Who could produce a 3D model of St Paul’s Cathedral the fastest? The location? The V&A. The time? 8pm on Friday 27th April. The materials? Marzipan vs PLA. The competitors? Dominic Wilcox and the Maxit, a 3D printer from A1 Technologies.
The A1 Technologies team of Martin, Trupti, Ivan, Alberto and Tom, along with their companions — two new Maxit kit 3D printers — have just about recovered from one of the best evenings in the company’s history at the Friday Late event which took place 27th April at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. We all (the printers included) had a fantastic time competing in the second round match of Human vs 3D Printer. Dominic Wilcox was the ‘Human’ in question, and the challenge was for each to make a 3D model of St Paul’s Cathedral; Dominic’s model was to be made of marzipan, constructed by his talented hands while the Maxit was set to print the A1 model in PLA.
This edition of Friday Late at the V&A was entitled ‘Britain is Making It’, and A1 & Dominic fitted the bill perfectly — matching a British designer against a British 3D printer. Dominic describes himself as “a British designer who creates unique and innovative objects, drawings and installations” (see www.dominicwilcox.com). The ‘3D Printer’ was the new Maxit from A1 Technologies, a low cost kit printer, which has been developed to solve the problems users have faced with early stage 3D printers, including the time and complexity of assembly, speed of printing, reliability & repeatability of printing plus model quality.
Following round 1 in Milan at the Hacked event at La Rinascente department store the V&A picked up on the idea, which, as you might imagine, grabbed attention and was very successful. A summary of round 1, which Dominic won, with photos and videos is available on his blog.
A1 Technologies was invited to take part having been involved in supplying 3D design, 3D scanning and 3D making equipment as part of the V&A’s education outreach activities during its recent, very successful ‘Power of Making’ exhibition. Also, because A1 is in the process of launching the Maxit, its own new, low-cost kit 3D printer, it was a fantasitic opportunity to show off its credentials.
While Dominic trained for the event by emulating Rocky, we had other issues to address. What was the model going to be? The only criteria set by the V&A was that the model was to be an iconic London building. Both sides eventually settled on St Paul’s Cathedral. For A1 this meant getting online to source a 3D printable 3D CAD models. Easy you might think?? Not so.