Malta Comic Con 2014 Recap

For the fantastic fans who attended the 6th installment of the Malta Comic Con, and those unlucky enough to have missed it – here’s a heartfelt review by Malta 3D Printing to echo the great vibes we felt over the weekend.

The well-organized staff knew they had their work cut out for them, but they really outdid themselves. We’re ecstatic to have contributed to this magnificent two-day journey, which ran smoothly throughout.

It came and went in one bright flash, but the memories and experience we’ve gained will not be forgotten.

Every fascinating nook and cranny at St.James Cavalier had an alluring exhibition. World-renowned sketch artists and comic book creators like Dave Taylor (Batman, Judge Dredd etc.), Andrew Wildman (Thundercats, Transformers) and Mike Collins (Spiderman, Doctor Who), amongst others, reached out to their Maltese fans.

Budding local illustrators also contributed pop-culture mash up, alongside heated gaming competitions, workshops for parents and children and a Fantasy Showgirls performance.

Now that the local public is getting a slice of the Malta 3D Printing pie, many know what to expect from us. We encountered a lot familiar faces, but plenty of fresh ones too.

We anticipated hordes of cosplaying crusaders, and as we predicted the turnout was excellent. The incredible level of detail put into the costumes was inspiring to us.

As a company that prides itself on customization, we were impressed.

A young Darth Vader, Big Boss and Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Mercury from Sailor Moon, Captain America and an assortment of Batman characters like Poison Ivy all made cameo appearances.

Our pair of ‘Ultimaker 2’ printers and colourful array of products attracted interest from a terrific assortment of people. The video below is a tiny sample of proceedings at our stand over the weekend.

Similar to the Comics Expo, this event was the first time many people came face-to-face with 3D printing, a hot topic in the ever-expanding world of technology. Therefore, we received a flurry of questions from wide-eyed children to those young at heart, and the Malta 3D Printing trio answered every and any question.

Droves of passersby were once again lured into our puzzle competition.

Ten lucky individuals solved the enigma and were rewarded with a translucent Pokémon of their choice. Those unfortunate enough not to have completed the puzzle, although feeling slightly frustrated, still left with a smile on their face.

As we promised in our previous blog post, we conducted printing sessions on the spot for customers. Puzzle cubes in various colours were a popular request, while other creations included a pair of monsters from the popular League of Legends game.

The prospect of winning one of our products on display had attendees with a twinkle in their eye.

The three products available to those who chanced their hand at our raffle were a blue glow-in-the-dark Aztec warrior, a red ‘hell-skull’ and a crowd favourite, the Terminator T-800 skull in grey.

The lucky winner, Axel Scicluna, took home the menacing ‘hell-skull’ as a reward.

At one point, members of our team invaded the hallways of St.James, armed with an assortment of 3D printed weapons, spreading knowledge and wisdom.We sincerely look forward to working with some of the bright minds we met at this event.

As we slowly regain consciousness after this 2-day spectacle, we can only hope that similar events in the future can maintain the same intensity. Malta Comic Con 2014, we salute you.

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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!