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DoES Liverpool invited us to one of their twice monthly Maker Nights...
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A floor plan made on the Laserscript complete with 3D printed model furniture.
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Giant lion towers over Liver Buildings...
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Titanium SLS printed spanner
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Pronterface, ready to print
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An experiment with sugar which has been sintered by DoES Liverpool's Laserscript machine to make their logo
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3D printed furniture
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3D prints a-go-go at the maker night
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Tom Cockeram creating his 3D printed tanks on Tinkercad
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DoES Liverpool's RepRap in action
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Makerbot Cupcake used to print the scaffolding for bio-engineered pig's bladder footballs
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A nice bit of self-powering luminosity
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Liverpool University donated this 3D printed titanium spanner to the maker night
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The Liver Buildings printed on a RepRap
DoES Liverpool, a co-working and workshop/studio space in the heart of Liverpool city centre, host their maker nights twice monthly and I went along to check out what the guys are…well…making.
The space at Gostins Arcade, Hannover Street, Liverpool is a proper workshop; lots of tools, soldering irons and electronics around free for the makers to pick and use. There’s a really friendly vibe, everybody pitching in to each other’s ideas it is a hive of creativity and collaboration. They have an industrial Laserscript laser cutting machine, a Makerbot Cupcake and a RepRap all available to tinker with free of charge.
Passers by are welcomed with open arms to discuss the wares of the day, in particular those newbies want to talk about the possibilities of 3D printing. The regulars, the hardcore seem much more attracted to the laser cutter. The Makerbot Cupcake is left looking a little sad in the corner but DoES Liverpool co-founder John McKerrell assures me that it is still in use,
“We’ve got a guy who comes in from Liverpool University who is 3D printing scaffolding for the cultivation of cells to bio-engineer a pig’s bladder football, the Cupcake is calibrated for his use” (watch out for a feature on that in the coming weeks)
The Makerbot Cupcake may have been out of use last night but the RepRap was up and running. Temperamental as it may be, Adrian of DoEs Liverpool said it was now much preferred to Makerbot’s initial machine
“The majority of people who come in for 3D printing purposes want to use the RepRap, I’ve used the Cupcake for a while and had a few commercial ventures with it, but the customisation and adaptability of the RepRap machine is much greater”
The RepRap was put together by a keen maker night enthusiast and calibrated by maker night regular J.R. Strewn all around the 3D printer are rocket ships, Liver Buildings, lions, moustache rings, gears and plenty of other bits and bobs, some successful prints, some not so succesful but that's the fun of maker nights. A particularly interesting 3D print from Liverpool University’s SLS team was a beautifully detailed, miniature, titanium, 3D printed spanner (See the gallery).
One man who was there for the 3D printing was Tom Cockeram of Tang Mu Designs. Tom is a little bit of a modelling and gaming genius, he’s created countless wonderfully crafted paper toys, but has now turned his attentions to a 3D printed board game,
“It’s a board game for 1-6 players in which a meteor has crashed to earth and the tanks have to defend it from hordes of infected, exploding sheep. Originally I had made a paper version of it, but not everybody is as obsessed with paper as I am and they don’t want to be spending time folding the sheep into useable pieces, so I’ve started designing them on Tinkercad and printing them off on this RepRap”
Everywhere you look at DoES Liverpool's workshop you see evidence of finished, on going and abandoned projects. One that particularly caught my eye was a floor plan cut out by the Laserscript complete with replicas of the furniture 3D printed to create a genuinely useful to scale model of DoEs Liverpool’s new office space.
There’s plenty going on at DoES Liverpool’s maker nights, they’re a helpful, knowledgeable and welcoming crowd, if you live in the Merseyside area and are interested in this sort of stuff then I highly recommend you pay them a visit.