The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Office of Education and Outreach has participated in the Thingamajig Invention Convention as part of it's educational outreach mission. And, this year they wanted to introduce 3D printing to the students that visit their booth. I was very happy to agree to help out by bringing some Cube 3D printers to the event as a volunteer participant.
For a local event, Thingamajig is huge. It was held at the Prince George's County Equestrian Center in the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. YMCA centers from DC, Maryland and Virginia bring in thousands of students to participate in the event.
The Cube factory is located in northern Virginia and I knew that every Cube that is built is tested by printing a shoe. With the popularity of the Cube, this means that they have LOTS of shoes. They make for very popular handouts at events as I'd learned from distributing them at previous events. So, I took a short trip to pick up some of these coveted 3D printing examples for the attendees. It's too bad that I only had room in my car for about 500 shoes because the crowd was so huge and the 3D exhibit was so popular that we ran out of shoes in just 2 hours!
Here is a short video that captures just a few minutes from a wonderful day spent introducing the wonders of 3D printing to a whole new generation of inventors, mentors and parents.
The YMCA Thingamajig is open to the public and if you live in the Washington, DC area and have school aged children, I'd urge you to put it on your calendar. A similar event is going to be taking place in Silver Spring, MD on September 29th, 2013. The Cube will be at the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire to be held at the Silver Spring Civic Center that is presented by the Kid Museum.