Andrew Stott is one of the growing number of makers who are tapping into the potential of 3D printing to bring their ideas to life. Creator of Disrupt It Yourself, an up and coming community platform and media company for makers, Andrew is on a mission to provide a venue that can elevate the discussions on making, and the disruptive technologies like 3D printing that different makers are using for their projects. We reached out to Andrew for a review of the Series 1 Pro 3D printer so we may be able to better understand the needs of our customers. After several months of printing, Andrew gave us his feedback and we couldn’t be more grateful for the insights he has provided. We also took the opportunity to further interview him to learn more about his profession, his passion and his experience with the Series 1 Pro.
When and how did you get into the world of 3D printing?
I got into 3D printing in such a roundabout way. I have always loved making things. When I was very little, I loved making up songs and imagining toys that I would invent. Then it all came full circle in the summer of 2013. My love for music and guitar effects got me into making my own guitar pedals. A video from Collin Cunningham got me playing with Arduino with guitar pedals. Then it all came back. I remembered how much I loved inventing things and I was getting turned onto all this open-source technology and a huge community of makers. I did the Adafruit show-and-tell a few times with my projects and became friends with Noe Ruiz who convinced me to buy my first 3D printer. It was total magic to me. I’ve since worked for a few 3D printing companies and started Disrupt It Yourself in 2015 to take it all a step further.
Can you tell us more about Disrupt It Yourself and its objectives?
“I want to make our voices heard by companies that are making the products we use so they can know how to best serve our community.”
I really like to talk about the things I’m passionate about. At some point, I finally realized that I really wanted to talk about 3D printing and disruptive tech. I had few false starts at getting a YouTube channel going before I realized that I don’t want to be Disrupt It Yourself. Rather, I want Disrupt It Yourself to be a community and I just want to be its spokesman.
Andrew explains his vision for the Disrupt It Yourself Community.
Disrupt It Yourself is part community and part media company. The idea is that I want to get a community of passionate makers to discuss the tools and technologies they’re using, especially 3D printers. I then simply want to draw points from those discussions and present them in my videos where I can talk about the cool things they’re doing or even the frustrations they’re having. I want it to be a place where people can say, “Hey, I’m in high school, I just made a robot, and I did this interesting thing,” or "Hey, I’m a retired engineer and I just got into 3D printing to make this thing I’ve been thinking about for years." This way, people can support each other and help each other access the amazing technologies available to them to disrupt the world around them. Additionally, I want to make our voices heard to companies that are making the products we use so they can know how to best serve our community.
As a 3D printing professional, what are your top considerations when choosing a printer?
“[The Series 1 Pro] is one of the most reliable printers I’ve ever used and you can be prepared for worst case scenarios and almost eliminate downtime which is huge in the service business.”
As a professional, my needs become more refined over time. I think the most important thing to me right now is reliability. That was one thing I liked about the Series 1 Pro. It is one of the most reliable printers I’ve ever used and you can be prepared for worst case scenarios and almost eliminate downtime which is huge in the service business.
Other things I look at are build volume (10 -12 cubic inches), fluid motion to avoid unnecessary resonance transferring to the print, user serviceability, and compatibility with third-party software and material, and deliberate attention to user experience - the one that is harder to know without spending some time on the machine but is kind of the special ingredient. That last one is hard because it can incorporate custom firmware, software, proactive customer service, good instructions and additional resources. It’s not so much a checklist of what a company needs to do to provide good user experience, but it is something you notice within the first few days of using the product.
What types of prints do you usually do and what materials do you use?
When I’m doing printing services, I tend to do very industrial things with basic geometry. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t challenging because often, the designer doesn’t understand the limits of the technology. Since their parts typically require more precision and I can’t always ask them to make the changes, I must get creative with the orientation and support material.
I also review 3D printers and design my own stuff. I am an all-around nerd and I certainly print a little bit of everything.
3D Printed Headphones
3D Printed Gear Heart
Nintendo Switch Stand
Can you tell us more about your experience using the Series 1 Pro for your clients?
I got very lucky a few months ago and got hired by a friend and former co-worker to print a very large number of parts for a business he had started. They ranged from the size of a golf ball to the size of a shoebox. I had to crank these prints out usually in a few days and sometimes as many as nine or 18 at a time. I exclusively used the Series 1 Pro over other printers so I could really test its endurance. I think I printed something like 72 parts during the time frame of just a month and a half. I would often get up at 3 am to start a new print so I had the machine going almost non-stop. Time and time again, it performed perfectly and it allowed me to secure all their business for this project.
Although I have been vocal about my minor criticisms of the machine, I will say that I enjoyed being able to start a print from my couch and not have to fiddle with an SD card or flash drive. But the extra feature that was most helpful was the camera. I usually have to point my own webcam at my printers to monitor them and that saved me time and hassle.