Spent the better part of today building – or starting, anyway – the Rostock Max v3.  There’s tremendous cultural and social value in having folks take ownership of their tools.  We ordered this 3d printer in DIY kit form specifically so that we could build it together, following our successful building/bonding experience putting together the X-Carve (part 1, part 2, part 3).  Champion maker educators Diane Carlson (Sociology), Jennifer Kraemer (Early Childhood Education), and Max Mahoney (Chemistry) were were joined by students Nathaniel Adams, CJ Costa, and Alex Hartigan.

It sometimes takes a while to get rolling on a complicated build.  I’ve learned that one of the best ways to kick things off is to get all the participants doing something communal and simple, so we started by collectively picking out all the little bits left over from the laser cutting process.  A low risk/high reward opportunity for the group to gel, visit, socialize, and quickly develop a common purpose.

Rostock Max v3 Build Day

This kind of social busywork seems to scratch some shared primate itch, and reminded me of my favorite moment from last summer’s Making Across the Curriculum workshop, during which folks gathered around to chat and pick the protective paper off of Diane’s Wheel of Voting Rights project.

Collective Grooming - Picking the Sticker Residue off a Laser Cut Piece of Acrylic

That finished, we loosely divided up the work and got to building.  With this particular build, there are a lot of steps that can be completed independently and in no particular order – in other words, not a lot of serial dependencies – so folks were able to dive in and work in pairs and trios without (usually) having to wait for others to finish.  Despite a few missing parts (which turned out not to be missing after all), we made a good start, and will continue building later in the week.

Build day album on Flickr…

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