MakerBot Owner Brings His Thing-O-Matic To Kids Innovation Day

Posted by on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Credit: Caroline Poe Photography

Check out this post from Austin-based design technologist (at frog) Gregg Wygonik, who attended what is now officially known – by proclamation of the Mayor! – as ACE Academy Innovation Day. I never get tired of reading about young kids who need no explanation of what 3D printing is or why it’s powerful.

Gregg is an enthusiastic MakerBotter, and he answered our call to action (wittingly or not) for a community member to go represent us at this cool day-long science fair for young innovators. Apparently this wasn’t like “normal science fairs where kids have dioramas of the earth’s layers.” No, these kids brought “innovative forms of lightning rods for houses, cool robots, 3D LED matrix cubes, and a new type of ‘flame in a can’ over which they were roasting marshmallows.”

And then one of the youngsters asked Gregg why he was running Windows on a Mac, while another schooled his peer on time-lapse YouTube videos of 3D prints in progress.


Were these kids exceptionally engaged in the world or is that just what kids are like these days? It seems that 3-year-olds can handle iPads about as well as 63-year-old novices, and whenever I see a child near a 3D printer they just get it. That’s exactly what Gregg experienced at ACE Innovation this weekend.

While we got questions from parents about how it worked, the kids all seemed to know…

Credit: Caroline Poe Photography

If the kids who grew up with early generations of personal computers grew up and revolutionized the Web, what will the kids who grow up with 3D printers do?

Thanks, Gregg (and his colleague Brooks!), for spending the day with some awesome kids! It is amazing to see people from our community out there spreading the fun and freedom that go along with MakerBotting.

The video below shows a little more about what the day entailed. It almost makes it seem like kids invented The Replicator, but hopefully they were at least inspired to hack away on it!


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3 Comments so far

  • Tinkercad
    April 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Love, LOVE this! What a great idea. Totally stoked to get a MakerBot for our Mt. View office =)

  • g.wygonik
    April 25, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I’m always evangelizing at-home 3D printing to whoever will listen, so thanks for letting me spread the Makerbot love to a bunch of folks all at once!

    The TV news did seem to hone in on the 3D printer being there compared to all of the great projects the kids presented, but I suppose that’s good for you guys. The kids definitely enjoyed each others work–especially the ones with food–so there was more in-person time given to other things. But…

    The overall reaction to the Makerbots was awesome! The smiles on everyone’s faces from young to old just made the whole day so worthwhile. (Speaking of, I had a great chat with an elderly gentleman–probably in his late 70’s-early 80’s?– who had been assembling a Prusa in his spare time for the past year, but was excited to know you could now just buy a Makerbot pre-assembled 😀 )

    I can’t wait to see what crazy, fun, innovative things get created as these kids grow up with this tech. Of course, at this rate in just a few years kids are going to be all “3D printer? Whatever. I have two.” 😉

  • Ronnie Goff
    February 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Greg Wygonik,
    I am seriously looking for a Makerbot owner to make me a couple of
    prototypes of A “Rush” Push Tool to see if the Makerbot manufacturing
    process will do what I need it to do.
    If it does I’ll purchase one of the things.
    Will pay a fair price for your time, & work, & if this works you will make
    Chair Caners’, & Seat Weavers’ all over the world a very happy bunch of
    I have a prototype in metal just need one in the material Makerbot uses
    to see if it works, & holds up etc.
    Look at on You Tube “Easy Rush Bottom Chair Square Up”, & you can
    see the tool I want made.
    Regardless of your decision best of luck to you in the future, &…
    God bless you, & your family.

    A Very Happy Seat Weaver,

    Ronnie P. Goff


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