3D Printing at the Rather Useful Seminar


Una getting star billing

Some time back I rather rashly promised to bring my 3D printer in for a Rather Useful Seminar. Well, today was that day. The weather was horrible. Just the kind of torrential downpour in which you want to carry your high precision printing device. Partly made of wood.

Anyhoo, thanks to help from Adam, a blue Ikea carrier bag (just about a perfect fit) and a big bin liner I managed to get Una the Ultimaker into the lecture theatre and so I started the seminar. As usual I’d prepared a slide deck and so I stated working through the background to 3D printing, talking about the different technologies and how they worked. Then I glanced at the audience. Nobody was looking at me. They were all staring transfixed at Una, who was sitting on the bench doing nothing.

So, that was that. It was straight over to the PC, draw something in Sketchup (a really great, free program), export it to an STL file, slice it with Cura and then get Una printing.

People love watching 3D printers do their stuff. In a world where pretty much everything has been made “Ho Hum” by technology there is something rather magical about a device that makes something appear from nothing. Una behaved herself very well. Once she’d printed the silly design I’d made in Sketchup we went on to print a tiny rocket, and she handled that with aplomb. Then it was back into the bag for the trip home. I’ve just unpacked her and she seems none the worse for the trip out.

I really like this device. It is well thought out and works a treat. And everyone seemed to really enjoy seeing her in action. I’ve put my slides on the Rather Useful Seminars site, but you would probably learn more by just searching YouTube for videos of Ultimakers…