Sip a Cappuccino After Watching a 3D Printer Churn Out Your Mug
MakersCAFE seeks to educate a wider audience by showcasing laser and 3D printers at an East London coffee shop
At MakersCAFE, a joint coffee shop and makerspace in East London, you can drink coffee from a 3D mug—and watch that mug made right before your eyes.
Customers can either submit designs in person or online through RazorLab, the café’s automated 24/7 service, and the café’s team will turn these ideas into material reality with the café’s set of 3D printers and laser cutters.
MakersCAFE owner and founder, Soner Onzenc, emphasizes that while the space does serve as a traditional makerspace, it is open to everyone, regardless of tech expertise:
We do not put pressure people on making things. They are free to just to grab a coffee and simply watch the machines working around them. This is all about the ‘Theatre of Manufacturing’. We (with our machines) are the actors on the stage and you are the audience.
Indeed, you can grab a cup of coffee made by Old Shoreditch Station as you watch the café’s machines produce everything from a magic wand to miniature dinosaurs.
Onzenc, a former product designer who always dreamed of opening his own coffee shop, says he decided to open the café in order to combine his existing career in laser cutting with his interests in 3D printing and cooking—activities he says have quite a bit in common:
You have a set of ingredients, you have an audience to appeal to and you put them together in a way that it is not only visually appealing but also tastes awesome.
It’s not surprising, then, that MakersCAFE also offers a chocolate printer that produces cocoa confections—as well as iTattoo, a service that allows the team at the café to engrave customers’ designs onto electronic devices.
At night, the space transforms into a classroom, as Onzenc hosts workshops on topics such as laser-cutting and 3D printing for people with less experience. He adds:
The biggest challenge we have is the ‘street level’ people need education and training. That is purely why we had the ambition to run free intro classes to our technologies.
Quite intentionally, the café is located only a few blocks from an area known as “Silicon Roundabout,” the rapidly growing center of the tech industry in Britain.
See a tour of MakersCAFE in action below in a video from the Wall Street Journal:
All images via Soner Onzenc