The consumer/hobbyist 3D printer market is growing fast, with new vendors targeting buyers ranging from students and families to “prosumer” small manufacturers. So this year’s Shootout is focused less on metrics and more on qualitative data: How do individual machines fit into the expanding 3D-printing universe? Which printers are innovative and stand out above the crowd? As a new or experienced maker, which printer is right for me?
To answer these questions, we’ve assembled an awesome team from across the country, including:
• Leaders of 3D printer build groups
• Superusers of different printers
• Teachers of design and technology
• New users who don’t have printers
• Engineering students
• Makerspace 3DP trainers and operators
Anna Kaziunas France (kaziunas.com) is leading this year’s 3D Printer Shootout and coordinating MAKE’s reviews of printers, scanners, and more. She’s director of the Providence Fab Academy, dean of students for Fab Academy Global, and coauthor of Getting Started with MakerBot and the forthcoming MAKE Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing book.
Kacie Hultgren aka PrettySmallThings is a Thingiverse superstar, and a scenic designer in the theater industry, using her MakerBot to make amazing furniture and details for scale models. She’s also on online instructor in “Design for Desktop 3D Printing” at Maker Training Camp.
Anderson Ta is a digital fabrication expert. By day he oversees the dFab Studio at the Maryland Institute College of Art. By night, he operates Matterfy LLC, promoting and evangelizing 3D printing hardware. He’s led some of the very first 3D printer workshops in the USA. Chances are good that you’ve ran into him at the many Maker Faires around the country.
Matt Griffin, leader of last year’s Shootout, is director of community and support at Adafruit Industries, former MakerBot community manager, and author of the forthcoming book Design and Modeling for 3D Printing.
John Abella, obsessive hobbyist and 3D printer enthusiast, has run 3D Printer Village at World Maker Faire New York since 2010 and wrote for the 2012 MAKE Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. He’s currently preparing to teach 3D printer assembly workshops with BotBuilder.net.
Eric Chu, MAKE Labs engineering intern and resident 3D printer guru, is also an engineering student, yo-yo hacker, robot builder, and fried rice aficionado.
Tom Burtonwood, artist and educator at Columbia College and the School of Art Institute of Chicago, is also co-founder of The 3D Printer Experience professional services and experiential retail store in Chicago. His work has been exhibited from Brooklyn to Miami to L.A. to Osaka. Tom also co-founded Improbable Objects and participated in the MakerBot MET#3D Hackathon at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lyra Levin, climber, aerialist, contortionist, parkour noob, and Ninja 500 rider, is a compulsive builder of things, and member of Ardent Heavy Industries industrial arts collective.
Chris McCoy, 3D printing instructor at TechShop San Francisco, is also co-founder of You3Dit, a distributed global network of 3D printers and CAD designers.
Blake Maloof, game designer at Toys for Bob (Skylanders, yo), authored the Tinkercad tutorial in 2012’s MAKE Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing.
This motley crüe is joined by MAKE editors Mike Senese and me, Keith Hammond, Maker Shed product development engineer Eric Weinhoffer, engineering student and MAKE Labs alum Ben Lancaster, and local Sonoma County 3Ders James Christianson and Derek Poartch.
Yes, we are having fun yet! Here are some candid shots from Saturday’s testing — more sneak peaks to come.