Hi, I'm Tom Meeks

TDMeeksTDMeeks Member, Backers
I found 3DFacture too late to participate in the KickStarter campaign; but, happy to be here to follow the progress and get to know the team as the Draken is released.

I work for the YouthQuest Foundation teaching at-risk young people and our mission is to use 3D design and printing to help turn lives around.  And, it works. There is nothing like having the capability of being able to turn abstract ideas into concrete reality for turning on the brain in a remarkable way. 

Up to now, we have been teaching cadets in Youth ChalleNGe Academies in 3 states; Maryland, the District of Columbia and South Carolina.  We use the 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen Cube 3D printers at these sites and deliver the 3D design training through videos available online.  Youth ChalleNGe cadets  There are two cycles each year, with completely different cadets.

From each cycle, 2 or 3 cadets that show the most motivation are brought to our facility at Chantilly, Va for a week of immersion training.  Last cycle we added 3 CubePRO printers for this training and for this cycle's immersion cadets we have our first SLA printer, the Projet 1200, designed for the dental and jewelry industry.

It was our introduction to the ProJet 1200 that made us realize that adding larger SLA printers would enhance the vocational aspects of our training.  For personal reasons, it was a double bonus for me to find that 3DFacture was being developed in Delaware.  So, I am VERY interested in their progress.

I should also add that I blog about 3D printing with one blog devoted to helping users of 3D System's consumer line (Cube, CubePro) and another covering 3D printing in general.

Happy to be here.


  • Joseph_OsbornJoseph_Osborn Member, Backers
    Hi Tom; welcome to the party. Your unique application of 3D printing technology is very commendable.
  • sabotagesabotage Member, Moderator, Backers, Ultimate Backer
    Welcome @TDMeeks, glad you joined even though you were not able to get in on the Kickstarter campaign.  It sounds like you are doing a wonderful thing for kids who could use it, and have a lot of experience that may also prove helpful here.  I used to like in your neck of the woods for about 4 years, in the McLean/Vienna area just west of DC.

    Thanks for not starting off by promoting your blog with links to it, that sometimes comes across as you just joining to advertise.  Now, since you didn't, I will ask... could you provide a link to it.  Now it's not advertising but being helpful :)

    imageBacker(Ultimate Package - delivered on July 1, 2015)
  • TDMeeksTDMeeks Member, Backers
    sabotage said:

    Thanks for not starting off by promoting your blog with links to it, that sometimes comes across as you just joining to advertise.  Now, since you didn't, I will ask... could you provide a link to it.  Now it's not advertising but being helpful :)

    My most acive blog right now is dedecated to helping owners and users of the "Cubify" series of printers.  It covers anything available under the Cubify umbrella up to $10,000.  The primary focus right now is the Cube3.  It's at http://cubifyfans.blogspot.com

    But, my oldest 3D printing blog is http://3DPrinterUsers.blogspot.com and that focuses on 3D printers, etc. that are not produced by 3D Systems.  It is that blog where I plan to cover 3DFacture's products once I am able to see it in action..

    My focus has always been on consumer or pro-sumer level 3D design and printing products. This includes blogs for delivering free tutorials for 3D design software.  The most fun were devoted to doomed products that were very wonderfully easy to use. 
    I LOVED Cosmic Blobs, a simple program aimed at 3D design for children and had a ton of fun blogging about it http://blobfans.blogspot.com/. and a companion product CBModelPro (http://cbmodelprofans.blogspot.com) before Dessault bought the company that had produced them and killed the products.  It was a very sad day.

    No product is perfect.  But, my goal when blogging is to acknowledge flaws and challenges in a positive way by working hard to find ways to get through those challenges and communicate that to users.  The Cube3, for instance, had some significant clogging issues early on; but, there were ways users could minimize that challenge and get on with life.  And, it's turned out that those that bought a Cube3 are going to be exceptionally happy with their choice.

    I have no doubt that early Draken users will face some challenges.  Designers and developers know what NOT to do.  Consumers do not.  So, it's only when a product hits the streets that some weaknesses show themselves.  If I end up obtaining a Draken, I will approach these weakness the same way I've done with the other printers I own... by serious exploration to find the causes and solutions (which I communicate back to the company) and how to avoid the issue which I will communicate to other users for a better user experience.

    I will also add this.  Most bloggers cut and paste press releases.  I NEVER do that.  I only report that with which I have firsthand experience.  And, based on my experience with the ProJet 1200, I know that material handling and safety is something that users should take seriously.  That means I not only focus on the whiz-bang printing; but, best practices as well so that users can safely use their printers for many years.

    In short... I believe in sharing our total experience (good and bad) in a positive way.

    That sure was long-winded, wasn't it???  :)
  • caseylawsoncaseylawson Member, Backers
    edited August 2017
    Hi Tom! Welcome to this forum
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