If you're one of the millions who play Minecraft, then you know that the annual MineCon is a HUGE deal! This year, the 7,500 tickets sold out in under 1 minute! The producers of the event reached out to our friends at FamiLab and asked them to help curate a Maker's Village area what would help bring elements of the video game into the real world.
The Maker's Village area was over 6,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on displays. It include Raspberry Pi controlled blocks that changed color depending on what you were standing on in the video game, animatronics, a three-sided mural, paper crafting and, of course, 3D printing.
We brought 2 DeltaMaker printers to the event and were continuously printing Minecraft characters for use on the landscape table created for the event. We printed pigs, endermen, creepers and more to help fill the interactive world with characters!
The FamiLab time lapse camera was positioned right over our heads and shows the magnitude of the event. The video below is from our Saturday experience. As you can see, it was quite an incredible day!
October has been filled with sharing of ideas and experiences.
We started the month with the second annual Orlando Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, October 5. This year, Orlando Mini Maker Faire partnered with the Orlando Science Center to produce an event where local makers could show off what they were making and share what they were learning. We interacted with over 3,000 attendees and saw some incredible projects and inventions!
On October 12 TEDxOrlando invited us to participate in their third annual event. The crowd of 300 included some of the most brilliant minds of our community and the talks were equally engaging.
Some of the ideas that were shared included a new concept for standardized testing, the power of a name, and a mother’s battle to change the world of pediatric cancer treatments.
We've got two incredible exhibition opportunities lined up for November! Check back soon for photos and a recap!
We are pleased to announce that the DeltaMaker 3D Printer will be on display at the Orlando Mini-Maker Faire on October 5, at the Orlando Science Center.
More information is available at the Maker Faire website at: www.makerfaireorlando.com
If you are new to the world of personal 3D printing, you may be wondering what software you will need to print 3D objects. In this post I will give a brief overview of the software that we use to operate the DeltaMaker. This software may be downloaded for free, and is easy to install on your computer.
To help explain the function of this software, let’s first review the steps that are involved in printing a 3D object. There are 4 basic steps in this process.
1. Creating or Downloading 3D Objects
2. Selecting Printing Options
3. Slicing the Object
4. Printing the Object
Creating or Downloading 3D Objects
The first step in the process is to obtain a 3D model of the object you wish to print on your 3D printer. You may either create the model yourself, or download a model from a variety of websites (such as thingiverse.com). The standard model file format for 3D printers is an STL file. Most 3D modeling or sculpting programs are capable of exporting your models in the STL file format. Likewise, most websites where you may download 3D objects provide them in this format. Please be sure that the 3D model you wish to print is available in the STL format before you proceed to the following steps.
Before you begin the next step, you will need to download and install the 3D printer software on your computer. The software that we are using is called Repetier Host, and it may be downloaded from www.repetier.com -- a versions of this software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Selecting Printing Options
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out MakieLab. They recently launched an iPad app to let you design your own toy (a doll), have it 3D printed, then delivered to you. This brought me back to a theme that I think will be significant in 3D printing moving forward -- building interactive experiences.
MakieLab is a great example of additive manufacturing as an enabling technology. The end consumer doesn’t care how the dolls get made, 3D printing just happens to be the process that can turn a one-off custom design around quickly. This isn’t an example of consumers adopting 3D printing, it’s an example of smart people finding a way to use 3D printing to provide a service not otherwise possible. The user is interacting with the process (creating the design), but how the object is made is abstracted from the user.
I think 3D printing will start to augment interactive entertainment, but in a more direct way than hitting the “buy now” button to have your meticulously curated video game avatar shipped to your house in 3 days. Personal 3D printing will...
Those of you who have read our bios know that we each hold degrees in various engineering disciplines. We’ve also each held jobs with defense contractors and/or Fortune 500 companies. This can only mean one thing….
WE LOVE ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS!
Because acronyms and abbreviations are extremely commonplace in our workplace, it is easy to forget that the world is not comprised entirely of graphing calculator toting geeks. Of the four of us, I’m probably the weakest technically. That makes me the one most likely to speak out on behalf of the “normal guy” and make sure that we make decisions that help to further our credibility in the eyes of the general public, not just the tech-literate elite.
I will be writing a series of posts that try to cut through the technical mumbo-jumbo of engineer speak to parlay what 3D printing means to the family man who is more apt to know how long to set the microwave to cook dinner rather than how the microwave actually works.
This post will be constrained to a 30,000-foot overview of 3D printing, familiarizing everyone with some basic concepts and a few definitions laying a basic foundation for future posts. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
By now, most people have computer printers in their homes and/or their offices. While very few of us care to really understand the intricacies of how they work, we’ve come to rely on them as a consistent and efficient way to reproduce information. We use them to print birthday invitations. We use them to print out directions to a relative’s home. We use them to print out coupons for a local sale. We don’t give them much thought. They are just there and they just work (at least, most...