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My name is Ryan Conrad. I am an Electrical Engineering student at Penn State University.


Blog 1

A: Something amazing or beautiful

I think it that a fractal LED light looks pretty stunning. You can find a link to it here.

B: Something funny or strange

This is something that i fount that is really weird. It is a carrot man action figure type of thing. You can find a link to it here

C: Something useless

Something that seems pretty useless is a book ring. It holds the book open when you read it and it just seems like something that you don't really need. It's solving a problem that doesn't need to be fixed. You can find a link to it here.

D: Something useful

I found this to be something very useful. Most people know how messy loose computer cables can be and this solves the problem. You can find a link to it here.

E: Raspberry Pi case

I found this Raspberry Pi case on thingiverse and it seems to have good ventilation and good access to all of the different inputs and outputs on the Raspberry Pi.

Blog 2

Something in class that interests us

I am very interested in all the electronic components of the class. I have been working on soldering the RAMPS boards for some time now. They are a very interesting design that is simplistic yet works very well. I would also be interested in designing or working on other electronic components. I am having a bit of a problem coming up with ideas of my own so any input in class is welcome.

Blog 3

I think that Crosby has a very nice blog with a great layout. He really seems to know how to code the wiki and make it look organized and easy to read and view. It's very organized especially with Blog 1 and the the pictures of the items he chose on the right side of the page.

Brandon Also has a very nice blog set-up. I like the way his blog is inverted with the most recent blog at the top. Also the fact that he also seems to be pretty good with coding the wiki. I also thought his blog 2 about the 3D printing DRM because it taught more about it than what we just did went over in class.

Blog 4

The first thing discussed is the arduino project. It is aimed to people who have little to no knowledge of electronics and programming. It can also be used by people like me who have more knowledge of electronics to easily and cheaply make their designs come to life. Arduino is open source, so it's designs are available for free and open for people to modify, use, or sell different designs based on it as long as they are credited. The next thing discussed is RepRap. As we all know RepRap is a 3D printer that can make other 3D printers. RepRap is also open source and easily available online just like the arduino. It is designed so anyone can build the RepRap from ANY 3D printer. RepRap 3D printers are growing exponentially since they and create themselves.

All of this stuff is very interesting to me. I've been interested in Arduino for several years now and use it for my own projects. And i have been interested in 3D printers and RepRap ever since i found out about them some time ago. These are great projects because it opens up these things to everyone in the world to create, design and improve and hopeful make them even better as the time progresses.

Blog 5

A.) The only thing in my first blog that I think could get a copyright is the fractal LED lamp. The carrot man could also possibly get a copyright depending on the direction the person who created it wants to go with it.

B.) The Yoda and my little pony on Quinn Carpenter's page are definitely a copyrighted design. Also many people have a Raspberry Pi logo on their Raspberry Pi cases. I looked into it and it is just trademarked like i originally though, you can find more info on it here.

C.) It comes down to the ability to enforce it and they way other people go about using your objects. On one hand you have the ability to claim something you spent your time on as yours, but then you could have someone fix one small problem with it or just change a few things and call it their own if we have no form of way to "claim" it as your own. If you don't decide to make your work open everyone then you also lose the help of millions of people to make your design that much better.

D.) You can tell the author is naive just by looking at the title "3D Printing Hits a Strange Milestone: Shape Pirates and Copyright Claims". Copyright claims are nothing that new in the world of 3D printing. Copyright claims in 3D printing sounds like something people could have thought of happening to it since we started using them to make objects.

Blog 6

I feel that Matt brought up a good point about the weird grey area where an object can be both artistic and useful at the same time. For example the Fractal LED lamp might fall into this category because it is both artistic with the fractal design and useful a lamp.

Blog 7

For blog 7 I chose this article.

The article describes how someone could use the game Minecraft to build an object and export it as an STL file.

My hopes for this is that it will introduce people to the concept of 3D modeling with an easy interface. Minecraft is a very simple game to play and people of all ages play it. It would definitely get more people interested and involved in 3D printing if they can work hard on something in a fun way and then see it actually come to life. It could also possible make creating things that need to be in block easier to create, for example, a QR code.

It may be too over hyped though. If someone already knows how to use CAD software, Minecraft will just be tedious to them and limited. Minecraft is limited to square objects with no slopes or curves. While it can be an easy too to get more people involved it is not an end stop. The person using Minecraft to start out 3D printing will then go on to have to learn CAD programs to go any further.

Blog 8


 1. Open SLS. This project is an open source laser sintering machines. It is cool because the current SLS printers are expensive and an open source one would open up a lot more possibilities for 3D printing.
 2.  3D Printing bacteria. This is a very interesting project about 3D printing bacteria. I do not know much about bacteria, but this seems useful as well as pretty cool. Its done by using a normal 3D printer and replacing the head with an Inkjet printer head.
 3. Open3DLP.  The projects uses a  DLP projector to print 3D objects. It is a very interesting project that created cool things like the clear tree that was printed upside down.
 4. CellStruder. The project is a 20mL syringe that extrudes a liquid at a microliter level.

B.) Some that i can think of are:

Engineering DIY Create Future

C.) What I though of was ROSAM: Research into Open-Source Additive Manufacturing.

Blog 9

For this blog we are to discuss this article. The blog discuses a 3D printed coffee grinder. The article makes several good points about how everything we have is not easy to repair, and when it breaks most people just throw it away and get a new one. The design of his coffee grinder is very simple, so simple that most people would be able to build and repair it with just a normal set of tools. This could be used on a lot of different simple things around your house, like the water boiler in the other blog entry Jesse made. It could also go into coffee makers, can openers, knife blocks, even plates and cups.

In this blog Jesse discusses an open source water boiler. He goes into detail discussing manufacturing 1, 10, 100, 1000 of them. He starts with saying that creating one is relatively low cost to the consumer. On the flip side it is more work, less precise and you have to use and re-use parts to for it. Making 10 of them he says how they have a higher cost, but they are more precise and and less labor intensive. Now when you make 100 of them this brings down the cost while maintaining the precision and reduicing labor. Here is where we begin to see the idea of bulk manufacturing. When you need to do and buy a lot of one thing it drives down the price and amount of work to make the product. Finally it discusses creating 1000 of the water boilers. It really lowers the price by a lot, and keeps a high degree of precision. It also stays easy to make and you only use a few used parts. On this scale It is mass produced for consumers.

Blog 10

Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of GE, believes that 3D printing is the way of the future. In contrast Terry Gou, president of Foxxcon, thinks that 3D printing is almost like a fad.

In this article Immelt talks praises 3D printers for being able to speed up the process of creating products, as well as making the products more customize-able. He also said,“3D printing allows you to make that product right the first time.” I feel like this might be a bit of an over statement, but that it is still in the ballpark. He has a very optimistic view of 3D printing and I feel he has the potential to be a driving force in 3D printing.

In this article Gou states that 3D printing is not suited for commercial use as well as not being good enough for commercial use. He also goes on to say, "3D printing is a gimmick." I don't believe any of that to be true. I feel that 3D printing has the ability to speed up the design process of creating new products by allowing companies to quickly prototype products that they are designing in house.

Blog 11

In the beginning of the class I didn't have much problems soldering the RAMPS boards or the drivers together. However after some time we began having problems with the drivers. We would give them to groups when they needed them and then some groups would fry them, while other didn't have the pot on the board not set right and assumed them to be broken. Brandon and I had to gather all the driver boards and test every single one we could find. This was a very annoying task.

Brandon, Peter, and I also took on the task of fixing the white printer and making the heated bed on it function properly. To make the heated bed work, we wired up the thermal plate under it to the RAMBO board that it was equipped with. Then to measure the temperature we used a thermistor that we attached to the board. The part we had the most problems was the hot tip. The hot tip we used was one of the new ones people in our class made. It was made using a thermistor to measure the temperature. This resulted in very inaccurate temperature readings, the thermistor would also slip out of the sleeve and require us to disassemble the tip and reattach it. We ended up removing the thermistor and using a thermo-couple to control the hot tip. This fixed the problem like a charm and now it is all working properly.

Blog 12


OpenSCAD is a program that lets you make simple shapes using code instead of they way you would do it in SolidWorks. It looks a bit difficult to learn and get things done properly, but It also seems like when you get it down, it will be very easy to create simple shapes. It's a useful and most importantly free program that anyone can download and use to create 3D models of their projects. It seems to be weak in the fact that programs like SolidWorks have a lot more features in them that allow for more complex designs. Personally I don't like this way of 3D modeling, mostly because I am used to SolidWorks and I am a lot more comfortable with it.

Blog 13

Conductive ink:

This ink can be used to create and print 3D circuits. In our lab I know we have already used a pen to print on a piece of paper. If we were to use a dual extruder we could extrude PLA with one and the conductive ink with the other. We could use the PLA to print the board and create voids to hold the components and then have the other extruder draw the contacts and the lines. We could also make multiple layers of conductive ink and plastic and make multiple layered circuit boards. This is something I'm very interested in, If we could make this work, anyone would easily be able to transfer their designs to a working circuit board instead of paying to have one custom made or making a crude one for themselves. I could even foresee someone making a program that could build these circuit boards from a program like Multisim.

Blog 14

Smartrap mini:

This design seems very similar to the Printrbot Simple's design. This design looks very simple and it cuts back on a lot of the non-printed material as compared to the OHM printers we use. Some of the problems i see with this are that the printed parts need to be very accurate because of the use of less non-printed material. Some of the non-printed material we use on the OHM is forgiving when we calibrate it because it is made right and shipped to us to use. Overall I like this printer and think the class next year could easily build multiple ones of these.

Blog 15

In the Business News Daily's list of unusual 3D printed things they show us the odd and cool things that 3D printers are being used for. They talk about an arrange of unusual thing. The part of the article about printing living tissue is a very promising thing. It would change the world if we could just print out a new liver or heart if you needed one. They also start describing 3D printing meat and leather. I find this just odd, I would really rather have my steak as they have been making it forever. I also find some of the things laughably funny, but expected. I'm not surprised at all to see people have printed out bongs and sex toys. But this is the way 3D printing is, you print out what you want so you can make it your own.

People can 3D print anything they need in a household. From oddly shaped mounting brackets that are custom for their needs. Or someone can finally make a product idea they have had in their head for years and now they can print it out and prototype it. Then even sell it to a company or market it themselves.