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About Me

My name is Kerry Brunner. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Mechanics. I am currently in section 2 of the EDSGN 497D Open Source 3D Printing class. My only question: why is the earlier class in the day (4:15PM - 5:30PM) titled section 2 while the later class (6:30PM - 7:45PM) is titled section 1? Interesting...

Contact Info

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (484) 542-6197


Blog 16

Due Dec 12th, 2012

Preface: Watch this: In it, Professor Richard Doyle discusses disruptive technological changes, open source, knowledge sharing, and much more. The “Mother of all Demos” is here: Respond to Doyle’s arguments regarding the importance of RepRap-related work. Watch the first section of the mother of all demos (above). Do you recognize the rough features we use on every computer today in its earliest form? Drawing comparisons between the evolution of that and the evolution of 3D printers, Doyle asks you to dream big. I want you to think about what we might try to achieve, both in the near term (cool but large ideas that we could do NOW if we had the means) and the long term (cool ideas which require developments in tech which don’t currently exist, aka sci fi).

Response: This idea of comparing the 3D printing/reprap idea to computers has been on my mind since I began this class. Every time I describe the topic of 3D printing to my friends/family, I describe it as such: 'This 3D printing technology is where the computer technology was 10-30 years ago. Back then they were bigger, bulkier, less precise, and harder to work with - a work in progress. Not everyone had their own personal computer and not everyone even knew about the technology. You look at computers today and you see that everyone is even carrying them around in their backpacks. The rapid growth of the personal computer technology is what we will see in the 3D printing world within the years to come. Maybe within 10 years, you'll see students carrying around their own personal 3D printer in case they need to print something out."

So as far as dreaming big is concerned, I think there are many cool things that could come of this technology. For many of our blogs, we've talked about what we can print or maybe the applications of these machines. However, we have not spoken of the machines themselves. I think it would be really neat to have a foldable printer that could be compacted into a portable shape and moved easily, then reopened quickly and perform the same as when you closed it. Think of the printer- at first you had huge room sized machines, then you had personal desk top computers, then desktop monitors with computers hidden underneath, and finally a foldable, portable, lightweight, durable, and precise laptop computer. Think of the possibilities we could delve into if we found a technology to instantly transform the desktop printer into a tiny 1 square inch cube or something of that nature, it would be like the cube in the movie the Transformers! This cube idea is definitely farther off than mere foldable printers but you get the idea.

Once again, there are countless possibilities, especially if we are discussing sci-fi options. But for now lets get back to the actual printing of the printer. I envision a future where the printed part would look smoother and solider than manufacture-able parts today. My biggest issue with 3D printing technology today is the fact that we cannot print as precise as a laser cutter can cut or a CNC machine can machine. You get the idea, in the future, I foresee an extremely precise machine that can print a complex object exactly the same every time (no warping too... that'd be nice!) So I guess this is a bit more of a near future idea than the last. <--- a pretty cool link about some future possibilities of 3D printing (however, it focuses a bit more on the printer's printing than on the actual physical printer design itself and most of it is stuff we've already discussed like bioprinting...)

Blog 15

Due: Dec 12th, 2012

Preface: Please watch the following talk by Cory Doctorow entitled “The coming war on general computation” (or download it to your mobile device with ) and listen to at least the first half hour:


When you finally get your first self-driving car, would you prefer it to have locked firmware, where you would be unable to know whether it drove you past more McDonnalds' when it sensed your children in the back set, or unlocked firmware which you could investigate, but which under-qualified would-be mechanics could alter to suit their own tastes? Do you think the code would be more secure if kept secret, or if it were available to good guys and bad guys alike for community review?

If the U.N. asked you to develop a sketch of a regulatory framework for 3D printing, what would you do?

Do you think Doctorow's predictions for the future are plausible or likely?

Can the copyright war be won? Is so, how? If not, where do we go from here?

Response: In regards to the first question, in my personal opinion, I believe that an unlocked firmware system would be better than a locked one. I don't know too much about the idea but I have a sort of gut feeling that if a firmware package was unlocked, the good guys would hopefully outweigh the bad guys. I mean, take computers today for example. There are good guys and there are bad guys. The bad guys are the people who develop viruses for our computers and destroy peoples lives by hacking into their system and stealing their identity and deleting all of their important files. However, there are still good guys in this battle of computer nerds. We have people who develop firewall programs and other security software which try to prevent these viruses from entering your computer itself. I think this same idea would be applied to the question of the self-driving car.

If the U.N. asked me to develop this sketch I would probably tell them I don't know enough about legal jargon to make a decent framework haha. However, realistically(?) I think that I wouldn't because I know that I wouldn't think of the implications of something I wrote, and like many frameworks for other things before me, it would fail... then it would turn into something like Doctorow was discussing about the new laws merely in place to fix the old laws.

I feel as if his plans for the future are plausible but not necessarily likely. I think that we will continue this uphill battle with copyright laws because as people make more things, they want credit and money for more things, and with new technology emerging every day, this is no easy feat to accomplish. I think that from here we need to just keep fighting as new technologies and subsequently new propositions of copyright laws emerge and keep moving with the flow of the community, etc...

Blog 14

Due: Dec 7th, 2012

Preface: Recycling of Waste material is an important problem, as you’ve all seen. There are several designs for DIY Recycling systems available:

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?

Answer: I believe the second link contains the most feasible design. The things I like about it: its not as big as the first one, it also seems to have a decent drive system. The first one seems a bit too makeshift. As for the third one, it might work well, but I can't really see to much of the design itself with the pictures they give us.

So, as far as the community is concerned, I feel as if a decent recycling system would be great. First off, it would give the venture a great reputation according to today's standards (I think in general people look on more 'green' organizations as better ones). Secondly, it would do exactly as it says: recycle plastic. For us this means much less material wasted and more money saved. Think of all of the times you've started a print and had to throw away the first layer. Our plastic boxes fill up with un-useable plastic within days, all of which could be saved if we had a recycler.

As far as the building of the recycler, I feel as if its definitely feasible! I mean we are building these RepRap machines which seem to me to be much more intricate than the recycler designs listed above. If this idea works, it would be a great thing to have in the classroom.

Bonus Blog (13)

Due: Dec 12th, 2012

Prompt: Write about something that interests you, related to the subject of 3D printing, which we have not covered in the course.


Blog 12

Due: Nov 30th, 2012

Preface: Check this out:

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?

Answer: I think this application for 3D printing technology is interesting. On the one hand, it makes a great novelty trinket for families, etc... For instance, my parents used to buy mini ceramic mugs with our family members' names on them. Additionally, we took many family portraits together in years past. I'm sure there are many families across the globe who would love to have a 3D printed model of each member in a sort of "family scene".

Another market for this type of 3D printing would most likely be a younger crowd as the article seemed to suggest. Although I may not purchase one myself, if this trend caught on, I could envision the 'new fad' in middle schools being having a 3D printed version of yourself. Although it may not be a sustainable venture, there could be a big market of teenagers waiting for their personal mini-me's.

Finally, as the article mentioned, there may also be more practical uses for this type of 3D printing. I don't know that we'll see police using technology like this but maybe for a more specific application like casting agents using models to remember specific actors etc, this could be applicable.

I think that these may come about but the technology seems to be pending on an improved scanning system. As mentioned in the article, the scanners can not detect furry materials or shiny materials, etc. Once the scanning technology is improved, there may be many more of these mini 3D people applications.

Blog 11

Due: Nov 17th, 2012

Preface: Read through these links:

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. Again, short thoughtless responses will not get full credit. Make me think that you spent at least 20 minutes on this.

Answer: I believe 3D printing will have an excellent future in an educational environment. However, the key word there is 'future'. I don't believe this technology is necessarily ready to be applied at such a young age. Take the RepRap class for example. We use programs like Solidworks, Skeinforge, Replicator G, and Pronterface. We also work directly with Arduino boards and mechanical devices like servos etc. I believe all of these things can be introduced to children at an earlier age. But our educational system is not at a point where the students would be able to fully understand the equipment. There are times when even myself and some of my peers struggle with the concepts of the RepRap equipment. I think that in the earlier phases of these educational programs, the students may simply use the printers for printing parts needed in the classroom, etc and eventually learn the workings of the machine itself. However, I think classes strictly about 3D printing machines are a far off idea.

On another note, I don't know that 3D printing technology has advanced enough for K-12 schools to become interested in the idea. In other words, our technology is still being developed. Because of this, a school is not going to be willing to pay $1,500+ for a single machine for these experimental teaching methods. Especially with schools everywhere undergoing budget cuts and forcing to cut down on extracurriculars in order to throw more money at the math and english departments so their students can achieve better grades on standardized tests, many districts simply do not have the resources to consider such a project. That being said, once the 3D printing technology has reach a point at which it is cheap and stable, I believe the idea of 3D printing in schools will certainly become a feasible idea in which many schools will participate.

As far as the articles are concerned, I believe the entire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) idea is fantastic, and I know that schools across America are pushing for programs like this. Anything that can get kids interested in the STEM topics and also get them to learn something in the process is a great program. Because of this, I once again do foresee the 3D printing technology entering K-12 classrooms, however I beieve it may just take a few more years for the idea to become widespread (which goes against the statement made by the 2 cent worth guy about 2012).

Blog 10

Due: Nov 10th, 2012

Preface: 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. Bonus points when you think of something that I haven’t.

Answer: I believe there may be a huge push for 3D printing technologies due to its overwhelming environmental advantages. The object and parts that we can now manufacture are incredible, yes. However, I think that the true reason these technologies haven't become more widespread is because it is still a developing technology. Still, in a world where environmental impact is consistently on the news and regulations are restricting companies more and more, the idea of less waste along with the design flexibility of a 3D printing machine will push it to the forefront of the technologies in years to come. Therefore, although the capabilities of this technology can produce things such as printed organs, customized toys and home decor, and replacement parts for appliances, etc... I believe we will see more changes in the manufacturing processes of large industrial companies before we see the more personal improvements in our daily lives. These companies have the money to fund research in 3D printing, and if there is a 'technology pull' for this type of manufacturing, I'm sure we will see these changes sooner than later.

Now, that being said, I believe we can also expect changes in our personal lives as well. For instance, as stated in the articles, we may be able to rapid prototype replacement parts for our cars in the future. These possibilities are essentially endless once the technology has expanded to support such an idea.

Blog 9

Due: Nov 2nd, 2012

Preface: Read through these links:

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 are you familiar with? Do you think any of them would be suitable for this?

Answer: This idea is fascinating to me. One line stands out in all of these articles: "The biggest mistake we made is when we let books crowd out the users and libraries became a quiet place where there's no talking and no food and drinks," Colegrove said. "We need to adjust from having conversations in users' heads to a collaborative environment." I believe this topic is two fold as I will explain below.

1) Hackerspaces in Libraries

So, a few of the articles above mentioned a new idea of Hackerspaces in public libraries. The thought is to bring libraries back to their 'roots' in the sense that "If you look back at libraries over 2,000 years -- including the Library of Alexandria -- you'll see that they were involved in buying technology that many people cannot afford and making them more accessible," Colegrove said. "Along the way, it became all about having the biggest and best book collection so you ended up having identical libraries. We lost our way." With this new era of digital technology and digital information, the idea of the library as a means of storing knowledge in the forms of paper books is becoming less and less sustainable. Libraries are now looking to other ideas to simply stay in business, one of which is creating a public Hackerspace. I believe this is a fantastic idea. Libraries are meant to be a resource for people who need it and can't afford it on their own. To have 3D printing machines in a space which would be open to the public would allow many people to perform tasks which they would not have been able to do previously.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to this idea. I fear that in a large city, these services may become abused. For instance, many people would want to print practical things and potentially important things but if you open this technology up to everyone, there is a large possibility that the use of the machine would become backlogged with orders that may be more for fun than for practical applications. This may deter people from actually using these Hackerspaces for productive purposes if they have to share it with people of less productive motives.

Another fear I have is that these libraries may not be able to fund and sustain such a technology until it becomes cheaper. One of the articles spoke of a $20,000 Stratasys uPrint SE Plus professional-grade printer -- a small price for a university, but for a public library to carry this cost would most likely be impossible. Many libraries could probably search for grants etc as the library in Fayetteville has done to create their FabLab. However, I don't see every library in every small town across America being able to sustain this type of technology.

2) Academic Hackerspaces

A more sustainable type of Hackerspace in libraries would be academic Hackerspaces on University properties across the country. As one of the articles discussed in detail, 3D printing specifically can be applied to many different academic programs including Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Sciences & Engineering, Mining Engineering, Geography, BioSciences, Business/Engineering/Physical Sciences, Seismology, and the Arts. A Hackerspace of this nature would definitely be utilized by students and be very useful for academic advancement as well as personal growth.

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to this as well. Once again, at large Universities, I am afraid that the backlogged list of projects needed to be printed would be huge. There would need to be restrictions on who could use the different labs per major etc. That being the case, I believe we already have something like this on campus. In engineering, we have the Learning Factory. It is not a 'library' space by any means. But it is a shop where we can go to make whatever we want -- as long as it pertains to a class or a project in a class.... Similarly, the theater department has a shop by Pollock where they construct their sets and have many tools necessary for a Hackerspace. Even the arts department has a wood and metal shop near Forum for them to be able to work on projects. The issue with all of these is that they are not open to the public for people to use on whatever project they please - there are restrictions on who is limited to work in the shops. Unfortunately, I believe these restrictions are in place for good reasons. I feel like if the shops were open to everyone, it would be a madhouse and people who actually needed to get stuff done would not be able to (similarly to in the public library discussion).

So as far as putting a free Hackerspace for everyone to use in one of the libraries here on campus, I don't know that it is necessarily a practical idea. Maybe for a smaller university, or a limited group of people which once again, we sort of have here at Penn State.

Still, if we are strictly discussing 3D printers in venues such as libraries, I feel as if something like the Engineering Library in Hammond may be able to host such a thing. All it would require is the implementation of a sound proof room so as to not disturb the studiers. And once again, this is already in place in the Engineering department's Learning Factory. The main issue - its not open to everyone (for good reason).

Blog 8

Due: Oct 27th, 2012

Preface: Check this out:

Go back to your previous posts regarding DRM and control of 3D printing. Do these articles support your argument then? Do you think this technology will find a use?

Answer: I believe they do support my argument. I think that it was bound to happen that one day these technologies would become controlled. However, I don't know that it's too much different than patents on personal computers or laptops. I see the 3D printing revolution occurring much like the computer revolution has over the past 10 years. I think that the 3D printing technology will grow extremely rapidly as the computer did and eventually there will be personal 3D printers in everyone's backpack like laptops are today. Well maybe people won't actually carry them around, but you get the idea.

So yes I did foresee people putting patents on this technology. But do I think these restrictions will prevent the technology from growing and finding a place in the home? Definitely not.

Blog 7

Due: Oct 19th, 2012

Preface: Check out this article related to what Dan was describing to us on Thursday: Link to Awesomeness.

Question 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?

Answer 1: Hmmm, well I think the possibilities are endless. Right now we are printing structural parts. Whether they be actual machine parts or just toys, they do not serve any dynamic function. If we could print optical sensing devices, this opens up an entirely new world of 3D printing applications. Similarly to the idea of printing human tissue and organs, the optical sensing device field would provide many opportunities for new technology in the opto field. Unfortunately, I can't say that I know enough about optical sensing devices to really determine applications for this new technology.

Question 2: What sort of difficulty would we have in implementing light piping using our printers?

Answer 2: Our printers may not be accurate or precise enough to accomplish this idea. The idea of a light piping device requires a specific channel for the light to travel, because of this, our printers may not work. The channel would have to be free of defects and other imperfections and would probably function better if there was no warping in the plastic. These issues may cause our printers to be inadequate when it comes to printing these devices. Still, who knows what the future may hold and one day it might be possible for a RepRap machine to accomplish such a feat.

Question 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?

Answer 3: Many mechatronic devices use this type of equipment. Robots often require these sensors to function and accurately preform different tasks. As far as accelerometers are concerned, many things use them. For instance, even laptops these days have accelerometers built into the hard drives to prevent damage if you accidentally drop it or something. This could be one of the many applications of the 3D printed optos. TO be honest though, I feel as if the biggest market may be for people hacking machines together. I feel like optos are always useful and if you can 3D print one in your garage, it would be a lot more fun than just ordering one online!

Blog 6

Due: Oct 19th, 2012

Preface: Check out this: Link to Awesomeness. Most of our discussions have discussed printing object which are not alive, however many researchers are now looking into using 3D printers to create different organs or other bodily components. The NovoGen MMX bio-printer could change the field dramatically.

Question 1: What do you think of bio-printing? What sort of legal problems or technical problems can you foresee?

Answer 1: Bio-printing technology may have many benefits. As listed in the article, it can be used for medical purposes such as printing organs for placement in human patients who may require them for health purposes. It can also be used in testing for pharmaceutical purposes. This will give pharmacists a more accurate portrayal of whether a medical will actually work in the human body and the idea of bio-printing will reduce the need to use humans as test subjects. Unfortunately, this technology may come under the same scrutiny as the topic of tissue regeneration. Bio-printing merely prints tissue layer by layer, and tissue creation has been an upcoming technology for many years now, see this video on tissue regeneration. However, I'm sure there will be political repercussions for these technologies. As mentioned in the video, the stem cell transplants that the paralyzed gentleman used were not available in the United States. These are the type of regulations that many countries will put on bio-printing at least until it is a proven, safe, and repeatable technology.

Question 2: Do you think this might be extended to RepRaps for DIY bio-research?

Answer 2: I don't think bio-printing will ever be extended to RepRaps due to the fact that the testing on these machines needs to be extremely precise and must be performed under controlled conditions. I think the RepRap community needs to become a bit more controlled before bio-printing will become a RepRap reality.

Blog 5

Due: Oct 5th, 2012

Prompt: Read [1]

Question 1: Imagine that you were a dedicated member of the DIY gun project: What might you do now?

Answer 1: I would probably do the same as Cody: attempt to get a gun manufacturer's license and keep trying to find loopholes in the law. If he is as dedicated to this project as he seems on paper, I'm sure he will be able to figure out a way to make this work.

Question 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)?

Answer 2: I believe that there will have to be some sort of regulation. With every new invention or process, it is human nature to try to at some point make a profit off of it. I mean if I devoted all of my time to a certain project, I would surely want some compensation for my time. Even if I were to just do it for the enjoyment, if I am doing it full time I will need to have some sort of income at some point. So unfortunately, I believe that with the desire of profit comes the need for regulation. However, "need" is a strong word. I think that its just the way our society works, specifically in America, that in order to live the American dream, it needs to be ensured that no one will steal that dream away from you. I hope this answers the question, I may have gone on a slight tangent but hopefully this illustrates my feelings on the subject.

Question 3: Guns (and other weapons) seem to be prone to prohibitions. What other 3D printable constructs might attract similar attention/derision/prohibition?

Answer 3: Any sort of item relating to drug paraphernalia would probably draw legal attention, yet I don't know that too many people would actually spread the code for something like that... Probably just keep it to themselves I'd guess. I think that maybe other items with strict copyright laws attached to them might fall under some form of legal lawbreaking. In addition, any property of the government's would surely be illegal to spread on an open source website like Thingiverse.

Blog 4

Due: Sept 28th, 2012

Prompt: Read [2]

Comment on Makerbot’s position (as far as we know), Prusa’s concerns, and ownership of designs. Should we look for a new thingiverse?

Response: Hmmm well I think Makerbot has every right to go closed sourced. If they believe their ideas are being taken and the feel the need to protect themselves then they are allowed to. Unfortunately, it puts many other people in a bad position. RepRap ideas, being open sourced from the beginning, have been passed on to hundreds, thousands of different people and it seems hard to all of the sudden tell the community that the Makerbot Replicator 2 as well as all of their ideas on thingiverse (potentially...) are no longer public property and instead that of Makerbot themselves. It does not seem fair that a project that was pushed forward by so many minds is now being kept closed by one company. It seems like they took so many ideas, benefited from them, and are now keeping them to themselves. However, if they are trying to make a business out of this industry, it would be much easier for them to create a closed sourced printer, so I guess that's what they did. As far as the ownership of designs is concerned: I think its ridiculous that this was even in the Makerbot Terms of Use. Still, if it is true, then I guess the users of Thingiverse are liable - they technically should have read through all of the Terms of Use before using Thingiverse and if they did not wish to agree then they should not have used Thingiverse in the first place (not saying I agree with it, but if that's true then what can people do?) As far as searching for another Thingiverse: I think that we need to first see where this whole legal debate takes us. If in fact the prints on Thingiverse are Makerbot property then sure, lets try to find something else. However, maybe this will turn out better than we originally though. I think right now its a waiting game to see where Makerbot takes this, then we can decide where to go from there as users and RepRap members.

Blog 3

Due: Sept 21st, 2012

Prompt: Read- [3]. Watch- [4]

Question 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?

Answer: I believe this may eventually be applied to 3D printing. If I understand the concept correctly, it seems as if the new Makerbot is in fact potentially closed sourced. This will incite a series of patent laws and other legal actions in order to ensure the Makerbot is kept under these laws. However, I don't believe that the 3D printing industry can ever be completely restriced. Take the music industry for example. In music, people can buy a guitar, listen to a song, and copy it or come up with their own version of the same song. In 3D prining, anyone can buy an existing printer and then make their own printer by printing the parts themselves! This is why the music industry has faught so hard to try to improve the copyright issues and if 3D printing puts more restrictions on their products, they will most likely run into the same problems. In his video, Kirby Ferguson mentions the initial goal of Patent Law: "To promote the progress of useful arts." Are these restrictions really helping that cause? I agree with Kirby and think that our society is growing further and further away from this idea as we delve deeper into the restrictions put on our industries. For reference on the closed source Makerbot issue please read: Open Source vs Closed Source

Question 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?

Answer: Hmmm, well I have always enjoyed telling people of the very diverse set of activities I am in. I currently am involved with numerous extracurricular groups on campus (some engineering related and some not). I believe that this is a great quality to have and shows the wide range of talents I like to think I have or at least the wide range of organizations and activities I find enjoyable. A far as a way to attract a future mates: I can't think of a specific instance in which I asked a girl out by saying "hey look at all this stuff I'm involved in!" However, I do think that its a good quality to have and I look for the same in a potential girl. So, yes I guess in regards to relationships, I think that my passions highlight a unique and attractive (ladies?) side to my personality.

Question 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 about ending IP? Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or somewhere in-between?

Answer: I don't know that it will completely kill off intellectual property. I think that some members of the human race will fight to the death to keep intellectual property. However, others are all for open sourcing everything. I think that open sourced projects are extremely useful and can push technology forward much faster than without collaborative teamwork. Yet, intellectual property is just so darn useful when you come up with an idea and are trying to make a competitive company out of it. Without intellectual property it would be hard if not impossible to keep our market-type society alive because as soon as someone comes up with the newest product, someone else will just copy it and sell it cheaper (China?). And although that last quip about China came as more of an afterthought, it is true that in some parts of the world, intellectual property already doesn't exist and they seem to be doing alright. So I guess we will see what the future holds in regards to how intellectual property develops or dies out and how the 3D printing world effects this and is affected by this.

Blog 2

Due: Sept 13th, 2012

Prompt: Read [5]. This should give you some feel for where Adrian Bowyer was coming from when he started the RepRap project. Respond to the following:

Question 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?

Answer: I believe that it will most likely be accomplished in the future; however there are many blockades preventing this technology from appearing too soon. One of the largest problems I can foresee is the difficulty of storage. If you have self replicating machines which will then, once assembled, begin replicating again, a company or designer will quickly run out of space to put all of these machines and therefore the design will not be a truly automatic process. Instead, a company may form to create and sell such an item. Here we run into another difficulty. If a company were to try to market these items, they might be successful at first but would soon lose profit due to the fact that the machine can easily make 'itself' for the user's friends and family. This causes a limited market pull from the customers, not because of an insufficient or unwanted product, but instead because of the ease at which free trading can occur.

Question 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.

Answer: Wealth without money means acquiring a lot of junk (or in this instance, making a lot of junk). One of the problems he foresees with this idea is that people will begin to make tons of stuff and soon we'll all have piles of useless items. He also mentions that the items don't have to be of good quality anymore because if one breaks, just make another! So although people will acquire a lot of "wealth" no one will have a lot of money or useful things, just a lot of junk.

Question 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.

Answer: I believe that RepRap will eventually expand to larger units, more useful parts, potentially different materials if the technology allows it. Eventually, I believe people will be able to purchase a RepRap kit for their home and use it to make high quality products and parts. I don't believe that a RepRap machine will truly be able to replicate itself completely; however, we have already taken steps to replicate many of the parts needed for a new RepRap machine. This will only increase future possibilities and hopefully it will keep expanding to unknown horizons.

Blog 1

Due: Sept 4th, 2012

Prompt: Go to []. Use any means you like to look through the objects submitted to thingiverse and pick out 5 designs which you consider to be the most: 1. useful 2. artistic/beautiful 3. pointless/useless 4. funny 5. weird. Link to the 5 objects you’ve chosen, and discuss why you consider them well described by the 5 adjectives above.

1. USEFUL: Among the many useful items in the Thingiverse archives, one tool seemed to rise above the rest. That is, the Car Safety Hammer. In my many hours of watching the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters, I came across an episode attempting to quell myths of car crashes. This episode included cars submerged in water and, through a few experiments, Adam and Jamie discovered that a Car Safety Hammer was the best way to escape from a submerged car before drowning.

2. ARTISTIC/BEAUTIFUL: I have never seen a heart with such unique gears as those in the Keyed Heart Gear Keychain. I wondered how the object actually functioned and found this YouTube video. The way the gears all disassemble and eventually return to the original positions is fascinating and holds a sort of artistic beauty in my mind.

3. POINTLESS/USELESS: Although it could be a great party costume, the Mustache and Monocle on a Thin Stick has no true value.

4. FUNNY: Introcuing the IBITE iPhone 3 Hat Clip! To be honest, the idea of a hands-free iPhone holder is interesting, but lets be real: the picture is hilarious.

5. WEIRD: I'm sure many people would enjoy this item, but for me the idea of opening my beer with a Brain Bottle Opener is just odd.