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Taking 3D printers to the streets: A Print-While-You-Wait Café opens in London
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By Alec | 3Ders

While the 3D printing community has been largely confined to offices, private homes and the internet in recent years, this is quickly changing. Following the example of Tokyo, Taipei, Berlin and Barcelona, a new café has just opened in Shoreditch, East London, catering specifically to 3D enthusiasts. Here at MakersCafe, customers can not only meet fellow 3D printing enthusiasts to discuss designs or innovations, but they can also design and print their own creations.

MakersCafe has been founded by Soner Ozenc, the product designer and engineer who masterminded RazorLabs in 2006. At this online design studio, customers could upload their personal designs, which were then engraved or cut with laser-cutting or fabricated on printers. Ozenc has now taken that concept to the streets by opening a Café that not only serves beverages but also prints designs and engraves objects while customers enjoy aforementioned beverages.

national Business Times, 'At the moment, people keep seeing these new technologies but there isn't much going on, on the street, or a place where they can actually touch the samples.' At his newly opened Café, Ozenc seeks to change just that. As described on the café's Facebook page, this location seeks to be 'Half Makerspace (laser cutting, 3D printing), half Cafe (kick-ass barista style coffee),' where interested creatives will have a chance to see the actual machines. And 'the idea is they will come with their ideas and will witness their ideas becoming physical objects.'

Skilled staff is at hand to not only serve coffee or operate the machines, but they are also available for feedback. 'We are open to anything from any amateur levels to professionals, and are happy to be consulted to help and make these drawings ready for printing.' MakersCafe currently works with two different approaches. People can either use their own software like Solidworks, Rhino or Google Sketch Up to make their own designs from scratch, which can then be uploaded online or at the café to be printed, or they can simply visit the café with their sketches. These can then be converted to digital files and realized with either 3D printers or laser cutters.

Furthermore, customers are charged by the minute for both the 3D printing and the laser cutting, instead of having to pay for the materials used or have a subscription. Current rates are starting at just £1 per minute (about $1.66). While only time will tell if this catches on in East London, Ozenc believes he's found a perfect combination of activities: '3D printing is all about creative digital manufacturing, while coffee is all about coming together and discussing and creating ideas.'

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