Malta Comics Expo Recap

Malta 3D Printing would like to take a special moment in its blogging history to share our terrific experience at the local Comics Expo that blew us away between the 31st October and 2nd November. Jam-packed with interesting vendors, panels with celebrity guests, gaming competitions and artists displaying their work, this event symbolized pop culture at its finest.

Taking centre stage in the main hallway at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, our stand attracted countless curious expo guests. The mechanical sounds of our printers churning away were drowned out by the expo’s array of interesting noises – whether the host was announcing the arrival of Bane, or Paul Eiding was shouting out “SNAAAKE!” at the top of his lungs.

Our stand was flanked by two stalls which captured the essence of the event – a graphic novel and comic book stall to our left and right respectively. On the opening day, the celebrities were stationed right in front of us, and only a stone’s throw away from our printers, one could find a splendid collection of vintage automobiles.

These included the A-Team van, KITT from Knightrider and Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino, amongst others.

Our Ultimaker 2 Finishing off a Klingon Bat’leth

Image from Capture Me Photography

Our three-man team met a number of different, interesting people from all walks of life – artists, cosplayers and comic book fans from America, France, Italy and beyond. Participants did not take the cosplay competition lightly – one cosplayer claimed to have spent 900 euros on his Assassin’s Creed outfit! Jack Sparrow and Catwoman were the weekend’s odd couple, while Batman costumes seemed to be the most popular.

We were elated to receive positive feedback during and after the event, and interest in our merchandise did not wane throughout the weekend.

People particularly appreciated the level of detail in our products, from the finely chiseled chin on Batman’s face to the intricacy of our Terminator T-800 Exoskull. Most people seemed to be taken aback, amazed at 3D printing technology in general.

Attendees loved our Wolverine claws and Dr.Doom mask. Our Hell Boy gun was pointed at many a head, and Adventure Time sword carried around with pride. Other fan favourites included our Portal book ends, Batman bust and of course, the translucent Pokemon.

To highlight 3D printing’s ability to provide quick, on-demand products, we conducted live printing sessions, pumping out business card holders for ourselves and nearby vendors, who appreciated our kind gesture.

As friendly lightsaber battles raged on in front of our stand, we continued to produce and sell items including a glow-in-the-dark gyroscope and a hidden-blade from the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

A Few of Our Finest Products On Display

Image from Capture Me Photography

While this technology may have been around for decades, most people have never seen a 3D printer in action. After getting an eyeful, most did not hesitate to inquire, and we happily discussed the basic principles as well as the technical aspects.

The majority of people were unfamiliar with printing procedures, so we elaborated on the process of creating a three-dimensional shape from a 3D file. Others were curious as to what materials are most commonly used (PLA, ABS, Rubber etc.), and how long the average product takes to be printed.

Hordes of people lined up to attempt our challenging cube puzzle, but surprisingly, less than a dozen managed to complete it.

A highlight of the weekend was being fortunate enough to spend some time with the down-to-earth celebrities that attended. As a token of appreciation for the countless hours of entertainment they’ve provided us with over the years, we donated some 3D printed products to them.

Things came full circle for ex-Star Trek star Robert Picardo. He may be used to the ‘Replicator’ device, dreamt up by inspirational Star Trek writers, but our 3D printers are the real deal. We gave the doctor his first dose of 3D printing. He left with a big smile on his face and glow-in-the-dark letters spelling out ‘N-E-R-D’.

Joseph Gatt, the God of War and Game of Thrones star received a free door-stop in the shape of a slice of cheese, courtesy of Malta 3D Printing. Popular voice-actor Paul Eiding (voice actor for Metal Gear Solid & Ben 10, etc.) was kind enough to sign two ‘Fox Hound’ badges printed on the spot, and even took another home as a souvenir.

Robert Picardo Examines A 3D Printer

Image from Capture Me Photography

In the end, we were sad to see the event come to a close, but this has only served to strengthen our resolve.

Now, we’re fully focused on future events of a similar nature. Expect us to return with a passion – more puzzles, bigger and better products and the chance to win free 3D printed items.

A big thanks to all those who showed interest in what we’re passionate about. Witnessing the smiles on people’s faces is just as rewarding as removing a freshly printed product from the build plate!

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