- 1 Introduction
- 2 Tasks
- 3 Blog Posts
- 3.1 Blog Post 1: Thingiverse Designs
- 3.2 Blog Post 2: Topics of Interest
- 3.3 Blog Post 3: Blog Reviews
- 3.4 Blog Post 4: Video Commentary
- 3.5 Blog Post 5: Copyrighted Objects
- 3.6 Blog Post 6: Intellectual Property Post Redux
- 3.7 Blog Post 7: Articles and Related Hype
- 3.8 Blog Post 8: AMRI and Similar Projects
- 3.9 Blog Post 9: Open Source Designs
- 3.10 Blog Post 11: Common Frustrations and Fixes
- 3.11 Blog Post 12: Open Source Design Platforms
- 3.12 Blog Post 15: Fifteen Things and Mounting Brackets
- 3.13 Blog Post 16: Lasersaur
- 3.14 Blog Post 17: You really need more XP, huh?
- 3.15 Blog Post 18: A Familiar Printer
My name is Patrick Mangan, I'm currently a senior at Penn State, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. My interest in 3D printing sprung initially from an interest in creating one-off mechanical parts, and in robotics in general. Since initially learning how to use RepRap machines, I've been using and working with 3D printers for about a year now.
You can find my Thingiverse account here.
- Update all wiki pages of current Blue Team's printers.
- Rewired heat tip of Rainbow Printer (12/3/2013
- Removed useless diodes from 3 RAMPS shields (12/3/2013)
- Updated wall of printer statuses (12/3/2013)
- Write Raspberry Pi OS to several spare flash cards (2)
- Rewire Blue Team's table so that each station is independantly powered.
- Construct and attach spool arms & spool to two separate printers.
- Organize a list of Blue Team member's emails and start a mailing list.
Blog Post 1: Thingiverse Designs
After browsing some of the newer prints on Thingiverse, here are some of the designs that caught my eye:
A) Something Amazing and/or Beautiful
B) Something Funny and/or Strange
Don’t ask me what it is about these glasses, the whole concept just tickled me for some reason. For a better idea of what they look like in real life, take a look at the ‘made’ tab on Thingiverse.
C) Something Useless
D) Something Useful
E) “Best” Raspberry Pi Case
Blog Post 2: Topics of Interest
Several topics that I’m interested in working on in the coming weeks:
Alternate heads for RepRap Machines (i.e. CNC heads, laser cutters, etc) When I started working with RepRap machines, I always assumed they were extremely specific in how they could be used. This isn’t the case, apparently, according to various internet sources (mentioned during class). Of particular interest to me in this area is the use of a laser attachment to create a RepRap-based laser cutter.
Dual Extruding Printers The idea of using two separate materials in a single print intrigues me, and seems like it would be extremely useful. Unfortunately, it also adds an entire level of complexity to a machine and the code it uses to prints, if the same level of accuracy is desired. I’m definitely interested in tackling the problems surrounding printing with two extruders, as I think this is one of the areas of 3D printers that greatly expands what they can be used for in real world applications.
Applicable to both of these would be a modular kind of printer carriage, something that anyone could make a head for, for any number of uses. While this is currently a little beyond our grasp.
Blog Post 3: Blog Reviews
Ian Beavers has a wonderfully organized wiki page, with not only the blog posts, but a little bit about about himself, and the project that he is currently working on in the class. All of his material is properly linked and his explanations are in-depth and clear. The formatting of the page takes full advantage of the wiki language. Blog 2 even has properly sourced and displayed images. On the whole, a really well crafted page.
Quinn Carpenter’s blog is also very well done, showing great use of the wiki language. The descriptions of the Thingiverse items are well written and complemented with pictures. One thing I noticed, however, is that blog #3 is actually missing. The prompts for the blogs are also only on two out of the four entries, making it a little unbalanced. Also, at the risk of being extremely nitpicky, italics aren’t really the best way to create titles.
Blog Post 4: Video Commentary
I find the Arduino and RepRap projects to both have admirable goals: the average person (even the average educated engineer) would not be able to create a custom microcontroller for personal projects. Similarly, most people would not be able to, on their own, design, fabricate and assemble the parts required to make a functioning and fairly accurate prototyping machine of any type, let alone a safe one. These projects actually bring these technologies into the hands of anyone who wants them, for a relatively nominal fee (for the hardware) and basic self-instruction. Because the designs are free to replicate, modify and redistribute (to a certain extent), it also provides a common platform for further development, in both free- and closed-source varieties.
As mentioned in the presentation, this is not an uncommon business practice, counter-productive though it may seem. In a situation where your own model is possibly the only thing keeping you ahead of competitors, the idea of giving yours away for free initially sounds like a self-destructive strategy. However, certain commercial arenas can react well to this decision. Software is an easy example, especially since the eventual product of development is information, not a physical object, which is easily replicated and transported to the customer. In this situation the eventuality of theft also has to be considered. Any attempt to control information, as proven many times throughout history, is almost always taken as a challenge by others. You can easily find almost any DRM'd program 'cracked' and distributed on the internet via torrent site. By giving up the control of distribution, you reduce the barrier to entry for the customer, and recover precious resources previously used to create DRM. These resources can best be used to improve the actual product, rather than introducing more problems and points of possible failure by attempting to restrict the customer.
Arduino is also a part of a unique market, as it is sold as a component, not necessarily as a finished product. People buy arduino boards to create other things with that technology. Because it is used to create, and to innovate, having a well-maintained, well-documented and well-understood base of information is extremely helpful to the customer. A closed design would necessarily hinder the available information for the product, and therefore get in the way of the customer's application of the device. By being open source, the Arduino is able to provide the customer with a better experience over their closed-source competitors. Especially in prototyping applications, a customized or high-quality component is not as important as ease of development and availabliliy of information.
As for my personal thoughts on the open-vs-closed debate, I focus my argument on the progress of technology as a whole. Well documented and open-source applications of any technology is superior in my book, almost 100% of the time. I find this to be true because it exposes all the progress and processes developed to the entire world, to be used again and improved as needed. In a closed-source environment, bug testing is usually heavily limited until release, and a limited number of people are able to make changes (or even have read access) to the design. By exposing the design, you expose it to effectively the whole of humanity, and therefore expose it to both the judgement and improvements of said group. It is likely that someone else will have an idea that radically improves your design. The replication, redistribution, or even the attribution of the work's origin is less important to me than the improvement of the craft overall, no matter what craft that may be.
Blog Post 5: Copyrighted Objects
A) Re-examine the objects you found on thingiverse in your first blog. Assess each one for copyrightable or patentable elements.
One of the more interesting objects that I chose for blog post 1, the Zesch interlocking coasters, is actually a commercially made product, the designs of which have been released by the company to make accompanying parts. The license involved is the Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-Commercial, No-Derivatives License. This is actually a pretty smart move, in my opinion. The selling point of the commercial variant, according to the description, is a greater resistance to heat and moisture. Considering the likely use for coasters, this preserves the commercial variant’s ability to sell, while releasing the design for use by the public (to an extent).
The D&D Dice Cage was (according to the uploader) made completely by hand, and so the associated License (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share Alike) is probably the only copyright element to take into consideration.
The Incredulous Party Glasses is actually a remix of the Paper Party Glasses design, made by FabLabHungary. The original design is licensed under CC, Attribution, Non-Commercial, whereas the derivative is licensed under CC, Attribution, Share-Alike. This seems correct, as the Share-Alike license is the more restrictive of the two. The design itself does not seem to have any real copyrightable elements.
The Yes and No sculptures don’t seem to have very copyrightable elements. The only possible issue I might imagine running into is the use of font, and whether the font used is already copyrighted. The license used on Thingiverse is the CC, Attribution, Share-Alike license.
The 40mm/50mm fan guards seem like a fairly basic design, and unless 40mm/50mm squares with specific screw holes are copyrightable, there shouldn’t be much of a problem with this design. The license is CC, Attribution, Share-Alike.
The Raspberry NESpi case poses an interesting problem, as the NES is obviously a copyrighted object. The Raspberry Pi aspect of the design shouldn’t pose too much of a problem, as you are just creating a case for putting around the Pi design. I’m not sure that Nintendo would go after the creator of this design (or anyone making these cases for personal use), but I am also not sure that the license applied on the Thingiverse website (CC, Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike) is entirely appropriate.
B) Look over the things which your fellow students found. Are any of them particularly obvious cases of copyrighted or patented material which have been found by your classmates?
Quinn’s Yoda - Lite entry would definitely raise some serious concerns about copyright, especially against a company like Lucas Arts and regarding such a well-known, copyrighted title such as Star Wars. The design on Thingiverse is licensed under the CC, Attribution, Share-Alike option. I find it interesting that Non-Commercial was not listed as a selected option, as that seems as though it would be a less offensive option for an already-copyrighted piece of information.
C) Discuss both reasons why you might be interested in the “licensing of non-copyrightable files”.
There’s an upside and a downside to licensing a non-copyrightable ideas and information. The upside is that by licensing common ideas with free and open license, we preserve those ideas from the possibility of those same ideas being restricted later by more restrictive licenses, or even attempts at patents. Nobody but patent trolls want to go to court over something that is obviously non-copyrightable, but if the copyright is even attempted, the legal system still has to expend time and money dealing with it.
On the other side, non-copyrightable files can still be licensed under more restrictive licenses than are warranted, which still causes the problems usually caused by copyright: the stifling effect on innovation and invention.
D) Bonus: Why might you consider the author of the first article to be naive? Not sure, possibly will comment later.
Blog Post 6: Intellectual Property Post Redux
Blog 6 is in some sense an extension of blog 5. I want you to go through your classmates responses to blog 5 regarding IP and the penrose triangle model. Your blog should consist of any points which you missed on your own, but which you realized in the process of reading your classmate's work. Try to summarize the most important points as taken both from your own readings and the contributions of your classmates.
Looking at Ian Beaver’s post on intellectual property, he brought up an interesting point that I hadn’t taken into account: the application of copyright laws in countries other than the origin of the design. Obviously this is already a problem brought up today, especially with regards to the IP associated with music, film, and other digitized forms of entertainment. However, because this intellectual property translates extremely well to useful physical objects, it’s worth taking a look at under a different light. Just because someone has designed a generic object, do they hold the sole right to distribution for just that object, or to all objects that serve that particular function? If the latter is held to be true, there are numerous problems that will crop up as a result of that decision. It would be much easier to hold a monopoly on the designs of anything that performs a commonplace task. It would be ludicrous to attempt to apply copyright to the design of a spoon, for example, especially since the use-case is so universal and the need for that use-case is so great.
Blog Post 7: Articles and Related Hype
Choose any article which we have not discussed in class or previously posted to the media timeline. Please discuss the article both in terms of the 'hope' (how will this change EVERYTHING), and "hype" (how is this the same overhyped stuff we already know about). Try to find the middle ground and take away the important elements of the story. If you can't find any stories, here's a few i've been watching. Pick one or more: Chosen Article
I find this article to actually be pretty hopeful. Right now, 3D printing is in a stage where people are extremely hyped about the technology for the wrong reasons. If you ask someone something that they would like to print, usually they want to create a shape or idea that already exists commonly in today’s world. One of the most popularized is the Defense-Distributed created 3D printed gun. What many of these people don’t seem to realize is that you can print the same quality of gun for less money, using parts from Home Depot. Now, obviously the quality of that gun is going to be just as terrible, but the fact remains that 3D printing has not fundamentally changed the process of creating a terrible gun, or for the most part, most common functional mechanical pieces.
Additive manufacturing was practically created to make shapes that are not designed with easy manufacturability in mind. It is heartening to see an artist taking advantage of that ability. The method through which Shane Hope derives his shapes is both unorthodox and (personal opinion) beautiful. I can also only imagine that the shapes that are a product of that process aren’t always easy to create with a 3D printer, and may be prone to even more random error, which in turn may make even more unorthodox shapes by accident. I don’t see very much hype in this story, to be honest. It’s a perfect example of what 3D printers are good for: One-use creation of unique, irregular shapes.
Blog Post 8: AMRI and Similar Projects
This course, and the technology associated with it, has been able to facilitate a variety of research opportunities and projects, both at UP and other PSU campuses. MatSE is looking to print pastes, Anthropology is printing faces, and we've printed a variety of parts for other clubs and groups. Despite the good things we've been doing, we have no good name to describe what goes on.
For example, I'd like to direct your attention to Virginia Tech's Dream Lab. (google it and link to it in your blog) You'll notice that DREAM stands for a variety of words which might also be relevant to what we do, but we don't want to copy their acronym. For another example, see NAMII, whose name is not particularly memorable or pronounceable in my opinion.
I'd like you to use this blog to help the brainstorming process, and think broadly. By broadly, I mean that we are doing more than 3D printing. We have the ability to allow undergraduates to perform hands-on research. We can hack these systems to do a variety of different tasks. While we could just use whatever dumb name I come up with I'd like to give you the opportunity to be rewarded for helping to name it. In the long run, we'd like to copy Jordan Miller's AMRI out of Rice University.
Part A) Check out the first 4 projects from the AMRI and describe them. Do any stand out to you as particularly valuable? Can you think of any similar projects we might propose here?
Part B) In addition to Open Source, Design, Learning, Education, Research, Additive Manufacturing, and Fabrication, can you think of any other adjectives which might be used to describe what we've been doing more broadly in addition to what is being done in the class and elsewhere? The more unique examples you list, the more XP you will earn for this.
Part C) Can you think of any memorable word which might be used to house the descriptors from part A? My example: OSPREY: Open Source Platform for Research, Education, and "You-name-it" Not great, but that's the sort of thing we are looking for. Silly is okay, as long as it is accurate or descriptive.
Part A: The first four projects seem to be extremely specific, in my opinion. They’re very cool, and I’d love to be able to have access to that kind of technology, of course. The AMRI project seems to be the perfect place to perform these kinds of research projects, as the intent of the group is to facilitate in-depth research of specific knowledge. Proposing the same kinds of projects might be a little too specific for work here. I think that we would need to have several, more basic services first that work more reliably than our current offerings, before offering more of these specific services. In effect, the base offerings would keep the program alive, and would allow for more complicated and impressive projects to build on top of those. Specifically speaking, more basic offerings would be a streamlined and responsive 3-D printing service, and maybe a similar CNC-style offering.
Part B: Here are a few other words that describe our work:
Creation Assembly Production Construction Modeling Generation Training Exploration Technology
Part C: PSUFLAT is the best thing I’ve been able to think of, standing for Penn State University: Fabrication Labs and Technologies. You could, alternatively, replace technologies with Tools, Toolshed, or any number of equivalent, consonant-starting word.
Blog Post 9: Open Source Designs
Comments on the coffee grinder and other OS designs
My immediate, knee-jerk response is that this is somewhat dangerous. Now let me quantify that by saying this has nothing to do with the design. The design itself looks pretty cool, and as far as I can tell, perfectly safe on a mechanical level. This is, of course, assuming that the parts the builder has shamelessly cannibalized from other machines are themselves in working order, and similarly safe.
My concern springs simply from the fact that these designs can be applied anywhere, to any material. Now, I’m all for this, of course, as freedom of information is one of my highest priorities while measuring these situations. However, I’m also painfully aware that people are going to create these machines out of materials and in situations that are highly unsanitary, or generally unsafe. The effects of various 3D printing materials and processes on health are still being studied extensively, and until there’s a definitive answer from said studies, I would hesitate to drink or eat anything out of something that has been 3D printed from said materials.
Even in the case of blatantly dangerous materials, there will always be at least one person who, for some reason, thinks that it’ll be perfectly fine to make utensils out of, say, lead. Those are the people I fear for, ever so slightly, as these designs make their way into the world.
However, the upside to this is the potentially enormous impact on both the environment and the economics surrounding household appliances. If this becomes a popular idea as 3D printing expands, it could cut back on a lot of the non-recyclables that are both pervasive in every household kitchen and thrown away without much of a thought. Considering that a lot of these machines are crafted with plastic shells and electronics, this can really cut back on the yearly impact of our lifestyles on our natural resources.
Economically, there are a few different aspects to consider. It’s possible that this will allow lower-income families to keep their current appliances working longer, for less. However, one more interesting aspect of all this to consider will be the reaction to this information. It’s possible that, keeping in mind that appliances will last longer than planned, manufacturing companies will react to compensate. It’s quite possible that the parts required for the construction of the open-source counterparts will be built to be the point of failure, forcing consumers to buy more often. Counter to this, there are some companies that would definitely jump on this opportunity, offering cheaper units and concurrent replacement parts to consumers. This would be ideal, if done correctly, as it would cut down on overall waste and cost to everyone involved. In addition, there would be a higher measure of safety, as the company would be responsible for the health of their customers, and would take a more professional approach to producing the product than some of the potential do-it-yourself users.
On the Scalability of Production
To be honest, I think that there are a few things left out in the final estimates of each unit price. The materials may only cost that much, but because he didn’t show his math, I have no idea whether the coordination of said materials were taking into account, i.e. shipping, sources, time & work for assembly, etc. I can only assume that he stayed slightly more conservative estimates to prove a point. However, the point is still valid, being that this is an economic possibility.
Blog Post 11: Common Frustrations and Fixes
Now that you've had some experience working with the printers, what are the things which have frustrated you the most or occupied the majority of your attention? Mechanical problems? Software? Wiring? Construction? Describe some issues you have encountered and what you did to solve them. On that note, also describe any problems which you failed to solve or gave up on, or are still working on. What's wrong, and how else might we try to fix it?
Most frustrating problems so far, to be sure, are the constant problems with getting the motors to work consistently. For the most part, other problems can be solved with a bit of patience and time. Motors have quite a number of attack vectors for error to strike, and every one of them has to be tested individually, so as not to misdiagnose the problem and ‘fix’ the wrong thing. Possible vectors include all wiring connections, drivers, heating issues, input power, etc. Wiring problems are somewhat easy to diagnose, since you can switch motors around to compare the working connections to non-working connections. If the connections are bad, replacing the interfaces involved can fix the problem, or even the wire if it’s possible that there’s a disconnect in the middle. Electronics problems deeper than that can be much harder to find/fix. Heating issues can be solved by adjusting input power and adding some sort of cooling element/fan to the motor in question.
Most recently, a problem that I left in the hands of folks more experienced in this type of thing was an arduino problem on the White printer, where the movement of the bed was being attempted, but for some unknown reason, was not actually happening. It was later fixed by the teacher, David Saint John, by squeezing together the Arduino and shield.
Blog Post 12: Open Source Design Platforms
For those of you who use Solidworks, OpenScad is an entirely different method of doing similar types of work. If you know your desired dimensions, you can easily describe many objects in terms of code. This allows you perform what is called 'Parametric Design', where changing key starting parameters allows the creation of a wide range of forms far more quickly than drawing each type of form individually. In fact, you can create a spectrum of infinite designs in this way. What are the strengths of a platform like OpenScad? What are the weaknesses and limitations? Would you ever be tempted to use it, or the process of turning images into models shown above? If so, for what?
The benefit of a code-based platform like OpenScad is the ability to adapt existing designs to new specifications. For example, generating several types of gears with a single script would be trivial to do. Simply define the aspects of the gear, such as ratio, radius, and tooth width, and you could generate a model for the corresponding gear. I have also seen some interesting applications of input files, such as pictures, to be used similarly in a design. For example, the lithopane script (as featured on Thingiverse at this location) takes an input 100x100 bitmap and creates a model that shows the picture when a light source is positioned behind it.
The weakness of this type of platform is that the learning curve is even steeper than other CAD programs, like Solidworks or AutoCAD. Describing the shape of objects is hard enough without having to describe said shapes in code format. I don’t think I have any current need for this type of model creation, and so I probably wouldn’t spend time learning it until I did. I would, however, keep it in mind if I ever needed to generate a large number of very similar models.
Blog Post 15: Fifteen Things and Mounting Brackets
There are a number of somewhat crappy '15 things..." lists related to 3D printing like this one: Article Is there anything in there which you've not been exposed to during this course? Point out anything which seems new to you.
One thing listed in this article that I hadn’t considered before was the possibility of printing materials like leather. I find this claim a little bold, especially considering the kind of strength and durability that real leather already provides. I find it hard to believe that similar properties could be imparted by an additive manufacturing process, especially one that involves melting the material beforehand. I’ve never heard of a liquid form of leather, or at least leather in a traditional sense.
I also find the claim about 3D printing houses to be high fantasy. The 3D printing process is too slow, and too riddled with possible errors, to be trusted with building a house. In an industry where one mistake can land a builder in jail for life, a technology as undependable as a 3D printer could, at most, be trusted to print the drywall. Even in that case, the sheer number of materials involved would make the whole process much too complicated for an additive process. In reality, building a house with the traditional method will always be safer and faster than 3D printing it.
From my perspective, this sort of list misses the more practical solutions which people can create when they have their own 3D printer. For example: PS4 Mount. Mounting brackets for game consoles seems like a small thing, but think about all of the other plastic components and custom parts you encounter in furnishing a home. Are there opportunities here for entrepreneurship? How so?
I have more faith in the future of 3D printing as a way to print one-use designs, such as prototypes and part replacements, than I do in the idea of entrepreneurship. A mount for a PS4 is a perfect example of what I mean. An accessory like that could cost someone a significantly higher amount of money than the part is actually worth. The ability to design and print custom parts like this decreases the cost dramatically. Entrepreneurship does somewhat come into play here, but in the same way that it did BEFORE 3D printers were around: producing custom parts to people for way more money than the materials were worth originally. I personally do not like this idea at all, and view personal 3D printing as a way to break that system.
Blog Post 16: Lasersaur
Tom Lauterman in the art department is trying to make one of these: Lasersaur Can you find any components which can be made with a 3D printer? What value does having a laser cutter add which a 3D printer does not? Why might we want an open source laser cutter ourselves?
Given an unlimited amount of build area and material, it would be possible for many of the parts of a Lasersaur to be built with our current RepRap machines and PLA/ABS plastic. Specifically, I would initially consider the case and several structural elements to be printable. My concerns with doing so would be those related to the eventual accuracy of the machine. It is possible for plastic to warp with heat, force and/or time. Especially if there’s any danger of accidental exposure to the laser element, it would make the chance of damaging itself much higher. I simply do not yet know enough about the material (or the system at large) to know how the structural parts made of PLA would react to a laser, either directly or in the case of some partial radiation of some kind. In the long run, however, the system could certainly be calibrated to deal with slight changes of the structure over long periods of time.
Access to a custom laser cutter would provide us with the ability to work with more materials, in particular materials more structurally useful than PLA or ABS. Certain structural components could be created faster and with better accuracy in a laser cutter than in a 3D printer. The laser cutter has certain limitations that disallow certain parts of 3D printers to be created, but could be used to improve the parts in our current machines. 3D printers are better used for more complicated designs, especially those that require indentations of some kind, without having a hole all the way through the part.
Using these two projects in tandem with one another, it would be advantageous to put a 3D printed object into a laser cutter for general cleanup. This combines the complicated prints from a PLA printer to exhibit some of the tolerance advantages of laser cutter prints.
Blog Post 17: You really need more XP, huh?
See here. Pick the two comments you think are best, and link to them. Discuss why you think their points are important (and summarize what you take away from them).
The first comment that really stood out to me requires a bit of backreading to understand perfectly. The topic of common problems around printing out new organs came up in the thread, and lack of good vascularization within printed organs was cited to be a major roadblock. Username “burkilla” defines vascularization, explains why it presents such a problem to this technology, and then goes on to name several approaches that have been taken to solve this issue.
“I forget the actual value, but tissue needs to be within (approximately) 4 cm of a blood vessel in order to receive the nutrients it needs to survive. So vascularization is trying to create a network of vessels to keep the entire tissue alive and functioning.
We have tried laser printing vasculature, attaching growth factors and all sorts of stuff, but it is just very difficult. There are also methods of creating tissue scaffolds where they dissolve CO2 in the material, and then decrease the pressure to have the CO2 bubble out and hopefully make little tunnels (vasculature). These methods so far are very unreliable and don't really come close to re-creating the human body.
The best bet we have now is de-cellularizing old organs, leaving a kind of tissue skeleton of the vasculature behind, and then re-populating it with whatever new living cells we can.”
This comment is clear, both in how it conveys information and how it portrays the nature of this technology as it stands right now. In effect, burkilla points out that this breakthrough (or focus on a technology) does NOT mean that it is yet possible to print out anything other than a strip of cells that survive longer than a month. While the current results are promising, we don’t have a foolproof solution yet, and that’s an important fact to understand. However, he’s also quick to point out that progress IS being made, and even goes so far to outline the next step that the technology needs to take towards that eventual goal of working organs.
The second comment is done by burkilla again, and is a response to a question (and very interesting concept) asked by a user with a somewhat mature nickname, hereafter referred to as “Mature.”
“How hard would it be to implement a cancerous cell ability to create blood vessels to these cells? Or use the factors/proteins they use, just long enough so the organ has proper vascularization to function properly?
Those actually didn't sound so good after i finished typing them, long term that is. What about something that blocks anti-angiogenic factors?”
“That's actually a really good idea that they are currently studying. So cancerous masses have really complex vasculatures, and what I'm working on now is a program that tracks cancer cells to find out how they organize. I'm finding that research is painfully slow. You have to learn everything about one tiny aspect of something just so you can apply a scintilla of it to your actual goal. But your thinking is definitely on the right track.”
The basic upshot of this post is that the solution to this problem is going to benefit greatly, if not completely depend upon, research in other fields. As cancer is an organism that seems to grow uncontrollably AND creates its own vasculature along the way, it makes sense to investigate into it to solve our current problems with artificial vasculature. In general, this is certainly a lesson in how technologies are all intertwined in some way, and that advances in any particular field can provide additional context to another, seemingly unrelated thread of study.
Blog Post 18: A Familiar Printer
Does this printer look familiar? Article Link
Read that article and comment on being a part of the process. If it weren't for the participation of you and your classmates, such a transfer would not be possible. Do you get any satisfaction from knowing that your work will go on to be used by other students? Any dissatisfaction?
While there is a certain degree of exasperation that accompanies one of our best-working printers leaving the shop for other departments and locations, I’m overall glad that we’re able to spread such a technology around. The ability of our type of 3D printer to self-replicate cannot be understated in this situation, as a gift of one 3D printer can effectively be a gift of many of them. In the article, they even state that they’ve used the printer to print out more of the parts required to make it, and that all that’s left are the electronics and motors.
Also important to note is that the more attention this technology gets, the more it will be developed. To this end, it even seems a bit like a donation to the technology itself, rather than just a gift to a different part of our school. Perhaps, after getting interested in the 3D printer at Brandywine, some student will start developing a new part of RepRap that nobody has considered looking into yet. That may be extrapolating the effect a bit far, but in any case, more visibility for the project is certainly a wonderful thing in the long run for anyone involved.