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Bonus Blog E

I think it’s possible that the Mechanical Engineering department could have some interest in 3D printing. However, it would likely be a relationship similar to the one we have with the EDSGN 100 classes. There are certain ME classes that involve prototyping or project design and ME students would probably benefit a great deal from the ability to print out project components without having to use the equipment in the learning factory. Another interested party might be the Industrial Engineering department, but I think they would have a more instructional interest. In the IE class I’m currently taking, we’ve talked a great deal about manufacturing processes, but nothing at all has been mentioned about 3D printers. It’s possible that in the future that they might want someone from the 3D group to come and demonstrate the technology, so that the students can gain some insight into this new form of manufacturing.

Bonus Blog G

I think that this a really interesting idea, but I do have a few reservations. First of all, I feel like it would be very difficult to transport a 3D printer that size, and then remove it from the area afterwards. In traditional 3D printing, you print an object on a bed and then lift the object off. In this case it’s the other way around, you’re lifting the machine off the print, and I feel like that could cause some problems with a machine that size. Also, the speaker mentioned that these walls were stronger, but lighter. In the case of a flood or tornado, strength may not mean much if your house can be picked up and moved without too much trouble. Lastly, I have my doubts that it would so easy to automate the placing of pipes and wires in a house while it is being built. That would require many more robotic arms and a much more complicated machine.

However, despite all these concerns, I would really like to see this technology improve. I mean, the speaker mentioned building structures on the moon, and I have to say that that sounds pretty cool. Based on the technology right now, I probably wouldn’t feel safe living in a 3D printed house; but give the concept a few more years (or decades) to develop and I would love to have a summer house on the moon.


Of the two deigns shown on these pages, the Filabot seems like a more effective design. I say this mainly because I can’t quite figure out from the picture how the RecycleBot is supposed to work. Also, the Filabot, being made from metal components seems a little sturdier. Also, I think that a machine like this would have a huge impact on the DIY 3D printing community. I realize that the filament isn’t that expensive but it would be incredibly convenient to just use whatever plastic you have laying around the house to create your own filament. Not to mention, if you think of that whole process from start to finish, it’s an incredible concept: you can basically take an old milk jug and turn it into a replacement part for your blender. That’s about half a step from alchemy if you ask me. Plus, at a glance, it doesn’t look like one of these would be much more difficult to build than your average 3D printer. The individual components may be a little more complex, but there seem to be less moving parts, so I feel like it would balance out.


I thin k that this is an interesting advancement in 3D printing technology, but I’m not entirely sure that I would buy one for myself or my parents. It might be more interesting if you could modify the 3D scan and make a custom action figure or something, but quite frankly, a miniature version of myself starting at me from my desk is a little creepy. I think the same would go for my parents’ desks as well. To me, that feels almost like the stage of parents’ showing pictures of their kids or their co-workers, except instead of pictures, it’s mini statues; and like I said, that’s just a little creepy in my book. However, I do think this could be a cool thing for long distance couples (or really any people that are close but live far apart). In that case, it could be a little nicer (or at least funnier depending on the pose you take) than a photo.

I would say the business model for the heads is decent, considering the prices aren’t exorbitant. However, the “complete person” pieces may require a little too much time and money to produce. Like any fun piece of technology I’m sure people will buy them, and I’m sure there will price competitions, but I can’t see it being too dramatic. This sort of technology, to me, seems very similar to those old western style photos or a drawn caricature: people will do it for a laugh here and there, but they won’t spend a ridiculous amount to do so.


Yes, I believe that this technology would make a great instructional tool for any age group. However, I think the students’ level of involvement would need to vary between the different grade levels. I don’t think that elementary school students would have the patience to operate these machines, but I’m sure they would find it fascinating to watch a teacher use one. Middle school students would probably find some level of interest in it, but I think high school students would get the most out of it. For most schools, junior and senior year are the first opportunities that students have to select their own courses and start working on things that truly spark their interest. In one of my local high schools back home, there was even a senior course program specifically designed for students that planned on majoring in engineering. A 3D printing program would make a great addition to that system. So, to sum it all up, I do think that children should be introduced to this technology at as young an age as possible. However, I think that younger children should see demonstrations, while the high school students should be allowed to work with it like we do.


One of the posted articles mentioned portable 3D printers for use by the military and 3D printers that could be used in auto mechanic shops. I think these are the two best ideas I’ve heard so far, because personally, my favorite thing about 3D printers is that they can be used to print replacement parts. They’re removing the idea that if a machine breaks, you have to spend hundreds to repair or replace it. I would even go do far as to say that these machines could eventually wind up in every major office building to print replacement parts for fax machines, snack machines, coffee makers, really anything you can think of. I sincerely hope that in the future, people can repair anything they want simply by printing out a spare part, and handing it to a “company handyman”. However, I do have one concern. When people repair or replace something, companies make a lot of money. I’m afraid that greedy business owners will find ways to keep people from fixing their own machines and cutting into their profits. It’s an unfortunate truth, but you make more money from the treatment than you do the cure, and 3D printing is essentially a cure for product repair/replacement.


I think it would be great if libraries started installing rep rap machines to be used by the general public. The reason that this technology has evolved quickly is because much of the research is open source, it’s available to the public. However, not everyone knows where to look, or even knows about the technology. Personally, I didn’t know anything about these machines until a friend of mine told me about the EDSGN class, and now I’m hoping that this is something I can work with in my professional life. If the general public had easy access to these machines, it could spark that same level of interest in anyone, even non-engineering students. However, I am unsure as to how these machines (our rep raps) would fair in a library setting.

The 3D printers are incredible for what they can do but our models can be a little dysfunctional from time to time, and they also have a tendency to be a bit loud. If a local public library was to have a “rapid prototyping” section, they would need a machine like the Makerbot. They would need something that would be quiet enough to keep the library at peace and easy enough for the average person to operate. If these machines spark interest in those who use them, those people may be inspired to start building their own machines, but I think the first printer they use, should be relatively user friendly. Overall, I think that rapid prototyping sections would make welcome additions to the average library, but I think they should be sectioned off in their own wing, easy to use, and be surrounded by books on DIY prototyping projects; just to get people thinking.

Unfortunately I haven’t been in the library on Allen Street, but I have been to the Paterno/Pattee Library on campus, and I think it could easily support a 3D printing lab. It’s an enormous library and part of it is even underground. If a 3D printing lab were placed down there, the noise wouldn’t travel and people would be able to work on their projects in peace. Simply put, I think any library large enough to section off a 3D printing lab, is large enough to have one. The Paterno/Pattee library would work very well; the Engineering Library in Hammond would not.


This article sort of supports my original viewpoint. I said that companies would begin copyrighting product components if there was a possibility for financial gain. These patents will likely prevent companies from losing money in the future, but it doesn’t look like that was their intended purpose. According to this article, it seems like these patents were simply created because one patent company went on a personal crusade. The article even uses the phrase “patent trolling”, which to me sounds about right. Intellectual Ventures simply decided that they wanted to restrict people’s printing abilities so they did what they could to work towards that goal.

I think that this technology will eventually find use in commercially produced 3D printers like the Makerbot. The idea is very similar to the copyright protection on old VHS tapes. VHS tapes that are copyright protected cannot be copied or burned onto DVD’s with a DVD/VHS combo player. However, people eventually found ways around that technology and eventually they would find a way around this technology. No matter how hard companies may try, innovation usually finds a way.


1. I think that this technology makes creating light sensors much easier, since all you have to do is send the image to a printer and press print. However, this looks like it would require a very specific type of 3D printer or a very specific kind of filament. This makes me wonder if the process, while more convenient, is also more expensive. I could see companies using this technology as a replacement for traditional sensor manufacturing, but only if it’s cost effective.

2. I think that printing optical sensors with our printers would be nearly impossible. This type of 3D printing seems to require a very specific type of filament and even if we could get our hands on some, this process looks very intricate. Our 3D printers work well for printing printer components and artistic pieces, but I just don’t think they have the precision to print these sensors. Also, I feel like this process would demand a print with a very large infill, the parts would need to be almost completely solid. Based on the prints I’ve done so far, I feel like that type of a print would either be very difficult for our machines or very hard on them.

3. I think that these light sensors would work very well as replacements for the light sensors we currently have on our printers. Also, since the video demonstrated that these sensors are relatively precise, I think it would be fun to try and make some kind of game controller with them. Create a solid plastic plate that’s basically one giant touch sensor, and use it to manipulate objects on a screen by touching a sliding. Kind of like an iPod touch screen but with infinitely more possibilities and much simpler interface.


1. I think that bio-printing sounds like an incredible concept. The idea of printing an organ for someone who needs it is nothing short of astounding. However, when something sounds too good to be true, it often is. The article says that the bio-printers use a sort of bio-ink to create the cell structures, and I’m not entirely sure what that’s made out of or how much it costs. If it relates at all to stem cell research then there could be some kind of ethical issue down the road, and even if it’s something else there’s still the price to consider. Personally though, I don’t see legal issues being a problem. It would be just like getting an organ transplant except you don’t need a donor. As I said, I think the biggest issue will be a question of ethics. People may say that it’s wrong to manipulate living cells to create something new, especially if the cells are stem cells, that’s always a hotly debated issue. But, I think that this technology offers incredible lifesaving possibilities and I hope that it’s allowed to develop freely without any legal or ethical roadblocks.

2. While I like this technology I don’t see it being used for DIY medical research. It could be useful for med school students practicing dissections or lab technicians doing experiments (like in the article) but I hope it’s left to that. Personally, I’m just a little creeped out by the idea of an average joe American printing hearts in his basement.


1. I would say that if I were a member of that group I would do exactly what they're doing now. Find another printer and start over building and testing the gun components (i.e. the barrel without a trigger). I think this plan makes some degree of sense since other people have had success printing gun pieces instead of whole guns. I am referring of course to the plastic machine gun component mentioned in the article. Somehow this method seems to circumvent the law against homemade weaponry, at least in some cases.

2. All things considered I don’t think it would be a bad idea for the government to regulate the 3D printing of weapons. It probably isn’t the best idea to allow people to build private arsenals in their basement. However, if someone is simply doing research into this project and making his work public, like the man in this article, I think it’s less of a problem. The Government could just keep a task force on hand to monitor the downloads of 3D weapon print designs. I’m not saying this is a perfect solution, since people find ways to circumvent Government regulations all the time. However, I think it’s a decent idea for the Government to keep an out and attempt to keep people from building unauthorized weapon stashes in their basements.

3. One thing that I think could face prohibition in future is the printing of any weapon. Say someone decides to print a scythe or sword for a Halloween costume. It may not be overly dangerous since the edges wouldn’t be very sharp or well defined, but that could change as 3D printing technology develops. Another area of development that could face scrutiny is the creation of rep rap medical equipment (scalpels, syringes, etc.). Again, this may be something that’s a few years off but it’s certainly a possibility. Simply put I think the Government would make some attempt to regulate the printing of anything that could cause harm to the general public.


I can't honestly say that I have a problem with Makerbot closing off the designs for it's new 3D Printer Design. The article is right, they are a legitimate business and they do have investors to worry about. However, I think that it's a little ridiculous to say that Makerbot now owns everything that people have put on Thingiverse. If Makerbot has any company designs on the website then yes, they should be allowed to keep those because it represents an investment of their time and money. However, some of the Thingiverse designs are simply SolidWorks model's of cartoon or video game characters that people have uploaded for fun. I don't think that Makerbot has the right to take ownership of those designs. Also, I think Prusa has the right idea, if Makerbot really is going to take ownership of everything on Thingiverse it may be time to take our designs and move them to another site. However, before taking this action, I would like to see exactly how big an impact this change has. If Thingiverse is just doing this for legal reasons and simply states that they have ownership, then it's not a big deal; but if they start trying to sell those designs or stop the original creators from using them, then it may be time to move on.


1. I think it's possible that in future, as this technology develops, people could place some sort of copyright laws on 3D print designs so as to not miss a money making opportunity; much like people do with music. However, in the long run, I don't think that that method would be necessary or effective. Music is copyrighted because everyone listens to music, but I don't think that 3D printers will ever become a big enough household item for copyright laws to be necessary. Furthermore, if people have found ways to illegally download music, they'll find a way to download 3D printing designs.

2. I don't really have a passion to speak of, but two of my favorite hobbies are cooking and mixology. And I think if I could manage to get really good at one or other it could potentially attract women. While both of those skills are technically based in an understanding of chemistry, they have enough of an artistic component to shift me from the "accountant" side to intelligence, to the "guitarist" side.

3. Personally, I don't think that 3D printers will do any more any more damage to the idea of intellectual property than the concept of pirating music. However, I would say that the loss of intellectual property can be seen as both a good and a bad thing. It's a good thing because it means people can openly share ideas and work together to make products better. From what I understand that's pretty much been the driving force behind their development so far. The bad side to this is that with everyone sharing ideas, no one will be buying or selling them, and thus there is no monetary gain to motivate people; but I don't think this will be a problem. As Previously stated, I don't think 3D printing will ever get to the point where people will be printing out household appliances or anything else that major companies will want to attach copyright claims to. I think that until these machines can be made with an attractive design that people can use with minimal effort, it will remain kind of a "hobby project". And with that in mind I would say the good outweighs the bad when it comes to the loss of intellectual property, the easier it to share knowledge the faster we can develop.


1. I think that the idea of a completely self replicating constructor is a little far fetched since that would mean all the components would have to be made from the same extruded plastic material. That material is strong enough to support the structure of the machine, but I don't think I would trust it as the main component holding the entire machine together. Also, whatever material is used to make this machine must be extruded by it. I feel like an extruder nozzle made from the stuff being extruded is a bad idea.

2. To me, "wealth without money" means that you can get anything you need without purchasing it. Wealth can be represented by having money or having objects. Wealth without money simple means you can get a lot of objects without money.

3. Realistically, I think that in the future, RepRap machines will find a comfortable niche as hobby machines as well as small part producers. Some people will simply use them like the do now: something to build and basically play with, but I also think they could be useful as a standard home or office product, like the ink and paper printer is now. I believe that people in homes and offices will use them to create small parts that have broken off machines or appliances so that they can avoid replacing the entire product. However, I do not think that we will ever reach a point where at home 3D printers will create full size cameras and vacuum cleaners for commercial use; products like that are simply too complicated.


1. Useful

This component, or at least the idea behind it is incredibly useful. The ability to create pipe connectors saves people the trouble of having to drive to the hardware store and search for the components they need. It certainly seems like it would make a lot of "do it yourself projects" easier.

2. Artistic

This is a very simple design, but I think it's also very artistic. Like the name suggests it does look like it could be some "force of nature". Personally, I think it looks like a white cap on the ocean, and if you had a room in your home that was ocean or sailor themed, it would really make a nice addition.

3. Pointless

This idea seems relatively useless to me since most shoe inserts are made out of softer materials. I feel like this would be kind of uncomfortable.

4. Funny

I consider this design funny/awesome mainly just because I love Minecraft. At some point in this class, if I have my choice of object to make for an assignment I'm making one of these.

5. Weird

This is an interesting design, but it definitely falls under the category of wierd, mainly because it reminds me of that babydoll-head robot thing from Toy Story.