MRRF: Roundtable And Roundup

Last weekend Hackaday made a trip out to the Midwest RepRap Festival in Goshen, Indiana. We met a ton of interesting people, saw a lot of cool stuff, and managed to avoid the Amish horse and buggies plying the roads around Goshen.

We’ve already posted a few things from MRRF, including [Jordan Miller] and co.’s adventures in bioprinting, a very cool printable object repo that’s backed by a nonprofit LLC, some stuff from Lulzbot that included a new extruder, stretchy filament, and news of a 3D scanner that’s in development, ARM-based CNC controllers including the Smoothieboard and capes for the Beaglebone, 3D printed resin molds, the newest project from [Nicholas Seward], creator or the RepRap Wally, Simpson, and Lisa, and 3D printed waffles. It really was an amazing event and also the largest DIY 3D printer convention on the planet. How this happened in Goshen, Indiana is anyone’s guess, but we’d like to give a shout out to SeeMeCNC for organizing this event.

With so many famous RepRappers in one place, it only made sense to put together a round table discussion on the state of RepRap, 3D printers, and microfabrication. We have a 40-minute long video of that, which you can check out after the break.

The video above is a Q&A session with [Johnny Russell] of Ultimachine, developer for the RAMPS and RAMBo electronics boards, [Prusa] of Prusa Mendel and i3 fame, [Mike] a.k.a [Maxbots] of Maker’s Tool Works and developer of the MendelMax 2, and [Aeva], robot psychologist at Lulzbot (seriously, that’s what her card says). It’s not a lie to say these guys have had a hand in the stuff that has gone into 90% of all the RepRaps out there.

We highly suggest getting a cup of coffee and opening that video up in a new tab. There are some great comments between the four of them, and some very insightful questions from the audience. Here’s a list of the questions asked:

  • What are the economics of open source and cheap clones?
  • Where is the RepRap community going this year?
  • How should companies incentivize less glamorous projects?
  • When do we get functional mechanical parts in 3D printing?
  • What are some recommendations for subtractive manufacturing toolchains?
  • Where is RepRap popular around the world?
  • What will happen with SLS patents expiring?
  • How did you get started and how can someone new contribute?
  • Can RepRap indefinitely fend off DRM?
  • What are some recommendations for open source 3D modelling programs?

Also at the MRRF was mUVe 3D, makers of a very cool resin printer, and the only people in the RepRap community that have seen the light of coroplast for making non-structural panels on their machines. We also grabbed a video of them:

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone who came out, SeeMeCNC for putting this event together, Makers Tool Works for 3D printed waffle irons, and everybody else who headed out to Goshen for the largest convention dedicated to RepRaps in the world.

If you didn’t make it out, here’s some aerial footage courtesy of [Phil Briski] and his tiny quadcopter. Be sure to check out the 5 foot by 8 foot Jolly Wrencher flag, something we’re now considering putting in a Hackaday store. Hope to see you there next year!

9 thoughts on “MRRF: Roundtable And Roundup

  1. I’m kinda kicking myself for not going (2.5 hours away), but there is always next year. Hopefully by next year I’ll be a little more knowledgeable and would get more out of it, too.

  2. “seen the light of coroplast for making non-structural panels on their machines.”
    Coroplast is corrugated plastic. Looks like they’re just using tinted acrylic panels. Either way, nice write-up. Thanks for covering it!

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