On the subject of Why-To 3D print, in a media atmosphere where the many wonders and marvels of 3D printing are broadcast to a global audience almost daily, many media commentators give their explanations of just why their audience do not need a 3D printer, others enthuse as to just what will come of the trend and how best to jump on board. In the US, 3DPHACKTORY are to host an event looking at the Why-To’s for business applications, with their ‘3D Printing Workshop & Open House – How and Why to Design for Advanced Additive Manufacturing‘ event.
Of late, in a number of articles I have iterated that desktop 3D printing and industrial 3D printing are not one and the same. My motivation for this has been receiving questions and noting statements on forums and websites whereby some with a general interest in 3D printing demonstrates thinking in terms of how we now have desktop devices that can bioprint livers or produce industrial quality parts. The former popular term of rapid prototyping still swims around in the terminology, as does additive manufacturing, the standardised term for making things by sticking bits together in generally high energy manufacturing processes.
There’s no con here, noone is trying to sell $200 desktop printers and claiming they are able to manufacture space shuttle parts. There maybe one too many ‘just like the Star Trek replicator’ marketing statements though, and we 3D printing journalists have found ourselves caught up in the enthusing too in the past few years. 3D printing has caught the imagination of many, from industry, to makers, to the person on the street. The technologies involved really do offer amazing opportunities in a host of guises, from downloading free models from a range of 100,000’s now available online for your 3D printer at home, to the industrial ramifications, to the manufacturing skills and educational opportunities now embraced by political establishments, and a host of minor and major revolutions in various commercial sectors, from aerospace to fashion and regenerative medicine to housewares.
This is nothing wholly unique to 3D printing. The Internet, social media and smartphones etc have helped spread the news quickly as many new technologies have undergone a period of ‘what is it, what does it do, what does it mean for me?’ Amidst all this, the need for explanations of the benefits of engaging, how it all works, and what bits are relevant to you – whether as a business, an institution, a designer, a consumer, an individual – are pertinent.
Whilst seven billion people will not be dropping their daily routine of making ends meet to attend local events about 3D printing, those for whom this set of technologies effect the most directly will be interested in disrupting their routine a few times for those technologies set to, well, disrupt their daily routine.
One such event is to be hosted on Wednesday this week over in Toronto, Ontario, USA. by 3DPHACKTORY, at 1134 Dundas Street East, M4M 1S1. 3DPHACKTORY put it this way:
‘We all know by now 3D printing has the potential to help us and our business, but how and where for each specific company is a much more involved inquest. That’s why we’re extending the invitation to come meet the people and processes to help you answer these questions. Industrial designers, Engineers, Inventors, Artists and anyone interested won’t leave here without having gained valuable information and the ability to use it. The talent is local (you), the technology is local (us), so please join us for an informative evening and exchange of ideas at 3DPhacktory.’
I’ll leave you with the following video by 3DPHACTORY which tells the tale of Computer Aided Design, an Objet Connex 500 Polyjet 3D printer and a ‘lil robot, that looks rather like a cross between a Futurama character and Johnny Five from the Short Circuit movies, to give you a taste of what you are going to be getting at the event. And indeed, perhaps some outline ideas for when you host your own local event for your 3D printing business?