Finally. The big day had arrived. I got to go into Matt’s fortress of solitude. His lair was pretty cool. He bought an old building in Illinois, and has filled it from front to back with tons of cool toys. He’s got all kinds of production equipment for a filament line and lots of big commercial looking stuff I wish I had photos of. I just didn’t think of it at the time. After spending an hour walking around the building, we finally stopped in the small little subsection where Matt dedicated some space to working on the Vision 3D printers.
There were piles of pre-printed parts everywhere. The desks were filled with stuff. There was obviously stuff going on here. The plan today was for Matt to show me how a printer works, get the software loaded onto my laptop, then send me on my way with either my kit or my loaner. When I arrived, it was obvious that my kit wasn’t ready yet. No matter, I guess. I’ll take what I can get at this point. We fired up one of his old, old prototype printers (non-Vision 3D) and started a print. It was pretty exciting to see the first few layers print. While waiting for that to print, Matt was working on an issue trying to get the new version of the the Arduino driver installed on his PC. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but several hours were wasted in this process. Time sort of seems to slip away from you at this facility.
After being there for several hours, I still hadn’t used my laptop yet. A few prints had come off of Matt’s prototype printer, but I still hadn’t really tried anything on my own laptop. After finally getting the Arduino driver installed on Matt’s PC, we eventually turned on the first prototype of the Vision 3D printer, the one featured in the video. We made a basic print on it, and it looked like success. However, I had been here for over 7 hours already, and my kids were getting restless. (They rode along on the 4.5 hour drive, figuring that they’d only need to kill an hour or two while I loaded stuff on my printer.)
Eventually, we boxed up Matt’s prototype Vision 3D printer and I decided that I’d learn on the fly when I got home. I snapped a few photos of the assembly area and decided to pack my toys up and head home…