First there was MRRF. Then ERRF. Then Denver entered the chat and we got RMRRF…and we still don’t know how to pronouce that one. England started up SMRRF, and added a charitable twist to remember a remarkable engineer. Now we have four awesome 3D printing festivals for regular people all over the globe!
ERRF 2023, photo by Dave Wheeler
These four festivals started out as “RepRap Festivals”.
RepRap stands for “Replicating Rapid Prototyper,” a project that launched affordable 3D printing as we know it. Each festival is run seperately by volunteers. At the end of 2023’s East Coast fest, its organizers announced a name change to “3D Printopia” to be less confusing for the general public.
What is a RepRap Festival?
A RepRap Festival is a gathering of 3D printing fanatics, from newly minted makers to manufacturers. Unlike a trade show, RepRap Festivals are organized by volunteers to spread the love of 3D printing for all. Everyone is welcome to come and show off their projects or just browse and learn. Most RepRap Festivals are even free to attend!
You’ll find two kinds of tables at a 3D Printing Festival: sponsors and exhibitors.
Sponsors pay for a larger space and help foot the bill of the event. These are companies like Prusa, Matterhackers, MicroCenter, ProtoPasta, E3D and the like. You can also find smaller companies getting ready to launch a new project, like Cocoa Press, or a YouTuber who just wants to support the event financially while getting a premium table for their base of operations.
Exhibitor tables are free or low cost, and you might need to contact the event to reserve your spot. Exhibitors are regular folk involved with 3D printing, like hobbyists showing off awesome prints and inventors with projects to share. You’ll also find start up companies getting their name out there and of course social media people like myself.
You don’t have to get a table! Visitors are welcome to walk around and check out all the cool gear, projects and filament. You might even score some deals! These are definitely social events, so feel free to ask questions, learn, and make new friends.
What Else Can I Do at a 3D Printing Festival?
Each festival is different. Though they share names, they aren’t backed by one official organization. Very much like our favorite printers, RepRap Festivals are “open source” and each have their own personality.
Besides meeting and chatting with other makers, you will find contests and informative presentations. Keep reading and I’ll let know what you can expect at each fest. I will be updating this post as information becomes available, so please bookmark this so you can return as we get closer to each event!
The Ranch Events Center
FNBO North Hall
April 20-21, 2024
FREE to attend
The Rocky Mountain RepRap Festival (RMRRF) launched in 2023 and was a HUGE success! The hosts are hard at work preparing for 2024 and have rented more space for an even BIGGER event in 2024. There will be 36,000 square feet of 3D printing fun. We’re planning on seeing over 50 sponsors and a boat load of everyday Makers showing off their goodies!
This event is hosted in a large climate controlled convention space with WiFi. The concession stand will be open, so there’s no need to leave for lunch or snacks. The neighborhood is suburban, with plenty of decent hotels, restaurants and fast food nearby.
Speakers: This year’s Maker Lounge will host informal chats with with industry experts. Chats are 45 minutes long and the new lounge area will have seating for about 100 or so attendees, plus and a couch for the speaker. Gather ’round and learn something new!
What to Bring if You’re Exhibiting
Set up: Doors open Friday, April 19 at Noon for Sponsors & 2pm for Exhibitors.
Everyone MUST check in on Friday!
- Extension Cords and power strips. Power is provided behind every table/booth, just bring your own cords under 10 feet!
- Tables are 8 feet long & 31 inches wide. Tables are limited to 100 pounds. 2 chairs are provided. Sponsors are welcome to bring their own tables.
- Printers and projects! No drones or RC aircraft will be able to be used at the event due to the vicinity of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. No 3D Printed firearms will be permitted for display at the event for the safety of everyone.
The building will be locked when the event is over and power will remain on for anyone wishing to run an overnight print.
Elkhart County Fairgrounds
June 21-23, 2024
The Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF) is the oldest, and possibly largest, RepRap festival, currently in its 12th year! It draws 3D printing enthusiasts from all over the world to the pastoral community of Goshen, Indiana. If you’re wondering why we’re all gathering at a county fair ground in Amish country, it’s because that’s where the festival’s founders are located!
New this year: CAMPING! There are RV sites near by, and we plan to use them!
MRRF is very casual, and basically a friendly international meetup. Sponsor tables can be RSVP’d by emailing info at midwestreprapfest.org but otherwise it’s a first come, first served for tables. Don’t worry — there’s plenty of space!
Travel Notes: Goshin is a bit out there, so if you’re too far to drive, your best bet is flying to South Bend, IN or Chicago and renting a car for the rest of the journey.
What to Bring if You’re Exhibiting
Set up time for exhibitors & sponsors: Doors open by 3pm on Friday
- Extension Cords (25’ or longer) and power strips. Power is provided at many places up and down the aisles, but you may have to run a cord to get to your table/booth.
- Tables are 8 foot long, and come with two folding chairs. Sponsors are welcome to bring their own tables.
- Coolers are allowed, no glass bottles.
- Printers and projects!
Security is provided to keep everyone’s equipment safe. Printers are allowed to run overnight, but beware…the Googly Eye fairy may stop by.
Visitors can arrive from 8am with no set end time. The festival wraps at 5pm Sunday.
Last year there was a failed print contest by a Pittsburgh and a collection of empty spools by GreenGate. You can also expect to find a few raffles or drawings at sponsor booths. We hope to see GLOOP back with their tug of war!
Location Notes: MRRF is held at a county fair ground and parking is on a grassy lot under shade trees. The facility is a steel building used for trade shows and parties, with a cement floor and no air conditioner. Don’t worry, Goshen is far enough north that summers aren’t too bad, with an average of 81°F in June. Dress for a shady, yet outdoors, festival experience.
Bathrooms are large and clean, but vending is scarce. MRFF organizers will bring in a taco truck for lunch and set up a table to sell canned soda. You are welcome to bring your own cooler and pack a picnic lunch.
Bel Air, Maryland
APG Federal Credit Union Arena
Harford Community College
Sept. 28- Sept. 29, 2024
$TBA 2023–>10 General Admission (free for Exhibitors)
Maryland’s 3D Printopia (formerly ERRF) started in 2017 to bring a 3D printing festival to the East Coast. The event is a well organized gathering of makers and manufacturers from around the world to showcase their 3D printing projects, share ideas, and learn from each other.
If MRRF is a casual country gathering, ERRF is its refined city cousin. It’s hosted in a climate controlled college arena with curtain walls forming aisles between tables. There’s a concession stand, soda machines, tidy bathrooms and access to the upper decks seating so you can get a bird’s eye view of the show.
ERRF is about 40 miles from the Baltimore Airport, 65 miles from the Philadelphia Airport, and 70 miles north of Washington, DC.
ERRF requires tickets for general admission. Last year this was $10 for adults and free for kids under 17. Tickets go on sale soon.
NEW for 2023! There are two kinds of tables at ERRF: Sponsor and Exhibitors.
2023 Introduced Curated Exhibitor Tables
If you’re a Business, you can apply for a sponsor table or booth, which starts at $300.
Last year they tried something new, allowing Makers to apply for an Exhibitor table, which were free! Maker tables were be curated in 2023, which meant needing to apply for a spot and letting them know what you would like to display. This prevent’s people from grabbing a table for seating or worse, not showing up. (But don’t worry, there are plenty of spots to sit — ERRF is held in a sports arena and upper deck auditorium seats are kept out for you to sit a spell.)
If you are approved as an exhibitor, you do not have to pay admission. Your table will also be reserved for you.
DO YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR PRINTS?? Another exciting new feature in 2023 were Maker Exhibitor tables. If you want to sell your prints, craft fair style, you can add that to your application. There was a $200 fee for “maker” tables and a prime row has been reserved for all the makers to sit together on the auditorium floor.
More Tables More Fun: 2024 will see a new layout for the show & we’ll post that as soon as it’s available.
Events/Contests: Death Racers (AKA PB Racers) and RC Dragster contests will be held. Build one and join us! These events are free, details to come if you need to RSVP. There is also a Derby Car race (like Pinewood Derby, but printed.) Please RSVP at EventBrite.
Speakers: There will be short presentations throughout the day with 3D printing experts on the Build Platform. This is an area of the arena sectioned off for a stage and audience. To get a feel for the event, watch a 2022 presentation, a live episode of Maker That Money with Pooch, Gloop and Uncle Jessy (AKA Alan Puccinelli of Repkord, Andrew Mayhall of 3D Gloop, and YouTuber Clayton Parker).
What to Bring if You’re Exhibiting
Set up time for exhibitors & sponsors: TBA on Friday for set up.
- Extension Cords (25ft) and power strips. Power is provided behind the tables, but you’ll need a cord to reach your equipment.
- Tables are 6 feet long, and come with two folding chairs. Sponsors are welcome to bring their own tables, but additional tables are available to rent.
- Printers and projects!
Note: 3DPrintopia provides security and will lock the building once everyone has left for the night. Last year the power was shut down overnight, so don’t plan on 24 hour prints.
£TBA 2023:10 and up, £5 for children under 14
The latest RepRap festival was added to the UK! The Sanjay Mortimer Foundation is throwing a very special bash to honor the co-founder of E3D, whom we tragically lost in 2021. If you never had a chance to meet Sanjay, watch this video from Thomas Sanladerer when he got to tour the E3D factory with Sanjay.
SMRRF 2023 by Big Tree Tech
SMRRF is a little different from the other RepRap festivals — it is a fundraiser for the Sanjay Mortimer Foundation. The foundation was set up to honor Sanjay by helping neurodiverse individuals discover their strengths through a love of engineering, making and creating.
This festival is set up a differently, with emphasis on sponsors (it is a charity event after all). Sponsors tables start at £100 and go up. Individuals who want to show off their projects will also need to purchase table space. It’s only £10 for attendees, so if you’re in the neighborhood — or planning a vacation — it’s a small price for a good cause and good fun.
There will also be a charitable auction and raffle to benefit the Foundation.
The organiziers of SMRRF are currently looking for a new (bigger??) venue for SMRRF 2024, we’ll be sure to update you as soon as we know!