ERRF 18: The Start of Something Great

From  on the Hackaday blog:

ERRF 18: The Start of Something Great

For years, the undisputed king of desktop 3D printing conferences has been the Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF). Hosted in the tropical paradise that is Goshen, Indiana, MRRF has been running largely unopposed for the top spot since its inception. There are other conferences focused on the industrial and professional end of the 3D printing spectrum, and of course you’d find a Prusa or two popping up at more or less any hacker con; but MRRF is focused on exploring what the individual is capable of once they can manifest physical objects from molten plastic.

But on June 23rd, 2018, MRRF finally got some proper competition. As the name might indicate, the East Coast RepRap Festival (ERRF) is an event very much inspired by its Hoosier State predecessor. Held in Bel Air, Maryland, hackers on the right side of the United States for the first time had the opportunity to attended a true 3D printing festival without having to get on a plane. Not to say it was a neighborhood block party; people from all over the country, and indeed the globe, descended on the APG Federal Credit Union Arena for the two-day celebration of everything plastic.

This inaugural ERRF was, to put it mildly, a massive success. A couple of Hackaday Field Agents were in attendance, and we definitely came away impressed with the event considering it was the first attempt. We saw evidence that the RepRap dream of printable printers is still going strong, a gaggle of new printers and products that will be prying at your wallet this year, and an American-made hotend that challenges traditional wisdom. Of course we also saw a huge number of 3D printing fanatics who were eager to show off their latest creations.

We have no doubt that ERRF will return again next year, but until then, you’ll have to settle for the following collection of selected highlights from this year’s show.

We’re no strangers to the work [David Shorey] has been doing with 3D printing on fabric, but it’s always awesome to see up close. The concept here is actually quite simple: pause the print after a few layers, pull a piece of tulle (the kind of thing bridal veils are made of) tight over the bed, and then let the print finish. The fabric is caught between the layers of the print, and as long as you aren’t too rough with it, will hold together quite nicely.

[David] wasn’t the only person to have this idea, but he certainly seems to be on the forefront of perfecting it. Perhaps the most interesting element of this technique is that essentially anyone with a 3D printer and a nearby fabric store can try their hand at it.

 

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Review: SMD Tweezer Meter or Tweezer Probes For Your Multimeter?

It’s remarkable how tiny electronics have become. Heaven knows what an old-timer whose experience started with tubes must think, to go from solder tags to SMD in a lifetime is some journey. Even the generation that started with discrete transistors has lived through an incredible shift. But it’s true, SMD components are tiny, and that…

via Review: SMD Tweezer Meter or Tweezer Probes For Your Multimeter? — Hackaday

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Hackaday Superconference: Tickets and Proposal

Get your tickets now for the 2018 Hackaday Superconference. Join us November 2nd-4th in Pasadena, California! This is the ultimate hardware conference. Hackers, designers, and engineers from all over the world converge — from the greenest beginners to those who have made history with their designs. This is the Hackaday community, these are your people,…

via Hackaday Superconference: Tickets and Proposals — Hackaday

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Open Source DIY Printers are Alive and Well: What We Saw At ERRF 2018

If you follow the desktop 3D printer market, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that nearly every 3D printer on display at the inaugural East Coast RepRap Festival (ERRF) was made in China. Even Printrbot CEO Brook Drumm had to admit that this was the year his company may finally bite the bullet and begin selling a branded and customized printer built overseas.

When you can get a decent (but let’s be clear, not great) 3D printer for $200 USD, it’s no surprise that American and European manufacturers are having a hard time staying competitive. But not everyone is seduced by low-cost printers. They know they could buy a decent printer for a couple hundred bucks, but for them that’s not the point. Some hackers are just as (if not more) interested in designing and building the machines than they are churning out little plastic boats with the finished product.

Luckily for us, these are also the type of folks who document their builds and make all their collected information and design files available for others under an open source license. Such builders exemplify the true spirit of the RepRap movement, and we’re happy to report that in a sea of imported printers, there were several interesting home built open source printers.

Whether you want to build your own copy of one of these machines, or simply get inspired by some of the ideas their creators had, these machines are physical proof that just because you can order a cheap 3D printer on eBay right now doesn’t mean you have to.

via Open Source DIY Printers are Alive and Well: What We Saw At ERRF 18 — Hackaday

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