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Greg Mann's Blog

Hello, my name is Gregory Mann. I am a Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University taking REPRAP as a elective and to grow my knowledge in the 3D printing field.

Blog Week 16

Blog Week 15

Blog Week 14

I think the recycling idea in 3D REPRAP is a great idea. Not only will it encourage people to recycle but they will directly see a monetary savings from it. It is difficult to see what recycling does when you put it in the recycling bin vs. the trash can; however, if it directly impacted you then it would more likely happen. I feel that the filabot is great idea, turning household plastic into useful filament. It would save resources, money, and lead time on shipping, etc. I feel that the DIY environment will take it upon themselves to create one with household items or items that can be printed out (duhh) and filabot will not do well on the market. I think it is a great concept and idea that will be stolen in the open source community and will spread a lot faster than the one on the market.

Using a complete recyclable material if it looks good and can be dyed well will be awesome. It would help the overall community out in the view of others because they are doing good and not "stealing" work. I personally would definitely make a recycle device if there was some things and easy house hold items. This could be easy to make with a step by step guide and some simple electronics to heat up a container and extrude filament.

Bonus Blog

I really like the future of 3D printing. No one can exactly tell where it will end up. It has taken a small step in every direction, but it has not reach mass population yet, great use for medical field, or weaponry. Everyone knows 3D printing can do amazing things in there field and right now it is being played with for more uses other than prototyping. If the ARMY uses it as weaponry repair kits would be awesome, or making aspirin, but it is a good concept and will be interesting to see if it goes out into production as a product. There is so many things a 3D printer can be used for and the direction it will take is unknown. It would be awesome to be the "Steve Jobs" of 3D printing. Someone out there will make this into a mass market item for the everyday person to use just like the inkjet printer. That is my opinion. Once individual people can see what all you can do with this machine it will be wanted.

Blog Week 12

I like the fact staples is offering a 3D printing service. It is pretty cool; however, I do not know if it would be useful to the mass public due to the fact that companies needing to 3D print will buy a printer, and majority of public would not need or know how to do this type of printing. Designing models is not everyone cup of tea. Therefore this business model is not reacting enough people. Even if staples had their own "thingiverse" people could just go to the store and get that.

I personally think the self model is a stupid idea. I would not buy a model of myself and I do not think my parents would either. Now if you could take a picture of a moment such as a wedding and have a 3D printed model of that, would be amazing and I think everyone would buy it. A picture is used to document a moment if someone could do that with 3D modeling so you could have a model you your vacation at the beach, or kids first birthday, it would be a memory thing and would be awesome.

I think if the 3D printing world becomes easily available to the every day person prices would drop prices drastically just like 2D printing did. Competition and personal use would destroy that market that is already very slim. 3D printing is good for home use for the higher educated people who care and can do modeling, or research and development in a company. Until 3D printing gets out there more there is no market for such items.

Blog Week 11

I think 3D printing used in high school would be a great idea. In my high school, we had a design engineering class and we now currently have a 3D printing class. You can learn so many handy things from these printers. If they had a class like we have now and "printiverse" all areas of study could benefit from this. I do not agree with the diagram of having an off-site "3D vault" and printing service. Why not allow the students to design stuff. I think if there was an educational thingiverse would be the best route. Students can learn a lot of handy things such as engineering, design, electronics, and how things work.

In elementary school a 3D model service could be used to have models of different things they are learning about such as the bones in a body, or simple molecules. There are many different things that this could be used for. I do think that it will be hard to control all the models and who owns the rights and all. However, there is no doubt this could be greatly useful and steer kids in a STEM path of education early in their school careers.

Blog Week 10

With 3D printing growing rapidly and being a fairly simple to use for an everyday person there is a huge market for them. I think once it gets into everyone's hands we will see a rapid growth in innovation of 3D printing. For instance, interior designers could use them to make decorative pieces. A handyman could prototype older toys, such as PEZ dispensers. I think we would see a lot more products or inventions because we all know something that would be a "great" invention, with a 3D printer it allows people to see their vision come alive and use it or produce it. I also think the printer itself will see a lot of modifications. Such as multiple uses in different fields, different attaches on the extruder, or a dremel attachment for a CNC mill. Once this gets into mass market and is still open source there is no end to what these printers could see. Take a look at android and all the different ROM's and mods people do to it.

Blog Week 9

I feel that libraries would be a great host for 3D printing machines. I think that these machines can be useful to everyone and every major not just, engineers. For instance, a biology major could print out a skull and see each part to study, a chemistry major could print molecules structures. With the access to 3D printers students could go and print out a file a professor sends out and use them for a great educational experience. Being REPRAP machines, a library can easily be made and repaired using other printers. It is a self sustainable and growing library.

I personally have not been to the library downtown; however, I feel that a floor in Paterno can easily be changed into a 3D printing area. It would be a cheap conversion using older computers and self replication printers. Other libraries on campus are pretty packed, but with some organization I am sure they can put something together. There would need to be special TA's to repair and inspect the printers or be there for any complications. With our class, a lot of people can be used for TA's. I believe it would be an easy integration into a library with little funding and help from students.

Blog Week 8

I feel this is a step into trying to stop 3D printing forgery. I still do not believe they will be able to control it. Okay yes, they can now control it to the every day person, but lets be honest the every day person does not have a 3D printer yet. The people who have 3D printers are companies, who abide by the rules, and tech savy people, who usually do not follow by the rules. Iphone says they do not allow 3rd party apps, it has this huge process of going through apple to get approved before it is allowed on the iPhone. Yet, every tech savy person knows they can get unlimited 3rd party apps on their iPhone by jailbreaking it. With this said, yes they have found a way to somewhat control the 3D printing world to the normal every day people, but those people do not have a 3d printer. If a part does not have the code that gives the printer the green light, how can someone get this code? What is stopping someone from creating their own drawing of an exact piece and printing that? There is still ways around this, and there will always be. I still do not feel that they will be able to stop everyone it is impossible. This can still be seen in the music industry.

Blog Week 7

I think with the ability to print simple optical devices it will greatly increase production and drop the pricing of many electronics. It takes a lot of electronic power and knowledge to run a complex system within something as simple as a remote control for a tv. If they made theses devices that would simply deflect like in a remote then it would greatly reduce the complexity. Even with high end remotes such as gaming, or other controls in a air plan cockpit. It would drastically decrease the complexity and cost.

Our printers it would be hard to introduce light piping because of the fact we do not have very high resolution to make precise holes small enough and route them with little error in the mass. We have a "webbing" of printing which would allow light where light wasn't wanted. The plastic also gets bubbles in it while printing sometimes which would cause light to act in a weird way. As our resolution increases our printers could handle this if the proper stepper motors were used that were precise enough.

As stated before something as simple as a remote could be used for these sensors, or a air plane cockpit that has a ton of buttons and electronics. Instead of running complex wires through everything it can you light which would deflects certain ways on a board of some sort that would then control the airplane. This technology could also be used on pressure sensors as the device would deflect it would deflect light. There is many uses for this. I think a cool project would to be create some type of controller that uses light and deflections to run a devices such as a tv or remote control car.

Blog Week 6

I think it would be amazing to bio-print body parts for replacement if needed. I think legally it won't hit many bumps in the road, unless they start printing off whole human bodies. I think they will have a lot of troubles getting the brain to connect to this hearts, kidneys, etc. How will they take the cells and make them connect with brain, let along wire nerve cells, blood veins, and whatever else is all throughout a organ. I think that will be the hardest part to surpass in this project. As far as REPRAP bio-research, I think it would be very hard to do. I am sure there is a lot of science and money into growing your own cells, and printing them out. I think they will be too expensive. I do not quite clearly see the purpose of DIY bio-printing. Can you show up to a hospital and ask them to insert this bigger, badder heart you created?

Blog Week 5

As a strong believer in the second amendment, I feel that it is a little strange to make a plastic gun. The part worries me is the undetectable part of it. Every "legal" gun needs to have a serial number, and the barrel marking on the bullet and saved in a database in case of a crime. Every gun is traceable is some way legal or not. The scary part of this is there is no way to detect it and will allow the owner to secretly have a gun, which is not good no matter what. It would be cool to be able to do it, but to actually have a real gun that is undetectable is not gonna be used for good uses, regardless what people say. If I was the owner of this operation, I would seize it for moral reasons. What is one good thing they can be used for that a real gun cannot be? When it comes to regulating it, I am not sure how you would go about doing so. We can try, but if it gets out in public there is no way to get it back. The only way to regulate it would be to not allow it to even start up in the first place and seize it now.

Blog Week 4

I think it is very interesting that Makerbot has created a closed source printing (rumored). What did we expect? There is obvious a business market in customer 3D printing, it was just a matter of time until a company tried to take control of it. I think the fact that they are trying to claim thingiverse as all the info on it is now their's is a far stretch. If there is small print somewhere stating what you post on the site is property of MakerBot than there is nothing we can really do, except take it off before it is enforce, however it is probably already backed up before they released this. I think if open source wants to keep up they do need to find another "thingiverse" or have people donate to make another one. If not, if depending on how MakerBot goes about hitting the market open sourcing could disappear quick. Similar to how iTunes took a great deal of torrenting music away, most people will take the legal way about things.

Blog Week 3

This is hard to say with what direction 3D printing will take and what limitations or restrictions will be placed on 3D printing. I personally think it will be very hard to control what people will print and nearly impossible to see what everyone prints. I think copyright infringement will definitely be an issue, however I think a lot of people may take an idea or object and change it to what works best for them. I think that there has to be a limit on 3D printing to "try and protect patents" but will only do as good as the music limitations did. I feel that any big operation just replicating iPhone's will be shut down but to the personal every day user who replicates an iPhone case will go undetected.

I have my passion in engineering. I know typical of an engineer to say, but I really enjoy building, creating, and designing things. I have been at it since middle school repairing my motocross bikes in prep for racing. I designed and built a bedroom set throughout high school. I assisted in a full restoration on an '83 GT mustang convertible, and rebuilding a '84 GT mustang T-top. In my spare time I find broken things on craigslist whether its iPhone's, computers, or dirtbikes; repair them; and resell them. I have always been involved in some project and really enjoy it. I am currently designing my own house, wood shop, and garage that one day I will build myself (and some help of friends of course). I think this is an attractive characteristic to have as a male, and will one day bring me money in a job, or at least save money.

I disagree with professor Bowyer when he says it will completely erase intellectual property. I think it may be easier to obtain this and definitely will have some effect on the manufacturing processes, and companies. People have the capabilities of growing their own food right now, I can grow a garden, raise cattle, and supply my family with food at a fraction of the cost as it would be to shop for that food. But I am too lazy to do it. I think that will be the same case in this way. You will have your crowd of people who will abuse the system as always but I feel that most people will not go on a rampage of copyright and patent infringement. Anyone can go out and get a simple download music and listen to it for free, but iTunes is a huge money maker because of honest people. If the 3D printer does grow drastically it will definitely have an small impact on the manufacturing and intellectual property of companies, but no where to a scale of Bowyer was saying.

Blog Week 2

I do think the goal of a self replicating machine is feasible to an extent with the parts he mentioned not needing to be replicated. I think it will be very hard to replicate a part such as the threaded guides for the axis'. This would be hard to do because they need to be very precise and when you start replicating parts from machines built by other machines you will end up with different dimensions. This would be hard to keep very precise in the long term of the machine. Think of cutting out a piece of paper with a stencil then using the new stencil as a stencil for the next. After about 5, you can start to notice a change from the original machine. If we reproduce special parts, such as threaded axis guides then it will not be feasible.

I agree with the motto "Wealth without money" it follows the saying that people have been saying lately with the economy "invest in bricks." With a REPRAP machine a lot can be done. As it was said in the article if you need a part for a vacuum you can simply print it out. This printer has a very usefulness to it. It just needs to get out in everyone's hands. With the power of open sourcing, people could get a hold of models and print whatever they desire, which is what thinkiverse is.

I can see the REPRAP printer advancing to a simple design such as a regular printer. Plug and play type feature for every consumer. Right now you have to be pretty tech savy in building a REPRAP and maintaining it. However, just like the regular printer one day they were very confusing for the average user, in the next years I feel this machine will become a plug and play machine like any other printer. If someone can introduce a simple program for modeling, and incorporate the G-code in the same program where a user can just click print and see their printer work. This would allow anyone to print anything whether they design it, or get it from the internet.

Blog Week 1

   1) Pixar Lamp
   2) Flame Light Shade
   3) Washer
   4) Piano Necktie 
   5) Octopus

Due to my lack of experience thus far with REPRAP I chose this light (1) to be the must useful thing. This a good way to bring a 3D model to life and see what you designed in working condition. Everyone can use and understand the excitement in seeing something transform from computer screen to 3D model. I chose the flame light shade (2) as my artistic thing because of the fact at how it was modeled and shaped. It turned out to be a nice decorative piece. The washer (3) was chosen as the useless thing because there it cannot be used in a real world application due to the fact of it being plastic, it will not be able to replace a metal washer. The fact the washers are pennies, why would it be necessary to waste time and plastic on making this washer. I chose the piano necktie (4) as a funny thing because it would be a cool thing to wear around, however I could see it being pretty heavy having to wear it around your neck. I think it would bring laughs to any event if you come in wearing a plastic tie. Last but not least is the weird category. I am not sure if octopus is a theme of REPRAPs, but they seem to be a trending topic on thingverse. That is why I chose the octopus earring (5) as the weird category. It is off the normal route of 3d printing and I am not sure why.