Reflections from the first 3D printing Meetup in Birmingham
Revathi Timms, owner and creator of Avatar3D shares her thoughts on the success of the first ever 3D printing Meetup event in Birmingham.
In April 2018 at the official launch of STEAMhouse, a new collaborative makerspace in Digbeth, Birmingham, Avatar 3D demonstrated 3D printing in chocolate. In doing so, a collaboration was sparked with Adam Woodall, a technical consultant, leader of fizzpop & 3D printing enthusiast keen to help Avatar and other 3D printing experts develop networks and innovation, who was keen to arrange a 3D Meetup event to showcase the work of Birmingham entrepreneurs.
I am delighted that Adam took the initiative and made this event a success as many of the exhibitors, visitors were unaware of talented entrepreneurs in Birmingham, what we have achieved, and what is on offer to the regional community. This 3D Meetup was a great opportunity to raise awareness.
Many who visited the Avatar 3D stand commented that they were very impressed with the effort we had made to manufacture a 3D printer here in the West Midlands. I was very proud to say that we didn’t buy a kit and assemble or purchase a 3D printer, a lot of effort went in to the design, manufacturing of our product ‘’3D printer STEAM kit ’ with a specific objective in mind ”to give young people technical skills, practical work experience in digital technology, materials preparing them for industry’’.
It was encouraging to see so many entrepreneurs at the event, who were excited by 3D printing technology showcasing their work, each offering a service to improve people’s understanding of the potential & application of this technology. For many years people have focused on 3D design, it is fantastic to see how those design ideas are now tangible products – their ideas have become reality.
Adam Woodall commented “ There was a fantastic buzz in the room with people sharing projects they are working and companies showcasing, but most importantly sharing skills and know-how. It was the perfect size for our first event and provided the perfect start for the community feel we are trying to create.”
As entrepreneurs, we take a huge risks to do something different, if we didn’t then we wouldn’t move forward and its important to keep innovating, to introduce new ideas, service to make improvements, for us to be more efficient in the way we make products. I was enlightened to see many experts exhibiting, design engineers, various 3D printing expertise, from chocolate, clay to candy and of course Artificial Intelligence – STEAMhouse is perfect for us to share our knowledge and expertise.
I thought Alexa’s talk about ‘’connecting” people, ”STEAM thinkers” was very useful, Birmingham City University are the first Higher Education Institute offering this type of business support also linking it to curriculum. The talk ”3D printing journey”addressed problems associated with purchasing a kit from suppliers overseas – I found this talk rather amusing as this is exactly the problem that Avatar3D is trying to resolve – To offer the education sector, businesses & local community a LOCAL, efficient service, training and technical support.
I am really pleased that I could be part of the first launch of the STEAMhouse collaborative makerspace and 3D printing meetup. I am proud of what we are trying to achieve, to give local community, businesses the support and access to expertise and equipment to help them with their ideas and to help them understand the use of technology to make them more efficient in their business.
I speak to many people who have great ideas, ‘’Dragons Den pitch ideas’’ and STEAMhouse will be where they come to develop those ideas. We do need to make sure that the level of support available at STEAMhouse is utilised so that small businesses make progress, in order that we can share our success at future events, share best practice, be role models.
This is just the beginning, we need to keep raising awareness and work towards our future, ‘’Arts in Science’’, the STEAM approach.
For more information of how you can collaborate with Avatar3D, contact: contact@avatar3D.uk