Opening of the iMakr 3D print store in London’s Clerkenwell Road

iMakr intro to crowd1
iMakr 3D celebs introduced to the waiting crowds. From the left: Anarkik3D’s Ann Marie Shillito, RepRap’s Adrian Bowyer, Solidoodle’s Sam Cervantes.

Our 3D modelling package, Anarkik 3D Design (Cloud9 bundled with the Falcon haptic device), was there on both iMakr Store Opening evenings, on 30th April and 1st May. Anarkik3D’s CEO, Ann Marie Shillito, was there on the 30th and introduced to the waiting crowds along with Adrian Bowyer, the inventor of the RepRap, Solidoodle’s CEO and Founder, Sam Cervantes and iMakr’s technical staff who will run the 3D printers, scanners, software, and shop. Once the doors were opened the space on both floors filled up – people buzzing with excitement and eager to see the machines and the 3D printed models displayed in neat boxed shelving on the walls.

iMakr Demo 1
Anarkik 3D Design 3D modelling package: iMakr demo with Artur at the back having a break from demo-ing it!

As Artur Pojo at iMakr would be giving the demos at the 2nd opening and will thereafter give demos to shop visitors, Ann Marie spent a few of hours or so with him going through Cloud9 functions and features, for him to get used to navigating the very real and different 3D digital space and interacting with 3D models, deforming, scaling, etc, with the Falcon haptic device instead of a 2D mouse. Being a 3DStudio users, he had some re-adapting to do both physically (being able to touch a virtual object, plus going from 2D into direct 3D movement) and mentally (precision based construction and spline based modelling to direct unconstrained free form creation). Understanding this re-adaption makes him an ideal and empathetic person to help those people who are looking for the 3D package that suits their way of thinking and working.

The Anarkik 3D Design package is there now in the shop for anyone to visit and try. And it is important to try it: to experience the sensation of haptics as full 3D force feedback, to grasp how movement in 3 dimensions can make 3D digital modelling so accessible, and to understand how different the package is to the majority of 3D software in the market, why it is quicker to learn and be creative, and why it is such a pleasure to use – especially if you are not a CAD user.

In early April Ann Marie had met with iMakr’s founder and CEO, Sylvain Preumont, in the space that was being billed to be the largest 3D printing store in the world, to give him a hands on demo of Anarkik 3D Design. It was a surreal experience as the large space with its long stretch of window papered over was empty and still being prepared and fitted out as a shop. Bare light bulbs hung down and with a board as the table, balanced across the railings around the central stairwell to an even larger basement floor, she set up the laptop and device. Rather than send the equipment to iMakr for the technical guys to try out, it was important that Anarkik 3D Design’s unique selling  points (USP) be presented to Sylvain from a designer maker’s, artist’s and non-CAD user’s perspective as it is developed for these groups to remove one of their barriers to 3D printing:

1. THE DEFAULT SETTING IS SERENDIPITOUS: it is incredibly important that designer makers and artists (in fact anyone and everyone)  are able to play and explore ideas and form building in a digital ‘risk free’ environment

2. GOOD VALUE and AFFORDABLE: we all need to be able to justify any expenditure against the value tools will bring to our work and practice. For designer makers, applied artists and 3D artists this is particularly an issue as they will spend more time hand working and finishing at the bench than designing on computer.

3. FAST AND EASY TO LEARN, TO PICK UP AFTER A BREAK, AND BE CREATIVE FROM THE START: very few designer makers, applied artists and 3D artists can afford weeks away from the making and creating that generates the income to make a decent living.

It was a privilege to be invited by Sylvain Preumont to see this space when still in a state of preparation. It is very exciting that the shop is situated just a few blocks away from CraftCentral , so close to Hatton Garden. It is in an area of intense creativity with a high ratio of individuals and companies who have the best of reasons, and the knowledge and skills, to take advantage of the benefits that 3D printing provides. They have under one roof an excellent range of personal 3D printers, examples of how 3D printing is being applied and advice from knowledgeable people.