Marketing makes the world go ’round. And when coupled with innovative technology like 3D printing, the sky is the limit. The busy team at System76 discovered this recently as a promotional deadline loomed ahead for July 4th—and required some major volume in production. With that in mind, they put their 3D printer to use.
“This was the first time we used our LulzBot TAZ 3D Printer for this level of mass production,” Jason DeRose, chief of research and development at System76, said. “I was extremely impressed with its reliability.”
Self-described as ‘a group of extremely hard-core nerds,’ System76 offers a selection of laptops, desktops, servers, and even some swag. As the July holiday rolled around, the System76 team wanted to make a creative revolution of their own.
“The revolution of ’76… the fight for freedom from oppression, the determination to create your own opportunity. The people have forgotten what real freedom means– to have the possibility of attaining anything you can imagine, rather than allowing limits to define your greatest potential,” stated the Manifesto on their website.
“Together we will remind the people how to ACCESS FREEDOM– from surveillance, from limitations, from restrictions.”
The team set out to 3D print a total of 26 Guy Tux masks, offering their own take on the original V for Vendetta theme based on the dystopian thriller and DC comics. Their goal was also to put the power in the hands of the users—with ‘user freedom’ being a focal point during their July 4th sale.
The team invited shoppers to post about exactly how the open-source world empowers them—certainly opening up a very modern and relevant conversation, especially as the TAZ 3D printers whirred away in motion. Enthusiastic fans obviously get what System76 is about as a company and both understand and support their mission—evidenced by an outpouring of tweets.
“The first two masks were used as props in the video shoot and each took roughly 30 hours to print,” DeRose said. “The remaining masks used a tweaked model to reduce print time, and these masks were sent out to the press, previous System76 SuperFan winners, and other friends of the company.”
The System76 team used a mix of free 3D modeling programs for their designs, to include Blender and Cura LulzBot Edition. They put the TAZ into constant use for nearly a full month. Each mask consumed around 21 hours of 3D printing, and lots of nGen material—along with post-processing work that included painting each piece.
“We’ve been very happy with nGen filament and now use it as our go-to filament for most projects,” DeRose said.
“Our LulzBot TAZ 3D Printer has helped us prototype computer chassis components, explore ideas, spread the Open Source message, and even print the occasional light saber.”
Share your thoughts in the System76 forum at 3DPB.com.[Source / Images: LulzBot]