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Blog 1: Thingiverse

Hexagonal Trefoil Knot: 3D Print
A. Something amazing/beautiful

This object is truly an intricate piece. I really can't pin point any real purpose to make this piece of art but that is irrelevant. It reminds me of some sort of mobius strip.

Link to the Thingiverse article itself ([1]).

3D Print Image of a Cat Flexing
B. Something funny or strange

For something that is funny and strange, I decided to go with this very odd cat who seems to be flexing. I don't know what the inspiration behind this object is but it certainly is strange. After surfing the "verse" I found that the beefy animal thing is somewhat of a fad.

Link to the article for this print ([2]).

A 3D Print Image of a barrel that you can put your dog poop bags in
C. Something useless

When I was searching for something that was useless, I hit the mother loving jackpot. This object ... get ready ... is a small barrel that you put dog poop bags in. First off, who buys dog poop bags? Just use grocery bags, no need to get fancy for your dog's poop. Second, why? Why on earth does this exist?

Link to this Thingiverse page is [3].

A Printable Earbud Holder
D. Something useful

Now this object spoke to the very depths of my sole (maybe a little dramatic). I can't stress how many times I have to solve the rubix cube that is my tangled ear buds out of my pocket. This is an ingenious novel idea that I will be printing myself. That being said, shame on the user for overpaying for those beats headphones. smh

Link to the Thingiverse article for this is [4].

Plastic Wedding Ring
E. Something which surprised you

This surprised me because I could not imagine proposing to your wife with a plastic ring. Yes this is a guys hand in the picture, but it begs the question as to if his wife's ring is plastic. The whole thing is very shocking and I want to know the details of this how this came to be.

Link to the Thingiverse article for this is [5].

Blog 3: 16 Year Old Prints Limb Using 3D-Printer

So Mason Wilde is someone you may have never heard of but that is about to change. This 16 year old HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR did something so incredible it makes you feel like crap in comparison. You ever drive by someone sitting on the side of a highway with their hazard lights on? Well, prepare to regret that. This KID Mason, used a 3D printer at his local library to print a prosthetic hand for a family friend's son (9 years old) Matthew. Matthew has a rare birth defect that resulted in him being born with out finger tips, and now has a prosthetic limb that has the dexterity to hold a pencil. The design was found online for free made by two guys who wanted this kind of technology to be available to people.

Mathew not only has a prosthetic limb that can allow him to take place in the many activities that we take for granted every day, but also has grown very close to Mason as a result. I believe that to be the most important part of all of this because people with disabilities often struggle with the feeling of excluded from the general population. I think it's incredibly remarkable that Mason took to this challenge, and it's even more incredible that he plans to use this talent of his to print even more prosthetic for other kids.

Plastic Wedding Ring

I don't even know where to go to find a 3D-Printer to use for free. That is of course excluding the 3D-Printing lab at Penn State. I don't know of any libraries that have 3D-Printers where I grew up, and the only 3D-Printing services I can find in my hometown cost money to use. So I guess that brings up the point that we should be making 3D-Printing more accessible to the general public. I mean imagine if the availability of only one 3D-Printer at a local library generated such a phenomenal result, what if we had one at every library for public use.

The article can be found here [6]

Here are some other links I found referencing this topic. Feel free to look through them. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Blog 4: Response to Blog 2

Response to team blogs After reading Zack's blog I realized the importance of having these 3D Printing capabilities. Like Zack pointed out, it is in many ways just a civilization start up kit. So this technology could be used to colonize another planet when the time comes. On of the points that Sam made, was that open source was the correct way to go. He completely sold me on that point by explaining how it allows for innovation and creativity. I like the point Nate made about farming being made much more profitable from the reduced equipment prices brought on by this technology. That is obviously a topic of increasing importance as the worlds population creeps further and further out of a sustainable reach. The issue Jess had with the project was the probability that existing industry leaders would be ran out of business. I agree with this point, such capabilities would be in the hands of amateurs who could produce things on the same scale as these industry leaders. This would surly cause turmoil in the global economic system with businesses rising and falling all in the same breath.

Response to class blogs Kevin makes the good point that this OSE technology could be used by industrial leaders to make their existing products even cheaper. This is a good point and would most likely provide a large surge to the existing economy. Dongao brought up a very interesting point that the the designs being shared on open source for the OSE project are far too complex. This would make it very hard for someone to follow these plans with out guidance from a professional in the matter. I really like the interest Nam should in this project. He clearly believes in this OSE technology even stating himself that he would try building some of this machinery. This project needs people with his ambition and dedication to be successful.

Blog 5: RepRap Media Timeline

1) An event very important in the progression of 3D printing technology

2007 May,

During this time the RepRap Research Foundation was founded. The reason this was important is because they were able to make the RepRap parts used in the printers very cheap and affordable. This allowed people to have more accessibility to these printers and thus helped push the RepRap movement forward.

2) A not so important event in the progression of this technology

2013 November 21st,

Ok so the most useless thing I could find was the 3D Printing President Obama's speech. It really didn't accomplish anything ground breaking and was obviously a publicity stunt using the president to get recognized. So in a sense it wasn't completely useless because it did put attention on 3D printing in general. However, in comparison to the other things found on this timeline it can't help be feel less important.

The article can be found here ([12]).

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

2013 November 7th,

One of the most interesting topics I found on here was 3D printing the metal gun. Its amazing that a weapon such as the modern gun can be printed on a printer. This tech would not only drive the price of guns down dramatically but also make guns widely available to civilians. There is the obvious inevitable dark side to this achievement which gives radical/ignorant groups and individuals access to firearms.

The article can be found here ([13]).

What projects continue to receive coverage/press over time? What projects seem to have slowed or stopped?

The 3D printing of guns seems to have a lot of attention on it. Even from the beginning during October 1st 2012. This was when Cody WIlson stated he was going to design and print a gun using a 3D Printer and then having the printer confiscated by authorities. Glad to see ever since then we have let this tech develop unshackled for the most part.

Most of the projects that have slowed or stopped were just specific types of 3D printers and brands that have lost ground in the ever growing field of 3D Printing.

Blog 6: RepRap A Plan for the Future

There are a lot of directions to take this open source project. The first and most obvious step to make would be to improve the printers we currently use in class. While they definitely work, they are far from perfect. Our group has had many extruder issues, and believe it could benefit from a redesign. Better yet we could just search for solutions by using the advantages that come with being open source.

Personally, I was blown away with some of the work TE Connectivity was doing with 3D-Printing circuit boards. Unfortunately, TE Connectivity showed me the work they were doing during an internship and as a result I lack any documented sources to cite. This seems like a very logical and profitable venture that could be taken. Since funding seems to be and issue, I believe it would be in the best interest of the group to seek a means of income, where we can literally just apply what we have learned to make a profit. This could be used to fund any more extravagant projects for the future. Before making such a leap I believe a necessary fundamental step that needs to be mastered is dual(and dual +) extrusion. This would open up doors for a wide range of things.

Obviously a printer that can print composite materials effectively would be revolutionary in the 3D Printing realm. Imagine being able to print carbon nanotube structures. They only issue that arises with testing ideas such is that is the cost of these composite filaments. Surely they will cost a whole lot more than just standard plastic so I would recommend getting a cash flow like explained above so that such a venture could be funded.

I want to end this by saying I like the whole idea of the open source 3D Printer. I think someday it could really benefit individuals who don't readily have access to things in a impoverished nation. This project could provide them with a way to grow with out a need of a vibrant income.

Blog 7: 3D Printing Scientific Equipment

Article #1: ([14]).

In this article they talk about the ability to print scientific equipment for just a fraction of the market value. The things that are assumed to be able to print are gyros, water pumps, etc. One example given was that you could print a colourimeter for water testing which only cost $50 to make, and if you were to buy it it would cost you roughly $2,000.

I really like this idea because it gives impoverished nations a chance to not only survive but compete scientifically. As mentioned in the article science is a foundation for the wealth of the developed world, and this idea brings the availability of this wealth to other nations. I am a firm believer that there are many intelligent people in some of these impoverished nations that don't have access to things that would allow them to tap into their own potential.

In class we have printed calibration devices (Nickle Tests) where you just print a piece of plastic that has nickle slots in it and if you can pass the nickle through all of the slots then you know the printers x,y,z-axis are calibrated properly. We have also printed parts for other 3D printers which in it's self is a tool of science. The ability to reproduce these printers cheaply is a fundamental necessity for this idea to work as mentioned in the above article.

Article #2: ([15]).

This is pretty amazing that they were able to make a Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in 5 days using cheap parts to make a printer that can probe objects only a nano meter in size. This operation was sponsored by Lego and it still blows me away at how fast they made this.

This does not seem printable as of yet. They use a lot of electronics and optics which have yet to be printed. However, they did use printed parts and that makes this device a sort of hybrid of being semi printable. This project deeply relates to the first article in that it is a scientific instrument that could be reproduced through printing. However, the capabilities are currently lacking for such a task to be done.

I can't say much about this devices print-ability because it is not open source. That means I can't look at the design and try to see how its put together. Open source is so important because it allows for people to work together by gathering the good ideas developed by many individuals. This is a crucial part of make these ideas really come to fruition, otherwise progress is going to move in slow motion.

Blog 8: How a Company Owns

Trade Secret - This is something used by a company that makes their product stand out from a competitor who might try to make the same product. The unique part about trade secrets is that their legal protection does not expire. For example a secret ingredient in a recipe for chili.

Patent - A Patent is rather similar to a trade secret except its legal protection does expire. In addition to that, a patent would protect the entire product or process from being used by a competitor. For example no one else would be able to make chili for a certain amount of time.

Trade Mark - Is a physical representation whether it be words or design that a company uses to make their product recognizably associated with them. For example the little guy with a chef's hat that shows up on Chef Boyardee soup products.

Copyright - Is almost the same as Patent except for one little detail. The product being protected must be an original work. Or in other words, the first of it's kind.

The 5 I's that come from the Intellectual Property (IP) of 3D printing are Infringement, Identification, Impractical, Impossible and Irrelevant. The issue with infringement is obviously the fact that anyone can print something their self because you no longer need a multi-million dollar company to produce something. Identification is tied into infringement because when you loose the ability to control infringement obviously you loose the ability to identify it. Impractical and Impossible both tie into the previous two, because it is impossible and impractical to enforce the laws that govern IP since we are loosing the ability to control it in the first place. Finally, Irrelevant states that we will have to face the fact that it will become pointless to even try to enforce IP as we move forward in the 3D Printing realm.

The future for IP is pretty well established in this article and summed up in the last of the 5 I's. IP will inevitably be irrelevant the further down this path we move. Open source is a great idea because it allows many people access to these ideas and even if they all make a small change to the design then it's still valued contribution. I believe their must be some kind of middle ground that can be found between no IP and having IP. However, this would require something that every company and government hates with a passion ... yes I'm talking about law reform. This would require completely changing the laws to adapt to such a change. We all saw how the music industry failed to be conservative with their music when it first became available online for free we shouldn't be so naive to follow the same path here.

Creative Commons is a fantastic idea that allows users to share only portions of their work online for free. This might help limit the speed at which things spread on the online world. The only problem I have with this is it's not a full proof plan. I don't believe it will be able to stop this coming change completely but it could certainly help. Not to mention cyber security is one the biggest concerns we face in today's society. Meaning, it's easier than ever to let information leak out.

Blog 9: The good, bad, and ugly truth about Suppliers

Filament Suppliers

UltiMachine: This PLA (Polylactic Acid) has a great ability to stick to the bed of the 3D printer which helps make a great print. In addition to that, the company has good prices and gives free samples.

The Future is 3D: This company has a lot of issues with its PLA. One of the issues being that it does not properly stick to the bed when being printed. This phenomenon is attributed to the fact that the PLA has a lot of oil in it and leaves an oily residue when it is extruded. This issue makes for bad prints and this supplier should be avoided.

Formfutura: This supplier was railed on a blog that can be found here [16]. In this blog a customer using this PLA ends up having it get stuck in the extruder and decides to investigate the issue. The filament should have a 1.75mm diameter but during inspection this customer finds that the filament is an ellipse and has a diameter of 2.05mm. This is an unacceptable level of quality and this supplier should be avoided.

GigaMax3D: In the same blog as mentioned above [17], the customer ends up switching to this supplier and mentions that he has almost no issues with the filament from this Hungarian supplier. While their product may cost a little extra than the industry standard it seems the quality of the filament is superb.

Support Material

Using a dual extruder to print support materials is actually pretty awesome, but that leaves the question what material should be used and who should it be bought from. Using PLA (Polylactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) are the traditional means of printing support material but if you're using a dual extruder, using the same material you print a part with is just pointless. Using similar logic, it's not practical to use wood of stone supports because they require a set up. In addition, some of the other methods like the dissolvable HIPS (High-Impact Polystyrene) are not recommended because it creates a toxic fume when used. However, PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) seems to be a very promising material. PVA has a great temperature range from 160-200 and is water-soluble. This means you can simply dip your print in warm water to dissolve the support material.

UltiMachine: Since they make good PLA it would be safe to assume they most likely make great PVA. On top of that, the price is very attractive and goes for $88/kg.

GigaMax3D: Using the same logic above, it is most likely safe to assume this Hungarian supplier makes high quality PVA. However, their price is roughly $133 for just 0.5kg of the material. Which seems rather absurd when compared to the market.

Who Would I Use?

If I were to choose a supplier I would go with Ultimachine. While Gigamax may have an outstanding quality their prices are just far to absurd to even consider in a comparison.

Blog 10: Hot Tips and where to get them

Hot Tip Designs

Pico: This design is probably one of the most unique full metal tips I have seen while researching this topic. The stand out qualities of this hot end is that it’s made out of a solid piece of 303 stainless steel, which makes it very durable. Also, the have a cooling fin added to the product to control where the concentration of the heat is. This unique design allows for the user to print up to 300ºC, allowing for a wide range of materials to be used. Looking through a blog which can be found here [18], the discussion shows that this is one of the only hot tips that has legitimate testing done on it which includes Thermal gradients and FEA analysis. The tip can even be used with a thermistor. All of this is fine and good, but it is also stated that it is not an easy addition to your 3D printer, making it a product for experienced users only. This tip is available for $99 on kickstarter.

gHE(Golem Hot End): This design is yet another unique all metal hot tip, in the sense that it’s a do it your self product. All parts can be bought and machined by yourself. This design is extremely cool because it allows a user to make a custom tip for their printer. Most hot tips require you to change the design/setup of your printer to a degree so that the hot tip can be implemented to work properly with your equipment. The issue is that it’s hard to speak for the reliability of these tips because you are making them your self so they will obviously vary person to person. In addition to that, you have to be a relatively experienced machinist to even take on this project. This tips price is unknown and depends on where you buy the parts but it can be assumed that it will cost <<$99. If you are interested in this design try checking out the creator’s YouTube channel, he goes by the name yru2501.

E3Dv5: This design is rather streamlined and standardized all metal hot tip. The tip comes with a built in fan and heatsink, this allows for a lot of ability to cool down the tip and control the temperature gradients. Another unique aspect is that the tip uses a cartridge heater and not the resistive heater style, which is found on so many hot tips. This hot tip comes with all the standard bells and whistles one could hope for including but not limited to a thermistor. This hot tip has even been tested up to a temperature of 400ºC. A customer made a review for this hot tip and posted it on You Tube which can be found here [19]. If I were to sum up this guys review, the only really negative thing he had to say about it was that the cooling fan runs pretty loud. Now that should really show how superb this hot tip really is. This hot tip can be bought for about $50, which is a really good price.

Which Hot Tip Would I Buy

I think this goes without saying. The E3dv5 is not only a great performing piece of equipment but it also cost much less than some of the other hot tips that claim to do the same thing.

Blog 11: 3D Printing Chocolate

My favorite show and tell so far was done by Kevin. His presentation was on the ability to 3D Print chocolate. I thought this was very unique and interesting for a number of reasons. The obvious reasons being that it allows for a larger amount of creativity when making chocolate designs.

I find this interesting because it opens up the doors for a new and unique way to mass-produce chocolate designs. While the chocolate side of things is rather interesting my real concern is with the mass production. I am very interested to see how the industry will start to handle mass production of anything that is being 3D Printed. I believe that is the next step that 3D Printing needs to take to really get some serious research and funding behind it, and its pretty cool to see the private industry taking interest in general.

The other reason I find this very interesting is because I believe being able to 3D Print food will also be another milestone for 3D Printing in general. I think of the possibilities that come along with this. For example and mission that would take humans into space whether it be just to orbit or another planet. This would make it much easier to feed our astronauts without needing some complex kitchen system. In addition to space travel, I’m sure the fast food industry would have a ball with this technology. I picture McDonalds being able to 3D Print meat and revolutionizing the industry in doing so.

So to wrap this up, I am really interested to see where 3D Printing goes after it has had its time to come to fruition in the chocolate world. One thing is for sure, it’s bound to change the world of as we know it.

Blog 12: Discuss Blog 5

Sam: I absolutely agree with him that 3D Printing with metal is one of the most important steps that have been taken in 3D Printing to date. What we need next is the ability to 3D Print complex geometric components out of metal while maintaining the strength and characteristics we would expect from metal. This would raise a brow or two in the industry. I know for a fact that NASA currently uses the 3D Printing of metal for components in their rockets and have even tested bigger projects; one of which can be found here ([20]).

Jess: Ok Jess, I'm not sure how you even came across the hermit crab shell issue but it is kind of weirdly interesting. I'm glad you pointed out how bad of an idea this is for the hermit crabs to have 3D Printed shells because I agree. There are many fundamental issues with this topic but the one that really makes the most sense is your point of the liter. We can't just fill our ocean floor with tons of plastic waste just so some hermit crabs have a home. There are bigger fish to fry here. *slaps knee*

Nate: Alright Nate, I have to disagree with you on the value of printing food. I believe it to be a very important step in the food industry. Once the technology is established and made reliable you could easily increase profit margins by large amounts. I do believe some food will never be printable. However, let us talk about pizza. Imagine a pizza shop that doesn't have workers and just 3D Printers. Sure some jobs are lost but you don't have to pay a wage to the 3D Printer.

Zach: I really liked the article Zach found on using "moon rocks" as a material to print with in a 3D Printer. I mean like he goes on to say, it really opens up the doors for the ability to print a wide range of tools and other fun little accessories on foreign planets. However, I just can't seem to shake the feeling that this is just too gimmicky. I mean yea maybe one day far in the future but certainly no time soon. You can't just print with all the materials in this "rock" so you would obviously need to go for one specific material in the "rock" and waste the rest. Not to mention that all "rocks" don't have the same composition. Plus you would need the equipment to do all this which I'm pretty sure isn't going to be light and ... who cares it's just a little too gimmicky for my taste.

Eva: I agree with Eva on the importance of printing pizza. I mean yea it's probably one of the easiest foods to print and it should be being worked on. The trick would be being able to print the pizza cooked, I don't want to see some half way done job that's not impressive. But the ability to 3D Print an entire pizza is something I believe could be a boon to the pizza franchise, thus stimulating the economy.

Drew: I agree with Drew on the importance of "open sources" for people to learn. I like this because we live in such a digital age as it is, so having all of this information at our fingertips is really something impressive. I believe the idea of "open source" really feeds into that idea. I get so tired of seeing people try to put up barriers and keep info from one and other like they are stuck in some eternal power struggle leaving less emphasis on the advancements that could be made as a result of sharing knowledge.

Heisenberg: I thought it was interesting reading about the 3D Printing of blood vessels. This is really fascinating because it lights the way for anyway who doubted the ability to print body tissues or even organs and maybe someday complete body parts. However, the most interesting part about this blog is that UPenn and MIT tried printing a liver in 20007! This is amazing, they should really publish work on their time machine.

Hao: Hao is right! I think that 2004 with Adrian Bowyer is one of the most important points made in 3D Printing. I mean if 3D Printing can be self sustaining it really opens the doors to a whole new kind of world of freaky. I will have to point back to Zach's blog and bring up the idea of bringing printers to different planets and being able to essentially build a civilization. I know it is a bit of a leap but I do believe the general idea is proven through this.

Tony: 's right on the money here. Why on earth would you want to print a model of an unborn baby?! I'm no medical student but I'm hard pressed to find a reason for this to be of any real merit. Leave the unborn baby alone.

Blog 13: Discuss Blog 7

Sam: Sam is right, it is definitely an advantage to be able to 3D Print lab equipment like the Colorimeter. I mean you could potentially save tons of money and make such equipment affordable for countries that don't have the same luxury as have a $17 trillion debt. However, I disagree with his statement on the AFM Nanoscope. The precision they were able to achieve is what makes this project an accomplishment, one which I do not believe could EASILY be replicated.

Jess: Jess makes a great point on the fact that making everything become an "open source" might not be the best option. I interpreted this as meaning if the only thing you own is the design of a product and people make it on their own with a 3D Printer then it would be very easy for the ominous pirates on the internet to steal that design and put it on some file sharing site for free. This would leave little reason for a company to innovate on such a technology because they would receive less of a kickback for it. Although I do think that would just leave the "easier" stuff to the open source users and innovators, while leaving the complex stuff to the big companies. Also, the statement she makes about China is a pet peeve of mine. Yes they have had a huge pollution problem in China in cities like Shanghai, but they have made huge improvements on that. The thing that bothers me about people giving them a hard time is that they are simply following the footsteps of The States. We went through a very heavy industrial era that was our strength and a large reason we won World War II. Yes it was terrible for the environment but how can we act like we were entitled to it and China isn't.

Nate: I shared the same view on the AFM Nanoscope as Nate. The title of the article "How to build a low cost AFM nanoscope" is very misleading and really makes me doubt the credibility of the article its self. It is also very hard to find any additional information on this article because it is so private. I think this stems from a deeper problem in our society and world as a whole that people need credit for work to be recognized or prove worth. This takes away from the bigger picture of trying to make something cheap and affordable or to HELP OTHERS!

Zach: Yea I once again agree with the statement on the Colorimeter, it is a good thing to make such a simple tool accessible to other countries. I think of poor countries that have citizens with nutritional issues and need a better understanding of what it is they are eating. Also, reading Zach's blogs I really can't help but picture some corny infomercial guy trying to sell me something at 2:00 AM. If his next blog preaches to me about being saved by him touching me on the forehead I'm done reading his blogs.

Eva: Eva got me thinking when I was reading about her blog on Colorimeter. It is good that we could potentially offer this to other countries. I'm focusing more on the WE part though. Maybe there is something the reprap group could do for other countries. I mean aside from helping impoverished nations, charity is one of the best ways to get a group noticed. If we could somehow create a quest where you have to print certain parts that could be donated for use somewhere, it doesn't even have to be another country we have poor areas right here in The States.

Eric: He makes a good point of the Colorimeter. Big industry is hard to sway at times, even with open source technology. Since we live in a capitalist world (yes world even if China and other countries don't want to admit it most of them like capitalism or at least parts of it as much as we do in The States) where companies want to bring something new to the table and if the competition can't replicate their part ... the better it is. You can quickly realize how this 3D Printing and open source combination could spell some trouble for our economic standards. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad thing, obviously capitalism has its down sides so maybe this could help usher in a new age.

Lee: I think he missed part of the point here. He is right in that being able to make what 3D Printers are capable of making now is not enough to upset the market as is, the point is that it's heading in that direction and this is just the start of it. It would absolutely make cause for these companies to continuously innovate their products to survive. We see similar issues like this all the time. The most famous example is the Iphone and Samsung's Galaxy. The Iphone revolutionized the phone industry but hasn't made many innovations since. Now that there is a competitor that is arguably a copy cat Apple is sweating. The only reason Apple has held their ground is because of their ridiculous patents and blood hungry lawyers. I mean they sued Samsung for using app icons with rounded edges. This would not have been a viable offense if everyone could just print their own phone.

Anthony: He brings up something I was also wondering about. How can they effectively calibrate this equipment on the nano-scale if they structure is built of 3D Printed Lego parts? Again this article just seems too iffy for me to be sure of. They haven't really published anything to prove this ability and I have reason to doubt it all together. I mean sure metal shifts and moves with changes in the temperature, but plastic does so on a much larger scale. It would have to be a very ingenious design to pull this off.

Kevin: Kevin really does a good job focusing on the current capabilities of 3D Printers. We obviously can't print complex lab equipment using exotic materials. However, realistically we can easily print things like Petri dishes or maybe even slides for holding specimens. So there is definitely a place for this technology to flourish now and in the future.

Blog 14: Discuss Blog 8

Sam: I disagree with Sam and agree at the same time. This problem in this blog that we have to write is probably one of the most important questions when it comes to economic success in the future. I do believe it is an issue that we currently have a system that is built off of we sell something you're not allowed to. It's not perfect but it does work. The whole idea behind it is to give a smaller company with a revolutionary idea a chance to get into the game, or else a bigger company could steal the idea and use their influence on the market and their production abilities to snuff the little guy out. The down side being if someone owns the rights to something another company can't sell it, as far as I know reverse engineering is common practice in engineering companies and therefore you can still research a part while it is under another companies patent to be ready for when that patent ends. However, another company can easily buy a patent with no intent to sell it only to keep competition out of the market, I'm sure there are tricks to stretch that length of time out as far as possible. Now why this matters is anytime there is a system in place that is accepted and used by everyone, there is no telling what will follow if you undermine it or tear it down. This normally creates a kind of down turn following directly after the fact before the ball gets rolling and there really is no telling if it will be as viable as the previous method. Now when we think of a system like patents that is used worldwide, you would need a global consensus to switch to this new method in an attempt to make it viable. That is a tall order to make. So I don't think it makes sense to treat this topic like such a trivial matter. Surely we are moving towards something different that will change the world of IP as we know it, the problem is it will be for better or worse.

Jess: Again Jess is right. I think this is a very serious issue in the future. She brought up a very good point, patents are protected in the constitution. This makes this issue even bigger than I previously thought. I'm not one of those nut jobs that think everything written in the constitution is perfect and flawless, obviously it was written in a different time in a different mindset there is no way they could have foreseen what the world is today. However, you also can't just dive into the constitution and start changing things in it. So this is a delicate process to handle since the change is coming regardless.

Nate: Interesting that Nate feels so strongly about open source. While I do see the importance of Open Source, I do feel there has to be some ambiguity between competitors. What I'm afraid of, is that in the future there will be no real patents and it will be totally based on who can produce the part better and in large enough quantities that make it affordable. That would leave the power of the market in the hands of companies who have the most money. It really spins my head thinking about all of this because no one can possible know the best solution.

Zach: Zach is right, I'm sure companies will find a way to make money regardless. I mean they have to. The problem is, I hope they find a way that doesn't constantly snuff the market in their favor. All we want is a fair economy where the best product is bought and the creators get credit and reimbursed for their hard work. This just sucks because typically a CEO is CEO because they are in some way power hungry, this personality is good for self preservation but not so good for anyone playing on a different team.

Kevin: Kevin is right about Creative Commons being very vulnerable. It's a great idea to only be able to share certain parts of your product but how safe is it really? Like Kevin stated, people will find a way to steal and will become successful at it one way or another. So now I'm thinking a little differently. Maybe instead of trying to stop people from stealing, we can make a way that prospers because of stealing. It does help spread the brand or product really well but I have no idea how to turn that into a profit. It will take some outside of the box thinking, but that is nothing we haven't done before as a species.

Nam: Nam brings up an interesting point on Creative Commons, he says "there is no such thing as a perfect solution". He is most certainly right about that. In fact that is the very basis of Science and what makes it such a beautiful thing. It is a self checking and correcting field. For example, we once thought that the atom was the smallest form of matter. In fact, I read this statement in my grandfather's text box from when he went to college. This is what troubles me though. So if this field of Science and Technology continue to grow at exponential rates. So there is no telling what technology might be born tomorrow and make our new way of operating economically again obsolete. How do we keep up with such a fast pace? The problem is, nobody knows. Much like how we use old dead plants and fossils to fuel our cars, we still use the archaic government archetype. We need a change, and we need it now. The only way I could possible see this being handled is by making some kind of super computer to handle these problems for us. I was inspired by this idea in the fictional short story The Last Question, while it is fictional the underlying idea that we can't handle our growth is a real issue and something like this is feasible to be made. Also, that short story is probably the best short story I ever read, give it a read.

Tom: Tom is right, I hadn't even considered the ability to 3D scan things. That will really blow the lid off of almost all IP, granted that the insides of the products will be safe from scanners until they get really advanced. Yea so it's interesting, especially if you're the guy working on the next big 3D scanner only to know that it will change the way things are bought and sold forever. He's right about the music industry went through a similar dilemma. I mentioned the same thing in my blog. We all saw what happened when they tried to be conservative and hold on to the idea that they could sell music like they used to, inevitably they had to form a new way to make money. That's what it all comes down to, these companies need a new way to make money.

Tony: In a way I really agree with Tony on this. I don't think I totally agree with the article said either. I mean it really seems like open source will dominate the landscape. No matter how you look at it. If you can get it for cheap why wouldn't you, China dominates our production market for a reason. Only the Hi-Tech fields and industries would have a reason to not go with a cheaper open source design.

Kyle: Kyle makes use of the Disruption Checklist from the article. It lists a bunch of things that 3D Printing needs to accomplish before the irrelevancy of IPs are reached. This list contains items such as print complex structures, hybrid materials, print on the micro scale, and more. Many of these have already been achieved and it is only a matter of time before we can cross off everything in this checklist. Obviously it's just a tool to gauge how close we are to the point of no IPs, but there is nothing on that list that is too extraordinary to be done.

Blog 15: Discuss Blog 11

Sam: Yea Sam is right, I really like the idea of the bowden extruder also. Carson did a good job on his presentation of hot tips. Also, Sam pointed out that engineers have trouble sometimes making practical things. This reminds me of what my Thermodynamics professor Gary L. Catchen told me once after class. He said we rely too much on technology and we don't think. He told me about a project he had his graduates doing and the details are not important but they designed a tank that had a fluid under extremely high pressure. The tank was designed in some computer program and they should it to him. He laughed and pointed out they had the fluid resting at the top of this tank, which obviously makes no sense. So the moral here is to use your head more than your computer.

Jess: I agree the idea of being able to 3D scan things is pretty cool but not everyone has access to those tools. However, using and app on your phone is something anyone can do. You just need to take pictures and this software maps 2D images onto a 3D mesh. I tried using this with Drew from class and it was a little buggy but the idea is solid and the details can be fixed later.

Nate: Yea I also though Jared's show and tell on using printers remotely was really interesting. He explained how you can control computers on a network and even allow other people access to your printer remotely or the other way around. This sounds like a business just waiting to flourish. Right now I feel the general public is not to familiar with the idea of 3D Printing but as it becomes more relevant it should be a practical business model. It wouldn't take much coding to set up a website like Amazon that you browse 3D Printers that you want to potentially print your part with. You could even have a rating system for these users. They could ship these parts to you after they are complete and make a small profit off of them. I mean this company doesn't even need to necessarily own the 3D Printers, they just need a website to organize all of this. This is actually a really good idea that I wish I had the tools to peruse.

Zach: This Bio printing stuff is pretty cool. My only issue is that it doesn't seem so much like they are really 3D Printing yet. I'm not trying to say it is useless because obviously it is new and they need to start somewhere, I was just hoping for the ability to map this tissue onto a design. Currently they just drop some mixture into a test aperture and experiment on it. Which has applications that are very important for monitoring disease and treatment.

Kevin: Kevin wrote about the bio printing also. I really like this topic and it makes sense that a lot of people are writing about it. It definitely is pushing the envelope of what we can do with bio inspired projects. Rather than 3D Printing tissue and organs for humans, what this makes me think about is molecular computers that can actually be manufactured on a mass scale. Obviously there are some hurdles to get over before then.

Nam: Nam also talked about the 3D Scanning apps which I thought was really interesting. Again, it makes sense that so many people wrote about this. If you design something and need it replicated it's as easy as taking some pictures of it. Right now the ability of this technology is limited but in the future it should only get better.

Todd: I also liked that Hershey was investing in 3D Printing. It is refreshing to see a company take a stance on 3D Printing and to take it seriously. What they are doing now is a little gimmicky for my taste but at least they will be ahead of the curve when it really becomes a part of industry. Plus 3D Printing chocolate is probably one of the easiest foods to do.

Vincent: This was also one of my favorite show and tells. I like the idea of making printers that could literally create a civilization. Such a technology is necessary for colonizing other planets. It would allow for rapid and customized expansion. I really hope I can live to see the day we colonize another planet or terrestrial object, but I know that is a stretch.

Eva: I agree with Eva in that this technology will help the third world countries. It definitely brings the ability to make some simple tools and objects very cheaply and effectively. I just hope we have enough people dedicated to the task so that we can get a project like that one rolling. I mentioned it before in an earlier blog, I think it would be awesome if the next class had a quest that had them printing parts for people in poverty ... maybe even design them their selves!

Blog 2: Open Source Ecology (OSE) Project Discussion

What this site is about is building some kind of tech for cheap. It was started by a farmer (Marcin Jakubowski) who essentially felt he was spending far too much on these technological purchases of his. His main goal was to make a working tractor that he himself could repair and do so quickly. This would save him the frustration of dealing with these private companies who just want to take as much money from him as possible. Since he has started the program people from around the world have joined in his quest to make technology affordable.

I really like this idea, especially for the case of the farmer. A large reason why farmers are disappearing is because of the expense that goes into farming. Doing something like this makes the practice more practical than it has ever been and for that I'm grateful, since populations keep increasing and food is a pressing issue. It is also a great outlet for engineers and liberated genius alike that would want to design something but lack the funds or means to do so. In fact don't take my word for it, go check it out yourself CLICK HERE.

There was an article written about this OSE project in the New Yorker Magazine. In this article they all but praise Marcin Jakubowski and his work on the project. To be truthful, they really seem to deeply support Marcin's cause and for that I can't help but be happy. The irony of this article being about Open Source is that the article requires a subscription to view the entire thing online. I understand there are wages to be paid and money to be made but I couldn't help but notice the irony, while simultaneously making it hard to critique.

I have no idea who would be interested in such a project. Based on the foundation of the project being about making farming more affordable, I would start looking in the agricultural department on campus. I have a feeling most of those students and professors are well aware of the issues modern farmers face and would be more than willing to help or point you in the direction of someone that would be able to help. I would assume again the project would start focused on agricultural means, but it would eventually broaden as the project picked up supporters. I know working with Lunar Lion one of the most annoying things was trying to do research for our Moon Lander, since so much of it is not available to the public. Obviously we lacked the means to send probes and test space our selves so it would be nice if our government and private industry wasn't hoarding all of our research that has been done on our moon missions. I realize that would probably be one of the last areas to join a project such as this but it is one I really would like to see.