The Future of 3D Printing is Present at the 6th Annual Maker Faire NYC

Over the weekend, the New York Hall of Science played host to the 6th annual Maker Faire. Billed as “The Greatest Show & Tell on Earth,” the Make Faire is a collection of some of the greatest thinkers, creators, and Makers from around the world. Even though I am just a 20-minute train ride from the New York Hall of Science, until this weekend, I have never had the opportunity to attend a Maker Faire. It can be somewhat overwhelming given the volume of events, speakers, activities and booths, but being immersed in this world can be really inspiring as the passion, creativity and enthusiasm are clearly palpable.

world maker faire new york 2015

As usual, 3D printing had a prominent presence at the Maker Faire, so much so that the Maker Faire had its own 3D Printing village, hosting a collection of Makers, artists and small businesses. I had the opportunity to chat with dozens of Makers about a wide variety of 3D printing related projects. From entry level machines to advanced hobbyist machines, exotic filaments to software, there was no shortage of 3D printing products to get excited about. Here are just some of the highlights:

world maker faire new york 2015 m3d micro 3D printer

Among the many highlights were printers like the M3D Micro and the XYZPrinting Nobel 1.0, two machines that make 3D printing both affordable and user friendly, albeit with two different technologies. While price has come down considerably over the years, ease-of-use has not been so quick to drop. In the case of the M3D Micro, I saw a printer that combines both incredibly well. The Nobel 1.0 is a hi-resolution SLA Printer that, at $1,500, is among the most affordable SLA 3D printers on the market. These were just two of the many printers on display that serve to lower the barrier to entry for anyone interested in 3D printing.

world maker faire new york 2015 3D printed edgar allan print

There were many artists and designers at the Maker Faire, showcasing the versatility of this technology, as well. From a crowd-sourced Edgar Allen Poe to a giant 3D printed dragon. 3D printed art was on display for all to see at the Maker Faire. I also had the opportunity to speak with designers like Aaron Trocola, who uses 3D scans to customize his fashion pieces for an exact fit.

world maker faire new york 2015 3D printed clothign design
A sample mold for Aaron’s fashion piece.

Of all the products that I had the opportunity to see, I was most excited about the Form 2 and it didn’t disappoint. The successor to the massively successful Form 1, the Form 2 improves on its predecessor in every way. The Form 2 has a larger build area, more powerful laser, automated resin fill system, and wi-fi capability, among many other improvements. It was great to watch it printing in person, and see some of the spectacular prints that it is capable of producing.

world maker faire new york 2015 form 2 3D printer

Another awesome highlight was seeing the finalists and winners of the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge. This was a design competition held by NASA and America Makes in which participants were called upon to develop architectural concepts centered around 3D printing habitats on Mars. All of the designs were innovative and made tremendous use of 3D technologies.

world maker faire new york 2015 mars habitat 3D printed

Among the 30 finalists were a variety of teams from over 20 countries. Some teams were made up of a combination of space experts, engineers, and architects; other “teams” consisted of just one person.  Another group altogether included elementary school students.

world maker faire new york 2015 3D printed mars habitat challenge

The eventual, $50,000-winner was the collection of space engineers behind the ICE HOUSE concept, which proposed to use “a unique 3D printing technique to harness the physics of water and its phase transition to construct” a habitat at the Alba Mons in Mars’ Northern Hemisphere, where water is thought to be abundant.

world maker faire new york 2015 ice house winner of 3D printed mars habitat challenge
The winning ICE HOUSE design.

In all, I had a wonderful time at my first Maker Faire and will be sure to attend next year. If you have never been, I highly recommend it, especially if you have any level of interest in 3D tech. It’s a great source of innovation and inspiration.  And giant metal robots shooting fire.

world maker faire new york 2015 giant robot