Recently, more than 20 hobbyists and DIY Makers hosted a 3D printing demonstration at EpiCentral Coworking in downtown Colorado Springs. According to Chris Vestal, who organized the meeting, several hobbyists were building their own 3D printers at the event, while others showcased completed prototypes.
Vestal says he has already formed a company dubbed “MotoMinded” which is slated to sell plastic containers for dirt bike fuel injectors made with a 3D printer.
“I bought my own printer in January because I had an idea for this product that I will sell for $38. So far, I have made 25 of them that I have sent to professional dirt bike racers for testing, but I plan on selling them starting Sept. 16,” Vestal told Wayne Heilman who writes for the local Gazette. “I worked for General Motors as a designer for headlights and taillights, and when we wanted to make prototypes, we went to the printing team and it took an entire day to make the part with a printer that took up an entire room.”
At least two Atmel engineers attended the 3D printing event, including Steve Clark and Randy Melton. Clark told the Gazaette he was building his own 3D printer from a kit and plans to use the device to make trinkets, prototypes and replacement parts for mechanical devices. Meanwhile, Melton showcased his 3D printer in action, which he routinely tasks with making parts for his Shop-Vac.
“The printer is an Ord-Bot Hadron built from Makerslide. The electronics? Ardiuno, using Atmel’s mega2560 and the ramps driver board,” said Melton. “This is additive manufacturing that builds up layer-by-layer, which is much less wasteful that a router that starts with a block and cuts away at it. Big companies use this technology to build prototypes and hobbyists have these printers, but in five to 10 years, most consumers will have one.”
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the DIY Maker Movement has used Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap for some time now. However, 3D printing recently entered a new and exciting stage in a number of spaces including the medical sphere, architectural arena, science lab and even on the battlefield.