Thanks for coming!


Hey everyone… thanks for coming!

We’re still compiling the stats but I think we had at about 17 3D printers today, and over 70 different people in attendance.

And most of all, we had a good time, and we learned a lot…

Once we let our extruders cool down we’ll write up some recap blog posts talking about the event, but for now, we’re just going to shout out a BIG THANKS to everyone who made 3D Printing Camp Wisconsin a success!

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A Gift from Ponoko


So what does Ponoko do? They’ll tell you that they are reinventing the future of products by making it easier to make things. That’s what they do! Imagine a future when you download your products from the Internet and make them locally. That’s something many of us in the 3D printing community believe in, and Ponoko believes in it too.

Ponoko also wanted to help out with 3D Printing Camp, so we’ve got a pair of vouchers for their service to give away. If you’ve not yet had something 3D printed, this may be the easiest way to see what it’s all about.

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Counting it down…


Robots, Humans, and everyone in between… count it down!

3D Printing Camp Wisconsin is tomorrow! Are you joining us at Sector67 for this event, the first of its kind in the state? We’re expecting to see the largest number of 3D printers in one physical space tomorrow, and that alone should be pretty awesome.

You should join us… As of right now (5:30pm on Friday) we have 35 spots left, so go register and be there for the 3D Printing Madness!

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More Sponsors For More Fun!


We just heard from a couple more sponsors today who are supporting 3DPrintingCampWI 2012 — Google and C.ideas. A most appreciative tip of the hat to the Madison Googlers and to the people who C.ideas and make them happen. As long as an unconference has a place to meet, sponsors aren’t a required part of these participant-driven events. But sponsors make the day a lot more fun and create a stronger community around the topic of the unconference. Helping buy meals for unconference participants is especially helpful because that keeps everyone onsite during the event and builds stronger camaraderie.

Thus far around $1700 has been donated to the unconference by Google, C.ideas and the other sponsors listed on this website and mentioned below. That should be enough money to cover lunch for all the registered participants of the July 21 3D printing unconference, in addition to the miscellaneous costs to put on the unconference, like garbage bags and name tags, some vinyl stickers for participants to put on their laptops or other prominent locations, and making Sector67 whole for any miscellaneous supplies we end up using on Saturday. If we get a flurry of last minute donations for the event, any excess money will be given to Sector67 to help make it an even more *awesome* place! Sponsors who earlier committed to making Wisconsin’s first 3D printing unconference happen are:





College of Business – UIUC

Digital Craft Research Lab – UW Milwaukee

Milwaukee Makerspace

MakerBot Industries


John Baichtal

Ben Heck

If you know of any companies or organizations who might like to do a last minute sponsorship of a cool unconference that will be filled with a crowd of inquisitive and future-thinking people and a uniquely wide spectrum of 3D printers, please invite them to participate in the event and to consider sponsoring the event. A few more companies contributing $100 or $200 would ensure we could provide lunch for participants and pizza for the evening nourishment.

Also, please spread the word to friends and acquaintances who might truly enjoy seeing the cool stuff that can be done with 3D printers. It would be great to fill up the last fifty spots in the event registration max of 125 with people who live around Madison or Milwaukee and would be valuable additions to the growing Wisconsin community of 3D printers owners and users. I’m sure Sector67 members would love to see four or five 3D printers always in action there. So if you know cool, interesting, maker-type people who you’d like to see involved with 3D printing, invite them to register and show up on Saturday.

See you soon!



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Sponsor Thank Yous!


We’re getting down to the wire here! It’s Wednesday night as I write this and we’ll be kicking off 3D Printing Camp on Saturday morning… if you’ve not yet registered, we still have some space available, so do it now!

Besides the folks involved in putting this on, including Sector67, DHMN, myDigitechnician, and RasterWeb!, we’ve managed to get a few other organizations to help us out as well, including College of Business at Illinois, Digital Craft Research Lab, Milwaukee Makerspace, MakerBot Industries, Shapeways, and Google.

Myself, along with everyone involved in putting on this event believe that 3D printing is a world-changing technology. Many of us see our present time as comparable to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. We’ve got affordable fabrication machines in our home… the future is here now!

And as for the companies and groups sponsoring this event, they believe in this vision as well, and many of them are leading the way in making it happen. Give them your thanks, and with any luck we’ll finish out Saturday night with talk about planning the next (bigger and better!) event for 2013. :)

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A Gift from Shapeways


Have you heard of Shapeways? If you’ve got your own 3D printer, you may be fine using it to create your own objects, but what if you want your final piece to be made of something besides plastic?

Shapeways may be the answer to that… And if you don’t yet have your own 3D printer (or don’t want one!) you can always use Shapeways to do all the printing for you. Keep it simple, right?

Well, the folks at Shapeways were excited to hear about 3D Printing Camp, and wanted to help out, so here’s the deal. We’ve got ten vouchers to give away at the event. If you’ve never designed something in 3D their Easy Creator is worth looking at, and if you’ve got the 3D chops already, you can just upload your existing model.

If you’ve already registered, all you need to do is show up, and we’ll choose 10 people to get the vouchers throughout the day. And if you haven’t registered yet, do it now!

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3D Printed Boat

3D Printed Boat

I know, you thought 3D printed shoes were crazy, or even 3D printed chairs, but how about this 3D printed boat?

WOOF group has spent the last two months researching. engineering, extruding, printing, and dumpster diving for the greater good. WOOF submitted the first 3D printed milk jug boat into the Seafair Milk Carton Derby. Not a simple task, they hacked a 4′ x8′ plasma cutter, slapped a homemade extruder on, and dealt with 2% shrinkage, to produce a beautiful boat. The boat weight is 40 lbs (~250 1 gallon Milk jugs) supports 150lbs, yet cuts through the water like a canoeyak.

I think we’re just going to see more and more unique things being 3D printed as time goes by… I can’t wait to see what is next!

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Announcing the 3D Printing Olympics, July 21At the 3D Printing Camp

One of our goals for this 3D printing camp on July 21st is to get as many different types of 3D printers as we can at the event. And in the spirit of friendly competition we would like to give the operators of their printers the opportunity to show off their skills.

Below are five objects from Thingiverse. These objects are meant to challenge the limits of your machines as well as your ability to operate it. Each object is described as well as how it will be judged. (There might be bias to plastic based extrusion printers, I am assuming that most people will bring a printer of that type.)

1. Bridge Torture Test.

The goal of this object is too see how long of a distance you can span and still print out the circle on top.

This object will be judged specifically on the distance between the two struts and condition of the circle on top. It could look ugly and stringy, but if the circle is there than it will be accepted.

2. Willis Tower (Formally Sear’s Tower)

The goal of this object is how tall can you print it. The taller the better.

This object will be judged specifically on how tall the object is.

3. Screwey Screw

For this object you print out the bolt and two nuts. One nut will tighten down clockwise, the other will tighten counter clockwise. This object is all about the functionality.  The smoother the nuts turn the more points you will get. The secondary judging criteria is for a smaller object. So if we have two screwy screws that work equally as well, the smaller one will win out.

4. Lego Brick

Everyone should know what this is. The challenge with this object is a durability or reliability issue. Most printers print in ABS plastic, the same as Legos. So it would seem like a printed Lego would be just as good as a commercial lego. The issue is commercial legos are injection molded, and not created via additive manufacturing. When I tried printing off a lego brick it worked, but didn’t quite snap in as well, had as strong walls, or hold as tightly as the commercial version. So this object will be judged by those criteria. So I am assuming trying things like smaller level thickness and more infill or even slower feed rate would create a more durable lego.

5. Tiny Planetary Gear Set

This is a very cool device that has a single build plate for all of the components. When you are done printing you put all of the pieces together. For how complex the object seems, the print is very straight forward. When I printed it off for the first time I had to scale it up a little. One of the bolts broke on me when I was putting it together. This object will be judged on how smooth and functional the motion is. The secondary criteria will be on how small it is.



The final judging or judges haven’t been decided on, but this is the general criteria of the event. We invite everyone who is bringing a printer to try their hand at printing these objects. We encourage people to print these objects before the camp or the day of. We will finalize the judging towards the end of the event.

We also encourage people to bring their first attempts or failures. Part of this conference is to learn something that will make you a better operator. I would really like to see a good discussion between operators of different printers describing if they had any issues printing a particular object or how they got to their final submission.

We will pick a Goal, Silver and Bronze winner. And remember, you aren’t just representing yourselves, you are representing your printer as well, be it Rep Rap, Ultimaker, Printrbot, Makerbot, or your own Frankenstein monster. Good luck.

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Planning Mailing List

We need your help! 3D Printing Camp WI is driven by participants at every level! This includes the planning of the event itself. If you can help in any way please step on over to the planning google group and drop us a line. The event is just over a week away and still have a lot of things that need to be done.

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3D Printed Shoes

3D Printed Shoe

3D printed shoes are interesting… when I go back to my first exposure to the RepRap movement, I remember Adrian Bowyer talking about printing shoes for your kids, and then recycling the plastic to print new shoes when they outgrow them. It was a powerful idea, because it speaks to recycling, customization, and self-sufficiency.

Recently all the posts I’ve seen about 3D printed shoes show them as fashion pieces, which I have no interest in. I mean, it’s interesting, but I don’t find them practical, and they don’t apply to what I would want or need.

But the latest article Could The World’s Fastest Shoe Really Have Come From A Printer? got me thinking. Mainly this part:

Designed to Win, as Fusaro calls it, is fabricated through selective laser sintering (SLS), a method for creating solid objects by fusing powdered materials with a CO2 laser. The process allows Fusaro to take 3-D scans of a runner’s foot, use digital tools to cater the stiffness of the soles to the athlete’s physical abilities, then print the shoes out of nylon polyamide powder, a material that is “one of the strongest in the range of additive manufacturing,” Fusaro says.

One of the things I really hate about shoe shopping (not just for me, but for my kids) is that you need to deal with size issues. You find the shoe you like, and it’s not in your size. Maybe the store can call another location and see if they have the size. Maybe you use Zappos and they ship the shoes to you to try on, and you send them back if they don’t fit. Bah… wasteful!

The idea of scanning your feet for a perfect fit is awesome. Quite a step up from that metal foot ruler device with the sliding pieces.

What other articles of clothing could benefit from a 3D scan of your body?

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