Before I get into the class wrap-up, I want to give a huge thanks to Matt Walker for providing us with such an incredible space to host our class and treating us so well while we were there. Walker took care of all the facilities arrangements and made sure all we needed to bring was our gear. He even bought pizza and beer for everyone that came to keep the ball rolling.
With that out of the way, the class was a huge success! Mechazone, Brownnoize, and I were blown away by the turnout and support. Everybody that came learned about the technology and what we do and left with a cool robot toy, and I couldn't ask for more. I wrote a huge post about the class on my site at PrometheusRising.net, but I'll post some highlights here. I stole most of the pics from the Monster Kolor Flickr stream posted above anyway, so it's only fair that I put them to use.
Participants of the class got to chose from a number of designs between the three hosts, and then we produced their toys live on our 3D printers. Shown above are Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries Units 1 and 2 gearing up to make some toys.
I brought my two UP Mini printers, and David and Sanjeev both brought their Afinia-H series printers. The two models are something of cousins, produced by the same manufacturers in China and sharing many components, but distributed by two different companies stateside. Everything went off without a hitch and the printers happily cranked out eight finished toys in the span of a few short hours.
While the printers were chugging away the three of us gave our talks about the process and why we do what we do. I may have been the first of our little Boston-area creative collective to start using a home-level 3D printer to make finished toys, but I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and support of these two plastic masters. Pictured from left to right: Mechazone (David), me, and Brownnoize (Sanjeev).
Once the printers had completed their runs, we had to clean up the parts before assembly and acetone vapor bath (AVB) treatment. Sanjeev, David, and I have met up plenty of times to talk shop, but it’s still always interesting to me to see the different ways we each do things given similar tools and materials.
By now Instagram is chock-full of great shots of the toys people had printed at the class. Be sure to check out the hashtag #FutureFactory for more 3D printed mecha action like the shots above, shamelessly taken from some of my buds’ feeds. Shown above are Brownnoize’s Shogun Voyagers in black, lime green, and red, PRHI Bounce Tortoise and Stalking Toad in gray, and Mechazone’s Hammerhead up front in green and black. The three of us have been working together on this class for months and bounce design advice off each other constantly, but I love how diverse and distinctive our toys’ styles are.
In addition to toys printed live, each of us brought a whole mess of finished toys for sale. Above is the Prometheus Rising Heavy Industries spread, with a six inch Iron Man figure that snuck in there for scale. Featured are DX Bounce Tortoises and Strike Tortoises, Mini Bounce Tortoises, Stalking Toads, and Gun Drones, Micro BTs, STs, and GDs, and some Allarounds for good measure. Oh, and those two big meaty Blockmen in the middle, not for sale but present to show off the current state of that project. I didn’t get good shots of Sanjeev and David’s spreads, but you can catch glimpses of them in all the photos above. The two of them brought some incredible heat, showing off how much could be done with different color plastics, rather than my fully painted approach. Leftovers from the show will be available soon on the Monster Kolor web shop, and I will be sure to post pics when they go live.
I think that about does it. The class was a huge success and we were so happy with the turnout and enthusiasm people brought. Our goal was to de-mystify some of what we’ve been doing to encourage more people to look at 3D printing for their toy making ideas, and to make sure everybody left with at least one slick new robot toy. The first Future Factory was an incredible time, and there will certainly be more in the future. I want to thanks Sanjeev and David for their hard work bringing this show together, and to Matt Walker for providing us such an incredible space to show off what we do.
Oh snaps...me--posting again on MK! You guys done dragged me out the woodwork!
Yeah, for real, the class was hot. I think everyone had a good time--ourselves included! And ultimately, I think we were successful at demonstrating that 3D printing is about 60% passion for the Japanese robot toy aesthetic, 30% dedication to one's creativity, 8% literal blood, sweat, and tears...and maybe 2% some machine creating a pile of plastic bits. Those bits, of course, destined to be painstakingly hand-finished and assembled into one's vision of a good, fun toy!
There's really not much else I have to add that Ben hasn't already said. I'm extremely encouraged by the overwhelming response from so many folks! There will most definitely be more of these events as we strive to make ourselves and everything we learn and discover available to anyone out there interested in doing more with their printers. Much, much more...