Make: Magazine’s Digital Fabrication Shootout: Live Blog

I’m in San Francisco to participate in Make: Magazine’s Digital Fabrication Shootout. The public can attend a Post-3D Printer Testing Weekend Q&A on Sunday from 3-5pm.

Last year, the 3D Printer Shootout was held at America Makes aka the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, Ohio. This year the coverage expands beyond 3D printers to a variety of digital fabrication devices including laser cutters and CNC mills. The location is the new Maker Media Lab at the Palace of Fine Arts and promises to be a fantastic setting.

This post is to collect my personal experiences of the trip and will focus more on people and places and the overall experience. Caleb Kraft from the Make blog is here and will no doubt be putting up some excellent coverage of the event. The shootout provides reviewers intensive hands-on time with the machines for reviews in Make magazine later in the year. (Please don’t ask about the performance of individual machines.) Make magazine reviews of the top 10 3D Printers from last year’s shootout is available at

7/30/15: Traveled from Albany, NY to San Francisco, CA in a total of 14 hours. Storms on the east coast put the travel plans of much of the team in disarray.

Flying over the US, I’m inspired to continue some of my 3D printing terrain projects. Want to figure out how to incorporate building and other human development on the maps. In San Francisco, called for my first Uber ride for the half hour ride to the beautiful Pier 2620 hotel. Recently renovated, these rooms really have a maker feel and are an excellent choice by the Make event planners.

Met up with part of the shootout team for dinner.

We ended the evening in a hotel room checking out 3D printers.

7/31/15: Should be sleeping in to prepare for the long days ahead but my body is still on east coast time. Excited about the location, people and hands on with the latest digital fabrication tools.