This Wednesday and Thursday sees the NEC become home to one of the biggest digital manufacturing technology shows: TCT. The show is a huge event on the calender of anyone involved in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. The event has historically been dominated by large corporate leaders like 3DSystems and Stratasys, showcasing new technologies and products.
We are really excited to see Ultimaker’s recently launched 2nd generation machine and demo’s of Paul Candler’s fantastic micro prints (50 micron goodness). We are very proud to be part of the RepRap Hub; the first time the OSHW movement has exhibited at TCT. There will be many of the RepRap community leaders, including Alessandro (Slic3r), Chris Palmer (Nophead), Adrian Bowyer (the Godfather of RepRap), Paulo and Gary Hodgson (RepRap Magazine) and leading the hub is Richard Horne (RichRap).
The show also provides the opportunity to see talks by some of the industry’s biggest evangelists. MakieLab’s inspirational CEO Alice Taylor will be giving a keynote speech on Wednesday in the main arena.
We are looking forward to taking part in the show. Come by Table G54 to chat about the latest material developments in 3D printing, or just grab some swag!
London Design week is a fantastic spectacle of fashion, architecture, interiors and products; and it was only correct that 3D printing should feature in the mix. Last weekend marked the end of London Design Week. We headed over to Earl’s Court to catch the final day of 100% Design and help out with the RSA’s Great Recovery stand.
Jim with his Emaker Huxley at RSA’s stand for 100% Design
The Great Recovery is all about challenging the lifecycle of products and designing for a circular-economy model. In addition there were talks from Daniel Charny, the curator of the V&A’s Power of Making exhibition, and James Carrigan, co-Founder and Creative Director of Sugru. They were talking about Fixperts.org, a project looking at how using design thinking can help fix everyday problems. Of course these projects are a great fit with the 3D printing and maker movement.
Talks included James Carrigan and Daniel Charny introducing their Fixperts project
The RSA’s stand was a bold statement amongst the slick and minimalist displays. Shelves filled broken electrical items surrounded volunteers busily fixing things. Jim was there with his Emaker Huxley printing out spare parts and replacements in Faberdashery neon colours. The printer was a real crowd pleaser with reactions ranging from sage head nodding to pure open-mouthed amazement.
The printer drew a lot of interest
It was great to see the buzz and excitement generated by the printer. When you are so deeply immersed in the world of 3D printing it is easy to forget that feeling of amazement on seeing your first print. Despite the explosion of the home 3D printing market and the attention it gets in the press it is still only small (but fabulous) proportion of people with machines. It was inspiring just to experience the delight on people’s faces as they watched a product emerge before their eyes. As one amazed onlooker said: “It’s alchemy I tell you!” Alchemy, sorcery, magic, whatever you want to call it. It’s here. We call it fabbing.
Being part of the 3d printing revolution means we are constantly having our minds blown by the crazy cool stuff people out there are doing. The ‘beatjazz’ project by Onyx Ashanti is one of them.
Last year musician and performer Onyx Ashanti created a new type of musical performance “prosthesis” called a beatjazz controller. This is a 3 way wireless sensor network used to make beatjazz, an improvisational music form. Think of it as a saxophone for cyborgs. Onyx uses this one-of-a-kind musical instrument to deliver live, improvised electronic musical performances.
The first prototype for the controller was cardboard and Onyx’s demo perfomance with it at TED was featured on MAKE last year. Now Onyx has moved it into the next level of awesome by 3d printing the hand units in Faberdashery Robot Silver. The results look fantastic!
Onyx says: ‘I discovered 3d printing a while back but only just purchased an eMAKER Huxley in November and spent January teaching myself CAD.’
‘One of the goals of the project is to make it open source (which it is already) and downloadable. In the vein of the reprap, approximately 80% of the system is printable, making it downloadable as well. This goal feeds the ultimate goal of the system whixch is to re-engineer music performance.’
We can’t wait to see the new units in action and are sure this will inspire a whole new wave of future-looking cyber-awesome musical creations! To keep up to date with the project check out Onyx’s blog.
Photo credit: Onyx Ashanti