This is where the entire process breaks down for me.
I have absolutely no idea how to even begin to find someone local to me (note that I said “local to me”!) to work with me on a print project.
Shapeways is absolutely out of the question. They want an arm and a leg (and a couple of fingers!) for what seems to me to be a very simple, less than 1.5" print, and I don’t have any way to discuss the project with anyone before it gets done incorrectly.
MakeXYZ isn’t much better, because I’ve sent out at least a half-dozen inquiries to people who are supposed to be in my area over the last two weeks, and I haven’t ever heard back from any of them. Ever.
Are there any other sources out there for people I can contact in my local area who might be willing to talk to me first?
Having someone “here” print for me kind of defeats the purpose of being able to ask real time questions and having real-time discussions. If something isn’t coming out right, then it isn’t going to be able to be fixed without an inordinate amount of back-and-forth.
And I’ve never heard of “3D Hubs”… I gave them a look, and they’re based in the Netherlands. Farthest away from me I’ve seen yet! LOK
I did a quick search using “makerspace georgia usa” and the first page of returns shows makerspaces in Marietta, Suwanee, Athens and Decatur. A bit deeper digging shows Atlanta, Agusta and Rome. A reference is noted for some libraries in the state, which mirrors my experience in Florida as well. Our makerspace club meets at the public library, in their makerspace and we frequently work with other library visitors to print needed items, sometimes designing them as part of the fun.
You will almost certainly be able to have real-time discussions if you can find a makerspace close enough to your travel requirements.