I took my Ultimaker to BOTACON 0 (the first BOTACON of, I’m sure, many BOTACON’s to come!). There, I was giving a talk on the collaborative ecosystem that is emerging around digital fabrication. Bre Pettis and his Makerbot colleagues have given me ample opportunity to demonstrate the Ultimaker, which many people were seriously impressed by.
What I really liked about Botacon was the diversity of the talks. Some were about the development process, 3D printable transistors and OLEDs, the age of matter compilers, what it means for children to grow up with 3D printers, how to print intriguing shapes based on math and parametric design, how we can still define the word ‘robot’,¬†anthropomorphizing¬†robots, paint bots, etc. etc. There were many more talks that had a serious impact, together making it into a hugely¬†successful¬†event.
Above is a graph taken from my¬†research (PDF) into the viability of open source hardware.
Some more photo’s in this gallery:
Many people stayed around until after the conference, allowing people that knew each other to also meet face-to-face. After the conference I’ve been hacking another extruder onto my Ultimaker at the awesome and renowned Hackerspace “New York City Resistor”, where there are always nice people around that are doing the most interesting projects.
Now I’m off to Boston, where I’ll be visiting my friend Mako and visiting the MIT Media-lab’s FabLab, where Ilan Moyer studies. Ilan, who was also speaking at BOTACON, is one of the developers of the Fab-In-A-Box, which has been an important inspiration for the Ultimaker’s XY positioning. Most other open source 3D printing bots have serial kinematics, which in some cases requires motors to be part of the moving mass. The Bowden cable concept, inspired by Ed Sells and further developed by myself, allows even less moving mass because the extruder can extremely light. The extremely low moving mass of the Ultimaker and Fab-In-A-Box allows these machines to move much more rapidly. This has been key to allowing it to print at 150 mm/s, while the default at which many people are currently printing is 33 mm/s.
L. Rodrigues, one of the 3D printer fanatics at the scene, made a nice movie at Botacon 0 that features the Ultimaker: