I am writing this post as I sit in the Yorkshire House (and then later as I edit and add to it at home) in Lancaster after just attending the North West England Perl Mongers meeting in which two wonderful makers(2) demonstrated their 3D printer at the Shadowcat offices.
The two people in question are the wonderful theorbtwo (James Mastros) and huggable Castaway (Jess Robinson).(3) They have a fork of the RepRap machine (in fact this is a Shaper Cube variant), done in a shiny aluminum, which they are using to make items are also buildings a service so that you can upload and create items and they will ship it to you, cottage industry for the 21st century.
I am not going to talk too much about the presentation here as there was a video and as soon as that is processed there will be a link to it, there are a few pictures though and you can view them below. The night was cool, with Jess and James (who spoke the most) giving an interesting and informative introduction to the 3D printing world, the device they use and its evolution and the software they manipulate it with. They then spoke about how they are building a web service (link to be provided when I have one ;) )to order custom one-off items on, then the fun part where we got a hands on practical demonstration.
(Please click on a picture to view a larger version -Very large versions are also available-)
(1) For the unitiated a Nerpie is a word I created and have been using to describe an enthusiast about something. Their enthusiasm seems like obsession of the true nerd kind, but in fact it is not. They attend conventions and indulge in passions and they may be individual and dress up occasionally in costumes at dress balls. But they don’t walk around the convention as their favourite character for the entire time. They have memorabilia but it is on a shelf gathering dust not categorised and kept unloved and unplanned with in it s original package. They are not OCD enough to care that they know every detail of something, but they like to know a heck of a lot more than the general shape. These are the nerpies and their numbers are vast.
(2) I call them makers but they are boffins at heart, they are the gentle, loveable crackpots who emerge from sheds blinking into the light giggling and holding a floating car being driven by the cat. They are our Wallis’s, Babbages and Turings, embrace them as they murble gently at you, they are going to shape the future.
(3) you can of course interchange those adjectives.