Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fab Lab meeting proved profitable :-)

Circumstance conspired to hold two meetings two days apart which could have been a bit of a disaster, except it wasn’t. To get the right minds thinking about the club’s sustainability has to be a good thing and much 3D printing was had by Martin who got to grips with the ‘Dimension 1200es Series 3D printer’ and Cormack who got his newly designed cup holder printed on the BCP-01, this led onto a discussion about hydroponics and the possibilities of developing a micro-system for the hobbyists; this will be followed up as part of our extra-curricular activities.

Now, after such a long time, #3DPM have got into its new office/showroom in the Farnworth indoor market and we will be kitting the place out over the next few weeks; the place looks a lot better than the bomb site we had back in January and we have Jonathan of JW Retailers to thank, for the great facilities.

There will be more about #3DPM’s focus on sustainability in the coming weeks, and it is hoped this also leads onto more business creation for our members/pioneers. Creating new businesses is one of the reasons why #3DPM exists. We have already done it and we intend to keep on doing it! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meeting No 26 is at Fab Lab (April 17th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

Two meetings in one week is a challenge, but lets see what happens :-)
Our meeting on Monday was, as usual, an excellent gathering and educationally worthwhile. We welcomed our newest pioneer James and our international fashionista Yvonne of who is visiting her family and old home town before returning to her new home in Abu Dhabi. Yvonne decided to pop in with Roger, to see our little gathering and be inspired with the potential 3D printing has to offer the fashion industry; our international connections are truly blossoming :-) Cormack was busy designing his cup holder and the guys from the South Manchester Radio and Computing Club where busy fixing their computers, Bill showed a lot promise as a future CAD professional when he took on the challenge to draw up a screw thread in sketchup; it was the plugin that conspired against his attempts, but hey its fun to have a challenge.

I have been asked to point out that 'Fab Lab' is a charity and commercial ventures are not allowed to be conducted on its premises. However, we are developing our new site in Farnworth and this will not be constrained; commercial ventures will be encouraged.

3D printing has a bright future when the infrastructure is in place to exploit it; let us hope Manchester gets organised soon, so we can catch up with the rest of the world :-)

 Image Courtesy of the Guardian
Image Courtesy of The Guardian

Friday, 4 April 2014

Next Meeting is at MadLab (April 14th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details

Plans are being put in place for MadLab to acquire its own 3D printers and CAD enabled computers in the not too distant future, rather than Mark and Keith having to lug in their own kit and risk damaging it every time a meeting is held.

This requires finding the funding. It would help the cause, if we (#3DPM) put forward some ideas to help justify it, so this will be discussed at some point; it is possible we can merge our group's needs with those of other groups.

The #3DPM club needs to become self sustaining and we have already come up with some very good ideas to make this happen.

The #3DPM club needs to begin growing its membership which is "freemium" based, and that means it is initially free to those with little money or just curious, they can turn up and have a look at what is going on; except they will have to pay for tea, coffee and biscuits if they want them.

Membership will become more formalised as we progress and it will require everybody to contribute in some way. The best way is for the club to generate an income and that means the members develop their business ideas with the clubs help to create an income for themselves; so they can pay the club and maybe make themselves a profit. This seems to be a good strategy to help us achieve our aims; and will be discussed further.

We now have a working infrastructure we can all use, we have tested and proved the concepts.
We now need more people to get involved so we can grow as an organisation.

Can you help?
If you can just let yourselves be known at our meetings
Thank you :-)

FYI: We had a fantastic reception at York and the Reebok at "The Housing, Innovation and Technology Roadshow" I hope to have more info about this soon ...

Proposed agenda for the next 'Fab Lab' meeting
(if you want to add to it, just send us an email or post a comment or say something at the MadLab meeting)

  • Ideas to justify funding for MadLab to acquire 3D printers and CAD enabled computers, and a training budget. 
  • How to make #3DPM self sustaining
  • Growing the #3DPM membership
  • Anything else?