Friday, September 6, 2013

3D Printing Lands in Bangkok, Thailand

The i3Dbot shop in Paradise Park's IT Zone, Bangkok Thailand.
FABrication :: Thailand has a growing hacker community, and a lot of the hallmark technologies and concepts making their way around hacker communities worldwide are popping up across Bangkok. For example, CITEC hackerspace is hosting an introductory Arduino course today (Saturday, September 7, 2013), while electronic shops in nearby Chinatown have been offering different versions of the popular prototyping board for some time now. 

What's new and exciting is my first sighting of a working 3D printer on the 2nd floor of Bangkok's Paradise Park, next to the more well known Seacon Square shopping center. It was busily printing away within the i3Dbot shop, in Paradise Park's IT zone.

The i3Dbot's specs can be found on the shop's website here. If you visit the shop, you'll also get a chance to see many examples of the printer's work. They range from toys and architectural models, to hardware and spare parts. Interestingly enough, some functional aspects of the shop itself, such as a lock to secure the laptop running the software for the printer, are also 3D printed.

Some of the prints are a little rough around the edges, but I was surprised by the strength of the material and the utility of the prints. This would be perfect for prototyping, making spare parts, and if the print is planned just right, it would be good for certain toys and gifts. If you're in Thailand and looking to get into 3D printing, the i3Dbot looks like it would be up for the task.

It will be interesting to see what happens next -- to see if Thai hackerspaces start folding 3D printing into their activities (if they haven't already) and if other 3D printing makers and distributors begin popping up in Bangkok or elsewhere across Thailand. I already covered 3D printing companies in Singapore, now it looks like I can save myself a trip when I finally decide to get serious about getting a 3D printer.

See more images by clicking on "read more" below. 

An i3Dbot is always running in the shop, surrounded by a collection of prints made on it. The 3D printer takes .stl files, which would mean you could use SketchUp and its .stl converter to make objects you'd like to print.

There's a collection of prints on display in the shop, all of which you can pick up and examine. I was surprised with the quality, strength, and possibilities even a lower resolution printer can produce. It will definitely be interesting to see hackerspaces pop up in Thailand and begin putting these printers to work. 

Some more examples of the i3Dbot's work. The detailing on the castles were nice -- there is definitely potential for augmenting tabletop gaming, models, toys, and even architectural presentations.

You can see the whole set up, the printer on the left and the laptop running the machine on the right, to get an idea of the overall footprint it will have on your bench. Visit the i3Dbot shop at Paradise Park, 2nd floor, Bangkok Thailand or visit their website, if you'd like more information.