How We Met WASProject at the Inside 3D Expo in New York City

Mar 27, 2017

Hannah Chessman Bw By Hannah Chessman

One of my favorite things about the pop-up has been the opportunity to meet so many amazing designers, 3D print specialists, and technology enthusiasts in the New York community. I wanted to share how we met a few from the 3D printing world at a convention last week.

One of the main goals of each pop-up shop is to take the conversation offline, to be able to physically show people what we’re doing, and to find like-minded people in each city who want to be a part of it. Our Chief Operating Officer (COO) Raj Bharti emphasizes the importance of "constantly seeking strategic alliances” - of not underestimating the value of meeting as many new people as you can and then really listening to what they’re passionate about.

Raj also explained that forming these types of partnerships will enable Print The Future “to provide an unparalleled product the fastest manner at competitive prices”. - essentially, if you want to be the best, you need to work with the best.

Raj and I attended the Inside 3D Conference & Expo at the Javits Center last week to hear about the latest developments in 3D printing technology directly from some of the leading experts in the industry.

While touring the different booths, Raj came across WASProject, an Italian manufacturer of 3D printers with a unique vision. I imagine he was first struck by the size of some of their machines, including the massive DeltaWASP 3MT but was fully hooked by their passionate and knowledgeable team. Raj recalled how together they “instantly realized the potential for an incredible partnership”. Even in their first discussions, they could see how working together “could serve WASP, PTF, and our customers for years to come”.

The acronym WASP stands for “World’s Advanced Saving Project”, but it also refers to the arthropods of the same name and the techniques they use to build their nests out of mud. The mason wasp even informs the group’s logo! But what do wasp nests and building with mud have to do with 3D printers?

WASProject’s ultimate dream is to print homes and other structures made from clay harvested on-site to combat the global housing crisis in a sustainable and responsible way. By providing communities with almost zero-cost housing, hydroponic crops, compact 3D printers, and access to self-sustaining knowledge and systems, WASProject seeks to combat social inequality and restore power and ownership back to those who need it most. Amazing, right?

In many ways WASP’s mission aligns perfectly with Print The Future’s. For us printing ideas on demand means giving power back to the individual, breaking down the barriers between what you can dream up and what you can actually attain. Allowing customers to make their own objects not only reduces shipping costs and material wastage but also boosts creativity and innovation. A central part of Print The Future’s mission is to provide developing communities with access to 3D printing technology so that they can print tools and other items that they need, supplying individuals in these communities with the resources to build their own future.

From left to right: Damian Nodal, Davide Neri, Raj Bharti, Victor Ly-Tong, Michael Burghoffer

At the Inside 3D Expo we met Davide, a member of the WASP team responsible for Marketing and International Development and keen on sharing WASProject’s vision around the world. We also met Michael, the President of PicoTurbine International, and Damian, a Director of 3D Printing and Master Trainer at PicoTurbine. Between two facilities in New Jersey, PicoTurbine uses printers like WASP’s among many other resources to educate students and encourage learning through STEAM programs. (STEAM education can be described as “Science & Technology, interpreted through Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements”.)

We’re going on a field trip to the PicoTurbine STEAM Center in Kearny, New Jersey this week! We’ll be snapping lots of photos and taking lots of notes, so be sure to check back in to learn more about how PicoTurbine is empowering the next generation of engineers through hands-on learning experiences!

After the Expo wrapped up Davide, Michael, and Damian brought over one of WASP’s medium-scale printers for us to showcase at the pop-up. While this printer is smaller than the the BigRep ONE we have been using for the past few weeks, it is impressively fast and accurate. Damian showed us how easy it was to use and even gave us a few model files to print.

We printed a sculptural vase on the DeltaWASP 40 70 last week that has been a hit with pop-up visitors and hope to print a few more items next week! We even printed a little gnome for fun; I’m affectionately calling him “Clint” for now but am open to other suggestions.

Come experience the DeltaWASP 40 70 Pro for yourself at Print The Future’s pop-up shop, located at 325 W 38th St. The pop-up is only open in New York City until March 31st!

Just because the pop-up shop is moving on next week doesn’t mean we are going anywhere! We’ll be sticking around in New York to engage with all kinds of designers and technology enthusiasts. We hope to connect already existing communities together, allowing members to take advantage of the different perspectives, knowledge bases, and passions that each one offers.

Raj emphasized the fact that “strategic partners like WASP will be playing a significant role in executing” our vision to make 3D printed furniture accessible all around the world. We hope to bring these innovators together, online and off, to push the industry forward and explore new ways to solve complex problems, locally and globally.