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Blog 13

The thing I would have liked to spend more time on is 3D scanning and then printing the parts. We read the article about the new program that AUTOCAD has from blog 9. Since this would be free to students it would be interesting to have everyone take pictures of an object and recreate it.

I think the best way to evolve this class would be to use the printers for prototyping. They are called rapid prototypers but all that we have done in this class is replicate or print little trinkets for other classes. It would be interesting to try to partner with a junior design course (ME 340) or other course that would actually use the printers to prototype their designs before making the real part. This would change the class from an introductory learning class into a "real world problems" type of a class. Obviously there are some issues with this ideas, mainly printer reliability. However, if we could find a way to print consistently this is a possibility.

Blog 12

I think if I had to pick one project I would work on the dual extruder. I think having the versatility and option of being able to print two colors, thicknesses, or materials at the same time would be cool. This could be used to create parts faster with more resolution in areas where it is needed but also it could create the fill using a coarse extruder. Printing multi colors would just be a cool factor of the parts. It may also be possible to print two of the same part at once, doubling production.

The filament recycler would be nice so that we can reuse filament. It would allow us to cut down or completely eliminate our waste. The reason I think the extruder is more important is because we don't waste that much filament, and it isn't very expensive to buy. I think that creating a machine to recycle a small amount of filament would be neat but it wouldn't be saving enough waste to make a huge difference.

In summary they are both important projects that can help the reprap class. The extruder allows more possibilities and a larger variety of prints. Meanwhile, the recycler helps us create less waste to be more environmentally friendly, and it could also lower the amount of filament that we need to buy.

Blog 11

I think one of the large design problems with the OHM is the extruder. It is very difficult to get all of the parts to work well together without loosening, or being overly tight. One of the main problems is that many of the bolts cannot be adjusted once the extruder is put together. So to fix the problem the whole assembly must be taken apart to make a small adjustment. This makes a routine adjustment a large project that is usually neglected. Also the gears on the extruder need to be perfectly aligned to work correctly. If they are slightly misaligned, a little too tight, or a little loose then the extruder will not turn as it should. Making sure that the gears are aligned correctly requires the extruder body to be shaped right and the bolt to be pushed in straight to ensure alignment. This is very hard to do well.

I think that the current extruder needs to be redesigned so that all of the bolts and can be reached from the outside. Also maybe a new way to hold and adjust the gears can be found to make them easier to assemble.

Blog 10

Five people talked about my blog in their Blog 8. I think the easiest way to get noticed is to take a minute to stop and think about what you read and do a little research. All of the blogs that were selected as the best were ones that the writer had an interesting view or idea that they described. When writing we don't want to hear a summary, but what you think about the ideas presented. Also, a two minute Google search can give you facts to support your writing or give new ideas for you to discuss. These are two very simple tasks but they make your writing more believable and interesting to read.

In the future I plan to continue to do research on the topics that we discuss to learn more about them and about similar projects that other people are doing. I also want to add more hyperlinks and pictures to better show what I am speaking about. I think I am doing a good job on the writing, but a picture can make all the words much clearer.

Blog 9

Creating 3D data from photos and scans

This new technology is very interesting. Up until now people could make models of small parts through 3D scanning. These parts have to be fairly small depending on the scanner that you have and there are problems with certain materials and colors. High quality scanners are also very expensive. With a photo based program anyone with a smartphone or camera could have access to this technology. This allows for any sized object to be drawn. As they said in the article bridges and buildings can now be put into CAD simply by taking a picture. This could be very helpful in repairing or remodeling. While this sounds like amazing technology I am a little skeptical on how well it works. The picture 3D scanners that I have seen all require many pictures to be taken of all angles and then a large computer to compile them. The pictures never fit perfectly and if precision is needed it takes a long time to go back and clean up the drawing. Perhaps they have a solution to these problems, but if not it will require a lot more work than they make it sound. All autodesk's programs are free to students, so we could test the program when it comes out.

I found two places that have open sourced photo-to-3D programs. There is an example on of taking 2 pictures and making a 3D object from it. Although it is only the front face of the object it is pretty neat. As I expected it is not very accurate, and it gets blurred in the corners. However if you don't need it to be exact this could work very well. Here are the two sites I found:


Blog 8

Review Of Other Blogs

Blog 4

Wjf5042 has a good review of the Robohand. He especially detailed how durable it is and how it can be reprinted if anything breaks and when the boy outgrows the current part. One thing that I hadn't thought about is that the family probably wouldn't buy a normal prosthetic arm until the boy grew up. otherwise they would have to buy a new one every year or so.

Mark Keller has a very good blog post with a lot of research. He has a lot of good information comparing and contrasting the Robohand with the closed source hand he found. He talks about the difference in feel, cost, durability, and repair of these two products.

Michael Bilyk has a very organized blog page with good content. His blog 4 is very detailed and has a seperate section for each thought that had about the Robohand project. It is nice to see this separation so that you know exactly what is being discussed in each section. His content is also very well thought out.One point that mentions is that the hand is easily modified for any physical hand problem that people could have.

Blog 6

Matt Rockar's blog is very nicely organized and easy to read. He has good thoughts about the practicality of using the reprap machines for undergraduate classes. He also had a good point on the use of reprap machines as a way to practice problem solving.

Alex Punzi's blog was very clear and easy to read. He had some interesting perspectives that were different from many of the other blogs.

Mark Keller's blog is the most nicely laid out blog that I have seen. He has all of the links for each blog post in the text and has placed pictures in the blog to help show what he is discussing. His writing is very clear and he takes the time to think about each prompt and fully discusses each.

I think that these people would deserve more XP for their blogs since they are well organized, fully thought out, and have interesting ideas discussed in each of them.

Blog 7

(A) These projects are all very interesting and have the ability to make 3D printing more available to the public. If these companies actually produce their printers normal people could buy the printers instead of them only being available to large companies. Formlabs is being sued by 3D Systems for infringing on their patents. Formlabs says that all the patents have expired but 3D Systems says they infringed on the patent that covers stereolithography. The 3D doodler has been in the news in various places because it allows for much more creativity in 3d printing. Instead of being restricted to machines that must be hooked to a machine, using several programs and waiting hours to build an object this pen can sketch, doodle, or make any object with no setup. It can make super thin objects or build objects in the air. It is also probably much cheaper than any other 3D printer. There are many other 3D printer projects on Kickstarter. Bukobot re:3D

(B/C) Kickstarter seems like a great way to raise money for projects. It allows normal people to have their ideas put online and seen by millions. It allows many more people to contribute to the project and earn more money than most people could asking their friends. After reading the article on Baffler ( Kickstarter seems more like a scam than a tool. The author had lots of bad things to say about it. Kickstarter and Amazon take 15% of your profits and if you promise gifts you will spend time and money sending them to our supporters so that you end up not having much money left over. If you do have money you still need to build and market your product that takes lots of time and effort. Although, Kickstarter seems like a great way to make money with your ideas, people need to look at it cautiously. This is very different from your average store. The best part is that there is no overhead. You don't need a building, electricity, employees, and everything that goes with it. You could sit at home with your computer and sell your products. The problem with this is that you need to make sure that you can market your items since you have no physical way of displaying them.

There are alternatives to Kickstarter. Indiegogo, Smallknot, and RocketHub are a few that I found.

Blog 6

A) Disruptions: On the Fast Track to Routine 3-D Printing

This article details how the 3D printer is becoming a commonly used technology much faster than anyone thought it would. It is being used to make prototypes in many industries, and people are developing printers to make houses, food, and even living tissue. There has been a push by the president and many other groups to make 3D printers more widely used in industry and education. I think that 3D printers have a place everywhere. Simple repraps can be used in schools to support technology classes and help kids be more creative, better problem solvers, and gain experience with a new technology. In contrast the expensive and extremely accurate printers can be used to print engines in an assembly plant. There are many different types of printers with many purposes, and I think that printers will become more common as time goes on.

B) The state of the union address was mentioned in this article because the president specifically mentioned 3D printers as a way to bring manufacturing back to the US. I think that it is cool that the president (or his speech writer) values the opportunities that 3D printers can offer. Using 3D printers in any industry can reduce waste and improve efficiency if implemented correctly. 3D printers can also expedite the creation of new ideas and industries that can hopefully create more jobs for Americas.

C) Using 3D Printers to Transform Learning in Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Courses

I think using 3D printers for ME classes is a great idea. I am a strong believer that there is not enough hands on learning in universities. Being able to see the actual pieces that you are writing equations for and then testing them to check your results would be a great way to reinforce concepts. This can also be used in statics and strength of materials to test the properties of different materials. If they can print with rubber they could show how shear stress works on beams and how different shapes are affected by forces on them. Adding these printers to any programs would take a lot of work. Move faculty would need to be hired for upkeep and running the machines, money would be needed to buy the machines and materials to constantly upkeep them. Also, if there aren't many machines a system would need to be made to ensure that everyone can use the machines without them being hogged by a few students.

D) The printers that Virgina is using cost around $30,000 each so they are about 100 times more expensive than our printers. ( Since our printers are made by students they have a lot more quirks and "personality" than a industrial printer would have. Our printers could be used for the same purpose but an industrial printer would be easier to use. The industrial printer would probably be much more consistent results than with our printers.

Blog 5

Looking over the objects I picked in my first blog I found a few that might be able to have copyrights. The most obvious is the Mario figure. Since Mario is such a popular figure I am positive that it has a copyright and making this figure probably infringes on that copyright. The electric bike model is a unique object and probably could have a copyright on it because it is artistic. The faces on the 4 headed totem pole may be able to have a copyright. However, them would be severed from the pole because it is not artistic or helpful to the design.

Looking through Mark Keller's objects the only one that looks like it could have an infringement is the bi-plane. The plane's design is most likely patented by the company that created it. Blake Ziegler has a scanned copy of an Abraham Lincoln statue. This scanned copy is an infringement on the the original sculptor's design. On Cjm5325's blog there is a file to print Minions from the movie Despicable Me. These figures are probably infringing on copyright laws.

The first reason to obtain a license is so that you know the restrictions on your part and that they cannot change in the future. The second reason is much more important. Obtaining a Creative Commons License for the parts that we create instantly tells other people that they can build off of our ideas. Since this class is all about open source and sharing ideas, all of our parts should have this license so that people don't have to wonder if they can use our work. This will hopefully allow people to share ideas faster and come up with new and better ways to build reprap machines.

Blog 4

Robohand: How cheap 3D printers built a replacement hand for a five-year old boy

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I feel like this is a perfect example of the effectiveness of open source ideas. Two random people from across the globe were able to find each other and design a practical and helpful device. By making it open source they are able to share their ideas with any other people that want to help invent a better hand and they can find people that could use their product. Being open source makes the project more accessible to anyone who wants to see it. This should mean collaboration and helping more people. However it also means that the designers cannot hold exclusive rights to their designs and charge to build the hands. If they sold the idea to a company and made it closed source they may be able to get more financial backing and could make more progress. However, a companies mindset is about making money and these men seem to only want to help people with disabilities. The cost of the product is much less in because of the open source. They have no overhead costs so they only have to pay for the materials that they use.

If we want to participate in this project I think that we should print a Robohand to see how it works. If we can duplicate it well we should try to find someone in our area that could benefit from this device. Also, while making the hands we will probably be able to make alterations to the current designs to make it more user friendly. There may also be other faculty and students that would like to help in the project. It is possible that some robotics could be designed to make the use even better.

Blog 3

Contour Crafting: Automated Construction

This use of 3D printing is pretty amazing. I didn't know that they had concrete that could be stacked without a support structure. Building houses this way could revolutionize the construction business. I know that many homes are now being built in modules, so by printing them in this fashion they could be built faster and more efficiently.

How 3D Printers Are Reshaping Medicine

I have heard of researchers printing human tissue before and it seems like an incredible idea once it is working. It we could print organs and skin whenever an emergency occurred a new organ could be printed in a few hours instead of trying to find a donor which could take months. Skin graphs could be printed instead of taking skin from other parts of the body. These printers could save lives and help people heal much faster. I had never thought of the impact that it could have on pharmaceutical companies. More effective, cheaper, and faster testing of drugs could lower the cost of drugs and may speed the advancement of medicines so that more people could get treatments. Even though these printers are not perfected it sounds like the impacts that they could offer are worth the time and money that are being spent to make them a reality.

A $300k 3D-printed burger exists, because why not?

I could think of a lots of things to spend $300k on, but a burger is not one of them. I'm sure that in the long run there may be a use for 3D printing meet, but it kinda seems like a waste of money. The research may be beneficial for other things also, but if organs are 10 years out for the medical field I feel like it will be at least that long or longer til we have 3D printed food. Even then it is debatable whether or not they could print a quantity that could put a dent in the amount of meat the US uses in a year.

The Delicious Future: 3D Chocolate Printer Finally Available for Purchase

Printing chocolate sounds like something that would be really neat for fancy catering or bakery businesses. Having complex shapes and the ability to print anything would be great for specialty items. I don't see chocolate for the masses using this technology though. It is still easier to melt large quantities in molds. However, the coolness factor of these printers would make them worth it for some.

3D Printing Fashion

Printing clothing sounds like a very interesting concept. Most all the 3D printers print solids, but clothes would have to be flexible to wear. I would like to know what materials that they use and how comfortable the clothes really are. Also, most clothes are woven. So how does a 3D printer keep the fibers together without melting them together? Printing clothing seems like a novel idea, but not very practical in a large scale.

Finding other 3D printing ideas is pretty easy. A quick search brought up some of the ones previously discussed like the houses and fashion, and also new ones like baseball bats, guns, sand castles, exoskeletons, and drugs. Since this technology can be used with many mediums there are people experimenting in all kinds of disciplines.

Blog 2

The features that are being demonstrated do not seem to be impressive. Copy, paste, save and delete are all commands that we have become accustomed to. However, if it was the first time that I had ever seen these ideas I think that they would be amazing. Being able to automatically retype something, save anything, and have a method of moving across a screen that is not through the keyboard, revolutionizes a computer experience. I have used a DOS computer system and other programs that do not use a mouse and we don’t realize how amazing a mouse really is until it is gone.

People’s initial reaction to the mother of all demos was that the whole thing was a hoax. Viewers didn’t believe that what he was doing was possible. I think that sharing your knowledge all depends on the outcome that we want. Sharing ideas is all about learning and progressing ideas. Keeping ideas secret and patenting them seems to all be in the hopes that money can be made. As a university we want all students here to understand the technology and all of the possibilities that it contains. So our goal should be to share the information to allow other people to learn. By sharing this information other people can add their ideas to ours and we can come up with new technologies to advance the 3D printing. I think that having all of our printers and information online is a great idea. The only way to make it better is to continue to add instructions and pictures so that anyone can easily understand and replicate the systems.

Blog 1

Part A

1. Even though I don't own a tablet, I thought that this tablet stand would be very nice to carry with you or to leave on a desk. 2. I like motorcycles, so even though this is just a model I think that it is artistic and beautiful. 3. Round tuits are worth a chuckle the first time but after that they have no point. 4. Model of Mario. Funny/awesome. 5. This is a four headed totem pole piece. It seems to not have a purpose and it is strange that someone would want one just to sit on their desk.

1. useful 2. artistic 3. useless 4. funny 5. strange

Part B

I would like to think that I am sometimes a tinkerer. My Dad is definitely a tinkerer and has multiple projects that he has worked on in energy and sustainability. I believe that not only corporate mentality but schools have made people focus only on results. No boss wants their workers to fail 80% of the time, and you can't pass school with a 20% either. This focus on correctness I think has made people self-consciously give up if they don;t think that they can do it well in the first try. This mentality is completely reverse of good design and tinkering. "Fail often to succeed sooner" is a quote from David Kelley of IDEO that could be a motto for tinkerers.

I think the biggest principle I got out of the interview is to always put yourself in the seat of the user, or watch how they react. The happier the user is the more successful the design will be. When I saw his rapid prototyper I was surprised that he didn't have one already. It is also a great idea. What better project for a kid than to use their creativity to build a prototyper that they can continue to design and experiment with. I think the main thing to remember is that it can always be improved. Think outside the box, most ideas are helpful as long as you build off them to improve.