Feb 1, 2016 | By Andre
Since getting involved with the Maker movement back in 2011, the idea that 3D printing is somehow part of a new philosophy in localizing production was a cornerstone belief. The idea is that a collaborative effort of similarly minded people could pull its resources together so to gain access to 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting, CNC machines and all manner of custom fabrication tools. While always limited in scale, the complexity of art, prototypes and everything-in-between that was made on-site wouldn’t have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of these Makers. Without it, our reliance on products that are, for the most-part, manufactured overseas en masse would have been as high as it remains with the majority out there today.
It appears a new startup called Mayku is hoping to bring this spirit of making together with a global network of mini-factories but also aspires to assist in supplying supplementary tools and technologies that would reduce the need for distantly produced products even further. And if you have the curiosity to make, “whether you make clay pots, or rocket ships”, as they put it, they want you to join.
As their below introductory video suggests, they’re “taking all of the complicated tools you need to mass-produce products, like injection moulders, circuit printers, steel forgers, and making small and simple versions of them. One day soon, you’ll be able to make almost anything, from headphones, to mobile phones.”
In terms of Making technology being developed by Mayku, they currently have two devices in the works that are said to "work separately as powerful making machines, and together is the start of a desktop production line."
First off, there’s the FormBox, a desktop based vacuum former that turns flat materials into 3D shapes from a variety of materials. For example, you can use items found lying arund the house or alternatively take a 3D printed item as seen below before using the Formbox to create a reusable mould without any further assistance from computers.
After the mould is created, the second device, the RotoBox, allows the casting of hollow objects from a variety of materials including plaster, concrete and even chocolate via the complex rotational moulder.
So with the assistance of 3D printing and Mayku, “designers can make product prototypes in small batches, parents can customize their kids stuff and their homes, and small business can make unique products. Sweet shops can personalize their candy, and kids can design their own toys.” The ability to create products with very low tooling costs, and high customization is advantageous in today's competive world.
In these early days, the Mayku core team consists of Benjamin Redford and Alex Smilansky and are assisted by a network of mentors (including Virgin co-founder (and brother-in-law to Richard Branson) Robert Devereux). But as the promotional video suggests, they are hoping to build a network of like-minded individuals to grow the Mayku platform.
To get the collaborative ball rolling, they recently organized a ‘MaykuThon’, in which 60 makers from all backgrounds tested the boundaries of the Mayku machines. The team was happy with the results by suggesting that “I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to walk into an empty room and see these two prototypes quietly whirring away in the corner, making objects for our beta testers.”
The Mayku philosophy of creating local networks of productions on a world-wide scale is an extension of what the Maker movement started. The team is in the process of preparing a Kickstarter campaign, according to the comany. As someone that was introduced to 3D printing through my local Maker community, I’m excited to hear that new and collaborative systems and technologies are being developed to move the Maker movement ahead on a global scale.
Posted in 3D Printer
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