Buzzconf 2016

Another year and another BuzzConf.. where to begin?!

This is just a quick rundown of my 3D Printing workshop and a little about BuzzConf. Head over to buzzconf.io and https://twitter.com/hashtag/buzzconf to get even more info on the festival.

The plan

I had the bright idea of doing another Blender workshop and running a 3D printing lab.

I told Rick and Ben and they thought it was a great idea!

I have seven 3D printers but only one ultra-reliable printer (until my gizmo arrives) and I have thus far remained quite blessed by the demo gods (aka they haven’t dropped me in it), I thought it a great idea to enlist the help of my 3D printing supplier Aurarum. They have simply the best filament I’ve used and I also have one of their fabulous Wombot printers, not to mention excellent customer service.

Getting there

I walked into town to get my GoGet van — I would have got one closer but I was unprepared and forgot… then I headed to Aurarum to pick up 5 brand new Wombot Exilis printers, they kindly helped me pack them in the van and I was off home to pick up the multitude of electronics and clothing required to survive a technology festival like no other.

After about 3 hours driving (Aurarum is a little way from my house and my house is a long way from BuzzConf) we arrived and immediately began hugging all the familiar faces, it was a lot like the start of “Cheers” where I was norm except I wasn’t norm and I was surrounded by geeks and there were hugs…

Friday night

Friday night we had the introduction and a decent amount of drinking, surrounded by so many passionate and interesting people, I couldn’t help but feel right at home. With surprise hugs and “hey Spiderman” comments flowing from not-yet-seen people randomly through the night I found myself quite hung over and standing on the stage telling everyone nothing they needed to know about my workshop later that day.

What I should have said was:

Bring your laptops, bring your mouses and make sure you have blender installed, it’s going to be a whirlwind ride so make sure you’ve had coffee

What I said was:

Oh man, blender is cool, printers are cool, I like spiders and marshmallows and stuff — check out my 3D printing lab over there, where’s the burgers? is something stuck to that guy’s shoe?, never mind…

And I looked like this:

marshmallows! spiders! *hic*

Then… every mad scientist needs his LAB!

Several burgers and a great deal of water later I had a fully working Wombot powered 3D printing lab:

And my Exilis set aside for the glow-in-the-dark plastic — I’m an 80’s kid yeah but it’s still ace, choice, cool, wicked and awesome to have glow in the dark plastic.

The workshop

While feeling sorry for myself and setting up the lab, I sadly missed the Saturday talks… It’s the only downside about being a presenter/robots guy at a festival, you spend a lot of time missing the things everyone else went to see.

With the lab printing off a bunch of Pokemon characters I started up the Blender tutorial.

My plan was essentially an improvement on last year:

  1. A basic object/edit mode overview
  2. Making a cube more than a cube
  3. Using basic modifiers (subsurface modifiers)
  4. More modifiers (booleans, arrays, mirror)
  5. Hand sculpting in blender

We had a few people

We had heaps of hand gestures

We could achieve anything!

I knew that 2 hours to cover all those topics with heaps of people who were new to blender wasn’t just bold but it was impossible so I set myself the healthy target of up to 3: Using basic modifiers (subsurface modifiers)

I got people building vases from cubes, it’s a simple idea but conceptually it’s not straight forward and it covers a very large portion of what you need to know when you’re starting out in blender.

After the workshop… we printed

I printed several of these vases in all sorts of bright plastic.

Saturday night

Saturday night was flooded with conversations, fireside marshmallows missions, amazing music, a lot of 3D printing and robo-spider conversations. At one point someone brought me food and water and ran interference while I snuck out for a pit stop… the lab was a success.

It was all a success.

The music was great and party goers partied like it was some year shortly before a century and all the while there were drones, flashing wireless-connected LED’s, AR and VR as far as the eye could see.

Sunday: The talks

Despite the partying heading into the early ours, most people were up and about early to get breakfast and get listening to the fantastic talks that were lined up.

We had extraterrestrial energy generation that didn’t fry birds, ghosts, makers and mine crafters and of course the kids track, there’s too much to list at 1am on a Tuesday but you’ll find it all on twitter!

Heading home

Sadly we had to leave early to get the printers and ourselves home. We left a select few behind to party on the only night the organisers could join in and headed into Melbourne to drop the printers off and fall down for a short time.

Why you should all go to BuzzConf

If you like technology, camping/glamping, music, marshmallows and hanging out with a great bunch of smart and passionate people then come along to BuzzConf.

If you don’t… well chances are you wouldn’t be reading my blog…

Check out twitter: https://twitter.com/hashtag/buzzconf for some more reasons!

More to go on

Come to BuzzConf— it’s that simple.

People who want to learn a bit more about blender can start with this post, even if you skip to the end, the youtube videos are excellent.

Some sculpting in blender here

I wouldn’t be so far along without my awesome supplier of plastics and printers — note: I don’t get a kickback, they’re simply great!