Monday, May 20, 2013

Maker Faire 2013 - Part 2. The best part.



I can't believe I have been blogging about 3D printers since 2005/6. It's taken that long for them to become common and cheap enough for a large segment of the population to be able to afford them..

I haven't bought a 3D printer yet. Because the technology is still in it's infancy, and new machines are coming on line all the time. I've been sitting back trying to figure out who was going to float to the top. The machine above from Formlabs was at the top of my list. It uses lasers instead of the extraction method. This is suppose to make the resolution better. Although through a crowded booth, the items it printed didn't seem appreciably different from a lot of the other stuff I've seen before.



This type of machine was a surprise. I'd never seen it before. It's from SeeMeCNC. While I find it really fascinating - it has a LOT of moving parts. It is a creative idea to solve height limitation though.





A few companies were trying out this design model. This one was from OpenBeam USA.



This one was interesting because it had tiny fans at the area where the heated plastic comes out. You can see two of them from this shot. They are those square objects resting on the pad.

There were so many 3D printers at Maker Faire I didn't even try for stuff I'd already seen. They were everywhere. Cubify as far as I could tell didn't have much of a presence. I did see a few of their machines. But their machines are pretty mainstream now I guess.

The Makerbot Replicator was an interesting stand out. Mr S. and I were talking about all of the machines later and he pointed out that Makerbot didn't even have a booth (again as far as we could tell - it's a very crowded place), but their machines were everywhere. Even companies selling other machines might have a Replicator in the background. I don't know what that means. Maybe they have hit the sweet spot.

This is also a good article to read. 3D printing has come a long way. It still has quite a way to go before we depend on them for real things.

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