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San Mateo, CA
The Road Home – Getting the RV Ready

By TJ McCueFriday, May 16, 2014
3D, Design, Scanning

Helen Keller once said that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

This upcoming adventure won’t be filled with adrenaline, most of the time, but it will be filled with people who make life worth living. The best part about an RV journey is that you cannot drive an RV too fast, so you’re forced to slow down and pay attention to what is around you. I watched some great sunsets and sunrises, sat out in a field to watch a red fox stalk a mouse (the mouse lost), and started the process of slowing down for conversations with people you meet on the road.

This isn’t meant to be a travelogue, but I thought I would orient you to the opening days of getting the 3DRV trip into gear -- from Indiana to Los Angeles to Sacramento to San Rafael. Well, I should back up and say that in our attempt to get in all 50 states, which we don’t know if we can realistically do it, we took a trip to Maui so we could mix in some family time with some maker time. I met up with Jerry Isdale, founder of Maui Makers (makerspace) and co-founder of Space Gambit. Wow, what a great jam session! I’ve known Jerry for a few years, via phone and online, but terrific to meet in person.

I’ll be sharing a bit more about all of these people and places, but if this is any indication of what #3DRV is going to be like, we are in for an amazing 8-month adventure!

On April 29th we arrived in Indiana to get trained by Jayco on the Precept 31 UL unit they are loaning us for the 3DRV Road trip. We had a lean and mean trip back, 2,400 miles over approximately 8 days of driving. That might not seem like much, but for a guy who has never driven an RV – it takes a while to get your wheels under you.

Jayco took great care of me (and the family). They gave us a solid introduction to how everything works and some basic driving lessons. It is a first class rig, that’s for sure. We’re riding in style. Thanks to Chuck, Ashley, Roger, Phil and a host of others on the Jayco Team!! Looking forward to seeing you all again as we make our way past this summer (and when we return the unit end of year).

In our family, my wife and I have always been known as the “wanderers.” We have traveled a decent amount and tried to spend time in various places to get to know the local community and people. We have been rewarded with great, lasting friendships and we know this roadtrip will be more of that same depth and experience.

Some other notable conversations:

  • We met a craftsman at a Lewis and Clark park in Iowa who designed and built a replica of one of their boats. I took a bunch of photos I hope to turn into a 3D model with 123D Catch.
  • I got an informal tour with Sean Young of HP in Fort Collins, Colorado where I’ll be visiting again later this year. Sean and his two sons graciously took me around the office, no video or cameras, but it was quite interesting to peek in on how they drop test gear. I also liked the small “museum” that shows some of the important HP machines (including quite a few with Nvidia parts).
  • I spent the rest of my Sunday with veteran 3D Printing expert, Terry Wohlers, at his home and office (also in Fort Collins). To spend time in person with Terry is like trying to drink from a firehose! He is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about 3D printing, scanning, and design that you can’t help but feel like you walked out of an advanced course in 3D. I mean that in the best possible way, Terry! Thanks for hosting me.
  • An artist in Hawaii who just graduated from a University in Colorado (not sure which one) who has been designing jewelry and 3D printing her prototypes.

Helen Keller never experienced 3D printing, but she knew more about living an adventurous life than many of us. We plan to share the many adventures of this 3D life on the road. Let us know what you are designing, making, inventing – we have a lot of stops planned and hope that we can meet many of you and experience what you are working on and share in your 3D adventures.

Follow along at! #3DRV

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