Mar.7, 2014

There's no shortage of cafes in Berlin. But for those with more tactile creative pursuits, the traditional coffee shop scene isn't conducive to experimenting with the latest in technology. Specific needs like these are what caused Norma Barr and Amin Torabi to open DimensionAlley 3D printing Cafe in the heart of Berlin in December 2013.

As Berlin's first 3D printing café, the DimensionAlley in Prenzlauerberg's Bötzowviertel offers expert service and support for 3D printing as well as great food and drinks. Customers can bring in their design files ready for printing or seek advice on how to turn a sketch or an idea into something amazing.

"It is captivating, watching an object that you have designed materialise, layer-by-layer, before your eyes," said Norma Barr, co-founder.

"A lot of people tell us that at first they didn't see how this new technology might help their work or life, but once they see 3D printing in action, they're hooked and want to come up with new projects!"

Barr said DimensionAlley works together with the "Design Factory 3D" and has helped professionals create a range of new and innovative products. These include printing medical models from CT scans of patients' ankles and shoulders to help determine the best options for surgery, to prototype products for interior design and early years learning.

Along with 3D printing services DimensionAlley also brings 3D printing to local schools, starting with workshops and class trips and later supporting teachers introducing 3D printing as a course element. For kindergartens we offer a model printing workshop.

"We recently hosted a group of pre-schoolers who were just amazed at 3D printing," said Barr. "Their teacher had selected and scaled designs for model dinosaurs, horses, pendants and keychains to print. The children were totally absorbed with watching the printers create the models. It really shows how easy and fun 3D printing can be."

DimensionAlley also offers 3D scanning to make "Mini-Me" 3D replica busts on the spot. The studio will use 3D scanner and processing software to create a digital model of you and then 3D print it out, as a mini figure, from 3-10cm, half body bust.

"The Mini-Me scan busts are really popular for gifts, and they're unique of course," said Barr. Along with custom items, DimensionAlley sells pre-printed models. Multi-coloured orchid watering cans are particularly popular.

DimensionAlley have a MakerBot Replicator, a Makerbot Replicator 2, a Ultimake 2 and a 3D scanner run in the café area so it's possible to order a print and follow its progress whilst enjoying great coffee, real English tea, delicious pies, Cornish pasties, cream teas or cakes.

DimensionAlley is a family run business with the founders bringing a taste of England to the whole process. Both founders have a background in mobile handset development but were bitten by the 3D printing bug a year ago and see great potential in getting Berliners on the journey for "Zero to Maker".

"We are especially excited about the work we have done on creating medical models from CT scans and also with schools and kindergardens. Our youngest 3D printer enthusiasts are just 5 years old! People with no background in industry or manufacturing are already working on their first products with us!" said Barr.


Posted in 3D Printing Services


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window wrote at 4/4/2014 2:57:11 PM:


mark uttley wrote at 3/7/2014 12:59:57 PM:

i have a printer an was thinking of sharing it seems a shame when its sat doin nothing an some one with time could learn on it as well

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