On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 around 12 people gathered outside the Maker Lab in the River Market, New Westminster, to take part in the second Innovation Series session entitled “3D Printing ad Scanning: Possibilities and Limitations.” The session tackled the emerging world of 3D printing. Directed mostly at novices, those with no experience working with 3D printers, or those who wanted to think about how 3D printers might shape the future, this workshop took participants through the main conversations about 3D printing. While we didn’t have time to print individual projects, participants were encouraged to bring their ideas, questions, or prototypes and discuss their potential. In the end, the workshop offered abroad overview of 3D printing, leaving participants well-equipped with information and context within which they might better understand how 3D printing might apply to them.
The session was led by David N. Wright and Cora Fanucchi of the Douglas College Digital Cultures Lab and began with an overview of the equipment on hand at the lab and a recap of our most recent research directions. Luckily, after this brief overview, the participants all jumped in with their questions and the session went forward on its own trajectory. Highlights included a participant who brought in a 3D print of himself (using talcum powder and a crazy glue-like substance as filament) and some interesting queries about the possibilities for printing biological products in the future. In short, the participants came prepared and it was great to engage with questions both about the future of 3D printing technologies and the possibilities the confront us at the stage 3D printing is in now.
Soon after the question and answer session wrapped up, participants moved into the Maker Lab wherein they meandered around the machinery thinking about other modes of representation and the potential fun of 3D printing tactile objects. Cora did a 3D scan for all to see and we got all the machines up and running so that participants could see for themselves how the equipment worked.
The last forty-five minutes in the lab was the best part, with participants sharing tip and tricks, asking questions, and reacting with delight seeing and hearing things working. In short, for those in attendance, it was a great Tuesday night!
Our next session, on June 16, 2015, is about Working with Academics – a session that will combine elements of our first two workshops through a discussion about what it’s like to engage Colleges and Faculty in research and development projects for local SMEs and entrepreneurs. We’re looking forward to it!