On Thursday night I went along to a very interesting of a Meetup group new to me - 'Future Manufacturing '.
Now my original plans for the evening were to go (with a different meetup group!) to the 'Lates ' event at the Science Museum, but when I caught the sniffles last Sunday during a meal celebrating the Chinese New Year I cancelled that, thinking that I wasn't going to be well in time. But then I saw the FM group listed and changed my mind as I was feeling a lot better.
Though I almost didn't get there: I'd planned to take the bus into town (a bus being 'green' and not needing parking, plus it can use bus lanes without being fined) but there were no buses waiting at my stop (it's a 'head stop' where they turn around) which meant a wait of at least twelve minutes or so, which would make me very late. So I drove on a bit further, intending to catch a bus further down the line.
Didn't quite work out that way, as I found myself crossing Oxford Circus still looking for a sensible parking spot near the right bus routes. And then I got stuck in a traffic snarl up. So much so that I could turn the car engine off for ten minutes and took about 40 all told to get out of the gridlock. I decided enough was enough and pointed the car towards home, then thought 'sod it' and headed back towards Haymarket (where the pub was for the meetup.) Didn't take too long to find a space either!
So then, about a dozen of us – two women, ten or so men – and a range of topics associated with fabrication of prototypes and in bulk floated around alongside the beer. After a round of introductions, including what our plans might be, we discussed suppliers, what pop rivets are, how much is reasonable to expect to be capable of if they purchase a kit of parts, and the alternate options of 3D printing against moulding and milling.
A great evening all round and one I shall definitely try to make next month.