Two Weeks Until The Greatest 3D Printer Meetup On The Planet

Every year, sometime in March, the world’s preeminent 3D printing enthusiasts gather in the middle of nowhere This is MRRF, the Midwest RepRap Festival. It’s only two weeks away. You need to come. Get your (free) tickets here. I’ll be there, and Hackaday is proud to once again sponsor the festival.

I need to backtrack a bit to explain why MRRF is so great. I go to a lot of cons. Maker Faire is getting old, CES was a horror show. Even DEF CON is losing its charm, and all of these cons have the same problem: there are too many people. MRRF does not have this problem. For one weekend a year, everyone who is anyone in the 3D printing world makes it out to the middle of Indiana. This is a small meetup, but that’s what makes it great. It’s a bunch of dorks dorking around for an entire weekend.

If that’s not enough to convince you, take a look at the previous coverage Hackaday has done from MRRF. The PartDaddy, an 18-foot-tall 3D printer will be there. The world’s largest 3D printed trash can will not. Prusa is coming in from Prague, E3D is coming in from England. Judging from past years, this is where the latest advancements in home 3D printing first appear. This is not an event to miss.

You might be wondering why the world’s greatest 3D printer festival is in the middle of nowhere. Goshen, Indiana is the home of SeeMeCNC, builders of the fantastic Rostock Max 3D delta bot. MRRF is hosted by the SeeMeCNC guys. If you’re exceptionally lucky, you’ll get to go over to the shop and see a demo of their milling machine that cools parts by ablation.

17 thoughts on “Two Weeks Until The Greatest 3D Printer Meetup On The Planet

  1. I’ve got my ticket, I’ve got my slinky, tomorrow I find out if I’ve got the time off!
    The article mentions the Rostock Max 3D printer, but what are peoples thoughts on the H2 delta that SeeMeCNC is offering to help build at the fest? am I going to wish I had the 5 hours open for presentations? Is the printer any good? Will I learn invaluable knowledge that I can take back to my job as a high-school hardware tech?
    I’m trying hard to justify buying my own 3D printer, and this may be a good excuse.

    1. I’ve been playing with a Prusa Ei3 for the past couple weeks. Building from a kit not only saves a bundle (@ 160$), but also forces you to really get to know the machine. So far I have some lovely 10mm cubes, and I am looking forward to getting some decent PLA to do more complex stuff with. The stuff that came in the kit seems to have inconsistencies that cause jams.

      Cheap gear may not get the results of high end gear, but it is a cheap way to get your feet wet.

  2. It is cold weather, I can’t be there despite only 8 hrs away.

    The Apple came from a garage. I suggest a study of that design, specifically state machines. Your problems are the same. In their case they had a video refresh to accomplish and used this for for dynamic ram refresh as well. Brilliant! One function replaces two. Color display came from a genius approach to minor phase timing changes determined within the same circuits by simple bit changes with a compromise on only 16 colors available to display, but could have expanded the color range easily with memory available today. Today we can do so much more with the same design concepts.

    The disk interface card was the real gem of sheer elegance that cut component count 10x, purely a state machine, no processor other than for gross commands. But engineering took time as a result, thankfully he wasn’t dating…. but cost to parts count and mfg was cut to bare bones and gave a level of engineering and speed of control difficult to exceed in any other way than a whole ‘nother dedicated processor. Right now you throw processing power and some poor sap programmer at it. In case you still need help… this is your temperature and feed rate control.

    Temperature control is a huge issue, as well as travel rate and feed rate. Every item shouts state machine to me but everybody throws code and processor at it when we could have state machines of ungoshly input feedback should we need, but just bits doing that all for us. Code is as good as the author… states are explicit, known, 100% predictable physics that no bad line of code can screw with, and leave a known state with only minor variation input already predicable. You read all that now and busy the processor with calculations beyond possible to code or speed to handle. It is harder to build a state machine, but more sure. Easier to revise as well. Components nowadays can support discreet state machines far beyond what our Apple boys had.

    Finders fees accepted gladly.

    … but…. all I want is a product that beats out the old erector set for usability and functionality. Building a good R/C glider using an erector set is honestly dang difficult. Next jump forward is in your hands. I am saying the boys that did the Apple computer are the ones to follow. It’s directly applicable to this problem.

  3. I will not be there, but my baby will be, probably.
    Michael is going to be showing off the Zesty Nimble and I am so happy that he is willing to do that.
    Hopefully I will be there next year.
    High fives to everybody who is going. I am jealous!

  4. I wish my EV car was one of the new 200+ mile range ones rather than 100 mile range so I could hop along to Indiana from my home in Nebraska, sleep in my car, geek out at the con, and then drive home, hopping along between fast chargers. I don’t have a lot of money but I’ve got books to read and it sure would be a blast. I hope that those who do get there have a great time. :-) I’ll get that 200+ mile EV in a year or so when my lease on my Nissan LEAF reaches an end. I love that car but more range would be nice, at least enough to make it between fast chargers. Its percolation theory, too short of a jump and you can’t go anywhere. Far enough and you can go everywhere. :-)

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