My name is Daniel and I am currently a junior in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. I have built three 3D printers including two Mendel RepRaps and a MakerGear Prusa-Mendel. My main interest in 3D printing lies in th ebuilding of the printers and allowing all of the components to move in sync with each other, but i am also fascinated with the freedom of designing and printing what ever your brain can think up.
BLOG #15 - Outside criticism of our course has suggested that we do not adequately cover design topics or the design process generally, and sometimes further suggests that the content is not adequately codified. An important question to ask is this: Is there a better way to structure class time? Do we need less open lab time and more lecture time? Was this a ‘real’ class? (by whatever definition you choose) What did you learn in it? I think by the typical school standards, no this was not a real class at all. I mean you didn't have the typical boring lecture followed by loads of boring homework and exams that are way to long o finish in a 50 minute span. But that is exactly what makes this class so cool. I think honestly, it could be a bit more organized but it has to be hard with only two people there to help along the way. David and Eric can only do so much at once. That being said, back to this amazing class. The best way for people and especially engineers to learn is by making mistakes and learning from them and just getting out there and experiencing stuff first hand. I don't think this class would be the same if the printers never broke. If things never broke, how would we learn to fix them? Everyone made mistakes and learned from them , hopefully, all throughout the semester. And while we might not have learned any classical equations or formal techniques, we sure learned a lot about how to think on our feet and solve different problems that would come up. In my opinion that's the skill that all the smartest and most successful people have mastered. This class should never end but it should continue to grow and work on new open source projects. Besides we are running out of room for new printers.
BLOG #14 - If someone came up to you, and asked you: “So, what good are these 3D printer things, anyway? Why would I want to have one?” What would you tell them? This is actually something that I had to think about before answering, surprisingly. But then I started thinking of things that these printers could accomplish that no other machine could. Lets face it, recently probably close to 100 new types of open source and closed source and commercial grade printers have popped up in the last 10 years. All have slightly different techniques to printing and generally have similar quality. Some print in much better quality but for the most part most printers print very usable parts. The 2 things that really set these printers that we use apart from any other printer on the market are 1. The price and 2. The speed at which they print. So I will expand on these two facts. These printers are by far the most affordable on the market ranging from $600-%1000 depending on the quality of the materials. This allows the project costs to be tremendously reduced. Not only is the printer much cheaper but the material that it prints with is also extremely cheap in comparison to other printable materials. The second thing I wanted to expand on is the speed at which items can be printed. The most popular commercial grade printers use stereolithography, which is very slow. I recently just compared a print that I printed with my home made printer to one that was made using stereolithography and the print quality was almost identical but my piece was printed in about half the time. This is an amazing thing for design projects. A team using one of our printers could essentially print a design, edit it and reprint it again before the team using a commercial printer even gets to see there first model. Now tell me that doesn't sound awesome.
BLOG #13 - Recycling of Waste material
Do any of the designs above seem more suitable than the others? What kind of influence might a recycling system have on the DIY RepRap community? Does building a filament recycler sound difficult to you, even with step by step guides? 1.Well first let me say that in terms of advertisement, the people at filabot have put together a much more impressive read. This offcourse does not seem like a fair evaluation since the recycler on thigiverse is not actually being sold. That being said I have seen other thingiverse pages that look much more inviting. Okay, now to talk about the machines themselves. I think it is really cool that the filabot does not simply just recycle abs or pla but 4 or 5 other types of plastics too. I can not be sure if this will be a feature of the thingiverse machine because they did not specify, but if I were to pick a machine to build or buy I would want a more versatile machine.As far as looks go, the filabot is quite large. If you are a rapid prototyper and working for a workshop at home, then space is very valuable, and by the looks of it, this machine will take up a lot of space. That being said, if it works better because its bigger than other machines like it then it is obviously a good trade off. I think that even with step by step guides many things are still difficult to build. I take that back, it wont be hard to build, but it will be hard to built it and have it work correctly. I think thathaving this plastic recylcling machine will give the DIY community yet another big spark of energy. It will inpsire creativity and self sufficiency. Especially when you go to buy filament and ultimachine is sold out. You can go around your house or used mess up prints to have a successful day of printing.
BLOG #12 - Response to 3D photo booth
What’s your impression of this use of 3D printing technology? Would you buy a model of yourself? Would your parents buy one? Explain the merits (or lack thereof) in this business model. How much might competition drive down prices in the future for these kinds of novelty items?
I personally am not a big fan of using 3D printing for novelty items such as these miniature models. Yeh i mean it is coolant all but it is not practical at all. It will simply sit on a shelf for years to come and never be touched. I would not buy a mini me for two reasons. One, I am broke and Two, i have no need for one. I think the parents question is pretty obvious when it comes to talking about my dad seeing as he has about a hundred printed faces in his lab so I will instead comment about my mom. She would not buy a mini me. My mom is very practical and does not buy this that she knows she will not use. She has never once bought school pictures of me because she says she can see me everyday for free. If these models were cheaper and it's no doubt that they will be very cheap one day, than I am sure they will be everywhere from outside your local grocery store to place like disney world to get a 3D family portrait. The world is full of people that love novelty items like this so this business will most likely do fine and competition will certainly drive down the prices just like it always has in the past when it comes to ventures like this.
BLOG #11 - Future of 3D printing
1.Now that you know a little more about the different types of 3D printing or other additive manufacturing methods, You should envision scenarios of a future where this technology is more widespread. What sorts of changes can we expect? What sorts of changes might we not expect? I’ve included some links here to give you something to think about, which we’ve generally talked about before. I just recently had a long talk with a professor in Mechanical Engineering who is a real sceptic when it comes to 3D printing. He really doe not see the advantage at this time of 3D printing models that can just be injection molded or manufactured in some other present way. This is speaking in a generally practical use, meaning some art and other non-pratical objects obviously are much more easily printed with 3D printers, sometimes because thats literally the only way that its possible to manufacture such an object. Throughout the conversation, he made many good points such as, 3D prints are not going to be able to replace metal machined parts because of strength limitations of plastic and he said that dues to the way that the layers are distributed, there are many surface imperfections that cause extremely weak components. Then it was my turn to ask questions and show my points. First i explained that we are not to far away from having 3D printers that print in a metal medium be available to the general public so we will be able to meet many more strength requirements in the near future. I also explained that many printers care getting closer and closer to having near perfect finishes on the objects they print. The article backs this up completely saying that the best printers can print int he range of 16 microns which is amazing to me. The last point i made was that even if you were to buy a $30,000 Stratasys machine compared to a $150,000 commercial injection molder was a much more economical solution for rapid prototyping which could speed up and lower costs of important high budget projects. He agreed with me and said that maybe there is more of a future for 3D printing then he first had thought.
BLOG #10 - The future of 3D printing
1. So, you’re in a class and classroom dedicated to 3D printing - Do you see a place for this in other educational environments (K-12?) What points do you agree with or disagree with in these articles? Support them with something from your own experience.
My first thoughts before reading the articles: I would say that High school would be the lowest that i would go with 3D printers. Before High School kids would not truly appreciate what exactly a 3D printer is and does. Also , and people might disagree but i think it might stunt the imagination of kids. I know this sounds counterintuitive but, I really think that letting children think for themselves instead of showing them what can be done, lets there mind wonder a bit more in the growing process.
Thoughts after reading the articles:After viewing the links and watching a couple videos it became clear to me that i might have been wrong in first thoughts. 3D printers can really be used to teach and show students very sophisticated technology in a form that they will understand and be interested in. I especially like the first link where they show the different projects that they help kids build. I would have loved to build a robotic arm or tank in high school or younger. I'd even like to learn how to do those projects now. I know this seems like a bit of a cop out but i really did agree with almost everything i read. All of the articles I read made good and interesting points and actually changed my view on the subject.
BLOG #9 - Discussion of making 3D printers available in local libraries
1. Discuss the suitability of libraries as hosts for RepRaps (or other 3D printers)We have a number of libraries on campus, as well as the one on allen street: How many areyou familiar with? Do you think any of them would be suitable for this? I think having 3D printers availbale to the public is an awsome idea. I feel like most of the public can't even grasp the idea of a 3D printer until they see one. Having one in the library would go right along with what a library is meant to be used for (furthering ones knowledge), but the libraries on campus on guraded by noise natzis and 3D printers can tend to be noisy themselves or atleast generate some noisey conversations. So maybe and idea would be to have a room dedicated to 3D printing in the library. This means you wont be able to have as many people view it all at once but it should be rather sufficient.
BLOG #8 - Responses to article
1. Go back to your previous posts regarding DRM and control of 3D printing. Does this article support your argument then? Do you think this technology will find a use? As in my response to the last blog about DRM, I still think that this is still the attempt of companies to reduce loss of profits. I think that essentially they can file and many patents and laws as they please; I seriously doubt that a law can ever be passed saying that you can't go in your kitchen find a piece that you want to print and recreate it on SolidWorks. Then, print it out on their personal 3D printer. What these laws could and most likely will prevent one day is the sharing of these files especially if it's for potential gain for the re-creator of the file. Either way i wish that people would promote to advance of technology instead of keeping it to themselves. Tis is very similar tot he situation in the article from last week on bio printing.
-BLOG #7 - Rerpsonses to seeing is believing
1. Being able to create optical sensing devices on demand is something new, as typically we print passive components. What kind of implications can you imagine resulting from this? I think that like any new technology the possibilities are endless and we will the implications are left up to the amount of creativity that people with access to the technology have. I realize that this answer, although true, is kind of a cop out so i will give a more detailed response. I do not know much about this type of technology but some things that might come from this might be some new handheld devices. Ive seen many rumored pictures of the new iPhones that are essentially clear acrylic everywhere except for the screen and the chips, meaning that there are no screws or any such fastener enclosing the body. it is on solid piece. of course Apple has never actually come out with this type of phone but maybe it would be possible now. imagine printing a few layers then dropping the touch screen in along with other components the printing the remaining layers over that to make one solid piece. 2. What sort of difficulty would we have in implementing light piping using our printers? Well the first problem i see is that we don't print at a fine enough scale to create a clear inside. I believe that we would be able to sand the outside down to become crystal clear similar to wht they did in the video but the outside of the piping isn't really what matters. it is pointless if the light cant travel through the piping sufficiently. Secondly i don not think that our printers printer precise enough models to handle the delicate components.
3. In what applications might you find use for these sensors (contact switches, touch sensors, accelerometers, etc)? Do you have some project in mind where these would be useful? I have always wanted to build an autonomous robot. Can you think of a better project to encapsulate all three of those if not more.It would be extremely cool to have a fully 3D printed autonomous robot. Well at least everything printed except for the circuits and wiring. What would be even cooler would be to lay your own wiring throughout the print, so it would be in the walls of the prints. You could easily implant tham during the printing procedure.I might actually have to give that a try some day soon.
-BLOG #6 - Responses to http://www.cnbc.com/id/49348354
1. What do you think of bio-printing? What sort of legal problems or technical problems can you foresee? I actually did a speech presentation about bio-printing a couple years ago and found this very interesting read about a system similar to things mentioned in the reading. This read is about something that doctors call the skin gun. This gun uses tissue cells taken fromt he patient and sprays them on a severe burn or wound or cut in place of a skin graph, and it repairs the tissue almost seamlessly. To read more about this and watch a short video about it, visit skin gun.I think that bio printing is just facinating in every way. The human species just proves time and time again how adaptable we are and how we are constantly evolving and creating longer life spans. I once read somewhere that by year 2100 scientists expect the average lifespan to be 150 years old for humans. That in itself is amazing considering only 100 years ago the average life span was only 47 years.I think that bio-printers are definatley making this number more realistic.
Now lets talk about the legal and ethical issues. As with any great advance in science there is always an ethical issue to look at. The main group that might see an issue with bio-printing, in my opinion, would be religious groups an organizations. People playing the role of their god has never settled well with these groups. And if we are bio-printing human parts and creating human parts in labs, I dont see them being very supportive at first. I do not consider myself to be religious at all and I think that if you have a chance to save someones life with science through bio-printing, I think we should not think twice about it. Again just my opinion,I am not saying other opinions are right or wrong.
2. Do you think this might be extended to RepRaps for DIY bio-research? I think in years to come that DIY bio-research will absolutley be integrated into a reprap type system. I mean can it even be prevented? I am slighlty ticked off that the company mentioned in the blog decided to make a quick buck over distributing their printers. With distibution of a working printer even if its being sold, it allows for more minds to works towards a better system without having to build a starting system themselves. I think that deciding to just sell prints to large drug comapines was extremly selfish. They played it off as if the fact that the drug companies had better test samples, that this would benefit everyone. And in hindsight it might, but not as much as if more companies had access to the printers themselves.
-BLOG #5 - Responses to 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith
1. Imagine that you were a dedicated member of the DIY gun project: What might you do now?
If this questions is asking, what do i do now to be able to continue the project, then obviously you find another printer preferably a cheaper one that the models will be printed on eventually anyways. Yes this will obviously slow production time because you might have the hassle of putting together the printer or keeping up with the maintenance but there's always the option of buying something like the new MakerBot Replicator 2 which is said to be a very reliable 3D printing system that comes per-assembled. This machine was discussed in last weeks blog if you are interested in more information.
2. Another article asks ”Should 3D printing, especially when it’s being used to create items like guns, be regulated? Can you regulate it?” Check your Blog #3 Questions 1 & 3 (and my comments to them) if you haven’t already. Do you have any more to say about this issue of 3D printer regulation (gov’t or corporate)?
No, producing a gun in your basement with your 3D printer can not be regulated. distributing files of a gun the you made in your basement can in fact be regulated because it would be distributed via the internet which is in fact regulated by the government. I'm sure there are ways around it but if you have to find away around something it usually means that someone or something is trying to stop you in the first place or at least slow the process down such as Stratasys taking their printer back. Again, as far as what you do by yourself is your business and i doubt anyone will bother you but when you try to get mass amounts of people involved, that's when heads will be raised.
3. Guns (and other weapons) seem to be prone to prohibitions. What other 3D printable constructs might attract similar attention/derision/prohibition?
This was briefly discussed in the attached article but i think that obviously other plastic weapons will be the obvious answer. For instance a plastic knife that could pass through a metal detector, undetected. Other than weapons I am having a hard time finding any other objects that might come into question. One thing that could be possible would be 3D printing drug smuggling objects that appear to be sealed on all sides but were stuffed with drugs during the print process. That might be a bit of a stretch though.
-BLOG #4 - Responses to MakerBot's Release of the Replicator 2 and 2x Interesting Read
The release of the new MakerBot Replicator 2 and 2x has stirred up many mixed feelings in people that belong to the OSHW (Open Source Hardware) community in the past week. This is because along with the big announcement of the release of a new product, also came the big surprise that MakerBot’s newest item would only be partially Open Source. They claim that this switch towards Closed Source system was mainly due to the fact that if people make exact replicas to sell to the community at a lower cost, then they would not make enough profit to pay their employees to further development of their product which would in turn hurt the community. Some members of the community argue that community loyalty counteracts this fear that MakerBot has. They argue that the recent failure of the Tangibot project proves this. To some degree they are right; it does show that there is some loyalty in the community. I do not think however that either side is completely correct in their arguments. I guarantee you that MakerBot would still be able to write checks to their employees if they had kept the new Replicator 2 completely Open Source. They may lose some profits but I do not think that it would send them into bankruptcy. But it is understandable why they might want to close off some aspects of their design. They are after all a business. On the other side, the community’s argument is flawed too, in my opinion. One of the main goals of open source 3D printing is to be able to have “Wealth Without Money”. If MakerBot sells a system for $2,500 and another company sells an exact replica for $1,500, I can guarantee you that I would purchase the cheaper one (keep in mind that I am a broke college student). Even though I am broke and in college, I don’t believe that I am the only one that would buy the cheaper one. Sometimes it’s not just about loyalty, it’s about how much funding you actually have. If I only have $1,500 to spend on a 3D printer I don’t even have a choice whether or not I want to buy the more expensive one. So that being said although most people do not approve of the decisions that MakerBot has made can you really blame them for what they did? It may not be the moral thing to do but it may be the responsible business decision for them to make.
-BLOG #3 - Responses to End of Intellectual Property
1. It seems that 3D printing isn’t going to disappear, but the exact nature in which it will develop is not well defined. On that note, we currently place restrictions (DRM) onto our media to control distribution, with limited ‘success’. Do you think this might be applied to 3D printing? How or why not?
If I understand what exactly (Digital Rights Management) restrictions are, and it's possible i don't, then they are only used to prevent loss of profit. So, if this statement is accurate then i guess it really depends on whether or not you can imagine .stl files being for sale. I think there might actually be some .stl files you can purchase, but i'm not 100% on that. Either way, people are greedy and when they think they have an idea or product that they think is worth money, eventually they will try to make a quick dime off of it. I do not think this will be fair to the found of the rep rap open source project, but i do see it as a definite possibility in the future. If we are instead talking about the 3D printers themselves being restricted, then i think you can expect the comment i will make next. I think it will be very hard to restrict previous printers that have already been released with their plans, but i don't think any one would bother anyways. On the other hand Makerbot has just come out with the first closed source printer. I think this will be a very controversial move on their part and could either hurt the business tremendously or be a step in the direction of a printer that is for the everyday average joe who could careless how his printer works and just simply wants good prints. Basically what i am trying to say is that it could be a step in the direction of the type of scenario i mentioned in my last blog about the future of 3D printing.
2. According to Bowyer, many people have a great idea (or perhaps a passion) that they love to tell people about. What is yours? Do you see this as a way to attract future mates? (or to get money?) Why/why not?
I want to comment on the second and third part of the question first. I don't necessarily see sharing my ideas with people as a way to attract a future mate as much as i see it as a way to gain approval from people or maybe even meet new people. So it is more of a way of being accepted by society than trying to attract future mates. As far as making money goes, I think that sharing ideas with strangers might instill the thought of possibility in someone. To clarify by example. Say that i am a broke college student who thinks he has the best greatest idea to come along since the iPhone but have no money to build or test or even patent it. I might feel that sharing my idea with someone else might lead to the possibility of funding from the person that you share the idea with. And even if deep down i know that this person doesn't have any money either or that they would never support me, there is still the off chance, and a chance no matter how small is always exciting to think about. As far as my great idea goes: about 2 years ago when i first started learning about these 3D printers, and how they work, i learned how hard it was to print overhangs. As i did more research on different printing filaments, I came across a water soluble filament and i came up with a great idea. I would devise a dual extruder printer that printer water soluble material as the negative space int he object and regular PLA for the positive space. This way no matter what the print would have supports for any complicated overhangs and the supports could just be dissolved away later. Since i thought of the idea there have been multiple people to successfully attempt it and post the results on thingiverse.
3. Professor Bowyer seems to think that 3D printing will finally kill intellectual property, and he sounds pleased about it. Do you think he’s right? Is this a good thing or a bad thing to you?
I think from a personal view as a broke college student, this has to be a good thing because it will make certain expensive technologies reduce in price by extreme amounts. At least in my opinion. Now looking at the larger picture, I don't know how it will affect the overall economy. I am terrible with economics and do not know enough to make an accurate statement. But in general, I do believe that he might be on to something as far as this open source movement being the beginning of the end of Intellectual property. I would definitely like to talk more about this question in class and hear someone that knows a little more about this topic and their views.
-BLOG #2 - Responses to RepRap Background
1. Do you think his goal of a ‘self-replicating universal constructor’ is feasible? What remains to be done to achieve this, or alternatively what would prevent such a goal?
Whether or not a completely self replicating machine is feasible kind of depends on the process in which it will reproduce. If we are talking complete reproduction and building of the replica, then i do not believe that it will ever happen. It just does not make physical sense unless the new machine (replica) was smaller in size then the original which contradicts the term replica. That is assuming no human interaction. If we are talking more along the lines of a machine being able to completely build each of the new components for the replica, that might be a little bit more doable but still extremely hard and would essentially need some interaction from humans or other machines.
2. The phrase “wealth without money” is both the title of his article and the motto of the reprap project itself. What does this phrase mean? (To him and to you if they differ). Discuss implications, problems, and possibilities associated with this idea.
"Wealth Without Money" This is a very inspiring phrase in my mind. Throughout life, one is taught that in order to have nice things or be productive you need money or funds. With project such as the RepRap project, this accepted standard of life can be defied. Some one who may not have the most money to spend on extremely expensive engineering equipment for rapid prototyping and other engineering needs, can sufficiently work on a ton of design and testing projects with a setup costing less than $1500 in total. This really opens up so many opportunities for the community to make there mark in the world. There are many smart people in the world that have ideas that no one will listen too, but if they have their own setup they don't have to run their ideas by anyone else any longer.
3. The Darwin design was released in 2007. It is 2012 now. Imagine future scenarios for RepRaps and their ‘cousin’ 3D printing designs (Makerbots, Ultimachine, Makergear, etc.) how do you think the RepRap project (community, designs, website, anything and everything) might evolve in the future? Describe as many scenarios as you can envision.
As far as evolution is considered when talking about the current and future open-source 3D printing systems; I believe the possibilities are endless. I believe that many people can see a RepRap type machine in everyones household throughout the country eventually. THey will eventually become extremely user friendly so that even kids with absolutely no experience will be able to operate the printer to their full extent. I also expect to see the stability of the design increase exponentially int he years to come. Now that people have made a series of beginning printers, the main goal now will be to refine each design and work towards perfecting all aspects of the printer. I have to say I am very excited to see the direction that 3D printing goes over the next few years.
-BLOG #1 - A few 3D objects to look at
I am probably biased because, I actually designed this piece but it does actually save money and can be very usefule in an anthropology lab.
I have always thought that these types of sculptures were intruiging to look at, but they look even cooler when they have been printer in layers with a reprap.
I think this object is pretty self explanatory. It is a steak made of plastics. I think the funny part is that the person that submitted it warned people not to eat it.
I think that this is very artistic but also has a good humorous quality to it. I really like chess and would love to have a set like this.
not sure if this is really considered weird but it sure it not normal and seems kinda pointless as well.