3DEA open house (the place where dreams get unsettled). Oh, and a Makerbot!


I’ve been fascinated by 3d printing technology for some time, but the tipping point was reached for me when I visited the 3DEA open house in NYC after getting the heads up from a coworker.  I went a few times in fact and picked up the Make magazine “Ultimate Guide to 3d Printing” issue, something that deserves a post of its own.  I also took a 3d modelling/design class with my wife on my third visit, something that was memorable because I was with my wife. ‘Nuff said about that.

Here’s an Ultimaker printing out one of the little robots in PLA.

First off, no, I still can’t figure out who or what 3DEA is.  They seemed to be sponsored by (or partnered with)  Ultimaker, UP! (the printer company, not the movie), solidoodle Make magazine and who knows who else, but specifically what their angle is remains unclear to me.  That said, they put on a good show and succeeded in piquing my interest, which seemed to be the point.

With a bank of Ultimakers…
Bank of Ultimakers






Various exotically printed goods one could order (ceramic!)…

3d printed ceramics








And the ability to scan your own face, head, full body or even your junk (one assumes that is what the sexy, by-appointment-only scanning visits were for)…creepy 3d printed faces






These folks were evangelizing on behalf of the make-all-your-stuff-at-home! revolution like nobody’s business.

No you can’t go there, it seems to have finally ended today (although they shut down and came back to life several times already, so… keep checking back?), but you can go to the Makerbot store in NoHo. It’s not quite the carnival of inexplicable creativity the 3DEA open house was, but on the upside, you could walk out of the store with a 3d printer that is about as close as they come to plug-n-play as one can get at this juncture.

Here’s a Replicator 2 printing a thin plastic bracelet that is stretchy not because of the material (which is the standard, slightly brittle PLA often used by these beasties), but because of the elaborate springy design. I know you need hundreds of these in every color, and what else are you going to do? Buy them?

2 thoughts on “3DEA open house (the place where dreams get unsettled). Oh, and a Makerbot!”

  1. Hey 8

    I’m already a big fan. Looking forward to your future issues/editions, whatever they’re called in the blogosphere. As I live in the world of subtractive manufacturing, I’m as interested as you in 3D printing. Can’t wait to produce products using printers rather than $1m machine tools. Waste elimination alone will be paradigmic. Is that a real word?

    Good luck


    1. I tried my best to disallow comments from any visitors fitting the profile of a T-Bone, but apparently don’t have this whole WordPress thing figured out (like I need to say that). Since I failed… Thanks for your comment! If this reply is successful then it seems I have also failed in prohibiting myself from replying to replies.

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