Making Things With MakerBot Was Like Magic

Saturday’s Make Things With MakerBot workshop introduced girls to something most people still haven’t seen, let alone used—a 3D printer.

The girls learned how the printer worked, took a look at some of the electronics behind it, and even helped build the MakerBot printer they worked with. It may not look like much, but this self-assembled kit is a 3D printing powerhouse—heating plastic for the models up to 225 degrees Celsius (that’s about 500 degrees Fahrenheit!).

MakerBot employees generously volunteered their time in this exciting workshop.

Alison Leonard, Lead Embedded Engineer, talked about the electronics that go into a machine like this and how each tiny component plays a large role in making the 3D prints come to life.

Colin Butgereit, Master Builder and QA Manager, helped each participant build different parts of the printer and then demonstrated to the girls how their hard work paid off.

Far McKon, calling himself the Chief Nerd Herder, spent time explaining how different parts of the process—planning, design and building—work and answered questions as they popped up.

And Megan Cone, a jewelry designer from the Philly area, showed the girls how to use Rhino software to design jewelry and other objects to exact specs using the computer to sort out any errors before manufacturing.

All in all, it was an exciting day, and we learned that the hope is to be able to make 3D printers like these even more available to the general public.

So, even if you’re not a TechGirl, you may get to use one too—just not as early as we did!