What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 11:54AM
Hello fellow makers,
I'm a student gathering information for a paper on the maker movement. Please help me out answering this question. And if you would, please answer more questions at my other post [forums.reprap.org] Thanks.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 01:34PM
Free time.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 06:30PM
imagination, drugs, other hobbies.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 07:46PM
Who needs drugs with all the fumes.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 09:40PM
What do you mean by a "successful" maker? How famous you are? How much money you make at it? How much fun you have?
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 19, 2015 11:04PM
To make something successfully.

I'd say patience and fortitude...
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 02:25AM
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MechaBits
Who needs drugs with all the fumes.

Well, PETG is a lot lower on the fumes, so my wallet has gotten a lot lighter both with the added cost as well as the drugs I now have to buy. /S
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 05:41AM
Okay since you are not getting very far with this... I am not entirely certain on the definition of "maker", but if you mean someone who has a 3d printer and is confident to produce objects with it, possibly also designing those objects (or modifying objects already designed) then I would say the key higher skills are technical and creative.

Technical - using a reprap style 3d printer requires some ability to understand technical information. You need some basic maths, a basic understanding of the cartesian coordinate system, an eye for safety since there are almost no safety systems (or fail safe design considerations) in most reprap printers, the ability to use a computer, to adjust settings in slicing programs, for example in a systematic way so that you can link your changes to the effects they have on your prints. You also need to understand some basic engineering, how to measure objects accurately using calipers or something similar, what is the meaning of tolerance between parts. You need to be able to undertake the maintenance of your machine. You also need to be willing to find answers to your problems and seek the advice of others, unless you are an engineering genius you're going to need some help along the way.

If you want to build reprap 3d printers then you will need all the skills above an in addition some electronics knowledge, soldering/crimping skills, and you need to have the patience to be precise and methodical.

Creative - I would say the difference between makers and people who own only a consumer 3d printer, is that makers are always looking for ways to improve their machines and do things better/faster/more efficiently/more sustainably and due to the unique nature of reprap machines they can obtain, modify and share their improvements to these printers and systems with the community who can build on them. A manufacturer of an out of the box machine might encourage a user forum to steer their future direction but their product does not evolve in the almost organic way that reprap does. Its not just a case of being a user of a machine, it's being it's builder, developer, operator and maintainer as well. Obviously the creativity to visualise 3d objects and then create them using CAD software is extremely important. Without this all you are doing is finding a thing you want and pressing print, this is not a creative endeavour you are merely the machine operator in that scenario. Part of this is also having the imagination to see problems, think of solutions and then because you are able to; go on and make them and refine them and then share them.

There are a list of other more mundane requirements, such as space, electricity, a computer and a considerate partner who is willing to entertain themselves whilst you spend time making things "out of horrible plastic".

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2015 05:45AM by DjDemonD.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 06:57AM
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zerodameaon
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MechaBits
Who needs drugs with all the fumes.

Well, PETG is a lot lower on the fumes, so my wallet has gotten a lot lighter both with the added cost as well as the drugs I now have to buy. /S

There was a guy in a thread the other day has a degree in chemistry and wants to get into the 3D printing industry, might be able to help each other out smiling smiley It's a lucrative business for sure.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 09:50AM
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zerodameaon
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MechaBits
Who needs drugs with all the fumes.

Well, PETG is a lot lower on the fumes, so my wallet has gotten a lot lighter both with the added cost as well as the drugs I now have to buy. /S

Oh really? I was happily printing ABS and would get sore throat only after spending 12 hours in a same room as a printer. PETG made me to get an enclosure for a printer as after 2 to 3 hours I get a sore throat.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 11:38AM
3D printing is a not especially efficient way of making things - the number of items that go wrong, are incorrectly designed or otherwise scrap is far higher than a commercial manufacturer would tolerate. I can't think of any other hobby I've been involved in that has such a high degree of wasteage. It is also a vast consumer of time. However - the sense of achievement when you imagine, design, slice and produce a part that is fit for purpose is tremendous.

For me, I built my first printer out of curiosity - just to see what it was all about. After printing other peoples' STL files taken from places like Thingiverse I decided that I ought to do my own designing. A few design packages were tried, such as Blender (too scary, too hard to learn) and FreeCAD (too unreliable) I ended up using OpenSCAD. This is a bit tough to pick up - the documentation is huge, but hard to read - but very reliable and accessible/modifiable by many others. Note: my chosen OS is Linux, so the other Windows design packages weren't available.
Re: What does it take to become a successful maker?
October 20, 2015 04:52PM
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Edvardas
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zerodameaon
Quote
MechaBits
Who needs drugs with all the fumes.

Well, PETG is a lot lower on the fumes, so my wallet has gotten a lot lighter both with the added cost as well as the drugs I now have to buy. /S

Oh really? I was happily printing ABS and would get sore throat only after spending 12 hours in a same room as a printer. PETG made me to get an enclosure for a printer as after 2 to 3 hours I get a sore throat.

What brand PETG and what temp? I can faintly smell ABS at temp, but I cannot smell any PETG at printing temp. It supposedly will not start releasing dangerous fumes until around its decomp temp of 300c as apposed to ABS doing so at 250c.
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