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For this class we write weekly blogs on a variety of topics that have to do with 3D printing.

Blog 1: Thingiverse

For this blog entry, we were to browse the printable objects that people have actually printed on thingiverseand find designs that are amazing/beautiful, funny or strange, useless, useful, and surprising.

Stereographic projection.jpg

Something Amazing/Beautiful
When searching on thingiverse I found this stereographic projection to be really amazing. What really amazed me about this was how much time it must have taken to design. It's also really cool that when the light is shone at the north pole of the sphere it creates a grid pattern on whatever surface it is resting on.

Mini golf high level.jpg

Something Funny or Strange
I thought this desktop mini golf course was pretty funny. The uploader added a new hole every day for 18 days until the set was complete. It's funny how much detail was put into the holes even though it would be very difficult to play. I also found it ironic that it's a desktop mini golf course but there's 18 holes (must be a big desk).

Ketchup Packet Holder.jpg

Something Useless
This ketchup packet holder was one of the most useless things I found. I've never used a ketchup packet and thought to myself "I wish there was something to hold this." The design is very simple and doesn't seem like something that would need to be 3-D printed. If you wanted to hold your ketchup packet up while using it you could just lean it against something and it would have the same affect as using this ketchup packet holder.

Light switch cover.jpg

Something Useful
This light switch cover is something that I find to be very useful. Many times I've come across light switches that control outlets that quite frankly don't need to be controlled by a switch. In my room there is one of these switches and my currently solution is to duct tape the switch in the on position, but having a 3-D printed cover to go over the switch is a great idea. It's easily screwed on using the screws on the switch plate and could be customized to fit different styles of light switches.

Esher penrose stairs.jpg

Something Which Surprised Me
When scrolling through the various printable objects on thingiverse this one really caught my eye. Most people have seen the painting by M.C. Escher titled "Ascending and Descending" and this 3-D printed object is a take on the same concept. At first glance it looks as if the stairs are continuous, which was surprising because it is obviously not possible. I was intrigued with how they were able to print an object that showed this illusion in 3-D. After looking at some of the other pictures on the page it's clear that the illusion was achieved by printing a staircase with three 90 degree turns and photographing it from a specific angle. source

Blog 2: Open Source Ecology

Marcin was just here at PSU talking about his Open Source Ecology project. You may notice or suspect that 3D printers are on his list of systems which should be included in the toolkit. Respond to the following:

A) I want your general impressions of the OSE project; positive, negative, utopian, etc. Please do a bit more research than just viewing the video, as it is now several years old and they have made some progress since then. Links to more recent videos and media will earn you a better blog.

My initial reaction after watching Marcin Jakubowski’s TED talk was that Open Source Ecology is a very interesting idea. In today’s world so much emphasis in product design is put into aesthetics even though it doesn’t affect the performance of the machine. Having a more affordable machine that gets the job done without all the bells and whistles can be just as beneficial to society. Being that this project is open source these 50 initial designs could be modified to better suit the needs of the user. Just like there are many different 3-D printer models that fall under the RepRap Family Tree, there could also be many different models of the same machine within OSE.

On the OSE website I found a video detailing some of the projects Marcin and his group have completed since the TED talk was recorded in 2011. These projects include making an ironworker, more tractor models, and even a house. My only critique of the Open Source Ecology Project comes from Marcin saying that this is “essentially a civilization starter kit.” While I think that OSE is a great way for people to be able to make their own machines to run a farm at a low cost I don’t think it’s “a civilization starter kit.” In the video posted above he mentions how they built an ironworker that would normally take months to build in just 12 hours. I think these numbers are a bit misleading because I’m willing to bet that the time it took them to build it didn’t take into account the design process, or the time for the actual materials to be made. So while I think it’s a great idea and could change the way people farm in both developed and underdeveloped countries it doesn’t seem like a self-sufficient idea that would truly be a “civilization starter kit”

B) The New Yorker magazine recently had a fairly critical article regarding Marcin's OSE project. Find/link that article and summarize its critique. Marcin had a response to that: I'd like your response to both of these pieces.

The New Yorker article did not paint Marcin's OSE project in a very favorable light. The beginning of the article is very critical of Marcin's way of life almost making it seem like he lives a backward lifestyle. It seems to me that the author is trying to say that Marcin lives without the comfort's that most people in the United States are used to just to prove the point that his project works. I also believe that Marcin is going to extreme's to justify his project, which is understandable but unnecessary. The article also talks about how many people left the project causing deadlines not to be met, but the author touches on this in a way that makes Marcin seem like a difficult person to work with. At one point she mentions that one person quit over a conflict of how bricks were aligned in a wall.

Marcin's response to the article wasnt directed at the author, but was more focused on clarifying points that he thought were misrepresented in the article. Some of the things he focuses on are the Organizational Heirarchy, Financial Bootstrapping, and Self-Funding Operation. He mentions that the end goal of the project is "radically efficient, distributed production." In my opinion Marcin is trying to make production more efficient by completely starting from scratch which won't be as effective in big cities in the United States. I like his idea and think it could really be effective in underdeveloped countries, but I don't think it will catch on in the United States as more than a hobby.

C) Imagine we want to create capabilities similar to what Marcin has made at PSU (something like an OSE student club, or another effort). I don't think the administration or trustees would support such a thing, but there might be professors who are interested in supporting such a thing. Do you know any of them? What do they do, and why do you think they would be interested in such a project? Imagine you are looking for allies to do such a thing. Whom is on your list and why?

I don't know any professors who would be interested in such a project, but I'm sure there are many who would be. I think the administration would support a similar project but would certainly not fund it. It would be an an interesting club to have started at PSU and I'm sure many students within Engineering and even outside of Engineering would show interest. One obstacle to a club like this being formed is the cost of building the machines. Certainly some money could be raised for this club, but for it to be sustained it would need a lot of money that I don't believe the school would allocate.

Blog 3: Robohand

Read and respond to this:

Who created this design and when/where was it done?

As it says in the article the original design for the “Robohand” was created by Ivan Owen and Richard Van As. Van As is a woodworker from South Africa who lost the fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident on May 7, 2011. The two worked together to come up with a design for a replacement finger for Van As even though they lived on different continents (Owen is from Australia). Eventually they met up in South Africa and built the mechanical finger. They recorded their progress in an online blog which caught the attention of a mother whose son was born with no fingers. She asked if they could help her son, which led to Owen and Van As developing the “Robohand” which was built on a Makerbot Replicator 2 in January 2013. More information about their journey and how you can help can be found on their website.

If you wanted to make one, where would you go to get it?

If I was going to make one of these the first place I would go is to the Thingiverse page for the complete set of mechanical anatomically driven fingers. This page contains the .stl files for the Robohand and also includes a link to the assembly and parts manual, also found on Thingiverse. After printing the pieces needed I would go to a hardware store and buy the other supplies needed. The instructions section on Thingiverse says that the parts can be assembled using 3 mm nuts and bolts as well as bungees and control cables. There is also a Snap-Together version of Robohand available on Thingiverse through Makerbot.

How many news articles can you find which reference this technology?

Ivan Owen's TEDx Talk in which he discusses working with Richard Van As and more on Robohand.

Robohand Given to Michigan Preschooler

Robohand Takes Low Cost Prosthetics Beyond Africa This article talks about the Robohand Project and how similar technology has been used in the Sudan to replace children's limbs lost as a result of the Sudanese War. Another similar article can be found here.

Kindhearted Techies 3-D Print Prosthetics for Ducks with Disabilities This article focuses mostly on using this techology to create a prosthetic leg for a duck, but towards the end mentions Robohand does a similar thing but with human prosthetics.

New York Docs 3-D Printed Windpipe Represents Future Transplants This article talks about how doctors in New York are using 3-D printing technology to create windpipe's that could be transplanted into patients. This could significantly reduce a patients time on a transplant list to just the amount of time needed to print the new windpipe. Here is another article that tells the story of a child who's life was saved by this technology.

3-D Printed Cast While this article doesn't exactly use the same technology as Robohand I thought it was really interesting how even something as simple as a hard cast can be redesigned and even improved using 3-D printing technology.

Meet South Africa's Latest 3-D Printer This article talks about how current 3-D printers can be finicky and need to be calibrated in between prints. It discusses how one South African company is building a new 3-D printer named RoboBeast that is tougher and doesn't need to be recalibrated. The article doesn't give a lot of details but mentions that the grand unveiling will take place on February 15th.

Blog 4: Response to Blog 2

Read your teammates blogs, as well as the blogs of at least 5 other students in class this semester. I would like you to find any thoughtful points made by others which you did not note yourself in Blog 2.

Response to Teammates' Blogs
After reading Jarred's blog post, I agree that the Open Source Ecology project could be "potentially world changing", but I see it having more of an impact in third world countries. Jarred mentions that the brick press could be used by people in areas where they don't have houses. I agree that this technology would have a tremendous impact in those areas, but it's unreasonable to expect people in an undeveloped nation to be able to build a brick press. While reading Jarred's thoughts on having an OSE group at Penn State it occurred to me that instead of beginning a new club for OSE it could be integrated into an existing group, such as Engineers Without Borders. Students could learn to build these open source machines and bring them to undeveloped countries and teach them how to use them. Eva also believes that OSE is a great idea that could be used to solve problems not only in the United States, but across the globe. Nam believes that the OSE project would allow for economic growth in developing areas and I agree. Nam is also critical of Marcin's idea that an average person could build these machines. I agree with him because someone with mechanical skills could build the machines, but I think it could be said that the average person doesn't have those mechanical skills.

Response to Classmates' Blogs

I think it was interesting to read Nathan's view on the OSE project since he lives on a small farm and has seen the issues Marcin talks about first hand. I agree with him when he says that we don't need to reinvent the wheel with all of Marcin's ideas. I think Marcin's ideas are great, but I think some machines like the tractor would be more useful than some of the others.

I really liked Carson's take on Marcin's project. I hadn't thought about whether or not Marcin's machines would be adequate enough, but it is a great point. The 50 machines that Marcin designed cover a vast number of fields and uses and it's hard to imagine that one person could be knowledgeable enough to design them all without any flaws or drawbacks.

I agree with Drew when he says that he doubts the "one day goal." Most people do not have the machining skills that Marcin has and certainly don't have the experience he does so building a tractor in one day seems a little far fetched. I also think that the workshops Drew talked about will definitely help Marcin's cause. Teaching people to be able to build these machines will go a long way and will ultimately help grow the project.

Jessica talks about the DIY craze that is happening right and how that will contribute to the popularity of Marcin's project. I agree that it will help with the popularity of the project because people like to be able to make something they will use. Over the summer I built my own Penn State Cornhole set. It was fun to build something on my own from scratch like that and in the process I saved money by building it on my own instead of buying one. Similarly I think that people will enjoy making these machines and will take pride in using them knowing they built it.

Vinny seems to share my similar view on this project. We both think its a really cool idea, but that it may not be as feasible to the average person as Marcin makes it sound. Some skills that are needed for construction like welding aren't skills that the average person has and ultimately takes away from the DIY nature of the project.

Blog 5: RepRap Media Timeline

Look through the RepRap Media timeline page and attempt to identify the most significant events from the last few years. If you think there's something missing from the timeline, add it and claim it for XP - but include a summary! What projects continue to recieve coverage/press over time? What projects seem to have slowed or stopped? Make sure you pick and point out at least one entry which you find: an event very important in the progression of 3D printing technology (open source or not), a not so important event in the progression of this technology (something overhyped perhaps?), something which you found interesting which you would like to think or speak more about.

An event very important in the progression of 3D printing One event that I feel is very important in the progression of 3D is the launch of Thingiverse in November 2008. Thingiverse, in my opinion, helped make 3D printing more commercialized and bring it into more peoples' homes who maybe aren't tech saavy enough to build their own printer. I have experience using many types of CAD software (AutoCAD, Creo 2.0 , and Solidworks), but some of the things I find on Thingiverse are amazing and would take me months to model. Thingiverse makes it possible for someone who is interested in 3D printing who doesn't have a lot of CAD experience to download files and easily print them. I believe that this is what is going to really bring 3D printing into more homes. Just from being in this class for a little over a month I would love to own a 3D printer after graduation. While it's very cool to build a RepRap printer like we've done in class I think it's safe to say the average person wouldnt be able to do so. The combination of ready-to-print printers like the Makerbot Replicator and Thingiverse would allow the average person to be able to print useful items that they need and ultimately save money in the long run.

A not so important event in the progression of 3D printing

One event that I felt was not that important in the progression of 3D printing was talked about in this article from December 8, 2013. In the article, 3D printing used as a tool to explain theoretical physics, the author talks about how 3D printing is being used to model theoretical phyics models so that students can more easily understand them. The height of the 3D printed model is used to represent time. The example they give is modeling a forest fire, where the x-y plane represents the coordinate system of the forest and the height represents the state of each "cell" within the forest. The height of each cell would represent its state over time, whether that cell is on fire or not depending on the cells around it. I may just be misunderstanding the idea behind this, but it seems pretty pointless to me. In order to print the model of the forest fire, for example, there must be an .stl file for it which is then sliced into gcode. For this particular purpose I don't think you gain anything by printing the model. What I mean by this is that if you had a 3D model of a forest fire in .stl format you could analyze it just as thoroughly in a CAD program as if you actually printed it out. While it may be cool to print out the model and actually hold it in your hands I don't think you gain any knowledge by doing so.

Something which you found interesting which you would like to think or speak more about

Something that I found interesting is an article that I just recently added to the RepRap Media Timeline. It is a story about a guy from Africa, Kodjo Afate Gnikou, who was able to build a 3-D printer from e-waste for under $100. All of his parts with the exception of some motors was reused from old computers and electronic devices. The article is from January 30th and includes a video showing the printer in action. I think it's amazing that he is able to build a 3-D printer from e-waste. If he could use his printer as a model to build others he could kill two birds with one stone; eliminate the e-waste building up around the world and provide his community in Togo, Africa 3-D printers that could print very useful items.

Bonus Blog 1: Brandon Ledford Talk

On February 24th I attended a guest speaking event hosted by the 3D Printing Club featuring Brandon Ledford. Brandon is a 2006 Penn State graduate who works as a health, communications, and 3D printing consultant at Deloitte. Ledford talked about some of the more interesting uses for 3-D printing and how it can be used effectively in industry. Some of the stories that have been shared in our class were talked about including 3-D printed houses and creating prosthetics. Ledford was very optimistic about the future of 3-D printing and how far it can come in the next 10 years, much like computers in their early years. I thought it was interesting that although he was very optimistic, he understood that this technology will not completely make modern manufacturing obsolete. This is a view that I strongly agree with. I think 3-D printing is amazing and will change the world of manufacturing, but there are some areas in which modern manufacturing is more effective.

During his talk Brandon talked about a lot of different uses for 3-D printing. Some of these that really stood out to me are Disney D-Tech Me, 3-D printed food, the Smithsonian project, and Cessna. The Disney D-Tech Me is a program where someone can have their face put on a doll of their favorite Disney princess or other character. This is done by taking a pictures from many different angles to create a 3-D model of the persons face. Using this model a customized doll can be printed. They are sold for $100 and are a great example of the customization that can be done with 3-D printing technology. I had previously known about 3-D printed food but one idea that Ledford talked about really struck me. He talked about a day in the future where a diabetic person may be able to have their finger pricked to give a drop of blood to a printer that will print a muffin, for example, with the correct amount of sugar that the person needs. My mom is a diabetic and I think this kind of technology could make it a lot easier for diabetics to monitor and maintain their blood sugar levels. The Smithsonian project is an interesting one because it will help schools with tighter budgets. The idea is that the Smithsonian puts 3-D files of its dinosaur skeletons and such online and they can be printed by schools to help educate children. The final idea I thought was very interesting was Cessna. Cessna provides replacement parts for all models and years of their planes. This causes a lot of storage problems as a large warehouse is needed to store all these parts. Using 3-D printing technology a database could be put together containing the files for all possible parts. This would save space and still make it possible for customers to get the replacement parts they need. I thought this was interesting because customer service could be revolutionized by similar databases of replacement parts. It would be a lot easier for companies to provide replacement parts because they could easily be recreated with 3-D printers.

Blog 6: Next Step for Our Class...

In our class we spend most of our time fixing the printers we have, but there are some projects that I think would be very interesting to work on. Something that I think would be a cool is to built another type of RepRap model. It seems that most if not all of the printers were working on are Open Hybrid Mendels. While this makes it easier to repair broken printers since everyone is familiar with their layout I think we should try to build different models. Maybe there's a better or more efficient model in the RepRap Family Tree that we could build to add diversity to our lineup of printers. I think it would also be a great experience to build a printer completely from the ground up. There are a lot of printers in the family tree and I don't know how you would go about picking which model to build, but I think it's something to look into.

Another idea that I have is to build a dual extruder that would print support material that can be dissolved in water. In slic3r I noticed that there is an option to add support material. When my teammate Nam was printing his dual chili extruder he considered using support material since the part extends out over its base. He ultimately decided not to because the support material would be difficult to remove from the part since it would be made with PLA like the rest of the part. Having a dual extruder that prints dissolvable support material would allow more complicated designs to be printed with accuracy.

I also think it would be very interesting to build some kind of a syringe extruder that could be used to print food. Other than chocolate I can't think of any type of food that would benefit from being 3-D printed. Chocolate can be printed into intricate custom shapes, whereas scallops for example could be printed into intricate shapes as well, but I don't think there'd be as much of a market for that. Being able to 3-D print food could potentially help to gain interest in the 3-D printing class. It could also be an opportunity to get the College of Food Science involved with 3-D printing to think of what types of foods could be printed and what their uses could be.

Blog 7: Low-Cost 3-D Printed Research Equiptment

Read this article. What do you think about this idea? Can you think of any examples of cheap research equipment we have made?

This article is about using 3-D printing technology to make working replicas of expensive scientific equipment. I think that this is a great idea as it would save labs in the developing worlds a lot of money. In the article it mentions that the start up cost for buying the printer and coming up the instructions is high, but after the tool is designed it can be printed for a fraction of the cost. The example they give is of a colourimeter which costs $2000, but can be printed for just $50 and be just as effective. Using this idea research could be performed in labs around that world that previously couldn't afford the equipment to do so. I can't think of any cheap research equipment that we have made but just last class some students were pairing up with Prof. Schilder to design and print a part he needed. We have also printed pieces that could replace other more expensive pieces, for example the bed springs we have. Although they wouldn't be ideal in every situation they could be used to replace more expensive traditional springs. If there was more of a demand for research equipment in the 3-D printing club or in other departments it could easily be made using one of the RepRap printers we have available.

Read this article. What do you think of this? Does it seem printable to you? Why or why not? Relate it back to the first article. Discuss the importance (or lack thereof) of open source in this.

I think this was a really cool project. I think it's amazing that the students were able to get it designed and built in only 5 days when you consider how long it probably took to design the expensive version. It's also astounding that this atomic force microscope could be built for just $500 considering that research-grade ones cost around $100,000. It seems from the picture that most of the parts are Lego pieces, but it does seem printable. My only concern would be calibrating the microscope. When you are dealing with measurements in the nano scale being off by the slightest amount may mess up the microscope and not make it functional. I think this and projects like this one can really help in the developing world to bring research to the forefront. If research equipment can be made significantly cheaper more people would be able to do research, not only in the developing world but all over. Having a project like this be open source is very important. The RepRap movement has taken off as a result of being open source and I can see the same thing for research. If I'm someone who's interested in research and can built my own equipment with a 3-D printer and some tools it would open up a lot of doors. Also, more people conducting research will lead to more scientific discoveries. Although there are doctors and scientists who get paid a lot of money to conduct research for a living they are ultimately driven by where the money is. Having this open source easily replicatable lab equipment out there would allow people to conduct research as a hobby. This could lead to research being done in areas that are underfunded or controversial.

Blog 8: Intellectual Property and 3-D Printing

Intellectual property is something which many companies base their operations upon. Research and describe (and contrast) Copyright, Trademark, Patent, and Trade Secrets. Then read this. What are the five I's and what do you conclude from them? From the perspective described in the article (or your own if you disagree), what are the futures of copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets? How does Creative Commons fit into your perspective?

Copyright- the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
Trademark- a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.
Patent- a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
Trade Secret- any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret.

The five I's are Infringement, Identification, Impractical or Impossible, and Irrelevant. The risk of IP infringement away from control will increase as 3-D printing technology improves. People will be able to print anything they want as long as they have the design file. Because people will be making these things in their own homes and not on an industrial level it will be almost impractical or impossible to identify them. As a result of not being able to enforce IP laws against infringement they will become increasingly irrelevant.

I agree with the view that the article has that IP will become almost impossible to enforce in regards to 3-D printing. I think that eventually websites similar to Thingiverse will exist that charge people to download designs with the money going to the designer. This would allow people to share their ideas and also be compensated for their design work. The problem with IP in the 3-D printing industry is that all you need is the .stl and a 3-D printer and you can print anything. Also the majority of the things people print are for their own personal use, which is what makes it so hard to identify IP infringement. Creative Commons goes along with my perspective of giving designers credit for their designs, but allowing others to use them. It allows the creators to keep some rights for their work while waiving others.

Blog 9: Filament Materials and Suppliers

Given the subject of filament materials and suppliers, I want you to do some searching to find links which are useful. They may be aggregated suppliers, filament reviews, or other sorts of content on the subject. I want you to apply your brain to the following problems. Find links. Post them in your blog. Explain why you think they contain useful content. There are several areas of interest here:

1) We want to know the good, bad, and ugly with regard to suppliers. Who makes quality filament at a good cost? Who should we avoid?
For the purpose of this discussion I was looking at suppliers who sell the 3 mm PLA filament that we would use in our printers. One of the first places I looked when doing research on filament was the Printing Material Suppliers page on the RepRap website. This page contains many links to suppliers with information on their location, the type of filament they sell, and reviews of the company. One of the first companies I saw on this page was 3D Dynamics. They have a variety of colors of filament and even offer a 5 color multipack where you can get 20 meters of each color. This could be useful for someone who maybe doesn't print very often but likes to have different colors. One kg of their 3 mm PLA costs $49.73 and one reviewer said 3D Dynamix filament was "the best filament I have ever extruded by a mile and you can quote me on that." The only problem with the supplier is that they are located in England so shipping costs would most likely be more than if you bought from somewhere in the U.S. Another supplier that I found was The Future is 3D. They offer 1 kg of filament for $27 which is lower than other companies, but the reviews of the filament were not good. One reviewer said that the amount of filament he recieved was "generously overweight," but that the filament was "pretty rough." He mentions that the colors were slightly off with what they called purple looking more like pink and that the filament left an oily residue on the glass bed. This oily residue caused problems with prints not sticking to the bed as well as with other filaments.

2) Materials. We want to start doing dual extrusion on a more regular basis. There are a variety of ways we might start using support materials. Which materials do you think we should use? (Here's a starting place: Why do you think we should use them? Once you've chosen a material you think we might use, find suppliers and estimate costs in $/kg or $/lb.
One material that I think we should consider when using a dual extruder is PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol). This material could be used to produce support materials and because it is water-soluble the support structures could be easily dissolved by just soaking the printed part in warm water. PVA is available in 3mm filament similar to the PLA that we use now. It is available for $39/kg online from Prototype Supply. HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) is another material that could be used for our support materials and is available for roughly the same price as PVA. The reason I prefer PVA to HIPS is that PVA is water soluble, while HIPS is only dissolvable in limonene.

3) Pretend you are shopping for material for your own needs. Who do you choose?
If I were shopping for filament I would most likely purchase it from amazon. I have bought many things from amazon and being able to see the reliability of the seller is a big reason why. It also provides hundreds of customer reviews on almost every product which can be very helpful. In relation to a dual extruder I would buy PVA as it is easier to dissolve. Limonene is a household chemical and therefore is probably not very difficult to get a hold of, but being able to just use warm water to dissolve support material would almost be too easy.

Blog 10: Hot Tips

Apply the same analysis you did in blog 9 to the subject of hot tips. (what designs are currently available, how do they compare, who should be avoided, etc) I have tried to give you some basis for knowing what is available the other day in class, but more options are always appearing. I want you to tell me what designs you think are most reliable based on your own research (pros/cons are nice). include links or lose XP.

When searching around for information on hot tips I came across this table which provides some useful information on the different types of hot tips and where they can be purchased as well as links to more information about them. When looking at the picture of the many different hot tips one thing that struck me as interesting was that only some of the hot tips contained heat sinks. Having taken Penn State's Heat Transfer course I know how important a heat sink is in dissipating heat. If I were purchasing a hot tip I would look to designs that contain a heat sink as this would allow the tip to be very hot without that heat transferring to the filament before you want it to. If the filament is heated too far away from the tip it can cause a backup and even cause that filament to become stuck in the hot tip as it cools after the hot tip is turned off. One of the hot tips that stood out to me was the J Head Nozzle which is available for $57 and contains a heat sink to dissipate the heat. Another hot tip that stood out to me is the Pico hot tip which contains a very large cooling fins. These fins significantly reduce the temperature as you move away from the hot tip. The only downside to these Pico extruders is that they cost between $100 to $115, but given that the hot tip is a very important part of your printer it may be worth the investment.

Blog 11: Show and Tell Discussion

Some of you have satisfied the Show & Tell requirement already. Please talk about something you learned or thought was really interesting in a presentation which one of your peers has done. If you have not done your S&T yet, you might want to try to get it in before this blog is due, so that we have more to discuss!. There will be a limit on the number we will do per day - Don't wait until the end of the semester!

One of the things that was shared with the class that I thought was really interesting was the "123D Catch" app. This is an app that uses a series of pictures (normally around 40) at different angles and orientations around an object to create a 3D image of that object. After hearing about the app in class I downloaded it and tried it out at home. My model did not turn out quite so well, but I'm sure after practicing with the app more I would be able to produce better models. I thought this app was really interesting because it allows people to scan objects and print them without the use of an expensive 3D scanner. The models that are produced arent ready to print as there are objects that need to be trimmed and converted to an .stl, but considering the product it replaces (3D scanner) the app is very effectively at its price (FREE for now).

Blog 12: Blog 5 Response

Read Blog #5 for your initial teammates as well as 5 other classmates. Note the points you agree with,disagree with, as well as things which you missed which others noticed. (as with Blog #4)

Wenxin: I disagree with Wexin's points in blog 5. While all of the articles she picked were interesting I think that they should be switched. In my opinion 3D printing houses (as we've recently seen in China) is a more important event than 3D printing guitars. Printing houses expands the technology behind 3D printing whereas printing guitars is just another use for 3D printing.

Jarred: I agree with the articles that Jarred talked about in his blog. The release of the Arduino is definitely a significant event in the history of 3D printing because a lot of 3D printers, like our RepRaps, use Arduinos.

Nam: I agree with Nam's choice for a very important event in the printing of a liver. This is a huge step forward for bioprinting even though the liver lived for only 40 days. Being able to print organs for transplant patients would essentially eliminate a transplant list. Nam also agrees with my view that printing guitars is an overhyped article on the media timeline.

Eva: I agree with Eva's point that the self-replication of printers was a huge event in the progression of 3D printing. I also would like to know more about 3D printing directly into your spine. That seems like a very risky procedure and am curious in what situations that would be used.

Blog 13: Blog 7 Response

Blog 13: Read Blog #7 for your initial teammates as well as 5 other classmates. Note the points you agree with,disagree with, as well as things which you missed which others noticed. (as with Blog #4) Choose some different classmates blogs from the last time.

Wenxin: I agree with Wenxin's argument that having 3D printing in developing countries would allow people to have inexpensive parts that they could use in their daily lives. I also agree that having this technology could open doors for people to learn about science and technology.

Jarred: I agree with Jarred's realistic viewpoint on this issue. 3D printing is an amazing technology that should be utilized to produce inexpensive parts for research, but there are some pieces of lab equipment that are not suited to be made on a 3D printer.

Nam: I agree with Nam's view that 3D printing lab equipment can save thousands of dollars. It is just important to keep in mind Jarred's view that not all lab equipment should be made using 3D printers.

Eva: Eva shared the same sentiments as my other team members in her blog. She also believes that 3D printers have huge economical benefits for people in developing countries and references how our own RepRap group has saved money by printing our printer parts.

Blog 14: Blog 8 Response

Read Blog #8 for your initial teammates as well as 5 other classmates. Note the points you agree with,disagree with, as well as things which you missed which others noticed. (as with Blog #4).Choose some different classmates blogs from the last time.

Wenxin: Wenxin compares the idea of IP in 3D printing to movie piracy. I think this comparison is a little off in the sense that 3D printing has the potential to affect IP in almost every industry and at every level as a result of so many things being able to be 3D printed.

Jarred: I disagree with Jarred's view on IP and 3D printing. Yes, not everything can be made on a 3D printer, but a lot of things can. In those cases it will be almost impossible to enforce IP laws.

Nam: Nam believes that IP will soon become irrelevant because of the 3D printing industry. I agree with this view to a point. Like Jarred said not everything can be 3D printed so IP will still apply in some industries but not in the majority of them.

Eva: Eva also believes that it will be hard to identify IP infringements which I agree with. She also mentions something that my other teammates did not and that is that the industry will adapt to it, just like it has adapted to music and movie piracy.

Blog 15: Blog 11 Response

Read Blog #11 for your initial teammates as well as 5 other classmates. Note the points you agree with,disagree with, as well as things which you missed which others noticed. (as with Blog #4). Choose some different classmates blogs from the last time.

Wenxin: I agree with Wenxin that bioprinting is a really cool topic. I believe it's one that will grow significantly in importance over the next few years. Hopefully we can get to a point where we are successfully bioprinting organs for transplants. This technology truly has the potential to change people's lives.

Jarred: Jarred really enjoyed Wenxin's talk about 3D printing in the film industry. It is a very interesting topic and it is easy to see how in an industry where they can make millions of dollars on a film they would want to save money where they can. Using 3D printing in movies could help the producer's save money and ultimately profit more.

Nam: Nam picked the same show and tell presentation as I did. I thought Drew's talk about 3D scanning apps was very interesting. The app would provide so many possibilities of things to be printed, like the lion shrine that the app was used to create a model of. When the price is considered (free) this app is truly amazing.

Eva: Eva's favorite show and was the one early in the year about 3D printed construction. I'm not sure how much of a draw there would be for this in the United States, but the affect this could have in developing nations and third world countries is tremendous. Houses could be quickly printed to provide shelter in third world countries or even countries that are dealing with natural disasters (hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.).