So my hackerspace,  FamiLAB  will soon be hosting a  class/workshop,

So my hackerspace, @FamiLAB will soon be hosting a #3dprinting class/workshop, and I really need some input.

I need to set expectations of people that will be reasonable for the types of machines we’re building (probably makiboxes). I meet a lot of people who have fallen into the marketing trap of “3D printing will save the world!” and expect that printers will be able to make intricate jewelry, and they’ll be able to make money off of it, etc…

How do I go about setting appropriate expectations, while not sounding off-putting? How can I get them still excited, while maintaining a realistic view of the class and what they will be getting from it? I need to set these expectations before they purchase a ticket so that they understand what they are getting.

How many people actually have a Makibox yet to tell?
I thought they wheren’t shipping yet.
(Still 10 weeks for mine)

Ignore the fact that it’s a makibox, we haven’t solidified that detail yet. Pretend it’s a reprap. A FDM printer, no matter the type, is generally the same as every other FDM printer…“brand” of printer doesn’t really matter all that much here.

Expect a few tries until things stick to the platform, warping preventing parts longer then e.g. 8cm, extruder to skip or grind and generally fail mid-print for the first few times until you get the pressure right.
Holes being too small until calibrated in Skeinforge.
That’s what I’d expect on a very first print of a newly assembled machine, before calibration of Skeinforge.

Some work pretty decent the first time, some fail completely.

That is one of the things that I did not expect. The printers at the lab look the same as your personal printer but the quality speed and reliability of your printer is on a whole different level. Another thing is that I didnt expect to get very high quality out of my printer and it has surprised me a couple times how good it prints. A list of the common things that you can print out of the machine as well as a list of things it cant do. I think some pictures of the absolute best that the printers can do, like the pink Panther lady thats at the lab. But also have some pics of it failing and a little paragraph on how these are experimental and that they require constant tweeking and attention. Yes yours prints perfect 99% of the time now. But how long and how much tweeking did you have to put into it before you got to this stage. All that info should set a good expectation of what they are getting into. My .02

The thing that kinda worries me is basically the questions when we get new visitors to the lab at open house. I get stuff like “so what kind of metal does it print?”, or “so you print dissolvable supports right?”, or “I have this {insert this idea that is nearly impossible to print here}, can I print it?”

I’m not worried about the results of the machine itself - I know its limits. It’s the same as every other FDM limits. I’m worried about someone ordering a ticket, and expecting something entirely different.