Before the opening of the science fair we needed to prepare our stand and do some last minute things. We picked up our posters and sandblasted a printed piece to show how the material will look on the final frame. We got our tables and we build the stand. our co-ordinator let us borrow a projector to show few clips we had filmed during the printing which gives a good Non-verbal communication of the process. The clip was projected onto a wall next to our posters. On the tables there were two pieces of the bicycle together with some samples from MX3D.
At 12:30 the fair started and immediately there were a lot of interested people at our stand. Most of the people were very enthusiastic about the bike and wanted to know everything about our project. We got a lot of questions about what material we used to print our bicycle and what kind of printer we used. When we said we used stainless steel most of the people laughed because they thought it’s going to be a very heavy bike but after they heard it was “only” 12 kilos they were amazed.
Also a journalist from “het AD” came to us for an interview and some photos to put in the newspaper. After two and a half hours of positive reactions the science fair was over. Although we did not managed to get the bicycle finished before the science fair we will be working on it the next weeks and hopefully the bike will be finished by the end of November.
Saturday morning we arrived at NDSM to get an early start on printing and to help set up for the open day. The team was optimistic about Friday’s progress and we were pleased to have extra time to print as a demonstration for visitors. We were able to set up two robots to be printing for a brief time before we encountered some issues with the second robot shifting in place. NDSM and MX3D were open to the public from 12 am to 6 pm so there were a lot of visitors during the day who were very interested in our project and the process. For safety the printing was totally enclosed in dark welding curtains to protect the visitor’s eyes. We managed to stick a poster of renders of the bike to one of the welding curtains so that people could at least see what we were printing even if it was not possible for them to watch the printing itself.
Later that evening MX3D had organised more extensive tours of the operations for people who had registered via their website. The tours involved a presentation by one of the MX3D founders about the company and its origins as well as an explanation of the printing process with some of the engineers. The tour ended with a well choreographed performance of the large robot showing a sneak preview of the bridge and a brief Q&A with the audience. The tours concluded at 9pm which gave us an opportunity to make up for lost time for earlier that week. We were able to finish the first piece of the frame and start the second – although we are doubtful about having the full bike completed by the science fair. This is a bit disappointing but everyone is enthusiastic about finishing the project even if its a week or two behind schedule.