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chrisw

Maker Faire in San Francisco May 20-22, 2016

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Yes, we're there!

 

For a couple of good reasons, it was difficult finding the real Ultimaker display. First off, there were several other companies scattered around the Faire, each running multiple UMs. And secondly: the real UM area was swamped with people asking questions. So I got to be there and talk for a few mins, but yielded to the wave of customers.

Overall I think I counted about a dozen UMs at other vendors. Second most popular and most spread-around were Printrbots. They were a close second.

Aleph Objects was right across from UM and I was glad to check out the newly released Lulzbot Taz 6. While watching one printing right there at the show I was having flashbacks to the Lulzbot Mini that had spent a few days at my house last year (before I shipped it back to Amazon for a refund). Both the Mini and this brand new Taz 6 would print layers that did not line up directly on top of each other. Maybe I'm spoiled by my UM2s, but my eyes homed in on that as soon as they got past the pretty octopus graphics that's printed on the machine case.

So that seems to be the Lulzbot Achilles heel, spread across multiple versions: X/Y accuracy is not great. To be fair, there were two machines printing at the time. One didn't have this obvious issue, so maybe it's not universal among Taz's, but it's very frequent.

UM still has its own Achilles heel IMO: the feeder. There was a 2+ underextruding while printing a large vase. The flat base layers were solid, but the walls were about 1 CM tall so far and missing about 1/4 of the material. It was silver PLA, which has not always been the best flowing for me, but still... It's the 2+ with the new feeder which is supposed to be the fix. I'm still happy that I bought a pair of Bondtechs, and honestly still feeling like there are no better 3DP machines I could have picked. UM2s are awesome.

I was wanting to learn about tiny computers and how to make my own little robots for automation of tasks. That was one of the reasons for my attendance at Maker Faire. But I came away overwhelmed by options. All I see are little green or red boards with chips on them. All manufacturers of boards like Rasberry Pi, Arduino, Beagle Board have supporters saying they're the best.

One day was not nearly enough for attending this show. Next year if I can, I'll do the whole weekend instead of a Sunday.

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Friday was much less crowded. I recommend going Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the most crowded as there is a family discount.

I'm bummed I didn't get to meet you. I was there all 3 days. I posted on the forums asking if anyone was going to please contact me but no one did. :(

Still I met hundreds of people but very few from the forums.

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Hi @ChrisW, did you talk to any of the UM crew members?

I was there as well, but I don't believe we met, did we?

I'm not sure if the show was open for regular guests on Friday. I believe it was more a press / educator's day. Check that out before you go, but you still have some time to check that out ;)

About the under extrusion, overall all machines were working quite well but there were a few that showed some signs of under extrusion. This was probably due to the draft coming from those huge hangar doors which were open next to our booth. I battled it by increasing temp on each print 223ºC instead of the default 210ºC. This worked best in my experience. But default it automatically started at 210ºC. Perhaps someone started a print, heated bed needed to heat up, someone asked a question and the temp was never altered.

I hope you had a great time, I certainly did. I love going to the Maker Faires, and Bay Area is one of my favorites! (but sooooooo busy!!:p)

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Hi @ChrisW, did you talk to any of the UM crew members?

I was there as well, but I don't believe we met, did we?

 

I talked with a UM dealer from Canada. I want to say his name but I'm afraid I'll butcher the spelling. It sounded like Nietzsche. The UM booth area was flooded with potential customers who were being helped by the UM crew members, so I just admired the Z-unlimited setup and moved on.

I had no idea how much variety would be at the Faire. Yes I enjoyed it immensely. Toward the day's end my brain was both shot and alive with ideas from all the creations I'd seen.

I'm sure I'll be at another of these events. Next time I'll allocate more than 1 day and we'll be more likely to meet :)

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We often invite @Valcrow (Jack) and Ken to our shows and they recently became resellers in Canada. Perhaps you spoke with them?

You probably know @Valcrow from some awesome projects like the lightsaber, the steampunk iron man prosthetic, Ducati superbike and much more!

You should come again next year :) And definitely more then 1 day! :p

.. AND come over and actually say hi! :D

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