Maker Faire NYC 2011

So I went to the Maker Faire with my project team to show off our latest Fab@Home work. Though I have followed the progression of the MAKE culture for some time, I never really participated in any of their events. I always wanted to visit a Maker Faire to participate in the combat robotics events, but never had the chance.

3D printers everywhere. The RepRap and the MakerBot really have progressed in popularity since their beginnings a few years back. I was impressed by the sheer number of emerging competitive systems that are constantly adding to the amateur 3D printer culture.

Our project boasts the ability to be more than a 3D printer. We have milling, hot foam cutting, both cold and hot extrusion, and 2D scanning on our bot. Hopefully, by developing our Fab@Home as a platform for tools rather than specializing on 3D printing, our product will appeal as the superior maker’s tool.

I’ve personally been working on displacement tools (squeezing stuff out of syringes), milling, and ice  printing. For the ice table, I basically freeze water on a plate cooled with liquid nitrogen and build up structures. The appeal of ice is its low cost to create molds/temporary models.

The Maker culture is pretty charming (see the singing seafood art car or the flame-breathing dragon). To me, it seems like a more conservative, technical version of the art displays that go on display at Burning Man (though I’ve never been to one myself so no true opinion).

As for 3D printing, I’m personally going to get into bioprinting very very soon. I want to print living cells and stack them into tissues and eventually organs. Though my bioengineer days are past me, I can’t simply abandon the appeal of growing organs from nothing. It’s some sort of Victor Frankensteinian fantasy. Cybernetic organs interlaced with electronic equipment, fully grown kidneys and livers regrown within days, biological self repairing printed living bone structures. It’s all too much. 3D printing is just way too cool.


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