My name is Blake Ziegler. I am a senior at The Pennsylvania State University studying mechanical Engineering. Some of my interests are Rapid Prototyping, vehicle design, and product test and validation. My hobbies include working on vehicles, riding atvs, and farming. The hobby that I have been getting involved with is longboarding. I am new to the sport and always wanted to ride skate board growing up mostly because I wanted to build my own quarter pipe.
I learned about the RepRap Project while taking the Engineering 497 3d prototyping class as PSU. I was put the Yellow Team and charged with building an Open Hybrid Mendel 3D printer. My team members and I are also fabricating more extruding tips and furthering the development of the dual extruder.
Progress with the Printers
Part A: Five interesting finds on thingiverse:
1. useful: Measuring Spoons  because we keep breaking ours at my apartment.
2. artistic/beautiful: Abraham Lincolnbecuase some one sculpted this and then used an open source 3d scanner to create a 3d model of the statue.
3. pointless/useless: The Colbear. Well, some one had fun making this but what a waist.
4. funny/weird: Three tone Whistle. A father labored over making this fun sounding whistle for his daughter.
5. scary/strange: Tea Cup Dragon. This just gives me another reason to not drink tea. I don't want a dragon sitting in my tea cup.
Do you feel that you are a tinkerer? Do you know anyone else who is? I love tinkering with things, mostly because I like finding out how things work. I find it cool to understand how things are made or assembled. I think that my roommate is the best tinkerer that I know of. He has so many ideas in his head about projects that he wants to work on. Anything from a car top wind tunnel to building his own quad-copter.
What do you think about the argument regarding the influence of corporate culture on tinkering? I believe that corporate causes people to stay within the lines. If everyone would be able to unlock their creativity by not getting hounded by corporate, technology would rapidly increase. I think this is why I am really intrigued by 3D printing. There are so may cool things that people have created because they wanted to, not because of they were fulfilling there requirements of being an employee of a company.
At the end of the article is the line, "...preserving the habitat of the tinkerer is one of the few time-proven ways we as a nation can get back on track." What do you think about this idea? I think that the results of tinkering is more where we are headed then actually getting us "back on track." When people come up with new things, it causes a shift of how other processes are thought about. Like with rapid prototyping, metal can now be printed in complex shapes instead of traditional metal removal processes.
What are the primary design principles you took away from the interview? What did you think when you saw his final project with his daughter? Can you think of how some of his principles might apply to our work? Some of the principles that I took away from the interview was that you should never give up or there is always a way to accomplish your task. I think it is also important to work with a cross-functional team in to create something exceptional. I thought it was cool to see him and his daughter dabbling in the 3d printing world. With all the information available from open sources, it is possible for anyone to accomplish anything. I think its great that this class is made up of so many different people. Everyone has different experiences and backgrounds. When we apply all that knowledge to 'breeding' the next generation of reprap printers it really can lead us in all directions. Only the strong and best designs will survive but thats nature.
Watch "Mother of all Demos". Do you recognize the rough features we use on every computer today in its earliest form? Are you impressed by what he's demonstrating? Do you think that you would have recognized the importance of this work in you were in the audience at the time? Copy and Paste commands from the 60's really? That's crazy! Its hard to believe that they had that ability back then. If I was in the audience, I probably would have though that it was really cool but probably wouldn't have any idea what it would be able to do in the future. One of the hardest thing to do with new findings and technology is find an application for it.
Watch "Open Source Futures" . What does he say regarding the initial perception of the mother of all demos? Why do we and why should we share the information we generate? Why shouldn't we? How might we better share our knowledge? People thought the "Mother of all demos was fake. When people collaborate on things the sky is the limit. I feel that it is really important to share ideas and concepts to make some really cool things. I think that its is also important to keep things secret if the product is refined and you want to make money off of it. The internet is a great way to share information and also find it. People need to come up with better ways to share information through the internet.