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!
Our Thingsmith interviews spotlight the designer/makers that are playing an important role in the 3D printing revolution. In this series we hope to explore what motivates and inspires some of our favorite Thingsmiths.
Dr Adrian Bowyer needs little introduction. As the creator of the RepRap project he is considered the ‘Godfather’ of fabbing. His academic research at the intersection of biology and engineering led him to the idea of an open-source, self-replicating, 3D printer. Since its advent in 2005, the RepRap project has had phenomenal growth, gained international recognition and been heralded as the invention that will start the second industrial revolution. Adrian is currently a senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bath and a director of RepRap Ltd.
1. Tell us about the creation you are most proud of and what inspired it?
It’s going to have to be RepRap. It was inspired by the mutualist symbiosis between the flowers and insects. To see me rabbiting on about this nonsense look at this video for example.
2. When you embark on a new project, what’s your approach and what are your favorite tools?
My approach is to sit and stare at the ceiling, and my favourite tools are a pencil and piece of paper.
3. There’s an amazing community of makers out there; who’s work has recently impressed you?
I would not say, as I make it a principle not to comment publically on what other makers do. Because I created RepRap my comments would carry far more weight than they are worth. (Though I was very proud when my daughter Sally finished building her first RepRap machine the other day.)
4. Gazing into the future, what’s the next amazing project we should look out for?
I think the widespread uptake of home genetic engineering. Incredibly powerful, incredibly interesting, and maybe incredibly dangerous. [ed. Checkout BioCurious and this Economist article for starters].
5. Finally, at Faberdashery Towers we are fuelled by Tea, Earl Grey, Hot. What’s your tinkering tipple of choice?
From the first shot glass we made using the very first RepRap machine (currently on display in the V&A) I had a dram of Laphroaig, of which I am rather fond.
Photo credit: Adrian Bowyer.
Imagine the scenario – you and your RepRap / Makerbot are washed up on a desert island. Luckily you salvaged a laptop, car battery and a good supply of filament alongside your 3D printer. What do you print to survive? We trawled Thingiverse, for the ultimate .stl files for desert island living.
Shelter from the blazing sun? No problem! Print out the fantastic Dome Connectors by c60 grab some bamboo, and make yourself a geodesic dome. Next get hydrated with a Bottle by aubenc to collect your water, then swig it in style with Joris’ beautifully faceted low res hi quality cup. You may be stuck on a desert island but there’s no need to eat with fingers. Print yourself the essential Sporknife by freakinhuge and chow down on that mango. Finally, attract the attention of passing boats with Zaggo’s classic Whistle.
Of course, some of us would be happily stuck on a desert island with just a 3D printer . So you could always just while away the time with the awesome Chess set I by cbiffle.
What design files would you 3D print to survive?
Featured image by HeyDanielle (Flickr)