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Blog Entry #1: 5 Thingiverse Designs 9/3/12

1)Useful- coffee measure spoon

I found the coffee measuring spoon to be the most useful design on thingiverse which I stumbled upon because when I went to make coffee this morning i realized that I had misplaced my coffee spoon. The end result was a bad cup of coffee and if I had a reprap in my home I could have printed out a new scoop and avoided the situation entirely.

2)Artistic/Beautiful-Companion Cube Upgrade

I don't know if beautiful is the correct word to describe this design but I really enjoyed it when I found it because it is a design from the game portal, which I am currently doing a run through and when I came across it I wanted to include it in this post.

3)Pointless/useless-Cliff Evans

I found the Cliff Evans design to be the most pointless design while I was stumbling through thingiverse as it is simply part of a group of designs that were made as busts of random people and serve no real purpose.

4)Funny-toilet seat hinge replacement

I found the toilet seat hinge replacement design on thingiverse funny because as I was conducting my random search I came across a patch of a lot of reprap parts. And then all of a sudden there was a picture of a toilet seat in front of me and it made me laugh. Therefore it earned the funny spot on my page.

5)Weird-Leia 3D

I thought that this design was weird because I don't know who has time to get there dog to sit still for them to make a CAD model of their dog...

Blog Entry #2: RepRap Background 9/10/12

1) I believe that the goal of a ‘self-replicating universal constructor’ is feasible and that we are on our way to achieve it. What needs to be done in order to achieve this goal is to be able to create the components of the rapid prototyping machine that one still needs to go purchase such as power adapters and stepper motors. I believe that we are on our way to being capable of doing this as both plastic additive manufacturing and metal additive manufacturing advance. Hopefully in the future a replicating machine could be made to print both plastic and metal as to be able to make the components that one would have to buy now.

2) The phrase "wealth without money" is used in the article as a way of saying how somebody would not need money to have the things that wealthy people have in a world with a universal constructor which could replicate itself. Basically, it is saying that with a rapid prototyping machine one would be capable of making things that would cost more to buy and that you could in a way make money by furthering the evolution of RepRap. In my mind, this idea could also be extended to mean that one does not need to have money in order to make money in that starting out with a cheap RepRap, one could continuously further its evolution to be able to create new and better things and in a way, create money for ones self.

3) The main way that I think RepRaps will evolve in the future will be the capability to print electrical and mechanical parts. Once this is achieved it will be possible to actually print working machines right from the start. It could be done by having multiple extruders which extrude different materials, such as filler support material for the capability to create more complex structures, as well as some sort of extruder or way to print metal as to do circuitry and other metal components. What needs to happen in order for a huge leap such as this to occur would be for 3D printing to escape simply the engineering and scientist community and make its way into the home so that the evolutions of the machines can happen at a greater rate with more minds thinking about them.

Blog Entry #3: End of IP 9/17/12

1) Currently I dont think hat placing controls on 3D printing is the way to go, or could even be done successfully. The whole point of RepRap is that it is open source and a living breathing evolving organism of is own. Therefor taking away that open source of information hinders both the successes and the failures of RepRap's advancement, which is something that we do not want to do as 3d printing has the ability to change alot of things in many good ways. Therefore it should be allowed to grow unhindered.

2) Currently one of my passions is theatre. I enjoy being involved in theatrical productions simply because it is a good way to meet new people and I get to do things that I never would be able to anywhere else. I do not however, see it as a way of attracting mates. It is my passion for the sole purpose of bringing a different kind of pleasure to my life. However, even though I do not intend to use this passion as a way of attracting mates, anything that a person is passionate about can be seen in them eventually and it can attract people whether you intend it to or not.

3) I do not think that 3d printing will end IP. This is because people will still always have the ability to sell their stl files for whatever you want to print. However, if it leads to everybody with access to 3d printing to become good designers then they can always design what they want themselves. I do feel as though it would change how IP works in however. The different between knowledge being material and immaterial is created by 3d printing as all you need is an idea of something (stl file) to create it.

Blog Entry #4: Occupy Thingiverse 9/26/12

As far as we know, all that we have officially seen from makerbot is the arrival of a new and awesome looking, although expensive, rapid prototyping machine. However, there are rumors that the new replicator 2 is closed source and that thingiverse now owns the rights to whatever is uploaded to it. Prusa is concerned with both of these rumors for the fact that making the new replicator 2 closed source is going against what the original intent of makerbot and in general reprap was: to allow these machines to develop and evolve from person to person, making information free so that we can speedily and continually advance rapid prototyping to the new level. If the replicator 2 is indeed closed source, then makerbot is pretty much saying to hell with advancing reprap as a whole, I just want to make money. The other rumor, that makerbot now owns everything that has been uploaded to thingiverse, is another thing entirely. People upload their parts to thingiverse for the fact that it is open source and allows other people to use their designs or get ideas and inspiration from eachothers designs so that everybody has access to all the information out there. Makerbot owning these designs not only means that they have in a way stolen designs that we thought belonged to the community, but they could decide to charge users to download designs from Makerbot, which would hurt the open source-ness of reprap even more.

This is just speculation, however, because we do not know for sure whether these rumors about makerbot are true. If they are confirmed, then I would suggest looking for a new place to upload our designs.

Blog Entry #5: DIY gun project 10/2/12

I have now found myself very conflicted about regulating RepRap and 3d printing. Before the issue of DIY guns was brought into play, I was all for open source all the way. However, now with the fact that people are working on making completely 3d printed guns which would be able to pass through security in airports and such without being sensed, I have an issue with the idea. I am against the ability for any random crazy person to be able to have a concealable firearm which he didn't even need to purchase so nobody would have to know that they had one. However, the major problem I see is that I have no idea how something, such as what people print, can be regulated. In this case, the fact that RepRap has been made to be completely open source and DIY, understandably causes any government or regulatory board a major headache. Is it even possible to control what people print? The problem with regulating printing based off the ability to make a firearm is that such regulation could be thought of as unconstitutional as it would violate the right to bare arms. But at the same time, creating a weapon that would pass through security checkpoints is also illegal. So either way, whether the printing is regulated or people print out their own firearms as they please, some law is being violated. This is a major ethical dilemma and one which I personally think could be avoided if the DIY guns project shut itself down. I figure it would be better in this case to error on the side of caution.

Other things that might attract attract similar attention to being 3d printed such as guns would be any other sort of small weapon such as knives or anything that would usually not be concealable because they are made of metal. Another issue with 3d printing could be the copying of keys which are not allowed to be copied. Any other access tool that would not be allowed to be copied falls under the same category. If a secure building or room is only granted access by a fingerprint, I'm sure that with the right type of 3d printer, a fingerprint could be copied to a high enough degree that it could be reprinted.

Blog Entry #6: Bio Printing 10/15/12

I for one am completely shocked that bio printing is even a possibility at the moment, let alone the ability to make functional organs being only 10 years away. The idea of anything being able to print functioning human cells astounds me as I'm used to working with printing in metals and plastic. So basically I am picturing a spool of cellular filament, which I cannot even begin to understand how somebody would create. Using 3d printable organs for transplants might create issues as I feel like simply printing an organ would be too easy, and that for some reason the human body would not accept the printed organ. Some legal issues that bio printers could develop as they reach their maximum potential could be printing living human beings. As sci-fi as it sounds, if the capability is there to print fully functioning living tissue and organs, why shouldn't we be able to print a person? Obviously there would have to be many legal ramifications of going further into this.

I think it is possible for bio printing to be extended to RepRaps however, I do not feel as though it would be feasible because the cost of the bio/cellular material must be extremely high. I feel as though these machines must be more complicated than RepRaps in the fact that they wouldn't simply be heating up and extruding filament along a path. There must be some other processes to undergo to maintain the living tissue while printing and I'm not sure how feasible that would be for RepRaps. Also, bio printers technically could never be RepRaps, as they would not be able to replicate themselves.

Blog Entry #7: Light Piping 10/15/12

Printing optically sensing components on demand is huge because we usually have to make separate passive components. This could dramatically chance any electronics industry as the possibility of just printing your electrical product, complete with working components, would reduce costs of assembly significantly. This could change the way all electronics industries actually make their products.

Creating light pipping with our RepRaps would not be the easiest thing to do however. This is because the light piping that is shown in the video I believe is done with support material to make the actual holes for the pipping and our RepRaps do not have support materials. Also, if they do not use support materials, then our RepRaps would need to be able to print a complete overhang and currently we are only able to achieve at most 45 degrees.\

Printing optics might be cool to use in a personal project I've thought about doing for a while, designing my own simple 8 bit gaming system. I think it would be rally cool to make the controllers completely by printing optics and having the controllers' plastic be transparent as to allow you to see the optics in the controller. I just think it would look kind of cool.

Blog Entry #8: Control of 3D printing 10/24/12

This article explains that a patent was created to give 3D printing digital rights management for copyrighting which seems to me to be in response to the DIY gun project. Managing the printing of things which could prove harmful such as guns supports my previous argument in that I do not think anybody who can 3d print should be able to create a completely concealable firearm. However, this article also addresses the feasibility of digital rights management for 3D printing by comparing it to the copying of apple iTunes music tracks. The problem with preventing the copying of music tracks from iTunes was that it had been done so much already that pretty much everybody with a computer was copying music to give to their friends. It soon became cleat that apple had no hope of stopping the copying of music. This situation is sort of the same for 3D printing because there already exist many websites devoted to publicly sharing 3d models to print for free and most everybody in the RepRap community are very well situated with sharing their 3d models with eachother and printing them without restriction. This is because the RepRap project is generally open source. The printers that people have are made from designs shared for free around the world and those printers can make new printers. If there was an attempt to make a printer that would not print certain unauthorized models, people simply wouldn't build that printer and would continue to develop and share their own printer designs and models. Also, if the models, currently available online for free, were somehow regulated, a lot of people in the RepRap community are already well versed in designing their own models, and there is no way for a homemade model to be regulated. It seems plain as day, at least to me, that there is no feasible way to enforce any regulations on what can or cannot be printed.

Blog Entry #9: 3D Printing in Libraries 10/31/12

Historically, libraries existed for the purpose of giving people free access to information and technology for community learning. However, over the course of time, libraries have became a place that was simply for reading, and reading quietly. Becoming a place for quiet reading took away not only the technology aspect of libraries, but the community learning as well. This is because people have not been free to speak to each other, sharing and bouncing ideas off of each other. This sharing of ideas is what truly makes learning happen because one person can build off of another persons idea and creativity grows exponentially. However, libraries being a center for creativity and innovation may no longer be a thing of the past.

Now that we are in the digital age, where we can access many books from a computer database rather than off the shelves, libraries are starting to have more space that they no longer need for physical books. With this excess space, some libraries have started purchasing technology for the public to use, as they did in the beginning, and among those technologies have been found 3D printers. Although it would be more likely now to find a 3D printer in a library at a university because of the sheer amount of students that could use them, some public libraries are converting empty floorspace into makespaces as well. I for one think that the presence of 3D printers in libraries across the country is a wonderful idea and will help spread the growth of 3D printing to the public.

Before 3D printers began popping up in libraries, the main advancement of the technologies was through companies owning very high end 3D printers and people in the RepRap community. One of the RepRap communities goals has been for 3D printers to make their way into every home, just as the regular paper printer is. Despite the amount of growth RepRap has undergone as a technology, it has yet to make a significant dent in becoming mainstream. This is because, without specifically searching google for 3D printers, most of the public doesn't even know that 3D printers exist. However, if they start to become readily accessible in public libraries, the public will get exposure to 3D printers and begin to realize the capabilities of these wonderful machines. Once people know about them, it is only a mater of time before 3D printing really booms in the public and RepRap technology will begin to expand even faster.

Personally, I am familiar with the Patee/Paterno library, the engineering library, and the Schlow library in State College and none of them currently have 3d printers in them. I can see 3d printers being very successful in these libraries, however maybe less so in Schlow as it is a childrens library. Any area that young creative minds gather in large quantities is the perfect place for 3D printers to be discovered.

Blog Entry #10: Changes in Rapid Prototyping in the future 11/9/12

Assuming a world where RepReps are widespread to the point where its common to find a 3D printer in every American home, there are going to be many changes in the technology. One thing that I foresee becoming large is the paste extruder for 3D printers going into the kitchen of the average home. People will be printing batters and such for anything that they are going to bake. Ever wanted to make 3 different kinds of pancake batter for breakfast in just one morning? It will be possible with your 3d printer with multiple extruders. Each extruder will be assigned a different ingredient. Baking a cake with multiple layers? You will be able to lay the batter down in the pan with your 3d printer so that each layer is a different batter and you can make that fancy 7 layered chocolate-vanilla-strawberry-pumpkin-coconut-lemon-watermelon-bannana cake that you have always wanted! Besides the kitchen, 3d printers will advance in such a way that not only will they be able to print individual geometries of physical parts, but you will be able to print and assemble electrical and mechanical components.

Blog Entry #11: 3D printing in Classrooms 11/13/12

Coming from a current student in a 3D printing class, I would say that there is definitely a place for 3D printing in the educational system (K-12). In the 3D printing class which I am taking, I have learned all about 3D printing and can see how it changes the way in which manufacturing anything can be done. It opens up new opportunities in what designs can actually be made and therefore expands and thrives upon creativity. I know that in high school many people take electives such as wood shop, metal shop, or even CAD design, as I had those opportunities open to me in a public high school. Those all taught me different ways of creating and designing. Why shouldn't the educational system have a class which not only teaches different ways of creating and designing, but also expands the creativity of its students?

While I do not agree that computers and other portable computing technologies have reached their limit with miniaturization, I do agree with the fact that 3D printers have a factor to play in the miniaturization of products today. This isn't making 3D printers smaller: it's making 3D printers have the ability to create smaller and smaller products, and there is definitely a market for that today. Things such as electrical components are on the forefront of being printed, and electrical components are only getting smaller and smaller.

If RepRap succeeds in its goal of getting 3d printers into homes as commonly as you would find a regular printer, then 3D printing should definitely be made available in our public school systems.

Blog Entry #12: Printing Yourself 11/30/12

Omote3D has been offering a new service with 3D printers: having a 3D print figurine of yourself. Basically, they give their customers a body scan and then use that scan to create a 3D model of the customer which they print. I believe it is most definitely a service that falls under the category of novelty as I can see no actual purpose having a 3D print of yourself can serve. I personally have no interest in purchasing a 3D model of myself, but that may be due to the fact that I am a broke college student who would rather spend his money on groceries. My father, a man who enjoys novelty items and nicknacks and has a "real person" job so he can buy fun things, would definitely purchase a small figurine of himself if he knew this existed. Since the price is fairly expensive (at least in comparison to the cost of a low end 3d printed part), I feel as though there is not much of a market for this service other than people with a large excess of money who enjoy novelty items and nicknacks.

I do not know how much a body scan costs (which might be the reason that the price for this service is so high), but I do not think that there is much merit in this business model. Since there does not appear to be anybody else in the business of full body recreations, they can charge what they want to. If the body scan is truly the course of the high price, I know that there exists technology which creates a 3D image out of a series of photos, the cost of which would simply be the cost of the software, which might even be free. Therefore, if a competitor stepped into the market, the prices would potentially be driven down significantly to the cost of printing and the cost of the operator.

Blog Entry #13: Recycled Filament 12/7/12

Personally, were I to attempt to build a filament extruder, I would want to purchase one such as filabot before actually attempting to make my own. That way, I could become much more familiar with how a filament extruder is meant to work and how it goes together. After familiarizing myself with a filabot, I would then feel comfortable enough to try and build my own filament extruder, possibly even of my own designs. I definitely feel that I would want to use an already existing extruder before building my own because it sounds like a difficult process.

A plastic recycling system could do wonders for the RepRap community because there are many times using a RepRap that your part fails to build correctly and you end up with a hunk of useless plastic. With a recycling system, you would be able to reuse that plastic and retry your print, or put it to another purpose. Another way in which a plastic recycling system would benefit the RepRap community would be to possibly allow for our community to grow. The ability to make something out of your plastic recyclables might inspire people to become a part of RepRap and get a printer in their home because they would actually see where the plastic that they recycle goes and use it to make something fun or useful.