Special Events


With all of the materials testing we do here at 3DPPVD, we often get one question when we present our research to others:  “Where should I buy my PLA from? / Who has the best PLA?” PLA vs. PLA has not been in our purview… until now! We are proud to announce the 2014 3DPPVD PLA Shootout.

We are going to test multiple PLA products, from multiple vendors, to help determine who has the best PLA on the market. A series of tests will be given, to see which PLA 1) gives us the best print quality, 2) is the easiest to print with 3) has print quality affected by other factors; as well as answering other questions that are burning in our plastic-loving hearts. The hope is that by the end of our testing, we can give you a definitive answer on where your plastic budget should be going.

Of course there are many choices out there for PLA vendors, and it would not only take us forever to get through them all but would also break our meager budgets – so we need your help. We have created a survey to help determine whose PLA we should be testing, as well as take into account some other factors that might be influencing your purchase decisions and printing results. Please take a moment to fill out the 2014 3DPPVD PLA Shootout Survey. We will reach out to the top vendors that you guys use and ask them for filament to test with.  We will buy filament from those who don’t respond or don’t want to help out with the test.

If you are a filament vendor and would like to be included in our testing, you can ensure your spot by contacting us at and we will arrange to include you.  While we appreciate any and all help and participation, no special treatment will be given to vendors who provide free materials, as we are going to try to anonymize the process the best we can.



On October 17th, Jesse Harrington Au, the Maker Advocate for Autodesk will be visiting providence and is stopping in to visit us.  Jesse has given us a great teaser as to what he will be talking about:

“The 123D universe has become a vast place full of ways to design, create and fabricate, with this live demo of the tool chain from Design , Catch, and Make into Meshmixer and then out to 3D print utility you will get to see the full capabilities of radicalness involved with free software. I will also answer questions about life, dreams and guns.”

Join us at 7pm at AS220 labs for this special event.


As we reported last week, Adafruit, has helping organize a month long initiative to improve the functionality and production of 3D printed prosthetics. Every Friday this month, they will be hosting a Google hangout to show progress from the community and answer questions from those getting involved.

One of the main projects that has been adopted for helping those in need has been the Robohand project. There are numerous community members who are working on improving the design, including Michael Curry, who has designed a fully printable model without the need for any extra hardware.

On Friday, October 25th, 3DP PVD will be hosting a build party to bring together printers from around the region to help create these devices for those in need. We are working with other groups who are finding little heroes who are looking to become superheroes with their new mechanical hands!

If you have a 3D printer and would like to join us to help create these devices, come to AS220 Labs in downtown Providence, RI starting at 6pm on Friday October 25th. If you know a child who might benefit from one of these devices we would love to have them join us so we can fit them during the event. Please contact us at if you would like to join us or would like to help us out in anyway.

To find out more about these projects check out the links and video bellow.

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So you missed 3DP PVD’s CastMax build but really want to get into bot building with a little bit of help? Your are in luck! John Abella, friend to 3DP PVD and 3D printing fans everywhere is running his own class on October 5th and 6th. John will be guiding participants through the process of building the new Prusa i3 RepRap printer. John is hosting this class in Wilmington Delaware at the Double Tree hotel. So although this class is not in Rhode Island it could be a great 3D printing getaway!

For more information check out


We are pleased to announce a special event tonight Tuesday June 18th. We are teaming up with Instructables to help celebrate the return of Tinkercad as it joins the 123D family. Join us as we have fun using these great tools that make 3D modeling easy. We will kick off around 7pm at AS220 Labs in Providence, RI. This event is free and is part of Labs weekly Open Hack night.