One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities...

One of many proposals for expanding 3D Printer facilities…

The Institute may invest in more desktop 3D Printers one day soon. Where should we put them?

When considering our Fabrication Lab, recent conversation turned to how the folks at the Makerbot store have done something quite skillful. They use a handful of inexpensive desktop printers to create an atmosphere of progress, experimentation, & technological ease.

The stores specifically get visitors excited about technology by addressing both their eyes and their ears.

From the moment you walk in, you SEE an array of machines, all printing away…

  • They’re autonomous: all seem to be moving by themselves.
  • They’re building: each at a unique stage, working on it’s own project .
  • Everywhere you browse, you lean in to see what the project looks like. It feels like an Easter Egg Hunt.

But also from the moment you pass through the front door, you HEAR all those machines, and it sounds like progress…

  • The printer has a quiet motor, which hums at unique frequencies when traveling, left, back, or up.
  • Though they’re quiet, just 6 or 8 combined have a full sound with each model contributing one voice to a chorus.
  • The combined effect is like a symphony of building “stuff.”

… Any school is wise to compose a big acquisition of desktop printers into a similar FabLab composition. If I was an incoming freshman, I would get pretty excited at the prospect of playing with all those toys…