First of all, if you have not heard of a 3D printer, it is a mechanism which allows you to print 3D stuffs (as the name suggests). What is different about the Portabee DIY 3D printer is that it is light at 2.8kg and can easily collapse in a matter of seconds and fits into a laptop bag, making it transportable anywhere! Get that visual image in your mind?
In an interview, Kiam Peng from Orangeknob shares with us more.
How they got started
It all started as a project to make it easier for them make 3D prototypes. Kiam Peng and his partners have been tinkering with electronics and musical-related stuffs such as electronic drum machines and effect pedals but they were at a discovery stage. However, when 3D printing came along, the initial plans were all shelved. They had bought a Thing-o-Matic, an automatic 3D printer by MakerBot. They then realised that Thing-o-Matic is associated with open source products and it inspired them to make a reprap. A reprap is short for Replicating Rapid Prototypers. Their intention was to make something that is more self-replicating, i.e. allowing the making of components which can be assembled into another DIY 3D printer. Voila! The rest is up to your imagination.
We were told that Orangeknob took about 9 months to be able to release their first printer, the Durbie. In that process, they faced challenges of a 9-to-5 job, getting support from people around them etc. The process might be difficult but it must also be rewarding for the Makers to see the fruits of their hard work.
What will they be sharing
During the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 4 & 5 August, Orangeknob will be managing a booth, workshops and presentations.
At their booth, they will showcase their printers (Durbie, Portabee, Portabee-x) and some of their printed parts.
If you would like to have your own DIY 3D printer, get one before the Mini Maker Faire and learn how to assemble it during the workshop that they will be conducting there.
They are also excited to share their experiences in coming up with such a gadget during their presentation, despite being “not very comfortable with public speaking”, according to Kiam Peng. They will share on how they went in the open source direction into the world of DIY 3D printing, the challenges they face and their future projects.
Encouraging Makers in Singapore
Kiam Peng shared that they were not aware of a Maker culture in Singapore. They were focusing more on the international markets but slowly meet more people and realised there are people who owned CNC machines and printers at home. They felt that technological advances had already brought down the cost of prototyping, and that the cost of a 3D printer is approaching the cost of a laser/ink printer! I find myself nodding in agreement. The thought is exhilarating!
Kiam Peng felt that the maker culture will spread as more people do it, in view of our close proximity with one another. We certainly hope so too!
Orangeknob is now working towards producing big printers and other niche printers. To learn more about them, check them out at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012, coming to you in 2 days at the Science Centre Singapore.