Tuesday, 14 October 2014

One Giant Leap for MANC-kind

The Manchester Space Programme has successfully launched and retrieved it's first un-manned space probe #DOGE1. The launch vehicle suffered catastrophic damage as it reached the outer limits of the earths atmosphere and exploded. Fortunately the flight safety systems deployed to return the delicate on-board scientific equipment to earth; where it is was recovered by the ground crew who had tracked the re-entry vehicle to a field close to the Humber estuary. The project was an undeniable success and more will follow, maybe a few more HABs (High Altitude Balloons) for research and then we get to play with proper rockets :-)


   The date and time were not set correctly on the camera, but who cares WOW :-)

Meanwhile at Launch Control - The @mcrspaceprog team looking up at the sky at the just launched space vehicle...

Picture by Tim Nash ‏@tnash  Oct 13 2014

Go to our website for more information about the Manchester Space Programme and how you can get involved http://www.manchesterspaceprogramme.org/ and follow us on twitter @mcrspaceprog

PS: Some of the components used were 3D printed :-)

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Meeting No 32 at Fab Lab (Thu, October 16th 6-8:30pm)

It is that time of the month again!

See Meetings & Events page for location details. See also twitter

Things are moving fast; 3D Printing has gone into Space since we last met...

I'm Hugo, co-founder of Cults

Hello #3DPrinting Network of Manchester,

I'm Hugo, co-founder of Cults, first French 3D models repositories website for 3D printing.

I am contacting you because we're now pleased to host a unique and innovative design collection, which might interest you.

"Maison & Objet" is a series of objects - lamps, clocks and containers - inspired by the cities of Paris, Miami and Singapore, which currently host the international exhibition "Maison & Objet". Designer Samuel N. Bernier, creative director of leFabShop, made this fantastic collection. His designs are fully 3D printable by anyone equipped with a personal 3D printer. You simply have to download the 3D models on our platform Cults before start the 3D printing process.

This art project is a true shift because it aims to empower people. They have the opportunity to be both: manufacturer, consumer and critical of their own design products.

I hope this information will motivate you, enjoy it and relaying it on #3DPM.

If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact me at hugo@cults3d.com. I'd be happy to answer you.


Cults’ team.

Posted on Behalf of Cults.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Seeking Help to grow #3DPM Farnworth

#3DPM has established an office in an indoor market and it has been furnished with 3D printers and computers   and it has been set-up to research and develop the #3DPrinting Academy; as well as spread awareness of 3D printing technology.

Help is being asked for, to grow #3DPM Farnworth; and in return we hope to help those who help us. For example:  to access 3D printing resources, knowledge and the network, etc.

If interested?  Then please get in contact at our meet-ups; or email 3dprintgroup@gmail.co.uk for info.You are also very welcome to call in for a chat; the office is usually open around mid-day 10-3pm Mon-Sat.  ...  Address: #3DPM, The Indoor Market, 2 King Street, Farnworth, BL4 7AZ, UK.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Meeting No 31 at Fab Lab (Thu, Sept 18th 6-8:30pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

A custom 3D coin necklace. There are actually pennies inside.

Now Anyone Can Use 3D Printing To Make Money!

Read more at: businessinsider.com

Innovative double extrusion system

This is clever, check it out at 3ders.org ...

The biscuits went down well...

The biscuits went down well and Joanna was very informative as usual. Gareth and Stef made it okay; looking forward to the next event to find out more about their project :-)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Kathryn NEEDS YOU r 3D prints

Kathryn has sent us an email in which she asks for our help, I put the details in the comments.
She is asking for 3D printed donations for a display at MOSI, and yes, she said I could give you her mobile and email address :-)

PS: They need the donations by 26th September 2014, Thanks!

If it’s not broken, break it...

Isaac asked if we could give him a mention, so we will!
His website is here http://teambudmen.com/
I have put more info in the comments :-)

Monday, 11 August 2014

Meetup at Fab Lab, #3DPM has turned 30 (Thu, August 21, 6-8:30pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

This is our 30th Meetup so we will be celebrating this with some extra special biscuits :-)
Joanna will be getting us up to date with the latest happenings in the 3D Printing world; also, for our newer members a presentation about 3D Printing history and 3D Printer types and differences; and Keith will probably give us a demo while we drink ourselves merry with tea or coffee, eat biscuits and chat about stuff.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Friday, 18 July 2014

Meeting No 29 was Fab :-)

A Big thank you has to go to Joanna, whose presentation made this event very interesting and worthwhile attending. And to all you guys who where there and for your input, and to Keith our resident guru who answered the technical questions embellished with some interesting stories :-)

Joanna even 3D printed her earrings to match her outfit. A nice feature for the presentation  which highlighted some of the latest developments in 3D printing and how it is moving fast into the mainstream, checkout ASDA who are the latest company to offer a 3D printing service...


...It will be in a store near you soon. Then there is Nike, who has been pushing the boundaries of 3D printing in the manufacturing of individualised foot wear and bags using specialised flexible filaments...


Chinese are printing houses...


Now even ‘Will I Am’ is getting in on the act by recycling Coke bottles into 3D printer filament...


This is what the big guys are up to; but what about the rest of us? The purpose of #3DPM is to promote 3D printing and help as many of you as possible to get a handle on this technology; and to get onto the bandwagon before it passes by. 3D printing needs printers, designer, distributors, etc and ideas.

Maybe you have that ‘killer app’ idea that will change the world? Or you are just curious, either way you are very welcome to call in and get involved. Our next meetup at Fab Lab is on the 21st August 2014 6-8:30pm. But you can call into Fab Lab on any of their open days before then for a chat.

See You Soon :-)

Monday, 2 June 2014

#3DPM congratulates JW Retailers Farnworth

Jonathan and the guys at JW Retailers put on a great charity fun day and raised over a £1000 pounds to help Rhys Williams an eight-year-old boy with a rare skin condition. You can read more about it here in the local rag 'The Bolton Evening News'. We add our congratulations for a job well done, it is hard work raising money for charity in these austere times; and we must also thank the 'BEN' for covering it.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Meeting No 27 is at Fab Lab (Thu, May 22nd 6-8:30pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

More Info to follow eventually, going for a cuppa tea and a bite to eat now :-)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fab Lab meeting proved profitable :-)

Circumstance conspired to hold two meetings two days apart which could have been a bit of a disaster, except it wasn’t. To get the right minds thinking about the club’s sustainability has to be a good thing and much 3D printing was had by Martin who got to grips with the ‘Dimension 1200es Series 3D printer’ and Cormack who got his newly designed cup holder printed on the BCP-01, this led onto a discussion about hydroponics and the possibilities of developing a micro-system for the hobbyists; this will be followed up as part of our extra-curricular activities.

Now, after such a long time, #3DPM have got into its new office/showroom in the Farnworth indoor market and we will be kitting the place out over the next few weeks; the place looks a lot better than the bomb site we had back in January and we have Jonathan of JW Retailers to thank, for the great facilities.

There will be more about #3DPM’s focus on sustainability in the coming weeks, and it is hoped this also leads onto more business creation for our members/pioneers. Creating new businesses is one of the reasons why #3DPM exists. We have already done it and we intend to keep on doing it! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meeting No 26 is at Fab Lab (April 17th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

Two meetings in one week is a challenge, but lets see what happens :-)
Our meeting on Monday was, as usual, an excellent gathering and educationally worthwhile. We welcomed our newest pioneer James and our international fashionista Yvonne of vonomarketing.com who is visiting her family and old home town before returning to her new home in Abu Dhabi. Yvonne decided to pop in with Roger, to see our little gathering and be inspired with the potential 3D printing has to offer the fashion industry; our international connections are truly blossoming :-) Cormack was busy designing his cup holder and the guys from the South Manchester Radio and Computing Club where busy fixing their computers, Bill showed a lot promise as a future CAD professional when he took on the challenge to draw up a screw thread in sketchup; it was the plugin that conspired against his attempts, but hey its fun to have a challenge.

I have been asked to point out that 'Fab Lab' is a charity and commercial ventures are not allowed to be conducted on its premises. However, we are developing our new site in Farnworth and this will not be constrained; commercial ventures will be encouraged.

3D printing has a bright future when the infrastructure is in place to exploit it; let us hope Manchester gets organised soon, so we can catch up with the rest of the world :-)

 Image Courtesy of the Guardian
Image Courtesy of The Guardian

Friday, 4 April 2014

Next Meeting is at MadLab (April 14th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details

Plans are being put in place for MadLab to acquire its own 3D printers and CAD enabled computers in the not too distant future, rather than Mark and Keith having to lug in their own kit and risk damaging it every time a meeting is held.

This requires finding the funding. It would help the cause, if we (#3DPM) put forward some ideas to help justify it, so this will be discussed at some point; it is possible we can merge our group's needs with those of other groups.

The #3DPM club needs to become self sustaining and we have already come up with some very good ideas to make this happen.

The #3DPM club needs to begin growing its membership which is "freemium" based, and that means it is initially free to those with little money or just curious, they can turn up and have a look at what is going on; except they will have to pay for tea, coffee and biscuits if they want them.

Membership will become more formalised as we progress and it will require everybody to contribute in some way. The best way is for the club to generate an income and that means the members develop their business ideas with the clubs help to create an income for themselves; so they can pay the club and maybe make themselves a profit. This seems to be a good strategy to help us achieve our aims; and will be discussed further.

We now have a working infrastructure we can all use, we have tested and proved the concepts.
We now need more people to get involved so we can grow as an organisation.

Can you help?
If you can just let yourselves be known at our meetings
Thank you :-)

FYI: We had a fantastic reception at York and the Reebok at "The Housing, Innovation and Technology Roadshow" I hope to have more info about this soon ...

Proposed agenda for the next 'Fab Lab' meeting
(if you want to add to it, just send us an email or post a comment or say something at the MadLab meeting)

  • Ideas to justify funding for MadLab to acquire 3D printers and CAD enabled computers, and a training budget. 
  • How to make #3DPM self sustaining
  • Growing the #3DPM membership
  • Anything else?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

What if .. you could change the world with #3DPrinting?

What if you want to make something?

And need space to build it?
And need the tools to build it?
And need skills, help and guidance?
And all you do is think and procrastinate?

What if you want to do something?

That is interesting or useful?
That will give meaning to your life?
That will help others you care about?
That will help you create an income stream to pay some bills or finance a holiday?

What if you had no idea what to do or make?

Would you look around for inspiration?
Would you help others develop their ideas?

What if there was a club, where you could?

Where there is space for you to use!
Where there are tools available!
Where there is help and support for your project!
Where there is the training you need when you need it!
Where there are people, you can be inspired by!
Where it is organised, supervised and friendly!
Where you belong and can help others!
What if you could also create an income!

What if this was possible?

Would you join the club?
Would you help create the club?

What if you have doubt about if this was possible?

How would you be convinced?
Would it be worth convincing you?

What if we redefined business?

What if business is what we all must do to survive and thrive?

We can then say cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, partying is our business!
We can then say when a baby screams its head off for its mothers attention, that's its business!
We can then say when children go to school, to play and learn; that is their business!
We can then say health care workers are doing business keeping the nation healthy!
We can recognise we need to interact with others to get what we need and want!
We can recognise very few of these interactions require 'money' to perform!

What if we can free our thinking about how 'business' operates in our society?

What if we can do 'business' better?
What if jobs that are not 'profitable' in the current system can be made 'profitable' in another?
What if we can maximise the potential of our citizens, by organising differently?
What if profits are distributed more fairly?

What if we do 'business' like we do 'football academies'?

We could get the children involved at an early stage!
We could get the Mums and Dads (older folk) involved helping them out!
We could provide the equipment, training facilities and places to play!
We can invite star players in to inspire and advise!
We can organise training sessions and work on new skills!
We can organise teams with complementary skill-sets, such as:
for the striker there is the sales guy;
for mid fielders there are the designers and makers;
for defense we have researchers and developers;
for goal keeping maybe an accountant or solicitor!

The goal is to make a profit, more goals more profit!

We can have the fans as customers the more we have the bigger the market!
And fans often play football!

We can have kick-a-bouts for fun!
Play semi-professional and set up a micro-business!
Go Pro and work our way up through the league tables until we are in the premiership!
We can make business creation diverse and accessible!

What if those successful teams/businesses paid premium membership fees for better service and were encouraged to returned some of their profits back into the academy to help new players start up?

 We would be self sustaining!
 We could become independent from state help :-)

What if we link up the universities and other training organisations to provide the best knowledge and advice appropriate to our players needs, when they most need it?

  •     Like when a pilot of a plane has a heart attack and a passenger steps in to fly and land the plane safely with instructions from ground control!
  •     Like when a paramedic in the field, is being advised by doctors based at a distant hospital!
  •     Like when a driving instructor is teaching a novice driver!

What if we can create new businesses in a weekend and keep doing so like a production line?

Checkout this website ... Launch48.com ("Build-A-Business-In-48-Hours")

What if we already know this is all possible?
Then why has it not happened yet?

First: everything has to start somewhere!

Second: it sort of does happen and it has been happening for thousands of years!

Most of us are so far removed from roots of what we really need to do to live,
                we tend to forget the basics, for example, growing food.

Think of a medieval village, the community would be guided by their natural                                     amenities/resources, such as the landscape, water supply, rivers,
                forests, climate, animals, etc.

Different authorities (Church, Land owners, merchants, stone masons, etc) would influence and                     organise individuals who made up the community;
                invariably to maximise the benefit to their own causes.

The basic needs of the community vary little, everybody needs food, clothing, shelter
                and as the tasks required to satisfy theses needs were made more efficient other
                wants could be persued and satisfied, such as Art!
                Check out "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs".

At the centre of the village people would come from far and wide to trade, exchange ideas,
                drink and be merry at the local tavern, setup a market or fair.
                Specialists such as blacksmiths would shoe horses, coopers make barrels, etc

  Third:  we didn't have the internet we have now! We have operated in a global economy for hundreds of years and corresponded ideas and knowledge to communities around the world using the royal mail, which is so pitifully slow compared to what we have now.

And Fourth: there is a lot of work to do to make a 'Football Academy for Business'!
So who would profit by building one and how?

By building a 'Football Academy for Business' we are opening up the possibilities of how business can be created more easily and be operated; its the same pattern that other systems have been subjected to, for example: our means of communications, entertainment, food production, transport and more! It is just a natural process of striving for efficiency, removing waste and improvement; there are higher forces at work here and we need to work with them or risk being in conflict with them.

By building a 'Football Academy for Business' requires people who understand why it is needed and have the passion to make it happen! Most of us can learn new skills and multitask, but its better done with the support from others; after all that is how we have evolved.

Therefore... Dear Reader, we need your help to influence the powers that be, who control the money supply and everything else! And together let us overcome the barriers that are preventing us stepping up to a better life for ourselves, our children and our communities.

We need "Football Academies for Business"
and a Good Name maybe like FooBA - Football Business Academy ??  :-)

Thank You and Best Regards

Mark Concannon aka 'Mark the #3DPrinter' :-)

#3DPM © 2014

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

We are making #3DPM sustainable!

Our meetup at MadLab last Monday 24/Mar/2014 was soon after the Fab Lab meeting and it was a chance to get into some of the nitty-gritty of SketchUp the free CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) package; that we encourage beginners to 3D printing to use, which can be very frustrating for newbie’s, until they learn the ‘Tricks of the Trade’.

Further discussions were had about how we as a group can make #3DPM a sustainable organisation.
Up to now we have been able to sustain ourselves with Voluntary and Charitable help, and we whole heartedly thank everyone who has made our journey possible and a great experience.

We are in a good position to phase in new income streams to invest in equipment and cover expenses, so that we not only make sure we survive, but are also able extend our important work to make ‘3D printing and Business creation accessible’.

The membership is already making important contributions and guiding how #3DPM operates and does its business; we need more of the same. #3DPM belongs to its members and membership comes with desirable obligations.

The co-founders of #3DPM have been guiding this project and will continue to do so until #3DPM is self sustaining and takes charge of itself, this should be very soon while we continue at our current pace of development.

To continue on our destination of sustainability, it was decided as ‘homework’ to do some research on products we can manufacture and trade on behalf of the club, to begin an income stream. This was enthusiastically discussed and will be developed further at future meetups.

So stay tune for more updates, coming shortly J

PS: The picture was added for a bit of colour and has no relevance to the article. By the way can you spot the "deliberate" mistake? J


Sunday, 23 March 2014

#3DPM Minutes 01 “Getting to the Next Level”

This was our second meetup at our latest, but not the only, venue ‘Fab Lab’ and the ambiance is proving conducive for a more ambitious program to make our beloved 3D Printing Network a sustainable organisation. We all know that nothing is for free and we are fortunate to have had some great support over the past few months from Tech Hub, MDDA, Madlab, JW Retailers, Fab Lab and of course, our members.

Next month in April, we are aiming to hold regular meetups on the first Monday of the month in MadLab and the third Thursday at ‘Fab Lab’. The exact dates will be on our blog.

At the Fab lab meetup, a short formal meeting will be had to deal with club matters like we did this time; but because this was the first attempt to put the #3DPM club on a more professional footing our agenda was limited but the response was still very good and very informative. We want to keep the meeting short and deal with the necessary bureaucracy quickly, so we can get on with the more interesting stuff.

The #3DPM club belongs to its members for its members, and as a club we have set out our operating principles and charitable purpose, and our membership can challenge and improve on them, if it wants.

To encourage members to begin taking ownership a short presentation was made, here are the power point images...

It was at this point that Mark 'the #3DPrinter' handed it over to the attending group whereby an uneasy silence was felt, you can experience it on the video; we have a film crew documenting our development. Then Bill 'the sandman'was brave enough to get the conversation started about what events we could attend so we can advertise for new members. Because the events Bill suggested where half way around the country, Keith 'aka fingers' was quick to point out we should walk not run, that was a metaphor! and to keep things loca,l so John 'the Baptist' chipped in with more ideas nearer home.

Big Ben and Keith got into a conversation about the virtues of building 3D printers of rugged construction, which went on for a while until Charles 'the environmentalist' got the conversation refocused back onto the issues raised in the presentation.

It was nice to see the debate unfold and be constructive; there were quiet a few at the meeting who's names can't be mentioned because I have forgotten them, sorry folks, next months meeting will be better organised with an agenda and proper minutes.

It was only after the meeting did Allan volunteer a great idea for the club to make some money. This will be revealed at the next meetup at Fab Lab, along with his handle :-)

Thanks to everyone who turned up to make this another successful gathering; hope to see you all again soon.      

Friday, 21 March 2014

The European Financial Crisis Explained

I was emailed this a couple of weeks ago,
I don't know who wrote it but I think it is worth sharing.
And it is a reminder why we have to improve the way we do business.
Hope you agree :-)

> The European Financial Crisis.
> In “laymans” talk this should explain it to you all.
> Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of
> her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer
> afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem she comes up with a
> new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay
> later.
> Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting
> the customers' loans).
> Word gets around about Helga's "drink now, pay later" marketing
> strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into
> Helga's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in
> town.
> By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands
> Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially
> increases her prices for wine and beer - the most consumed beverages.
> Consequently, Helga's gross sales volumes and paper profits increase
> massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank
> recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets
> and increases Helga's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue
> concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as
> collateral.
> He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.
> At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to
> make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into
> DRINKBONDS. These "securities" are then bundled and traded on
> international securities markets.
> Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold
> to them as "AA Secured Bonds" are really debts of unemployed
> alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the
> securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the
> nation's leading brokerage houses.
> The traders all receive a six figure bonus.
> One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager
> at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand
> payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga's bar. He so
> informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons
> but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking
> debts.
> Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced
> into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga's 11 employees lose their
> jobs.
> Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset
> value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new
> loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
> The suppliers of Helga's bar had granted her generous payment
> extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the BOND
> securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her
> bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.
> Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family
> business that had endured for three generations; her beer supplier is
> taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and
> lays off 150 workers.
> Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their
> respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar
> no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.
> They all receive six a figure bonus.
> The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on
> employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who've never been in Helga's bar.
> Now do you understand?

Fab Lab - A new future beckons...

A big thank you to everybody who turned up and gave there support, a special mention to Nik, 'O' and Peter who are doing a documentary about our work at the #3DPrinting Network of Manchester and how 3D printing will generally develop and affect all our futures. Also we must thank Simon, Mike and Joanna who work at Fab Lab for helping us put on a great event

I will add the minutes of last nights meeting to the blog as soon as I can.
Last night at Fab Lab was about getting our group to the 'Next Level' it will be a transition that we all recognise needs to be done and handled delicately. But we have solutions! So watch this space there is more to follow, very soon :-)

Naomi on Star Trek...

On the original Star Trek TV series from the 1960s, they had their fictional replicator technology that materialized food, drink and non-edible objects. Well…now 3D printing is turning fiction into fact. There’s even a 3D printer by MakerBot Industries called the Replicator. Okay, we’re not quite at the Star Trek level yet, but the number of objects we can “print” is quickly growing, and the list includes useful things such as human organs, limbs and even synthetic food including pizza. Chefs probably don’t have to worry about their jobs just yet, as some of this 3D-printed food so far, is intended for consumption by astronauts in space — where 30 minutes or free for pizza obviously isn't an option. As well, 3D printing is in its infancy. In the near future, though, you could very well order something online and have it created in front of you from a home or office 3D printer — not unlike the Star Trek replicator. Check out more.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Naomi wrote us a nice email...


I’m Naomi from Bestcomputerscienceschools.net, and I’m writing here to express some words of appreciation. You've got a ton of informative content on your blog and have built a great readership out of this.

Keep up the great work!


PS: Thanks Naomi, I made the change :-)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Fab Lab Meeting on Thursday 20th!

#3DPM @ Fab Lab

Monday, March 20, 2014
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

At: Fab Lab,  (n/r Old Mill Street) - New Islington, Manchester M4 6BU (map)

Okay folks we have to look smart because we will have the privilege
of meeting the famous international film maker Nikita Kremenskovs
and his crew who are making a documentary about 3D printing.

Also we will be asking for donations to fund the tea, coffee
and maybe biscuits :-)

#3DPM group meeting for 3D printing enthusiasts.
Website: http://www.fablabmanchester.org/

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Jet Cubed - 3D Printing, 3D Scanning and Food 3D Printing

A little over a month ago I had the chance to visit the offices of Jet Cubed, a 3D printing education and technology provider based in Sheffield.  The founders, husband and wife mega-team Yichan and Greg; have run successful events, and have begun to develop their own food 3D printer.

Jet Cubed has been founded on engineering and materials science expertise gained at the University of Sheffield.  Together they've been able to evaluate different 3D printers and see where the technology works, and where it falls down.   They are developing a paste printer, which is currently a top secret work in progress!

Another plus side to evaluating several printers is that they can help you work out what's wrong with yours.  They have experience in printing as well, doing contracts for local businesses and individuals.

Jet Cubed have run 3D scanning events, which they did when they came to our meeting at FabLab Manchester.  They do this using a more sophisticated setup than the usual Kinect hacks.

Jet Cubed have done great work, and they constantly run 3D printing events for residents of Yorkshire.  Together with 3D Printing Network, they're going to be taking forward 3D Printing Network operating principles and developing group nights and events together.

Friday, 28 February 2014

#3DPM in Space Race!

#3DPM is going to the Moon! Well as near as we can J

The ‘Manchester Space Programme’ was officially launched to an enthusiastic and packed venue at the Manchester digital laboratories (MadLab). #3DPM as a member of the ‘Makers in Space’ UK community network, will be doing its bit and making the right stuff to get a genuine satellite into orbit, doing valuable scientific research.

Here is what the competition are up to...


And here is the Top Gear Reliant Robin Space Shuttle made in Manchester, which was a magnificent piece of rocket engineering and only let down by a faulty explosive release bolt, watch the YouTube video, it is impressive...


There is a lot to do and this is a serious venture “THE MISSION IS TO GO WHERE OTHERS HAVE GONE BEFORE MORE COST EFFECTIVELY and DO IMPORTANT STUFF” such as save the planet, cure cancer, etc etc..

The project has been seed funded by the UK Space Agency’s ‘Space for all’ initiative and now we have to get into the details of the what, how and when; which needs your input.

We have already bounced ideas around about putting a cat into space, so if you’re a cat or dog lover or animal lover of any kind, get involved to stop this barbaric act and suggest something better J

To paraphrase the late great JFK “We choose to get into the Manchester Space Program, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, because the goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

PS:   Calling all radio hammers! Start helping us get the communications organised, please J

Thursday, 20 February 2014

#3DPM@MadLab 24th January 2014

Welcome back 3D printing vultures! Another group night at MadLab has come and gone, and another night where we were rushed off our feet by the people who were looking to satisfy their lust for additive manufacture.
BCP Labs 01 3D Printer

We had a great time with the hardware sessions covered by BCP Labs providing their 01, Joanna providing design advice to the advanced product designers; and interested groups looking for advice as to how to integrate 3D printing into their endeavours.

Joanna working through design ideas!
Regular group member, Martin, came by looking for #3DPM help to commercialise his new scanning and printing business. He's developed an efficient workflow to build his scanned models, reducing how long it takes to get good likenesses; and also reducing the difficulties in printing.  We'll be working with him, and as time goes by we'll be reporting on how he's getting on!

Martin advising another would be entrepreneur!
We also got to speak to another couple of groups looking to bring 3D printing into their own social enterprise and commercial endeavours - projects we can't talk about until the participants are ready.

We're next at FabLab Manchester on the 20th February 6pm to 9pm! See us there!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

3D Scanner and Expertise required. Can you Help?

Hi Everybody,

We need a very good 3D scanner to image blind people after they have raced around in one of Mike's dual controlled racing cars (Mike Newman holds the land and sea, speed records for a blind person).

Can you help or know someone who can?

I hope to get enough people to come together with complementary expertise, to develop 3D scanning in a collaborative project, that will ultimately lead onto further business opportunities.


Mark Concannon aka 'Mark the #3DPrinter' :-)



Friday, 31 January 2014

#3DPM & ProjectEGG 2014 update!

Late last year, #3DPM and ProjectEGG began a partnership founded on shared ideals. Michiel van der Kley gave us our inaugural end of year interview with a mover and shaker in 3D printing. It's still there, and what he had to say still resonates even weeks after he gave the interview.

'Lord' Terry Yeung of Oxford - we salute you!
3D Printing Network received it's first stone today, as official U.K. hub for ProjectEGG. We're ready to receive more! Keep them coming!

A rainy day here but stone 2876 looks amazing!
Terry Yeung from Oxford gets a special mention from us here at 3D Printing Network for being the first. Perhaps he'd like to talk to us about starting up 3D Printing Network - Oxford? :)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

#3DPM & Ultimaker - CREATE together!

Ultimaker GB has launched a 3D printing initiative for schools in Britain. Like the 3D Printing Network, Ultimaker has very strong ideals which they live by. Like being open source, sharing and collaborating. Like us, Ultimaker has an urge to bring 3D Printing to schools.

Here is what they had to say to us when I went along to interview them at their Chorley HQ:

Ultimaker wants to get kids in touch with this new innovative technology and ignite that creative flame we all had at that age. Ultimaker has already been working with education institutions in the UK and with schools on the continent to great success and is now about to officially launch into the Education sector.

A national campaign called CREATE Education Project is being rolled out as 2014 starts, with schools eager to provide students the best current learning opportunities 3D printing has to offer.  Ultimaker’s CREATE initiative has received fantastic feedback from teachers and pupils have been blown away by how easy the Ultimaker technology is to use and the subsequent opportunities it presents!

“Marie McDonagh, Curriculum Leader at Cleethorpes Academy said “We ordered 5 Ultimaker 2 printers after an impressive workshop run by the Ultimaker team where students were able to produce their own 3D designs in under 2 hours. We have incorporated 3D printing in to both Key Stage 3 and 4 curriculums to give students experience of this exciting new technology. The Ultimaker 2 printers represent good value and the support and advice from Ultimaker has been excellent.”

The CREATE strategy comprises 6 key points:

C. Community.
Collaborative learning is the way to go! By bringing people together and sharing our understanding, breakthroughs in learning will be abundant. Ultimaker already has a thriving community, we want to extend to include you!

R. Reliability.
And support. Ultimaker has a reputation of being one of the most reliable 3D printers available.

E. Education.
We believe that 3D printing is going to impact many key areas in the future, whether it’s prototyping in manufacturing, bespoke replacement joints in medicine, scaled models in architecture or the latest trend in fashion, 3D printing is integral to learning and development and changes the game in design realization.

A. Access.
The Cura software that is open source and free to Ultimaker users, allows an abundance of design software / scanners downloaded templates to be printed accurately in 3D. It is made to be user friendly so without any prior knowledge you can dive right into 3D printing!

T. Teachability.
We all know that the best way to show a clear understanding of a concept is to teach it to someone else! Our design approach encourages individuals to experiment independently and then share their progress with others.

E. Economics.
Ultimaker is already one of the most affordable options on the market, the kit version starts at an amazing £1000! Education institutes cannot afford to be denying students the chance to change the world.

Be a part of this revolution with the CREATE Ultimaker Education Project

3D Printing Network will be bringing you Ultimaker 3D printers and 'build your own printer' workshops soon, so watch this space!

#3DPM@MadLab 27th January 2014

The 3D Printing Network is a social enterprise looking to bring 3D printing technology to as many people from as many varied backgrounds as possible - and it looks like we're winning! This week continued with a hardware discussion group based around a BCP Labs 01 3D printer.  We also had an advanced CAD design tutorial, a beginners workshop and some people who came to watch what 3D printing was all about!

Design newbie - rising to the challenge!
This week we started a new workshop for beginners. How to design your first 3D printed item. The aim of this workshop was to bring people with ambition, and a laptop with Sketchup loaded on their laptops together with a design challenge. The challenge - design their own nameplate key-ring ready to be printed and worn by the next meeting! Alan and John made a good start, and we'll see the outcome at the next meeting!

Design pro's - achingly close to begin prototyping!
The point of bringing people through the introductions to CAD design is to get them to the point where they can use 3D printing to bring their creations into reality. Our beginners workshop results in a design that is completed in a matter of hours. The advanced group is run with a professional designer advising and members working on designs that have been ongoing for weeks. This means we can't always understand what the designs are, but we can make sure it's ready for printing.  When it is printed, we can begin the process of healing the design until we reach printed nirvana!

BCP 01 3D Printers showing the hardware group how it's done!
The hardware group has access to two BCP Labs 01 3D printers. Although based upon an open-source Mendel design, these printers can print as well as anything on the market, and provide us with an excellent reference by which to teach members about hardware.  That being said, we're always open for new or different printers being introduced to the group.  This week hardware tweaks during prints were the topic of the day whilst one members design was being printed.  There is a chance we'll be hosting a printer from Ultimaker soon, so watch this space!

3D Printers - the object of affection for other social enterprises!

At 3D Printing Network we're always looking to help other social enterprises develop 3D printing themed workshops. We've delivered our last co-run event with FACT Liverpool before Christmas, and we're always open to new offers. The group nights are a good way for social entrepreneurs to come along, meet Sam, Mark, Joanna and Keith; and work out where we can work together.

The end of a fun night!
So the end of another group night! We'll be running workshops every meeting! We're also going to be developing 'build a printer' workshops! We've meetings coming up at MadLab and FabLab, as well as a 3D printer market and advice office opening at JWRetailing at Farnworth. It's all coming soon, so watch this space!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mark is also a StartUp Brew ‘Startupian’

Although I turned up late cursing public transport and the state of the roads, it was great to arrive with enough time to be part of the StartUp Brew meetup organised by TechHub’s Shaun Gibson.

My intention was to talk with ‘TechHub Phil’ and ‘Gigabyte Gavin’ about 3D scanning and filament manufacturing; I didn't. However, I was fortunate to meet other fellow startupians and engage with them in the pursuit of business enlightenment; and for myself promote the noble art of #3DPrinting.

This day’s interaction was very fruitful and I introduced myself as ‘Mark the #3DPrinter’ it usually gets a response; for ‘Designer Ian’ it was a case of initial befuddlement; when he realised I wasn't a complete idiot, then followed an informative discussion about our projects, or maybe he was just humouring me. I didn't quite answer his last question about "how big can a 3D printer print?", because this is where ‘Mark Solicitor Smith’ came into conversation to hurriedly leave for another appointment.

 ‘Eee builder (Ewere)’ was interested in setting up an online business my talk of a concrete 3D printer didn’t quite connect with his plans, but he said he would check out the ‘#3DPrinting Network Manchester’ or #3DPM as we like to abbreviate.

Now ‘Salford Kelly’ is an interesting character she is looking for work placements and projects for university students, this line of inquiry was leading somewhere and it had a positive vibe we could follow up. ‘Crossword Anna’ interjected with news about a 3D printed skyscraper and ‘Helen the Hatter’ has web development skills that would be useful in promoting the businesses created by our ‘Pioneers of #3DPrinting’.

I was ready to go but then fortunate to meet ‘Caroline the SEO Equestrian’ and ‘Young Bearded Guy I forgot the name of’; sorry I will remember it next time. Uncle John collared me and is going to send me an email about what’s happening in the northern quarter and ‘Film Maker Prince not the Singer’ is hooking me up with a ‘Lady Printer’.

I left business cards and instructions about how they could contact #3DPM – the #3DPrinting Network Manchester; I didn’t mention my fellow cohorts: ‘Doctor Sam’, ‘Keith aka Fingers’ and ‘Joanna our Product Designa’ but I did mention http://3dprintgroup.blogspot.co.uk/

Oops nearly forgot 'Sherlock Una' but more about her later.

Until next time, this is ‘Mark the #3DPrinter’ signing off for now :-)


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Charitable Purpose Tweaked

Let us know if it is not worded correctly or if it needs improving or more clarity...

Charitable Purpose

   1. #3DPM is a Club ... to network, to crowd source, to do business, to meet, etc.

   2. #3DPM is about #LeanTraining ... to get guidance and information, as quickly as possible.

   3. #3DPM is about Facilities ... for entertainment, for product fabrication, for business, etc.

Our aim is to encourage and assist any motivated #3DPrinting pioneer, young and old, to create and grow their own profitable enterprise and make the process a sociable, supportive and meaningful activity; the three main components that are the foundation for this initiative are: The Club, #LeanTraining and Facilities.

Our strategy is to rethink the meaning of what business really is and for; and show that it is important to define it as process everybody does, to survive and thrive. We also demonstrate that by organising communities around specific ideas, businesses can be manufactured as if on a production line. The rules are already well understood; but this knowledge isn’t evenly distributed, and we aim to change this. #3DPM is focusing on 3D printing; its growth potential is phenomenal so competition will not be an inhibitor for long while, making collaborations easier.

A general outline of #3DPM, is a community of self help enthusiasts, who are interested in developing and promoting 3D printing for their own edification or commercial interests in their own geographic locations. It is a freemium based charitable organisation, where members can grow their knowledge and activities; and are expected to contribute to the community's growth and well being in any way they can; money if possible (and it is needed), but time, knowledge and resources, if appropriate, are also important and acceptable.

We are expanding the #3DPrinting Network !
So please contact us if you would like to know more.

#3DPM charitable purpose...

1. #3DPM is self help community focusing on 3D printing and its peripheral activities; it is open to anyone who is prepared to accept its operating principles, in the spirit by which they are intended to be applied.

2. #3DPM helps its members develop their individual and group skills, towards building profitable 3D printing or related businesses; or for personal or group development; or for recreational needs.

3. #3DPM aims, via its membership, to provide continually improving facilities, processes and resources, for its members.

4. #3DPM encourages learning and provides learning materials to help its members fulfill their 3D ambitions; it spreads awareness of 3D printing capabilities and requirements.

5. #3DPM is a hub to attract and distribute 3D printing related expertise and resources; and link diverse groups of private enthusiasts, businesses, academia, governing bodies, entrepreneurial activities and funding sources.

6. #3DPM aims to use crowd sourcing and research, to develop 3D printing and its applications; as open source technology for the benefit of #3DPM and wider community.

7. #3DPM particularly is to help schools and young people develop new businesses around 3D printing and encourage the mature and experience members of society to get involved to help.

8. #3DPM is to promote its charitable aims; maintain a primary blog 3dprintgroup.blogspot.co.uk ; grow its membership; and encourage its members to find purpose and satisfaction in the pursuit of knowledge, art and science, of making things and helping others.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

#3DPM also at Fab Lab

Our first group meeting at 'Fab Lab'
will be on Thursday 20th of February 6pm to 9pm
refer to Meetings & Events

With 'Fab Lab' on board we have access to some great resources.
If you have a business idea that requires some manufacturing then come along,
this is a great place!  

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

#3DPM@MadLab on 13th January 2014

So here we are, 2014 and less than a year old, and #3DPM is going from strength to strength! This year we'll have interviews with 3D food printers, meetings at FabLab, MadLab and the development of an all new Entrepreneurship programme in collaboration with JWRetailers and BCP Labs.  We're developing new courses and workshops for #3DPM members and the public, developing new businesses through our expanding members and their interests. Even more exciting, #3DPM is developing 3D printing public interest outside the north west of the U.K. with London and the south-west in our sights! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

New members working on their ideas..BCP-01 at the ready to realise their expression!

We had our first meeting of the year at MadLab on the 13th of January, and I readily admit to wondering whether the events of 2013 were real, and whether anyone remembered us in 2014. I'm glad to report that we had lots of newbies, especially from the South Manchester Radio and Computing Club but also from FabLab.  This reflected just what our Network nights are all about, people from different backgrounds reaching common ground through 3D printing.

Sketchup 'Baby-Steps' workshop and 3D printer technology discussion forum

This year we're planning on offering more structured introduction workshops, and tutorials and projects to learn aspects of 3D printing.  This session we started new members off on setting their laptops up right for Sketchup and NettFab. The 3D printing technology group got an introduction in how designs were translated into G-code and printed out.

3D printing with a BCP-01 from our first spin-out BCP Labs

Three hours went very quickly indeed, and helped Mark, Keith, Joanna and I exactly what people wanted from #3DPM this year - more things to do! Your wishes are granted..we've got more meetings, so eventually there will be one every week. We'll let you all know as we do!

Some more interesting links...