Given the opportunity I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and if I undertake any residencies in the future I believe I will have a much better idea of what a residency entails. The fate of the 3d printers is still undecided although I have heard mention of the possibility that Corrie and myself may have access to them in the future which will hopefully allow us to print out the final objects the universe so cruelly denied us the ability to produce on both of our respective 'final days'.
As for the equipment itself I can wholeheartedly recommend the UP! 3d printer to anyone interested in producing single colour objects with relative ease. The UP! printer performend almost flawlessly (except for the last two days) considering it was being printed to non-stop by two artistswith next to no previous 3d printing experience who were almost certainly making it do things the makers of the machine never intended for it to do. There isn't much else to say about it; it prints well (albeit a bit slowly), the quality is good, the software is so easy that you grandma could use it.
The Makerbot Replicator is however a different story. I really wanted to like it and I am 100% behind the Makerbot ethos which is about empowering individuals to innovate, create and share objects and ideas. Unfortunately I could not recommend the Replicator to anyone except perhaps the most dedicated of techies and tinkerers. The Software is not intuitive, the onboard electonics are not as advanced as those of the UP! printer (and require the PC to remain attached while printing which killed two prints when the computer shut down spontaneously), the online help system quite often lead me in confusing loops without answering questions, the dual extrusion printing process was not well supported by the software and despite all my best efforts I suspect I didn't even come close to producing a two colour object.
Ultimately the quality of the objects wasn't of a standard that I would deem acceptable for anything except small 'utility' (i.e. 'part') prints and perhaps gifts for friends and family. I really don't like being negative and really dislike having to give bad reviews but in my opinion the Replicator requires far too much investment of time to obtain acceptable results. That being said I will definitely follow their progress as a company and would absolutely consider obtaining subsequent models of their machines if the standard was able to be raised to that of the UP! printer and if the software was to become more user-friendly.
I am very excited about the possibilities of 3d printing and as one of three possible outcomes for my artistic practice I can clearly see that it is in my interests to obtain a 3d as soon as possible and join the revolution. I hope you have enjoyed following my progress and I look forward to showcasing future developments in 3d printing and my artistic pursuits through other avenues but for now I must bid you farewell.
p.s don't forget to check out Corrie's blog to hear another artist's perspective of the same residency http://corriewrightfablabproject.blogspot.com.au/
The final haul of objects