GE Air Show – a miniature air show of the imagination full of user-submitted designs, printed on a Makerbot!

I’ve been working on an exciting project lately: the GE Air Show. The idea is to get people to submit models, sketches, concepts or ideas for weird and wonderful flying machines, print them on a Makerbot, and then have them star in a video set in a miniature air show of the imagination. At the end of the month we’re hoping to have the airport crowded with all kinds of aircraft – so please submit your ideas.

We’re looking for submissions regardless of 3D design skills: you can submit sketches, mockups or just your brilliant idea to, and you can check out other comments and submissions at The models that are being built will be listed on the GE page at Thingiverse,, so keep checking back for updates.

I’ve been working together with Andrew Rutter on building the Makerbots, and getting 3D models ready for printing. It’s been very interesting so far: both Thing-O-Matics were up and running within a day – in fact, one of them was put together in only three and half hours! The new cartridge-based extruder is much simpler to assemble, and the Thing-O-Matic can certainly produce great results with a lot less tuning than was required for previous models.

This project is interesting because it highlights how quickly you can go from a concept to a physical object through 3D printing. By offering to model sketches or ideas that people have sent in, it makes it possible for people unfamiliar with 3D design to see their ideas made real. A lot of requests are for models of existing aircraft, but we’d really like for people to submit ideas for original and fanciful designs.