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Bonus Post F: 12/12/2012

Open Source self-replicating 3D printing technology does relate to sustainability and the ethos of the DIY group. By having a bunch of printers that can make themselves with little waste other than the material you put in does show how they are self-sustaining with very little impact on the environment. Also when it becomes prevalent to use a recycler for on the printers they will be even more self-sustaining with potentially no waste making it so sustainable that it is almost mind-blowing. This all relates back to the DIYer because all of these printers are made by people for people and because its open source the DIY community can upload and share their upgrades which as we know the DIY community loves to brag so by breaking into the DIY community and merging it with the DIY community like on instructables then honestly the sky is the limit.

Bonus Post E: 12/12/2012

My department is the ME department, I think that with some fancy wording we could get some funding from them. By showing the capabilities of the RepRaps being able to print working parts such as gears and moving assemblies, the we could pitch to the ME department that by having students in the capstone courses such as ME 340 and then in Senior design. The fact that they are cheaper to create prototypes fast this could be useful when running through multiple ideas for a solution because sometimes it is not really feasible until you have a model in your hands. For other departments I think that you could maybe talk to the art department about using these printers, the printers can create complex artistic models that cannot be made using standard sculpting techniques. Another department that could be interested is the chemistry department, researchers could print out 3D models of molecules that they have created and therefore not have to spend lots of money ordering custom models.

Bonus Post D: 12/12/2012

There are a few scenarios that I have been mulling over in my head that could help keep the RepRaps in the school and functioning.
Scenario 1: If we were able to build/invent a recycler that could recycle the used filament and even other plastics we could really pitch how much money this program can save by being almost self-sufficient. This could help the print service business and also budget people being the every positive force in our universe could be satisfied with this idea. The problem is that if they see us saving money that will lead to more budget cuts because that is how the logic of budget people works.
Scenario 2: Have this class take on the business/entrepreneurship approach to E-Design courses here at Penn State. Tout this class a real functioning business and use the print service as the business with this you will still need build teams and maintenance people as well as printers and outreach people. This could really work because we run a business now essentially and with this it could lead to us charging rates for printing which would get us more money/funding outside of those damn budget people. The bad side to this would be that there are probably some hoops that you would have to jump through for them to make this work but it could be more promising than the situation now.
Scenario 3: I know this would make you sad but it might have to be reduced to a club status. By being a club there would be a lot more freedom given to the structure of the RepRap lab allowing for more innovation and freedom to expand both the print service and the amount of printers. The bad side to this would be that clubs get little to no funding which is a BIG problem with us and also we would be giving in to the idea that it is not a worthy course. While it may seem like giving up being a club might be the only option at some point.

Bonus Post C: 12/12/2012

This class definitely offered something that was never offered or gained out of other classes that I have had in my career as an engineering student. One unique thing that I got out of it was the flexibility of being able to choose a project or task that allowed me to contribute to the cause/class/business in the RepRap lab. I was able to I feel learn how the printers worked by doing general maintenance and printing and fixing of the various printers. I was also able to see the potential for these printers and I think that there is some real potential in these printers and the print service that this class offers. Now while what has been learned may not be able to be quantified in a technical paper or in an exam but the project of the RepRap I feel goes beyond that it is about creating a self-sustaining mini factory and business inside one small room with some printers and computers.

Bonus Post B: 12/12/2012

While this course may not strictly adhere to the structure of what is a "class" I do feel that this class does have some merit. While the design process is not really covered there are build teams who not only build the printers but come up with new ways to improve the already made up designs. People in the class are constantly coming up with new ways to improve up on the designs of components that are already up on thingiverse, sometimes improving them sometimes not but that is how the process ACTUALLY works. On the other spectrum of the class there is a small business being run out of the lab where not only are new printers being made and hopefully sold one day but students from other design classes have put up orders for prototypes to be built by using the printers. So while this class may not adhere to the structure of a typical class which is where the design process is taught which it turns out is different for every company and even every person/design team, the process I feel is being taught in a way more tangible way one in which the individual is not stifled by the rules of the design process and then tested on them. One way I could suggest to structure the class is look at it from also the entrepreneur side of it, by having this print service company running out of the back of the room, maybe not only teach but show how this small efficient business model is running and working. Another suggestion I have is maybe have some more lectures tailored to not only the history of the printers but the business model behind the print service and how the innovation on the design of these printers is vital for not only the community but the business as well. While this class may not have been like a 'real class' I do feel that I have learned something from it, if anything how the applications for these machines is just endless and that how self sustaining something like these printers can be. So I think that people do learn in this class even if it is not in the classical sense of the term.

Bonus Post A: 12/12/2012

The people at Warwick have developed a way to print using a conductive plastic for material.This could open up many doors and opportunities for the RepRap community, it is one step closer to the ultimate goal of a printer being able to fully replicate itself including the circuitry that is needed to run the printer. As this technology grows and gets expanded upon there could be whole new communities that pop up with in the RepRap world that are devoted to making electronics, think of it being able to make your own lap top to write blogs about RepRap 3D printers. By having this new technology/technique for printing the possibilities are endless for what could be achieved/made. Some things that I could see possibly coming out of this new technology are people printing out their own custom music players (take that apple!), in stead of having to pay ridiculous amounts of money for an overrated SD card someone could eventually just print out their own, this music player could be totally customizable and therefore unique (eat your heart out hipsters). Another thing that could pop out of this technology is the creation of even smaller and faster electronics, by being able to print out circuits the wait time for prototypes to be made when doing research on electronics is literally set to zero so that the time between iterations of such research is drastically cut down. By having all of this extra time it will allow for further refinement of the technology making better advancements in half the time.

Post 14: 12/11/2012

Of the designs for a plastic recycler the design that seems the most suitable for mass use is the Filabot model. This is because this model of plastic recycler is compact and shreds the plastic material while melting it making it be able to take multiple shapes of plastic like milk jugs ect. And make them into filaments that can be used in a 3D printer. That being said I think that the model that is the best suited for the RepRap community is the Lyman Filament Extruder. This model of recycler has parts on Thingiverse that can be printed out to assemble this recycler and it is open source meaning that it can be adapted to each individuals needs making it open to customization and improvement because the community will undoubtedly improve upon this design as time goes on. I think that a desktop recycling system could have a profound impact on the DIY RepRap community, by being able to recycle plastic at home people can essentially have their own self-sustaining factory. Also by being able to use various plastics in these recyclers people can customize the plastic they use and tailor the various properties to what they need such as making a stronger part or a flexible part. So with all of this customization and sustainability that is possible the DIY community will never be the same and because it is an open source community there can only be improvements made on this idea. I think that a design like the Lyman Filament Extruder could be built relatively easily with the proper materials and instructions. The instructions that are given are pretty good at explaining the process for building it and what to expect when it comes to creating a plastic recycler.

Post 12: 12/11/2012

The idea of creating a 3D model of yourself seems a little creepy to me but it’s Japan. Anyway the fact that there are such novelties that being made helps speak to the validity of 3D printing and the staying power of this technology. The fact that there is a market for such novelties shows that people are finding applications for these printers beyond the realm of purely functional items for engineering and science. As this becomes more and more popular and mainstream the price of materials and printers will go down because there will be a market for it we all know that if companies can make money then completion will ensue which leads to prices being lowered to a reasonable level. Another development in the 3D printing market that shows much promise is that Staples is planning on having a 3D print service. By making 3D printing so mainstream as to be in a major retailer like staples people will become more and more familiar with the concept of 3D printers which will also drive the prices down because people will want them and see the potential applications. So would I get a 3D model of myself? No, but I would use a print service to print out my 3D designs especially if they are fully functional 3D prints.

Post 11: 12/11/2012

I think that 3D printers absolutely have a place in the classroom specifically in the high school range of education. I think that STEM education is absolutely vital for us to continue to be forerunners in the education of our youth. As Buzz Garwood mentioned in his blog that kids would be able to see their concepts evolve from the mind’s eye to the physical form. This is completely true, I was involved in a STEM education program at my high school where we had a 3D printer. One of our challenges was to create a Rube Goldberg machine where at least one of the pieces had to be designed and built on the 3D printing, this allowed us to not only design our integral piece but to then see it in action. This process I feel is extremely important in the learning process especially for kids, by designing curricula around designing and then implementing designs kids will be able to see that the concepts that they are developing in their math and science courses do have an application, and since 3D printers have become so much more economical these types of design and engineering courses are not limited to the colleges or rich private schools. By getting more and more kids involved with STEM we can then get more and more kids involved in engineering and science which is where we as a country and society can benefit the most. We need innovators and movers and shakers the way to that is through STEM education and hopefully 3D printing.

Post 10: 12/11/2012

At the rate at which 3D printing is expanding and changing the possibilities for the future of this technology are really endless. As this technology becomes cheaper and more precise, the 3D printing bug will spread like wild fire. In the future I can envision 3D printing taking on many forms, for example I can see a future where consumable parts such as a clutch in a car or brake pads are either printed out by someone at home or by the dealership. By being able to do this the cost of such items would drop dramatically due to manufacturing costs and there would never be any worry about whether or not you had the right part. This could work because such items as the clutch and brake pads are homogeneous in their makeup and since they are consumable it means that cost of replacement comes into factor. Now I think that while there are great things in the future for this type of technology, there will still be manufacturing in the traditional sense going on, for example we are still limited on size and materials that we can print with and plus the parts that these printers are made out of will still need to be manufactured at least to some degree i.e. the circuitry.

Post 9:12/10/2012

I definitely think that a library is the perfect place to host RepRaps and other 3D printers. One of the core ideas behind the RepRap community is making these printers available to everybody and the one place in our society where everyone has access is our public libraries. Each article and video mentioned that libraries are a place for democracy, where people are encouraged to be creative and share ideas, in fact if you think about it a library is literally a warehouse of ideas, just printed ideas. So it is really not that big of a leap for libraries to extend this into the 3D world, by having people be able to come to a place where they can be creative and share their ideas in real space is the next level of this democracy process. By having places where people can design and print out their own creations opitimizes the idea of this democratizing. I would really like to see the outcome of the FabLab in the Fayetteville library; I think that it will really be a success. Here at Penn State we have one of the most extensive library systems in the U.S. and the addition of 3D printers I think would just make sense as the technology continues to improve and community gets stronger and stronger. You could argue that since our classroom is just down the hall from the Hammond engineering library that we already have a FabLab in a library, there is also a makerbot along with some industrial 3D printers in the learning factory, but each of these locations have some problems; one is that they are only accessible to engineering students because they are buildings specifically designated for engineering students, and second no one knows about these printers or their availability. I think that one way to get these printers noticed by multi-disciplined students would be set up some printers in the Patee/Paterno library. This library is located in a pretty central location on campus, everyone knows where it is, everyone has access to that library so everyone could come in and use the printers. We need to take a page from ACLR and have our own FabLab where students can come in and express their ideas in real tangible 3D space.

Post 8: 12/10/2012

It seems as though my previous predictions about future regulation of the 3D printing community/world could be coming true. The use of this 3D DRM is pretty much exactly what I had said they would try to implement. By making it so that in order to print objects the printer will have to look for a license to make sure the object is not stolen is realty the corporations again stifling the free community and free thinkers. By implementing these DRMs it could kill this fledgling community. The whole internet revolution has created a more free world but it has also introduced new ways of regulation and control. These DRMs are just one more way they are trying to encroach on our human creativity and resourcefulness, it is the internet music and movie piracy all over again but instead this directly impedes progress and creativity. This 3D community shows such great opportunity for innovation by using this community idea where people create things and then the community refines them. I am real worried about this but I can see it happening and no one noticing until it is too late.

Post 7: 12/10/2012

1.) Being able to print these interactive objects using the light piping could open up numerous creative and technological advancements. By being able to add a light component to the designs could make it so that we can add animations and all sorts of other cool things to the stuff that is printed out. Like what the video showed not only is there aesthetic aspect to this light piping but there are also practical applications with this technology with making the light sensors. So the applications of this printing technique are literally endless.
2.) With our printers there are some inherent issues with using this type of technique in our printers. First of all the material needs to be super clear and from what I can tell this material will be either extremely hard to find if you even can and if you can very expensive. Another issue that could arise is the fact that the resolution on our printers is probably not what is needed for these applications, in order to print these light pipes the print needs to be exact and our printers don’t even print out holes the right size sometimes.
3.) These sensors could be used for an array of things depending on how sensitive they need to be. Because they can be printed out they can be made custom to the application that is needed. Also because they utilize light the cost of all of the materials that go into touch sensors and accelerometers is all but gone. One project for this type of technology could be using this type of accelerometer to print out your own custom wii remote or even use these sensors depending on how sensitive they are to measure the dynamic response of various systems where noise from other electro-mechanical processes can interfere with the classical methods for data acquisition, light is not subject to EMI.

Post 6: 12/10/2012

1.) I think that the idea of bio-printing is awesome. The possibilities I think could be endless especially with the potential for printing whole organs. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services there are currently 116,653 people waiting for an organ and 18 people die every day waiting for an organ. By being able to "print" out organs for people who desperately need them the number of people on the waiting list could be reduced drastically. Also because each of these "printed" organs are made using the persons own DNA the risk of rejection goes down significantly. Rejection is when the person who receives the organs' body does not recognize the organ as a part of the body and therefore attacks it. By having an organ that is basically your own organ because it is made of your own DNA then the body will have no reason to attack it. But besides organs the prospect of this technology is endless. The article mentioned them being able to print custom cartilage for such applications as knee replacements, they have also been printing teeth according to SingularityHUB researchers at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) have been printing tooth structures and then literally growing teeth on them using stem cells harvested from the patients gums and other teeth. Imagine no more cavities or people with dentures. The article also mentioned the application of this technology in drug research and being able to print out tissue or even organs so that the drug companies could test new drugs on actual human tissues and organs. This could usher in a new era of drug testing where there would be no animal testing and some of the issues involved with human trials. But with such great advances in technology come a whole set of problems that society and the law have to deal with. Some problems that could be caused by this new technology is, what happens if we can "print" out a human brain, will it be able to think? will it be human? This could lead into the whole what is a human debate and the cloning issues that are a thing of science fiction novels. Another issue with this new technology could be where the companies that make these machines make the price for manufacturing these organs astronomically high, leading to people being in the same boat that they were in before this technology came out, waiting for an organ. These issues are all ones that need to be considered before any full scale implementation of such technology is done.
2.) While one of the great aspects of the 3D printing community is the openness of the community leading to innovations in multiple aspects of various sections of society such as the evolution of the printer design and even the attention brought to the debate on intellectual property. But when it comes to such things as homegrown bioengineering I get a little Leary. What is to say people don't start trying to sell organs out of their houses but because they do not have the facilities that the medical companies have the organs can be contaminated or even defective leading to people having serious complications. Another issue could be the potential for people printing off their own abominations such as Frankenstein animals or even people. Think of it people printing off their own bio army of mutants!

Post 5: 10/4/2012

1.) I imagine if I were a dedicated member of the DIY gun project that I would be pretty upset. According to the beliefs that the group was founded on it was that this new idea of open source hardware and 3D printers is that everyone will be able to manufacture their own products for the needs they have. The idea of a printable gun just builds onto this idea of free information and that if it available there should be nothing stopping you from accessing that information. What people do with that information is their business and the creators should not be held responsible for them.
2) Back on to the regulation topic of 3D printers, I think that because people can print out various items of destruction that people think that it should be regulated. In my opinion I think that we need to stop thinking that we need to regulate everything to insanity, we are adults not children you should be allowed access to the information but what you do with that information is up to you. If someone decides to let's say murder someone with it then they should be charged with murder, the file did not kill that person it was the guy who decided to kill that person's fault.
3.) Some other things that might be prone to prohibition that could be printed on a 3D printer may be things like syringes or other drug related items. People could see it as condoning drug related behaviors and even enabling people. I think that if it were even possible to print out a syringe that it would then be possible to print out bigger objects that could also be used as weapons.

Post 4: 10/1/2012

I think that it is ridiculous that makerbot is going to have a closed hardware printer and that they now own everything on thingiverse. Prusa should be concerned because makerbot started out on a platform of everything is open source and the like and now in the biggest hipocracy they go behind everyone's back, including the people who helped them get started and pull this. To me this just proves my stance in the last post that IP is not going to die, there is too much at stake for the companies involved. The sooner everyone learns that our world is based off of money and that while it is a nice idea the ideal world will never be in reach.

Post 3: 9/25/2012( this again is really late)

1.) I do think that as the 3Dprinting world grows that the powers that be will try to put restrictions on the content that can be printed. What I think will end up happening is that it will become more and more clear to us that as Kirby Ferguson said, “everything is a remix”. Since we do live in an age where information is readily available to anyone that wants it that it will become extremely hard to regulate the 3D community. The fact that the RepRap community started out as an open sharing platform this will make it even harder to regulate. The whole purpose is that people come up with ideas and creations to share them and to help improve other people’s lives or to just be noticed by someone. If you look on thingiverse it is not about who owns what instead it is people sharing ideas and creations for the benefit of other people.
2.) My passion would be to one day work on and innovate a vehicle; I have narrowed it down to a car, helicopter, or jet engine. I think that these areas are where some of the most interesting innovations will be coming from and will be frankly the coolest to work on. I think it is almost beautiful how such complex systems like an engine are able to work and also how much of an impact these things make on our everyday lives. I know that these areas of interest are not the best for finding a mate so there is not that and the field of engineering provides money but these are really not the reasons why I chose this field. I chose this field of study because I think it is awesome to be able to work on thinks that can directly impact people’s lives. I mean everywhere you look there is something that had to be engineered at one point and to me that is just really awesome to get a chance to be the guy behind the scenes making everyday life possible. In fact with engineering the future everyday life, so I guess my motivation would be recognition, as in every time someone uses the product I have worked on without knowing it they are recognizing the work done by everyone who helped design and implement that device.
3.) With professor Bower's discussion on Intellectual property(IP), I found it very interesting that his view point was that the 3D printing community will finally kill IP. I think it is wishful thinking that 3D printing could kill IP. IP is so ingrained into our society and laws that I just don't see it ever happening. All of the major corporations make their bread and butter on IP. For example all of the software companies their products are IP and if that were to go away what is keeping them secure? While I agree that IP posses many problems and obstacles in the way of progress I just don't see it happening on a whole. The 3D printers may solve the IP problem by having people be able to make their own physical products but what about products that we use everyday that are not physical? I think that it is frankly a pipe dream and it will not happen.

Post 2: 9/18/12 (this is really late I am sorry :()

I do believe that this goal/idea of a ‘self-replicating universal constructor’ is feasible, but like with any good idea there are some potential roadblocks that could stand in the way of this idea. The first thing that I think needs to happen is that there needs to be some sort of base model, there needs to be a design that everyone needs to agree on that works and is reliable as well as easy to create. Right now the project is only known to a small group of people. For example I did not even know about these machines until I started taking this class, and if you asked the average person they would think that a 3D printer would be too complicated for them to make and use. So that will be one of the first obstacles to overcome, just getting the idea of these products out to the average person and making it simple to use and make so that everyone will have access to these machines. Another obstacle I can see happening is the big businesses. If everyone can manufacture their own goods in their homes then what will happen to all of those companies that are in the business of manufacturing? What will happen to the people those companies employ? These are some serious questions that need to be addressed, how will this technology impact the economy both the good and the bad. Also with the corporations I can see major corporations being very hesitant to release their files for people to manufacture in their attics. So by addressing these few issues and figuring out how they could be addressed and solved I think that this self replicating project is feasible and an exciting prospect.
The phrase "Wealth Without Money" in this article refers to the fact that for very little money you can produce just about anything you could ever need. You would be wealthy in the sense that your needs can almost always be met by using this self sustaining printer in your house. This is also based on the some of the teachings of marks where everyone's needs are met and therefore the society is wealthy in the fact that no one is left out. These ideas are nice but they never seem to work, human nature always seems to intervene with corruption, and the need to be better off then the person down the street. But in the sense of the 3D printers it is a little different, the society would be wealthy by being self sustaining and if people could make their own polymers like was mentioned in the article then there every household would be completely self sustaining with no need for any infrastructure really. So in a perfect world with this product everyone would be able to fulfill their needs with these printers and everyone will be happy and healthy, but is this possible? Probably not due to the fact that we have all of this infrastructure in place that will prevent that and it is really hard to change people.
There has been a lot of evolution in the 3D printer community since the Darwin model which was released in 2007. The community has evolved to make improved versions of both hard and software. I can see many opportunities for this idea to evolve and to continue to improve. One thing I can see happening really soon is a company like makerbot or maybe someone else bringing the full public's attention to the idea of a 3D printer and a market for these printers will start to emerge and gain more and more popularity. This will then lead to an exponential growth of innovation and improvements on these machines with companies getting involved and even just more people getting involved with the community idea behind it that individuals will make improvements and post them on the internet for other people to use. Unfortunately I can also see these printers becoming commercialized too much to the point where the average person will not be able to afford these products. I can see a whole new slew of regulations being passed around regarding intellectual property and sites like thingiverse getting completely shutdown by the government. So while I can see a bright future for these printers, I think most likely what will happen is corporations and the government will get involved and ruin everything as usual.

Post 1: 9/3/12

Today I was checking out the website Thingiverse, which is a website where users post their 3D designs and then other users can download them and print them out using a 3D printer. While browsing on this site I found several objects that caught my fancy and I then had to wrangle them into 5 different categories according to the administrators in charge of this program. The 5 categories that were given to us were useful, artistic/beautiful, pointless/useless, funny, and weird. So the following items in my blog post will be the items that I found fit those categories the best.


First of all I would like to say that if you are looking for something useful on thingiverse go to the gadget and the household sections, there you will find all sorts of awesome things that can make your life easier. During my browsing session the item that I found to be the most useful was this model of a car window crank. This one here was made originally for a Miata but they said it should fit most cars. This would be really handy because I know that in my dads car the handle broke off of the passenger side door of his 2003 Kia. I have not had a chance to see if this model would work on his car but if it does it could prove useful in ending the over a year long stint without a window crank handle. By having minor replacement parts like this available for the average consumer could really be beneficial because as it stands now my dad is too lazy/forgetful/busy to take his car down to a shop to have it replaced so by being able to print your own parts out the average person can cut out the middle man and finally get rid of excuses as to why things are not done.


There are many artistic endeavors that are put up on thingiverse there are all sorts of items that are both intriguing and beautiful. One item I found striking to me was this vase the title of this piece is Flow and it is based off of something called a Voxel. This piece is beautiful in its lines and the what I really like is the fact that it is based off of math, call me a nerd or what ever but this thing is pretty cool.


Even though thingiverse is full of useful and beautiful things it also has its share of pointless items. One such item I found while perusing the site was a Mounted T-Rex Head Trophy. This creation is exactly what it sounds like it is. Even though I find this creation pretty pointless I probably would print this out and put it somewhere, what makes this pointless item great is the description of the object which is full of puns and Jurassic Park references.


Because of the nature of Thingiverse many of the people that post things on there are nerds/smart people. This being said there are also many items that are deemed funny/cool by the nerd community by incorporating video game, movie, programming, D&D, and various other nerd references in the various creations. Now I am not trying to hate on this community because I am one and proud of it, so one item that struck me as particularly funny/clever was this Portal Waste Disposal Unit Accessory A. Portal has to be one of my favorite video games of all time and it has its own following. This piece is very tongue and cheek with the nature of the it being a toilet paper roll holder and then the engraving on the inside of it. But what makes this item great is the fact that it has a companion cube that just sends it into over the top nerddom. I would so totally make this if I could and put it in my bathroom.


We are nearing the end of my blog post about my adventures on Thingiverse and to conclude this post I will tell all of you about something that I found which could be considered weird. So while I was browsing I found this: Automaton Hand. This thing while it is cool, it is a little weird, having a severed hand that moves. While I probable would consider printing this thing out I would still consider it weird, just the whole severed hand thing, I don't know maybe it is just me. Thank you guys for reading about my adventures on Thingiverse I hope you liked my choices.