I took my dad to the 3D printer expo and here’s what we saw

Ari Porad
October 07, 2014

On the weekend of 8/23, I took my dad to the 3D Printer World Expo. I should explain: My name is Ari Porad, I am 12 years old and I live in Seattle. I am also very into 3D printing, so I was excited to go and see all of the printers, especially the deltabots, which I had never seen in person before.

My dad doesn’t know very much about 3D printers. So, the expo was an opportunity to figure out what kind of printer would be good for a beginner like him.

makerbot-replicator-desktop-3d-printer-5th-generationFor my dad, I would get a Makerbot Replicator because it is an established company, and it is very simple to use. Also, there is not a lot to break. It prints reasonably big, and if you only use Makerbot filament it is unlikely to break.


Once my dad is a little more familiar with 3D printing, I might get him a Kossel Pro. It seems like the team at OpenBeam has spent a lot of time and energy building a high quality printer that won’t break.


Another candidate for my dad once he is a little more advanced is the Airwolf 3D. With a huge print volume and two extruders, it is really capable of printing anything. You can see in this picture that it printed a traffic cone, and my dad thought that was pretty neat.

And now, this: A photo gallery of some really cool things:

A 3D printed wrench: this was my dad’s personal favorite because he loved the potential to actually print useful things.

This was printed on one of the printers that uses SLS, or a projector that shines on light-sensitive resin, instead of a thermoplastic extruder.

We met a group of people called “Made in Space”, who built a 3D printer that is currently on the International Space Station. One possible use of the technology would be Apollo 13 in 1970, on Apollo 13 the astronauts desperately needed to fit a square air filter in a round hole. They barely made it in time and used a lot of duct tape, but if they had had a 3D printer there would not have been a problem because they could have just made the part they needed (pictured above).

This was printed on a printer THAT PRINTS IN FULL COLOR!!!!!

I have no words for this, it is just so big! So Big!

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