There are lots of 3D printed things on display at Cape Town Maker Faire in 2015. One of the most impressive is a mannequin named Robotica(view in the picture). This mannequin is near-life size. The workman boasts an incredible level of details in this design.
It has been built by the founder of CADHouse, one of famous 3D printer distributor and print-on-demand shop, Bernhard Vogyt. The following are his answers from medium interview.
Question: What let you into making initially?
Bernhard Vogyt: I began a design consultancy business to do some engineering projects. I saw the necessary for 3D printing. At that moment, probably 5 years ago, there was not so much in the way of 3D printing in Africa. The cheapest machine at that time was nearly R400400. However, later, 3D Systems released a substitution R130000 (about $10,000) machine. While still lots of money, was relatively cheap. Then, the RepRap machines and the open source design were released so that you can make your own printer. As time went by, the self-made machines can even print better ones than others which sell thousands of Rands.
Question: Robotica is the most impressive sculpture made by your machine. Where did you get the idea from for her?
Bernhard Vogyt: The first time I saw it was it was published by a famous Spanish Toy designer Sonia Verdu. It was one small articulated mannequin that could print on any 3D printer. Then I look at it for several times and want to have a try at our machine. Then I said to others, “Hey, we have the biggest 3D printer in the country, so let’s see how big we can print it.” Then we scaled it up and finally it went all the way up to 1.7m tall. It’s really a cool thing.
Question: How difficult was it to actually print Robotica?
Bernhard Vogyt: It was really a long process to deal. Since scaling was easy because the software can do it quite simply, I just then had to calculate what was the biggest part that could fit into my printer. And then the printing process took a real long time. Eventually it took nearly 2 weeks but it felt like forever. Although the 3D printers are not fast, we didn’t print any failed prints, which are a blessing, and finally it worked out.
Question: How difficult is it for one who has no background in electronics, engineering, or anything like 3D printer, take it home and start to make their stuff?
Bernhard Vogyt: If you are not a technical person for this, we have something like The Apple Mac of printing called Cubify, a plug-and-play product. You take it from the box and then run on phone with wifi or Bluetooth. That’s to say you don’t need to know so much about design – you just need to write it inside the app, send it over and print it. It’s very simple. One important reason that 3D printer wasn’t accepted by general public was that it’s complex. But now, Cubify change it. Now you can get a lot of help and suggestion to keep going with your projects from all the online resources, and normally they are willing to help you than you thought.
Question: Then, So what is the next for you?
Bernhard Vogyt: I believe we could use the 3D printer to print more things, not just the mannequin, Robotica. I also want to try other bigger thing. And I hope the next step of 3D printer is to print products – the factories of the future.