Whilst the ground floor was the scene of mass permaculture, #3DPM had the top floor to house the 3D printers provided by Mark and Keith. As I bundled into MadLab fifteen minutes late (thank you traffic jams), I found a room full of new faces - I wondered what new directions the group would take this week!
|Keith kickstarting the event introducing the 3D printer to all the new faces!|
Today Keith set about explaining how to set up his modified Mendel with ABS plastic. Much the same as with PLA, but he used Kapton tape to prepare the base for the printed item to sit on. He also began to explain Google Sketch-up, the free design tool supported by Google.
|An example of a model designed on 'Sketch-up'|
|Dave captivating an audience!|
|The 'modernist' church!|
|A valiant first effort!|
Mark came and brought his 3D scanning tool, which is his own effort using a Kinect originally from an Xbox console, and available software called ReConstruct Me. This software allows you to scan anything into an object that can be converted into a printable file. Using Craig as a guinea pig we had him pose whilst Mark rotated the camera around him for the scan. We then watched as the software quickly reconstructed what it had seen after a quick, less than optimally stable scan. We even had a little red printed model of a scan Mark had done earlier, and it left us wondering why it looked like Max Headroom, and more importantly what we could each do with this kind of technology. Especially as with the arrival of Xbox one and the improved Kinect this Christmas, high-end scanning was at the tips of our fingers!
We had a really fruitful discussion about intellectual property, and the hypothetical situation of wanting to recreate an OEM engineered part using a 3D printer. Would the designer of the part decide that they would litigate to protect their R&D investment? We all began the discussion, which brought everyone up to speed about what intellectual property (I.P.) was, and what it meant for the user on the street - the war between Apple and Samsung recently a case in point. It became clear to us that the we wondered whether there could be dispensation from usual IP if we were making a copy for ourselves on a private basis. I.e. would our printed items be treated as a cassette tape copy, which we could make freely; or as a digital MP3 which was not legally allowed to be copied. In the future we'll try to bring in an I.P. lawyer for a brief discussion of of their opinions.