Last May Autodesk and a whole host of tech companies – including HP and Stratasys – sponsored a 3D printing road trip with writer TJ McCue. The journey started at San Francisco’s Bay Area Maker Faire and is scheduled to last eight months with over a hundred stops along the way.
The purpose of McCue’s RV tour is to seek out the stories of creative and inspired Americans and how they are using 3D printing to change the way that products are created and manufactured.
“There’s innovation happening in all corners of the country that can shed light on where the future of making things is headed,” explained Autodesk senior VP Amar Hanspal “This tour is right in line with our aim to help everyone design and make anything they can imagine.”
So far — 80 days in — McCue has travelled over 5,000 miles and made almost 40 stops visiting a diverse group of businesses, artists, scientists and makers. He’s been blogging his entire journey so and met some of 3D printing’s most innovative and creative users.
Some of McCue’s more interesting stops were a visit with a company that is developing technology to charge your cell phone with foot power, a tour of special effects studio Legacy FX’s amazing facility, and a fantastic stop in Portland to find out how 3D modelling and 3D visualization helped replace one of their many outdated bridges.
The tour isn’t even to the halfway point, and has over 50 more stops before calling it quits in early 2015. The tour’s upcoming stops include a visit to General Electric, the Rhode Island School of Design, and a tour of the MakerBot Innovation Center. Personally I’m looking forward to his stop to 3D scan the Statue of Liberty so everyone can have a digital model of Lady Liberty herself.
You can keep up with the progress of the 3DRV tour on the blog. If you want to be part of the 3DRV tour or have a great idea for a stop for them just tweet them using the #3DRV hashtag. And if you’re going to be at any of the tour’s future stops make sure that you stop by and say hi.