All are welcome, and we’re going to concentrate on putting people together for projects. In the mean time, if you have any questions about things we did, or discussed, don’t hesitate to contact #3DPM.


  1. I just wanted to confirm the date of the next meeting. Did you mean the 17th July?

  2. Thanks for the error spot! Yes the 17th of July! duly edited!


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