Highlights of the Maker Faire Paris
This weekend marked France’s first Maker Faire, the Maker Faire Paris. The event took place from June 21 – 22 at the Centquatre, a public cultural centre located in the 19th arrondissement of the French capital. The organizer kindly made two press passes available to us such that we really didn’t have an excuse not to attend.
While we have been visiting various 3D printing events in the past, we had not yet been to a Maker Faire. Accordingly, we were curious to discover the Maker Faire phenomenon first hand and truth to be told, we were not disappointed!
What is a Maker Faire?
A Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine to „celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset“. The first ever Maker Faire was held in April 2006 in San Mateo, California. Since then the movement has spread widely and in 2014 alone more than 100 Maker Faire events are being held in twenty countries across the globe.
Maker Faires are public events assembling makers, tinkerers and DIY enthusiast of all ages around topics such as wood working, crafts, electronics, robotics and 3D printing.
Our Highlights from the Maker Faire Paris
Here are just a few of the things that we discovered at the Maker Faire Paris and found to be worth sharing:
Drawn is a project by the engineer Sylvain Charpiot and the designer Samuel Javelle. Together they developed a gigantic 3D printer that goes by the name of Galatea. The Galatea 3D printer is used to print full-size, ready-to-use furniture such as chairs, coffee tables, lamps and so forth.
At the basis of Galatea is a industrial robot that has been transformed into a 3D printer. Essentially, a hot end/extruder has been fitted to the machine, coupled with an aspirator that feeds the machine directly with pelleted ABS. Other than that, Galatea works like any 3D printer by depositing layers of molten thermoplastics to form whatever piece of furniture it being printed. Once finished, the furniture is ready for use, no further post processing required.
Quite frankly, you couldn’t help but being wowed by the sheer size of this 3D printer and it was riveting to watch the machine churning out one piece of furniture after the other. Check it this video it you want to get a sense of how the Galatea works:
The Maker Faire Paris was Drawn’s first public outing. By talking to the team it became clear that they have some excellent ideas as to how the Galatea could be used in innovative retail concepts. This will be an interesting space to watch!
For more information visit: http://www.drawn.fr
Ever since the extremely successful Kickstarter campaign of the 3Doodler, 3D printing pens have been a very hot topic. LeStylo3D is pretty much a French equivalent of the 3Doodler, though it is produced in Asia. This 3D pen works ABS only and is said to be quieter than the 3Doodler.
Anyhow, what struck us about LeStylo3D was not the pen itself but the swarm of excited kids that were using it. The guys from LeStylo3D had set up a table where anyone could try the pens and kids as well as adults were queuing to get their hands on one of the devices.
I guess we’d always seen 3D Printing pens as a nice gadget but one that we didn’t pay too much attention to. It wasn’t until we saw the enthusiasm of these children that it struck me what a critical role these pens can play to initiate kids to the topic of 3D printing. The pens are very easy to use and there is literally no limit to what you can 3D print, making them a perfect way that children can express themselves with.
Given the experience at the Maker Faire, this topic merits more investigation. Time to get hold of a few 3D printing pens to start experimenting. Stay tuned for more.
For more information visit: http://www.lestylo3d.com
The MiniCut2d is a simple 2 axis hot-wire polystyrene cutter developed by the French inventor Renaud Iltis.
According to Renaud the MiniCut2d fills a gap between vinyl cutters and 3D printers. Whereas using a vinyl cutter can become boring after a while (due to its limitation of creating strictly 2D outputs) a 3D printer comes with a very steep learning curve. The MiniCut2d fits in between since it comes with the ease of processing 2D files yet allows you to create three-dimensional objects. By assembling the sheets of cut polystyrene you can create 3D puzzles, model air planes, toys and decorations.
We truly believe Renaud is onto something here. Learning how to think and draw in 3D can be quite challenging indeed. However, drawing in 2D is something any child can do. What’s clever about the MiniCut2d is that its software allows you to create outlines of any 2D drawing that you made. You can then transform your drawing into a 3D model by cutting it from a polystyrene sheet with a certain thickness. Simple, easy-to-use, we like it!
For more information visit: http://minicut2d.com (in French only)
While there were many 3D printers to be seen at the Maker Faire, the Tobeca deserves a special mention. Developed by young French entrepreneur Adrien Grelet, the Tobeca is all about portability. In fact, the printer is designed such that part of its housing is also the wooden suitcase that can be used to transport the printer. All it takes to demount the printer is to unbolt the fixtures holding the Z-axis rods, clip the rods into their travelling position, put the lid onto the box and the printer is ready for transport. A handle mounted on the outside of the box completes the suitcase design.
Having transported our Ultimaker back and forth quite a bit, we can see how such an ease of transportation can come in very handy. However, the Tobeca did not only impress because of it suitcase design, it also looks to be able to produce very detailed 3D prints. The sample prints that were exhibited at the Maker Faire were truly impressive. If such precision can be achieved by the regular user as well then this printer certainly has places to go yet.
For more information visit: http://www.tobeca.fr (in French and Italian only)
Here are some general impressions from the Maker Faire Paris:
The above highlights were just a few of the things that stood out to us at the Maker Faire Paris. However, there were many more great projects and initiatives, some of which would have merited to be reported on in more detail. Unfortunately, our time in Paris was limited such that we didn’t get to speak to all the makers that we would have liked. Time constraints also didn’t allow us to participate in any of the conferences and workshops that were being held during the two days of the fair.
Still, given the success of this first edition of the Maker Faire Paris there will certainly another event next year. You can be sure we’ll be there again!