3d Printshow London

This weekend was the 3d printshow in London and I (Martyn) went down to see who was there, on the midnight coach on Friday, arriving in at 06:20!

Well there were quite a few interesting people at the show, but some really stand out ones as well.

Makerbot were there in force, I didn’t actually speak to any of the main team, but I understand Bre was there at some point.  Makerbot are quite a controversial brand at the moment given their choice to not opensource the Replicator2.

There was a very nice all-metal 3d printer from cb-printer.com – the idea here is that the printer is a tool, should be solid and well built, much like our MendelMax that we’re building.

Formlabs are perfecting the high-resolution resin-based 3d printing technologies with their very nice looking Form1 printer – with a 25 micron layer height.

Autodesk, Tinkercad and various other 3d software vendors were there, most trying to sell their solutions, which to an opensource advocate like myself, didn’t impress :-)

There were also a lot of exhibitors of artwork, jewellery etc. which even to an uncultured geek like myself were very impressive!

But the hidden gem was printrbot – Brook Drumm was there and is a really cool guy – the printrbot really is the little printer that could – all laser-cut parts, foldable, fits in a backpack and on top of that, it can run off rc car batteries for about two hours!

Of course I got really excited and printrbot is open hardware and $400 for the kit.  If I had a pot of money I’d be looking at becoming a UK distributor for it.  He also showed off his latest prototype that is is a transformer of sorts – it folds up into a suitcase!

I managed to squeeze in a visit to Star Trek London, which in comparison was a huge money making exercise.  Whilst they had a lot of famous actors there, you couldn’t get into the packed talk areas, as the people with money who had the special tickets for guaranteed seats.  £15 for an autograph… £10 for something to autograph… yeah, the yorkshireman in me was sorely disappointed.

I rounded off my visit to London with a visit to London Hackspace, which was good, although I was disappointed to not get my hackerspace passport stamped as they had no stamp and their lasercutter was out of order.

So that’s the weekend of one northern hacker in London.

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