MRRF 2018 – How 3D Printing events should be experienced

I went to MRRF 2018 and it changed my perception on what a 3D Printing event should be

Midwest RepRap Festival, or MRRF 2018 is a event organised in Goshen, Indiana in the USA.

MRRF is the worlds largest celebration of open source 3D Printing and is growing with over 1000 attendees from around the world.

What I find unique is how the focus is set on enthusiasts instead of companies. Something that’s is hard to find these days.

Up to recently I worked at Creative Tools Stockholm with Daniel Norée, who you know as the creator of the OpenRC project. Daniel is the one who convinces me to take the leap and actually travel from Sweden to Goshen for the event. This blog post will show you some of this epic journey.

Traveling to Goshen, Indiana

Me and Daniel teamed up with The Olsson Ruby team; Erik Cerderberg and Henrik Cornelius and got onto a SAS flight from Arlanda. There’s a direct line to Chicago so the 8-9 hours flight is no problem.

To complete our #TeamSweden we were joined by Bondtech CEO Martin Bondéus and Jonathan Bondéus in Chicago.

We arrived to Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown which was a pretty nice hotel with a great lobby. Perfect for some Welcome-To-Chicago-Beers. Needless to say we had a great evening!



Rentals from Chicago to Goshen

Friday started off with some sightseeing and locating rentals. Getting a rental turned out to be a bit tricky due to some events. The first place was totally sold out but luckily there we another one on the other side of the street.

Driving out of Chicago was pretty exciting, but Erik did a great job getting us and the cameras to Goshen. We checked in briefly at the Best Western In, a few minutes away from Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds where MRRF 2018 is situated.

The MRRF 2018 3D Printers and People

The atmosphere at MRRF is incredible. The venue is packed with tables where participants set up their printers and projects. I wont to say exhibit their printers, but people are working with them. Modding, Printing, Testing or just creating fantastic things. It’s not a “look at my expensive printer” kind of place. Everyone’s welcome and even if you’ve built it from a DIY-kit or designed your own laser-3D-Printer, you are welcome. Most welcome!

People are incredible friendly and the fact that this is a event for enthusiasts makes it so comfortable to ask questions. Everyone loves what they do and are passionate explaining not only what they’ve done but how. It didn’t take long before I’ve had a one-to-one conversation about creating thin walled models curving and twisting. I mean, a conversation for probably halv an hour about one small thing. Fascinating!

The sponsors that are here are not pushing products. They are not even close to your regular sales person at an industry event. They are also enthusiast talking passionately about 3D Printing and it’s branches.

I had great talks with a bunch of the vendors/sponsors located at MRRF. I had a great time with Proto-Pasta for example. Alex and Keith stayed with us in Chicago during the Monday after the event, chatting about everything from ultimate 3D printers to orange flavored beer.

The creativity

For mer it was also incredible to actually get to meet a few of the faces I’ve only seen on YouTube. There were a lot of “oh you’re that person on twitter!” moments all weekend long.

Getting to meet people like Heather( #3dpinkmafia), Travis(A Pyro Design), Joel Telling, Thomas Sanladerer, Chuck Hellebuyck, Kelly (brokeasswonderwoman), Jim Carter, Mara and Dave from Matterhackers and SO MANY MORE was just incredible. It’s a real community party.

Having all of the different creators in one space really got me going. I’m motivated and filled with ideas. I’ll keep you all updated of course, and I hope you’ll end up enjoying everything that I output.

Coming back from MRRF 2018 was just as fun as sad. New energy, motivation and connections, but still a very long time until next meet.

Let’s enjoy it a bit more shall we? I’ve made 4 interviews gathered in two videos, although shorter ones that you can enjoy here:

And on top of that I’ve put together a few pictures about the Event (coming soon) below.

That’s about it for the MRRF 2018 event, from a swedes perspective. Hope to hear your thoughts and if you’re into these kinds of events, see you next year!

About The Author
- 3D-visionary enthusiast exploring the world of 3D-printing. With 12+ years of 3D experience from visualization, VFX and CAD-design and the industry itself, I tend to find interest and ideas from the world around me.

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