Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fab Lab meeting proved profitable :-)

Circumstance conspired to hold two meetings two days apart which could have been a bit of a disaster, except it wasn’t. To get the right minds thinking about the club’s sustainability has to be a good thing and much 3D printing was had by Martin who got to grips with the ‘Dimension 1200es Series 3D printer’ and Cormack who got his newly designed cup holder printed on the BCP-01, this led onto a discussion about hydroponics and the possibilities of developing a micro-system for the hobbyists; this will be followed up as part of our extra-curricular activities.

Now, after such a long time, #3DPM have got into its new office/showroom in the Farnworth indoor market and we will be kitting the place out over the next few weeks; the place looks a lot better than the bomb site we had back in January and we have Jonathan of JW Retailers to thank, for the great facilities.


There will be more about #3DPM’s focus on sustainability in the coming weeks, and it is hoped this also leads onto more business creation for our members/pioneers. Creating new businesses is one of the reasons why #3DPM exists. We have already done it and we intend to keep on doing it! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meeting No 26 is at Fab Lab (April 17th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details.

Two meetings in one week is a challenge, but lets see what happens :-)
Our meeting on Monday was, as usual, an excellent gathering and educationally worthwhile. We welcomed our newest pioneer James and our international fashionista Yvonne of vonomarketing.com who is visiting her family and old home town before returning to her new home in Abu Dhabi. Yvonne decided to pop in with Roger, to see our little gathering and be inspired with the potential 3D printing has to offer the fashion industry; our international connections are truly blossoming :-) Cormack was busy designing his cup holder and the guys from the South Manchester Radio and Computing Club where busy fixing their computers, Bill showed a lot promise as a future CAD professional when he took on the challenge to draw up a screw thread in sketchup; it was the plugin that conspired against his attempts, but hey its fun to have a challenge.

I have been asked to point out that 'Fab Lab' is a charity and commercial ventures are not allowed to be conducted on its premises. However, we are developing our new site in Farnworth and this will not be constrained; commercial ventures will be encouraged.

3D printing has a bright future when the infrastructure is in place to exploit it; let us hope Manchester gets organised soon, so we can catch up with the rest of the world :-)

 Image Courtesy of the Guardian
Image Courtesy of The Guardian



Friday, 4 April 2014

Next Meeting is at MadLab (April 14th 2014 6-9pm)

See Meetings & Events page for location details

Plans are being put in place for MadLab to acquire its own 3D printers and CAD enabled computers in the not too distant future, rather than Mark and Keith having to lug in their own kit and risk damaging it every time a meeting is held.

This requires finding the funding. It would help the cause, if we (#3DPM) put forward some ideas to help justify it, so this will be discussed at some point; it is possible we can merge our group's needs with those of other groups.

The #3DPM club needs to become self sustaining and we have already come up with some very good ideas to make this happen.

The #3DPM club needs to begin growing its membership which is "freemium" based, and that means it is initially free to those with little money or just curious, they can turn up and have a look at what is going on; except they will have to pay for tea, coffee and biscuits if they want them.

Membership will become more formalised as we progress and it will require everybody to contribute in some way. The best way is for the club to generate an income and that means the members develop their business ideas with the clubs help to create an income for themselves; so they can pay the club and maybe make themselves a profit. This seems to be a good strategy to help us achieve our aims; and will be discussed further.

We now have a working infrastructure we can all use, we have tested and proved the concepts.
We now need more people to get involved so we can grow as an organisation.

Can you help?
If you can just let yourselves be known at our meetings
Thank you :-)



FYI: We had a fantastic reception at York and the Reebok at "The Housing, Innovation and Technology Roadshow" I hope to have more info about this soon ...





Proposed agenda for the next 'Fab Lab' meeting
(if you want to add to it, just send us an email or post a comment or say something at the MadLab meeting)


  • Ideas to justify funding for MadLab to acquire 3D printers and CAD enabled computers, and a training budget. 
  • How to make #3DPM self sustaining
  • Growing the #3DPM membership
  • Anything else?






Saturday, 29 March 2014

What if .. you could change the world with #3DPrinting?

What if you want to make something?

And need space to build it?
And need the tools to build it?
And need skills, help and guidance?
And all you do is think and procrastinate?

What if you want to do something?

That is interesting or useful?
That will give meaning to your life?
That will help others you care about?
That will help you create an income stream to pay some bills or finance a holiday?


What if you had no idea what to do or make?

Would you look around for inspiration?
Would you help others develop their ideas?


What if there was a club, where you could?

Where there is space for you to use!
Where there are tools available!
Where there is help and support for your project!
Where there is the training you need when you need it!
Where there are people, you can be inspired by!
Where it is organised, supervised and friendly!
Where you belong and can help others!
What if you could also create an income!


What if this was possible?

Would you join the club?
Would you help create the club?


What if you have doubt about if this was possible?

How would you be convinced?
Would it be worth convincing you?


What if we redefined business?


What if business is what we all must do to survive and thrive?

We can then say cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, partying is our business!
We can then say when a baby screams its head off for its mothers attention, that's its business!
We can then say when children go to school, to play and learn; that is their business!
We can then say health care workers are doing business keeping the nation healthy!
We can recognise we need to interact with others to get what we need and want!
We can recognise very few of these interactions require 'money' to perform!


What if we can free our thinking about how 'business' operates in our society?

What if we can do 'business' better?
What if jobs that are not 'profitable' in the current system can be made 'profitable' in another?
What if we can maximise the potential of our citizens, by organising differently?
What if profits are distributed more fairly?


What if we do 'business' like we do 'football academies'?

We could get the children involved at an early stage!
We could get the Mums and Dads (older folk) involved helping them out!
We could provide the equipment, training facilities and places to play!
We can invite star players in to inspire and advise!
We can organise training sessions and work on new skills!
We can organise teams with complementary skill-sets, such as:
for the striker there is the sales guy;
for mid fielders there are the designers and makers;
for defense we have researchers and developers;
for goal keeping maybe an accountant or solicitor!

The goal is to make a profit, more goals more profit!

We can have the fans as customers the more we have the bigger the market!
And fans often play football!

We can have kick-a-bouts for fun!
Play semi-professional and set up a micro-business!
Go Pro and work our way up through the league tables until we are in the premiership!
We can make business creation diverse and accessible!



What if those successful teams/businesses paid premium membership fees for better service and were encouraged to returned some of their profits back into the academy to help new players start up?

 We would be self sustaining!
 We could become independent from state help :-)


What if we link up the universities and other training organisations to provide the best knowledge and advice appropriate to our players needs, when they most need it?

  •     Like when a pilot of a plane has a heart attack and a passenger steps in to fly and land the plane safely with instructions from ground control!
  •     Like when a paramedic in the field, is being advised by doctors based at a distant hospital!
  •     Like when a driving instructor is teaching a novice driver!




What if we can create new businesses in a weekend and keep doing so like a production line?

Checkout this website ... Launch48.com ("Build-A-Business-In-48-Hours")


What if we already know this is all possible?
Then why has it not happened yet?

First: everything has to start somewhere!

Second: it sort of does happen and it has been happening for thousands of years!

Most of us are so far removed from roots of what we really need to do to live,
                we tend to forget the basics, for example, growing food.

Think of a medieval village, the community would be guided by their natural                                     amenities/resources, such as the landscape, water supply, rivers,
                forests, climate, animals, etc.

Different authorities (Church, Land owners, merchants, stone masons, etc) would influence and                     organise individuals who made up the community;
                invariably to maximise the benefit to their own causes.

The basic needs of the community vary little, everybody needs food, clothing, shelter
                and as the tasks required to satisfy theses needs were made more efficient other
                wants could be persued and satisfied, such as Art!
                Check out "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs".

At the centre of the village people would come from far and wide to trade, exchange ideas,
                drink and be merry at the local tavern, setup a market or fair.
                Specialists such as blacksmiths would shoe horses, coopers make barrels, etc

  Third:  we didn't have the internet we have now! We have operated in a global economy for hundreds of years and corresponded ideas and knowledge to communities around the world using the royal mail, which is so pitifully slow compared to what we have now.

And Fourth: there is a lot of work to do to make a 'Football Academy for Business'!
So who would profit by building one and how?



By building a 'Football Academy for Business' we are opening up the possibilities of how business can be created more easily and be operated; its the same pattern that other systems have been subjected to, for example: our means of communications, entertainment, food production, transport and more! It is just a natural process of striving for efficiency, removing waste and improvement; there are higher forces at work here and we need to work with them or risk being in conflict with them.

By building a 'Football Academy for Business' requires people who understand why it is needed and have the passion to make it happen! Most of us can learn new skills and multitask, but its better done with the support from others; after all that is how we have evolved.


Therefore... Dear Reader, we need your help to influence the powers that be, who control the money supply and everything else! And together let us overcome the barriers that are preventing us stepping up to a better life for ourselves, our children and our communities.

We need "Football Academies for Business"
and a Good Name maybe like FooBA - Football Business Academy ??  :-)


Thank You and Best Regards
Mark



Mark Concannon aka 'Mark the #3DPrinter' :-)

#3DPM © 2014



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

We are making #3DPM sustainable!


Our meetup at MadLab last Monday 24/Mar/2014 was soon after the Fab Lab meeting and it was a chance to get into some of the nitty-gritty of SketchUp the free CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) package; that we encourage beginners to 3D printing to use, which can be very frustrating for newbie’s, until they learn the ‘Tricks of the Trade’.

Further discussions were had about how we as a group can make #3DPM a sustainable organisation.
Up to now we have been able to sustain ourselves with Voluntary and Charitable help, and we whole heartedly thank everyone who has made our journey possible and a great experience.

We are in a good position to phase in new income streams to invest in equipment and cover expenses, so that we not only make sure we survive, but are also able extend our important work to make ‘3D printing and Business creation accessible’.

The membership is already making important contributions and guiding how #3DPM operates and does its business; we need more of the same. #3DPM belongs to its members and membership comes with desirable obligations.

The co-founders of #3DPM have been guiding this project and will continue to do so until #3DPM is self sustaining and takes charge of itself, this should be very soon while we continue at our current pace of development.



To continue on our destination of sustainability, it was decided as ‘homework’ to do some research on products we can manufacture and trade on behalf of the club, to begin an income stream. This was enthusiastically discussed and will be developed further at future meetups.

So stay tune for more updates, coming shortly J


PS: The picture was added for a bit of colour and has no relevance to the article. By the way can you spot the "deliberate" mistake? J


   


Sunday, 23 March 2014

#3DPM Minutes 01 “Getting to the Next Level”


This was our second meetup at our latest, but not the only, venue ‘Fab Lab’ and the ambiance is proving conducive for a more ambitious program to make our beloved 3D Printing Network a sustainable organisation. We all know that nothing is for free and we are fortunate to have had some great support over the past few months from Tech Hub, MDDA, Madlab, JW Retailers, Fab Lab and of course, our members.

Next month in April, we are aiming to hold regular meetups on the first Monday of the month in MadLab and the third Thursday at ‘Fab Lab’. The exact dates will be on our blog.

At the Fab lab meetup, a short formal meeting will be had to deal with club matters like we did this time; but because this was the first attempt to put the #3DPM club on a more professional footing our agenda was limited but the response was still very good and very informative. We want to keep the meeting short and deal with the necessary bureaucracy quickly, so we can get on with the more interesting stuff.

The #3DPM club belongs to its members for its members, and as a club we have set out our operating principles and charitable purpose, and our membership can challenge and improve on them, if it wants.

To encourage members to begin taking ownership a short presentation was made, here are the power point images...







It was at this point that Mark 'the #3DPrinter' handed it over to the attending group whereby an uneasy silence was felt, you can experience it on the video; we have a film crew documenting our development. Then Bill 'the sandman'was brave enough to get the conversation started about what events we could attend so we can advertise for new members. Because the events Bill suggested where half way around the country, Keith 'aka fingers' was quick to point out we should walk not run, that was a metaphor! and to keep things loca,l so John 'the Baptist' chipped in with more ideas nearer home.

Big Ben and Keith got into a conversation about the virtues of building 3D printers of rugged construction, which went on for a while until Charles 'the environmentalist' got the conversation refocused back onto the issues raised in the presentation.

It was nice to see the debate unfold and be constructive; there were quiet a few at the meeting who's names can't be mentioned because I have forgotten them, sorry folks, next months meeting will be better organised with an agenda and proper minutes.

It was only after the meeting did Allan volunteer a great idea for the club to make some money. This will be revealed at the next meetup at Fab Lab, along with his handle :-)

Thanks to everyone who turned up to make this another successful gathering; hope to see you all again soon.      


Friday, 21 March 2014

The European Financial Crisis Explained

I was emailed this a couple of weeks ago,
I don't know who wrote it but I think it is worth sharing.
And it is a reminder why we have to improve the way we do business.
Hope you agree :-)

>
> The European Financial Crisis.
>
> In “laymans” talk this should explain it to you all.
>
> Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of
> her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer
> afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem she comes up with a
> new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay
> later.
>
> Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting
> the customers' loans).
>
> Word gets around about Helga's "drink now, pay later" marketing
> strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into
> Helga's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in
> town.
>
> By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands
> Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially
> increases her prices for wine and beer - the most consumed beverages.
>
> Consequently, Helga's gross sales volumes and paper profits increase
> massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank
> recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets
> and increases Helga's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue
> concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as
> collateral.
>
> He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.
>
> At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to
> make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into
> DRINKBONDS. These "securities" are then bundled and traded on
> international securities markets.
>
> Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold
> to them as "AA Secured Bonds" are really debts of unemployed
> alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the
> securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the
> nation's leading brokerage houses.
>
> The traders all receive a six figure bonus.
>
> One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager
> at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand
> payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga's bar. He so
> informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons
> but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking
> debts.
> Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced
> into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga's 11 employees lose their
> jobs.
>
> Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset
> value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new
> loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
>
> The suppliers of Helga's bar had granted her generous payment
> extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the BOND
> securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her
> bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.
> Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family
> business that had endured for three generations; her beer supplier is
> taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and
> lays off 150 workers.
>
> Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their
> respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar
> no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.
>
> They all receive six a figure bonus.
>
> The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on
> employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who've never been in Helga's bar.
>
> Now do you understand?
>
>

Fab Lab - A new future beckons...


A big thank you to everybody who turned up and gave there support, a special mention to Nik, 'O' and Peter who are doing a documentary about our work at the #3DPrinting Network of Manchester and how 3D printing will generally develop and affect all our futures. Also we must thank Simon, Mike and Joanna who work at Fab Lab for helping us put on a great event

I will add the minutes of last nights meeting to the blog as soon as I can.
Last night at Fab Lab was about getting our group to the 'Next Level' it will be a transition that we all recognise needs to be done and handled delicately. But we have solutions! So watch this space there is more to follow, very soon :-)

Naomi on Star Trek...

On the original Star Trek TV series from the 1960s, they had their fictional replicator technology that materialized food, drink and non-edible objects. Well…now 3D printing is turning fiction into fact. There’s even a 3D printer by MakerBot Industries called the Replicator. Okay, we’re not quite at the Star Trek level yet, but the number of objects we can “print” is quickly growing, and the list includes useful things such as human organs, limbs and even synthetic food including pizza. Chefs probably don’t have to worry about their jobs just yet, as some of this 3D-printed food so far, is intended for consumption by astronauts in space — where 30 minutes or free for pizza obviously isn't an option. As well, 3D printing is in its infancy. In the near future, though, you could very well order something online and have it created in front of you from a home or office 3D printer — not unlike the Star Trek replicator. Check out more.