3D printing is profoundly changing the way we view our everyday problems. What the internet did for computing, 3D printing will do for manufacturing. I talked to fellow 1A resident Gordon Dykes who built on years of industry experience in electronics and manufacturing to found Fre3formD.
Fre3FormD make 3D delta printers which are designed and manufactured in Wellington. They are Rep-rap FDM/FFF style 3D printers that operate on open source firmware. Many of the parts that make up these 3D printers are made on a 3D printer just like them. This makes these machines an excellent example of practical applications of the technology. It enables users to take control of their experience of 3D printing by printing replacement parts or download future upgrades.
The company also provides valuable and much needed 3D printing consultation expertise. That can be in the form of public presentations or advice for education institutions looking to explore this technology.
I was first exposed to 3D printing while I was working at Phonak producing hearing aids. Later it became a hobby that grew into a non stop obsession. While I was looking for work in the 3D printing industry I received the Enterprise Allowance which allowed me founder my own company, taking my obsession to a profession.
Late 2014, Tom Rabone came to one of my public presentations. About twelve months later I got a phone call from him, telling me about an opportunity to come and share the space at 125 High Street, with a bunch of other like minds. The timing was perfect and it all fell into place.
The biggest challenge has been trying to sell a product that the community knows very little about. As a result of this my focus has shifted towards an educational role. What I really enjoy is getting to play around with the machines, creating new things so that the public can see what’s possible. In order to create sales I am showcasing what applications this technology can have.
This Friday afternoon with be the first of many regular show and tells. This will be a short half an hour look at what I have been printing over the week. An opportunity for the public to engage with the 1A community. 3D printing enables us to manufacture parts that were previously unthinkable, its an opportunity to make something nobody has ever made before!