Thanks to my co-worker Brooks, I had an opportunity to sit with my Thing-o-Matic and a loaner Replicator (thanks Makerbot!) at the ACE Academy Innovation Fair here in Austin yesterday. The Innovation Fair was kind-of like a normal school science fair, but included guest speakers, a proclamation from the mayor (officially it became “ACE Academy Innovation Day” yesterday), and more. Unlike normal science fairs where kids have dioramas of the earth’s layers, or maybe a hamster in a maze, these kids had exhibits like new, innovative forms of lightning rods for houses, cool robots, 3D LED matrix cubes, and a new type of “flame in a can” over which they were roasting marshmallows.
I knew the day was going to be awesome when as soon as we put the Replicator on the table, a tiny little girl (I say in the 6-year-old range – no lie) complete with plaid dress, bows in hair, and glittery shoes walks up and asks excitedly “Is that a 3D printer?” to which I, in shock, replied it was. “That’s so awesome! Well I’ll be back when you’re printing something.”