Hello my name is Ian Beavers and I'm a senior at Penn State majoring in Agricultural Sciences with a focus on Food Science.
I am also the web master for the 3D printing club at Penn State. Starting January 2014 I will be the Vice President of the 3D printing club.
I am currently taking a class called Edsign 497J so I can learn as much about 3D printing and the printers themselves as I can.
I'm currently working with the White Team
I will be posting blogs pertaining to the class and the work I've done in and outside of class.
1. "Something amazing and beautiful"
A puzzle that looks like its designed after a piece of coral
I thought this was a really cool puzzle with a very cool twist on an old design. here.
2. "Something funny or strange"
A random animal bone
I chose this because I thought it was very odd to have a 3d replica of a random animal vertebrate just laying around. here.
3. "Something useless"
A coffee cup sleeve with spinning gears
I like the idea here, but the gears are useless and I'm not sure it would really work as a cup sleeve either. here.
4. "Something useful"
Mr. Door Stopper
A great idea and who doesn't need a door stopper from time to time? here.
5. "Printable Raspberry Pi case"
A cool and printable case
I thought this was a very cool looking case without being to busy and complex to print out. here.
One of the topics we have talked in class that has really interested me is the idea of recycling and reusing old "scrap" PLA (Polylactic acid)which is normally made from biodegradable starches from corn and other plants. I have heard about people making these recyclers and putting things like old water bottles and milk jugs in and extruding usable plastic filament that can be used to print out new things from the 3D printers. I find this to be an awesome idea and I hope the technology and brain power we have this semester will produce a fully functioning model! I also think it could open up new ways of thinking about and using 3D printed objects. For example if you have a plastic pulley or gear on a machine and it breaks you could either go buy a new one, make a new one using new material, or melt down the old one and remake the part. This would also let people have the ability to upgrade their 3D printers (or other equipment) whenever they wanted without requiring a ton of new material and would allow people to make their own colors of filament which could also open up a whole new market in customizable merchandise on demand. I could also see this being extremely useful in areas where it can be hard to find nice spools of PLA or where PLA isn't available at all. Someone could set up one of these recyclers and throw in old plastic trash and make good usable filament which can be then used whenever and wherever it is needed. I cannot wait to see the recycler our class produces this semester!
One of the best blog in my opinion is Crosby's I really like how clean his layout is. One of his blog topics really caught my eye as well. He talked about the 3D printing of foods and how fast the technology is changing. I'm studying to be a food scientist so this topic also really interests me and I think Crosby did a great job of summing up where we are with it right now! The only improvements I can think of would be to fit all the text from blog #2 into the normal with of the page and to finish blog #3 other than that awesome job!
Another blog I really liked was Quinn's I felt he also did a really good job with his layout and I also appreciated his explanations for his blog choices. The only improvement I can think of would be maybe to make the text size a little bigger for blog #2
The video talks about open source software and designs of a product that they invented. I feel that from the consumers point of view this is great because it allows anyone with access to the information to create their own motherboard, redesign it, sell it if they so choose to do so, or give it away for free . From a business point of view, I think this was a poor decision for the Arduino company because they freely give up the rights to products that use the same design and let other companies such as Google turn a profit off their ideas. As far as designs go, I do not think there is a better method to design and redesign your product with in order to get it as close to an ideal state as possible. I have to say this business model catches me off guard. I am very used to companies trying to make as much money as possible with little or no regard for their customer's opinions or ideas. I really like this business model and I would love to see other companies adopt it even just for a little while.
A) After examining my objects from my first blog I only found one that I think could be eligible for copyrights. The Soma cube puzzle is a design with lots of attention to detail put into it and I think the design could be copyrighted. The other STLs that I chose are more useful (or useless) than they are artistic and therefore would be covered by a patent and not a copyright.
B) The wrench on Brandon Tunkel's page could be a patented item. The coral cuffs on Dimitar's page could be a copyrighted piece of jewelry. The model of the F/A 18 fighter jet on Austin Tokarz's page could be copyrighted. Lastly, the yoda head found on Quinn Carpente's page and Mickey the Mouse statue found on Madeline Roche's page would definitely be copyrighted designs.
C) It really comes down to two different topics one of legal issues and one of cultural issues. We cannot take someone else's design, change it a small bit and try to claim the whole thing as our work. That is the whole point of copyrighting your design, but that can hurt the design a lot. If you make your work open to everyone you lose the ability to control that design, but you get the help of a million or more minds to help make that design the best it can possibly be. The other issue is that not every country has the same laws or has them enforced the same way. To me it brings up a question. Should we be able to enforce copyright laws in other countries and should we allow copyrights from other counties?
D) The author of the first article does not seem to understand how 3D printing or copyright laws work. I get the feeling that the author was looking at this issue from the wrong perspective, and/or did not do enough background research before they started writing their article.
I think the blog that stood out to me the most was Matt's blog. He did a great job of explaining everything. One point that I really missed was the idea of the gray areas. Things can be both artistic and useful especially when you print or make them yourself. When I was thinking about this 'gray' area, another question came to my mind, should these things be able to be trademarked or copyrighted and should we allow people to make that decision for themselves?
The article I used for this blog can be found here
This article talks about additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing the materials that are used with this type of manufacturing along with the hopes that 3D printers would replace conventional manufacturing processes. As we, all know and as the article says, we know now that 3D printers will not replace conventional manufacturing. 3D printing is not as fast or as cheap and easy as injection molding for example, and the big draw to 3D printing (being able to customize everything you make) is not cost efficient enough to go full scale.
Another big problem with 3D printing is making moving parts. It is possible to make moving parts on a 3D printer, but you need to print out each piece separately and then assemble them together into one part or print the whole thing as one piece and cut the supports holding the moving pieces together. This can be costly to produce and very frustrating especially if you break one of the pieces while trying to free it from the others.
One idea that the author has that I really liked was the thought of using 3D printers to make agricultural tools for small farmers who might not have excess to stores to buy them or the supplies to make their own besides 3D printing. This could allow the farmer to customize his or her tools to themselves and their needs for their land. They could also share the best tool designs for their environment so other farmers in similar climates could benefit from their discovery.
Here is a link to Virginia Tech's Dream Lab Dream Lab
A) The only one that really jumped out at me was Anderson Ta's about printing with hydrogels. I think this type of material will open the door to so many different possibilities and opportunities. I think our printers could also print in this material if we designed a new extruder body which would be awesome!
B) I only came up with fun, experimenting and training.
C) I thought of Leader- Learning, Experimenting, Additive manufacturing, Design, Education, Research I also came up with Raffle, but I think Leader is better. Raffle stands for Research, Additive manufacturing, Fun, Fabrication, Learning, Education
For part A I used this Blog blog.3dhubs.com/post/65508330490/maker-tales-how-to-3d-print-your-own-coffee-grinder
For part B I used this Blog
A) I think there are a lot of good points that this blog brings up. I hate the way items are designed and produced currently and it seems to me like everything is "throw away". When something breaks we don't give a single thought to fixing it, we just go out and buy the newest one or the shiniest one. I really like the idea of anyone being able to make their own parts and fix their grinder if it breaks. I also like that Jesse made this as simple as possible so that anyone with the tools can build and fix their own machines.
The only negative thing I can think of is major appliance companies will not be happy about this technology if it catches on, because they will lose a lot of money from people not buying their appliances as much.
I really like this design again its very simple and easy to fix. What I do not like about it is that building one from scratch costs a lot more than just going out and buying a coffee maker from the store. It also requires tools and skills that not everyone has, but if you can afford the investment of time, money and parts, I think it would be worth it.
The two major problems I see with this is
1. The cost of building one of these is about $54.87 now compare that to the cost of buying a basic coffee maker for $20 to $30 and it seems way to costly for what you get with Jesse's design.
2. The design is far from good looking and I don't think many people would be displaying it proudly for any reason beyond saying look at what I made.
The cost does go down the more units are produced (going from 1 to 10 and so on) but even when producing 1000 units the cost is still higher than buying a conventional coffee maker so I don't see this particular appliance catching on anytime soon.
I think Jesse goes into a little too much detail in this blog, but I don't think it takes away from his message at all.
Jeff Immelt CEO of General Electric and Terry Gou founder of Foxconn both have opinions about 3D printers and 3D printing in general. Jeff Immelt loves the idea of 3D printing and thinks it is worth the time, money and effort, while Terry Gou thinks they are absolutely worthless and that we shouldn't waste time on improving the technology. Both men have a lot of money and power to throw around at the technology and can do great (or terrible) things to it at any point in time.
I think both are entitled to their opinions and in some ways both are correct. I agree with something Terry pointed out in an interview. 3D printing is not the fastest, easiest or cheapest method out there to make an item and it requires a lot of know-how to run one of the machines on a print that may or might not fail half way through. While this is all true as of right now I do not believe it will stay true for very long. 3D printers are getting faster, cheap and easier to run every day and it is only a matter of time before the technology gets good enough for everyone to have a 3D printer next to their regular 2D printer in their office and at home.
One reason why I feel Jeff Immelt is for the technology is because he knows he can make a lot of money off of it as long as he jumps on board at the right time. I think Terry Gou is so against 3D printing is because he knows that if it catches on he will lose a lot of business and money and if I were in his shoes I don't think I would like it either.
I have been working with the printers for about a year now and one major problem that I always see is issues with the hot tips. I see issues with not feeding right such as the filament sticking to the sides of the hot tip before it can be extruded. One thing that I do to fix the issue of not feeding is to take off the tip and make sure that the extruder body is lined up with the hole in the metal plate where the hot tip screws in.
One issue I see on a lot of printers is when the frame of the printer is not squared which causes the prints to come out slanted or warped or just generally not as nice as it could be. It's easy, but time consuming to square a printer. All I do is measure the length of one rod and make sure that the length is the same for all six rods of the frame and then I do the same thing for the Y bars. I would really like to see a new design or something that would fix this issue forever.
I don't know much about using Solidworks and even less about other 3D modeling programs like Blender, Sketchup and AutoCAD so when I first saw OpenSCAD I was very confused. The controls of OpenSCAD are nothing like Solidworks in fact they are just a few lines of code with a few blank spots for numbers. One of the biggest differences I think this program has is that you only have three basic shapes and using these three shapes you make anything and everything you need and want.
Because of how unfamiliar I am with 3D modeling programs I decided to take a look around on the web and see what kinds of things people have made using OpenSCAD. I found tons of different things from irrigation plugs to picture frames to paint rollers.
One of the strengths I see with this program over the others is that it seems with just a basic knowledge of shapes and the size you can make anything you want and scale it very easily. It also doesn't have the issue of holes inside of the mesh of the object, which causes the models to be unsliceable that I have seen happen with Solidworks. Another big strength this program has is that it is 100% free of charge while programs like Solidworks costs thousands of dollars depending on the version you buy.
One weakness that I can see with this is that it seems unnecessarily complex and hard to learn and control once you have a model made.
All in all I would use this program if I had to, but it wouldn't be my first choice and it definitely wouldn't be the program I would want to learn 3D modeling on.
Here is a video to what I will be talking about in this blog.
I love the thought of this new product although the idea has been around for a long time. A product similar to this has been around to repair the painted on antenna on the back of car windows the only real difference is that the repair product came in a bottle similar to nail polish and this is in a ballpoint pen.
I think we should incorporate this into our printing because we could print electronics with these "wires" already inside of them and they could wrap around the entire object and could save a lot of space. The idea of 3D printing objects like this could revolutionize the way we create electronics. No longer would things have to be wired in basically two dimensions. We could run the "wires" in straighter lines so they would use less electricity, be more efficient and could probably be safer depending on the application.
If we had this technology right now at our fingertips, I think the first thing I would try printing would be a flashlight. Not just any old flashlight though I would try to make the brightest, most efficient and smallest flashlight possible. I would want to print it as one piece and see how well it could perform verses a normal flashlight of its size.
We might be able to make this technology work by creating a holder for the pen on the side of our extruder body, but I feel like it would work much better if the pen itself were pressurized a little bit from the inside. Our printers would need a little bit of coding to make use of this technology, but I feel like it would be very easy to set one up.
New printer design for class?
One strength I can see with this design is it is a lot smaller than our normal printers are, but still seems to be able to print out objects on a decently large bed. It also seems to be much easier to put together than our current model of printer.
One big weakness that I can see with this design is that it uses big parts, so if the printer that is making the part is not perfect or messes up a part for the new printer; it would ruin the whole thing. Another problem that I can see is it looks a lot harder to manually adjust things on this design than our current design. I don't know how strong it is, but I don't like how they have the extruder held on to a small block with two little screws. I feel like all it would take is for someone to drive the tip into the bed by accident and that whole area will break off or crack. I also don't like how they have the motors buried inside of this printer. If the motors start to heat up you will most likely miss it until it starts warping the bed or some other printer part from the heat.
15 odd things that can be 3D printed
From this list, I feel like the only two things that really stood out to me where 3D printing houses and bongs. I think the idea of 3D printing a house is amazing and could be just the thing we need in overpopulated countries to be able to fit houses where ever and how ever they are needed even if they are only temporary structures. As for the pipes, I'm not surprised that someone made designs and put them online for other people to look at, but I think you would have to be pretty dumb or pretty desperate to smoke out of a plastic pipe.
I think the possibilities for designing new useful items and selling or giving them to the public is just about limitless at this point in time. Using just a basic understanding of modeling software, anyone can create new useful times for anything anywhere in the world and be able to do so cheaply! I believe this will change how we think of prototyping new ideas and inventions and it will allow us to build and create more useful and cool things than we would have ever thought possible provided that this technology remains open (and free) to everyone.