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

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!