Monday, 30 September 2013

Twenty First Century Manufacturing Renaissance

#3DPM the #3DPrinting network of Manchester is pioneering the early twenty first century manufacturing renaissance. Why? Because we care and want to, and we have a viable strategy to make things happen.

For too long our mealy mouthed political leaders have sold the country short, wrecking the economy by corrupting our money, buying votes with debt rather than investing in its future.  Fortunately we have been gifted with the power of the internet, and before this asset is also stripped and access denied to all but the privileged few. We will use it to liberate technology for the masses; to build a better future from the ground up.

3D Printing is doing great things and has the potential to change all our lives for the better. Together we are spreading awareness and explaining the realities of this technology; and helping our pioneering members’ gain skills and get access to 3D tools; for personal edification and if inclined to, to develop 3D printing as part of their business ventures. The future is bright, the future is 3D.  

Monday, 23 September 2013

My First's

     This is my first visit to the MadLabs and first visit to the 3D Printing network group in Manchester, but also my first ever blog entry. Sam invited me to contribute.
So bear with me while I get my head around this blogger and I will try to enter my personal views of my adventure into 3D printing and 3D modelling.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

MeetUp at MadLab Reminder! Mon 26/Sep/13

Just a quick reminder of our next meeting on Monday 26/Sep/13 and the reasons why we are doing this. Also, Sam you need to put a link/message at the top of this blog :-) for easy access to information about our events!

FYI: see

Our Operating Principles     

1. To establish regular meet-ups that share and develop interests concerning 3D printing.
2. #3DPM encourages the cross-pollination of ideas and development of expertise not bound by commercial interest.
3. To establish a modest operating fund; paid for by all members to cover costs of meeting places, communication and group projects; transparent and openly accountable to all members.
4. #3DPM seeks to bring together in one venue enough printers and resources for members to explore ideas, learn skills; and to develop the venue as a permanent 3D printing resource and local forum of exchange.
5. To actively promote #3DPM, members are encouraged to post content and links directly and indirectly related to 3D printing.
6. To develop #3DPM as a professional charitable organisation with lobbying strength to further the network aims in 3D printing.
7. Members will periodically (at least every year), democratically review #3DPM operating principles, expenses, procedures, rules, organisation, codes of practice, and other issues.

Friday, 13 September 2013

#3DPM@MadLab 9th September 2013

So another meeting rolled around, as the little summer we've had in Manchester is also drawing to a close. We started this meeting a bit late as an entrepreneurs organisation had booked the venue for a one-off 'Dragons' Den' style business pitch competition and they were running over.  So we finally got started and set-up with the help of group members old and some new - a big thank you to everyone for pitching in!

Every meeting ends up taking an interesting turn, as we get a printer or two going, set it off, and then everyone gets their laptops and imaginations out. Where the three hours goes is anyone's guess. This time, we ended up with a few milestones for the group.

Our largest cross-section of ages and backgrounds, our first sale of a 3D printer to help fund the group's long-term ambitions, and helping yet another business take-form through the group.

#3DPM'ers at it again..
The featured printer that we're providing through the group is the BCP 01 from BCP Labs.  This single head printer is one we've talked about in the past, and we've started offering this one as we're already familiar with it, and as we'll show, it'll produce results as good as any printer on the market currently.  So yes, Steve put in a deposit for an '01', duly putting in some money into our coffers, and some into those of MadLab; our illustrious hosts.  He should be getting his by the next #3DPM meeting!  More about what Steve wants to do with it later in this blog, but before that #3DPM are looking to host other printer manufacturers, so bring it! We'll offer your products too if they're good enough!

Wild Bill sits down to learn Sketchup Make!
Bill is one of our new members, who's also a member of a north west amateur radio user group. Through him, we're going to be making a 3D printing presentation in December, which has been advertised in the nationally published almanac.  Also joining us for the first time was a 10 year old from Longsight, who had dragged his father along to a 3D printer group at MadLab as he'd heard about it at school! Decades separated both Bill and our new member straight from his tea, with his father in tow; but they both took to Sketchup with aplomb.

Over the coming weeks we'll be helping build everyone's skills using 3D design software (including my own), and we'll be testing out our designs on the club's BCP 01.  This contributes towards the groups goals of skill generation.

Steve helping us through the installation of Sculptris
Steve introduced the CG software Sculptris to the group. It's the less sophisticated sister to Z-brush, but appears to be a really good piece of CGI type software to add interesting effects into sketchup.  We'd like to see whether we could put these effects and have them printed successfully. We'll let you all know over the coming weeks!

Steve's 'thing'
Steve put down a deposit for a BCP 01 so he could prototype and build more these gadgets. We were all amazed that in PLA we could get the size of overhang in one print, in one go without repeat.  The gadget is part of a larger manufactured gadget, and Steve says it was perfect!

The next meeting is on the 23rd of September 2013 at MadLab in Edge Street, Manchester. Come one and all, everyone is invited, and it's still free to come and enjoy.  Feel free to contact us, especially if you're interested in the big art project, or want to commercialise your 3D printed products!