Sunday, 11 August 2013

Manchester Mini-Maker Faire at MOSI



  It was an easy decision to make a visit to MOSI on Saturday when I heard that #3DPrinter’s would be among the exhibits, it wouldn't have be hard to make a visit in any case because for me it’s such an interesting and inspiring place.  My objective was to find out if there were any great developments in the technology; but that was actually a bit of a disappointment, because I didn't see anything that I haven’t already got in my current printer the ‘Mendel90 Dibond’ or what we have already decided to build into our next machine.


   However, it was far from a lost cause because I had other reasons to be there. Talking with Chris who sold me the Mendel, I was able to get more insights into how my machine can be developed further. Also I had in the beginning issues of printed parts not adhering to the bed correctly, a common problem Keith helped me resolve using PET tape and Hairspray, but this hadn’t been a problem for Chris, who printed directly onto glass and was getting a superior finish.

   Patrick Fenner of def-proc.co.uk is developing the TLRN Trilateration a wire supported delta robot; it is an obvious concept for large scale #3DPrinting, we discussed how the printer head would be stabilised to apply for example concrete, and it’s so simple it will be coming to a building site near you soon.
It is okay you are seeing a levitated cardboard box, it is one of many demonstrating the process. Just think of them as bricks; sorry I didn't take many photos.


   For new types of sensors and printer heads, David & Benjamin from FutureLab3D.com have expressed interest in helping #3DPM, I am expecting them at the next meeting. Jim from srimech.com, Andrew & Chris of bridgerectifier.org.uk and others are potential pioneers

   Barry showed us his human sized #3DPrinted robot in action but one of the arms was disabled by those damn pesky meddling kids, who were all over the place learning, screaming and having fun. Barry is one of the Hackerspace-rs who were there in force doing what they do best, hacking!

   I met Tom, one of the BBC’s technology advisers doing research; along with his kids who were having a lot of fun, poor Tom :-)

   Competition for local entrepreneurs was in the form Sculpteo who are a French company doing a bureau service similar to Shapeways; they had some good products and I got a mini alien. I asked Rachel of Katzelbows.com how she would decorate similar mono-coloured plastic creations.

   The process of developing a group such as #3DPM is not an easy task, just ask Sam. I was looking for ideas to take us forward faster and may have found it in the way of Ugo (see top photo) the co-founder of the restart project; people who want to find ways to economically fix those items like TV’s, fridges, i-pads, i-phones etc,  made by companies to be difficult for your average Joe and Josephine to access and hack.  

   Afterwards I walked around the shed where they keep the big steam engines, to remind myself how Manchester has kept up with technology and often been the centre of great world changing events.

   I personally want to see #3DPM be at the heart of a new maker revolution, there is no doubt that we have access to the talent; we have a direction in the form of new manufacturing; we are getting  organised; and there is passion, you can see that at MOSI.

If you want to know more? Then get down to our meetings at madlab!


Best Regards
Mark the #3DPrinter of Mesalatina3D.com


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