3D Printing could be in a cafe near you
In 1436, we had the Gutenberg Printing Press. We could produce large amounts of writing cheaply and quickly. In 2014, we have 3D printing. We can now produce three-dimensional figures cheaply and quickly, based on computerised models. You could create a replica of your favourite sculpture. You could print a three-dimensional model of your business logo. Or maybe you have a passion for creativity and would like a new way to create your own jewellery. The applications of 3D printing are boundless. Despite this, many people are still unaware of this emerging technology.
“People may have heard about 3D printing, but have never seen a printer live. We’re establishing a simple and fun on-ramp to the world of 3D printing,” says Katie.
By showcasing 3D printing in Melbourne cafes, Katie and Jin hope to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology. “With Meet3D, anyone who grabs a coffee or eats brunch in a café can learn about 3D printing,” says Jin.
Recently, the pair demonstrated 3D printing in conjunction with the University of Melbourne’s House of Cards. Producing Rodin’s Thinker, the café’s personalized logo and many other models, students and staff were fascinated by the technology. In early May, Meet3D will showcase 3D printing with Kere Kere in Southbank, where Katie and Jin hope to reach a broader crowd, including professional workers and tourists.
Currently, Katie and Jin are applying for the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), which helps budding entrepreneurs get innovative ideas off the ground and into the marketplace. By providing financial support, mentoring and networking opportunities, MAP is a unique way to help small businesses find success.
“MAP will help us realize our business and become better entrepreneurs. There is a lot that goes into a business and MAP is teaching us how to do this,” says Katie. The team receives support from Paul Mignone and the ITS Research Department. Empowering people to become ‘digital blacksmiths.’ They hold drop-in sessions every Monday for people interested in learning more about 3D printing.