Wednesday 28 August 2013

Sam went to iMakr..

I got involved with 3D printing in any substantive sense earlier this year. However it was two or three years ago when I briefly investigated using a 3D printer to develop the embryo implantation system I was working on during my doctoral studies.  I wanted to develop an accurate (down to the micron-scale) PLA or other polymer based system in which surface morphology could be directed to influence and understand embryo development (all in the lab setting).  Ultimately 3D printing at the time wasn't going to work, and I achieved success using another method.

I mention this, as now I'm properly involved with 3D printing, I get to think about what I'll do with my printer once it's built  (the building of which is a subject of a future set of blog posts).  My mind often wanders back to science, and needing better resolutions, and what I could do scientifically with a 3D printer now.

To that end, I was in London, and wanted to see the type of printers available on a shop floor side-by-side at iMakr's store.  I was particularly interested in the Felix 2.0, a printer supposedly able to go down to 0.05 mm resolution, or 50 ┬Ám resolution in different 'money'.

They didn't actually have it on show, but I did get an eye-full of the MakerBot Replicator 2X. I can confirm, it does look good, but I'm not convinced its worth nearly £2k!  They had a few other printers on show, but ultimately the star was their MakerBot.  I shall stick with the printer I'm building, and see how I can upgrade the resolution!

All in all I found the iMakr guys enthusiastic, and the London crowd likes to watch printers making 'things' as much as the Manchester passers-by do too.  This gives me a chance to plug the MadLab shop that's being developed as we speak. #3DPM are looking to have our shop space at least once a week on the corner of Edge Street in Manchester.  We'll be offering printers, consumables and 3D printed wares from local makers for sale. Watch this space for that!

Sam :)

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