What distinguishes us as humans is our ability to make tools and tell stories. We have always been fascinated by stories of our customers: the Makers. Whether you are a tinkerer, an artist, a designer, an inventor, an engineer or a crafter, there is nothing more fulfilling for us to hear that our products empower you to create something you are passionate about. This new series, SainSmart x Makers, is dedicated to you - our customers.
Last week, we had the chance to chat with the founders of JetPrints. JetPrints is a father and son 3D printing shop from West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. We took the chance to ask Jonathan and Matt a few questions about JetPrints, what 3D printing technology inspires them to create and a few other topics. This interview also wonderfully highlights just what truly makes you a maker: having a concept, creating a plan of action, going through the design process, building your idea, and finally seeing thoughts become a reality and take on the task it was designed for.
Here’s the interview. Hope you enjoy.
[SainSmart] When did Jet Prints officially launch?
[Jonathan] We launched the first iteration of the Jet Prints website and Instagram back in early August of 2016, but we had been planning Jet Prints a couple of months prior to launch. Since August we’ve done two major updates to the site, the most recent being four weeks ago!
[SainSmart] How did you and Matt get into making and 3d printing?
[Jonathan] I first got into making after taking a Woodworking class at my high school three years ago. Since then I’ve learned about basic electronics and 3D modeling. As for 3D printing I had been following the buzz since 2014 when I was fourteen years old. I started by watching numerous YouTube videos and reading about the incredible uses companies like NASA were coming up with for 3D printed parts. I tried convincing my dad (Matt) that there was a real world use for the technology for almost a year. However, it wasn’t until he got into building and flying drones and quadcopters that he realized its potential. He needed a mount for a drone that wasn’t available online, but there was one on Thingiverse that we could 3D print. We decided to invest in a Wanhao Duplicator i3 as our starter printer (which we still use today), and since then we have added two more printers to our arsenal: a Raise3D N1 and an N2!
[SainSmart] Can you tell us a bit more about your products and service?
[Jonathan] Sure! Our goal at Jet Prints is to provide quality 3D prints at a fast and affordable rate. We host products such as GoPro cases and mounts that have been designed by myself, as well as products other 3D modelers have allowed us to host on our site such as radio transmitter gimbal protectors created by Bryant Barnard. In addition, we know that there’s a huge catalog of 3D printed products, so we have an option on our site to print an item you find online as well!
[SainSmart] JetPrints has a great selection of products. What materials do you use for printing?
[Matt] My favorite print was the two-color pods for the SpaceOne 220x frame Jonathan mentioned. We did a few for friends and I just loved how cool and sleek they look! Like everyone else, we did the Baby Groot print, and we may do a giveaway of one once the movie is closer. Maybe in a cool wood filament?? We will see! We use mostly TPU and PETG. The TPU is SainSmart, it is all we use right now. We use two vendors for PETG, both offering cool color selections! Speaking of colors, we are anxiously tracking our Pink TPU from China! Can't wait to try it. We don't use ABS, and have found PLA isn't strong enough for most of the things people want.
[SainSmart] What is your biggest seller right now?
[Matt] We have only been selling a short while, but are grateful to have caught two crazes- the spinner craze and the "TPU motor soft mount" craze for FPV Quadcopter builds. Those two make up probably 60-70% of last year's sales. However we did a lot of custom work for GoPro cases and mounts too! Oh, and we have a friend whose wife is a bio teacher, so we printed a cool DNA Helix Pencil holder for her birthday!!
[SainSmart] Is there one product/design/print that is most memorable to you in 2016/17?
[Jonathan] My most memorable print for the year has to be the Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in wood fill. The printer handled the model perfectly and the amount of detail that showed up when it was done was incredible; plus the wood filament added another level of realism to it. I think we printed two or three of them in some other colors and sizes too!
[SainSmart] I remember all I did on computers back in high schools was PC gaming. It is so cool to see younger generations nowadays are doing all kinds cool things we never even imagined. So Jonathan, a personal question if you don't mind, what do you want to study in college? Making has been a passion for you. This is probably too early, but would you consider a career in engineering field?
[Jonathan] It’s funny you say that because as a matter of fact, I am interested in the field of engineering! Currently the discipline I’m most drawn to is electrical engineering followed by civil engineering. This year I took a course in digital logic and I fell in love with it. The whole class was like one big puzzle that had a tangible result that I was able to use in real life. After completing the class I’ve made some projects of my own including an art installation I’m working on right now that focuses on community interaction. I think what’s so attractive about having a career in engineering to me is the process that goes into it: having a concept, creating a plan of action, going through the design process, building your idea, and finally seeing your thoughts become a reality and take on the task it was designed for. I feel that making is really an incredible process and it’s certainly become a key part in who I am.
[SainSmart] Thank you Jonathan and Matt.