We had a great time at the East Coast RepRap festival, as did many others. By the time the doors opened on Saturday September 30th, they had already sold as many tickets as they did for the entire event in 2022. The Bel Air, Maryland event, held at the APGFCU Arena, was in its sixth year. The 2023 event featured about 100 exhibitor or sponsor booths and about 2,000 attendees over the two days. This year there was a second upper deck loop of booths to expand the available exhibit space beyond the arena floor.
The first theme that emerged was that many of the new introductions were at the extremes of 3D printer size: very big and tiny. Prusa (both the company and the man himself) were showing off their XL larger printer, and there were others ranging up to refrigerator-sized boxes. On the other end of the spectrum were novel tiny printers. LDO Motors had a fun printer prototype, the Positron, which prints on the bottom of a transparent heated bed. The printer is designed so that it will fold up into a filament box for travel. (The photo shows a black one folded on the left, and the machine in action on the right.)
Likewise, Printers For Ants had scaled-down Voron designs.
Peopoly showed an engineering model of their new printer, the Magneto X. They were having some extruder teething pains, but were still the center of a lot of attention.
Cocoa Press was there with the happy news that it is now possible to order a kit for its chocolate 3D printer. Founder Ellie definitely enjoys creating prints that are literally good enough to eat.
The other big theme was collaboration. Notably, nozzle gurus E3D had a variety of projects with others at the show. It’s great to see that the RepRap sharing spirit is still alive!
And as always, it is just a great reason to get together with the open source printer tribe and compare notes. The next generation was well-represented, in one case even in a booth.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a lot of the other cool stuff (like the 3D printed car races and cosplay prints) because we were swamped at our own table. Only one visitor couldn’t quite get his arms around our models from our Make math books.
Kudos to the organizers for a great weekend.