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Main | Class Blog

For this class we write weekly blogs on a variety of topics that have to do with 3D printing.

Blog 1: Thingiverse

We had to explore around on Thingiverse and find different items.


An item that is amazing/beautiful

This just looks so beautiful. The original design of gyrornament is made by ivory, which are mostly acquired from illegal source. I think that to some extent, 3D printed pla has certain similarity with ivory on artistic value except the price. At first this thing seems to be extremely difficult to print, but the feedback on thingiverse are generally positive. Source

Octopus stand.jpg

An item that is funny or strange

This thing just tend to be funny in its design. The idea of tablet stand is not novel and very straight forward to everyone. Most to cases, I see designs in this category just tend to focus on its functionality. This octopus tablet just seems to be so interesting on its appearance. I probably will say no to this design if I want to buy a tablet stand, and I think most people consider octopus tentacles as disgusting. However, this design is so funny when you see it at the first time. Source

Hex tie.jpg

An item that is useless

The author call it as a hex tie, but I really think it won't be a good ideal to replace your tie with this. Basically, I can put this into the category of funny things. However, the tie is for formal dress and any design trying to make fun of it just tends to be pointless. Other than that, the author actually use the spring rope to connect each piece and this thing tends to be very vulnerable. The most important, it is ugly.Source

Earbud case.jpg

An item that is useful

This is one of the most useful idea I have found on thingiverse. The reason that I think this ideal is cool and useful is that I am the person who is bothered by coiled earbud cables. On 3D printing aspect, this thing is totally fit with RepRap on its size. This print does have certain amount of overhang and has some narrow slots. It may take some effort to find out the setting to print this piece effectively and efficiently but I think it is printable in general. Source


An item that is surprising to me

I never imagined that 3D printer can print such a flexible product as sneakers. The author said that he use FILAFLEX Elastic filament 3mm. I don't know what printer is needed for this filament, but this sneaker just looks so innovative and the design is cool. By the way, the author also has made some printing video of sneakers, and it looks amazing. The elastic filament may point out another world for 3D printed products. Source

Blog 2: OSE project

We were asked to research about OSE projects and respond to the following:

A) I want your general impressions of the OSE project; positive, negative, utopian, etc. Please do a bit more research than just viewing the video, as it is now several years old and they have made some progress since then. Links to more recent videos and media will earn you a better blog.

B) The New Yorker magazine recently had a fairly critical article regarding Marcin's OSE project. Find/link that article and summarize its critique. Marcin had a response to that: I'd like your response to both of these pieces.

C) Imagine we want to create capabilities similar to what Marcin has made at PSU (something like an OSE student club, or another effort). I don't think the administration or trustees would support such a thing, but there might be professors who are interested in supporting such a thing. Do you know any of them? What do they do, and why do you think they would be interested in such a project? Imagine you are looking for allies to do such a thing. Whom is on your list and why?

Here are my answers:

A) My general impressions of the OSE project is not positive. I would not say that I totally disagree with their idea, but I don’t think that should be the way to do. Marcin stated his inspiration was from the broken tools in his own farming business. Because of that, he wanted to look for a more efficient and durable product and decided to make his own. Many engineers followed his idea and made their contribution to this open source product design. However, unlike the open source 3D printer, I don’t think tractor can be replicated perfectly through the open source sharing. Two critical reasons are: 1. Durability and safety issues. 2. Sustainability and environmental impact. If you mess up with your 3D printer, the worst thing probably happens may just be that your printer is broken. However, if something wrong when you operate these hardware, you may get injured. Even Marci’s team can have their open design blueprint with enough safety consideration. There will be a lot of safety issues when people try to DIY their products. Another thing I thought may be problematic is about environmental impact. Although I consider economics concepts are not very useful in a real world, but I do agree that the specialization could make this world better. What I see from OSE project are they trying to make an individual capable of doing all the stuffs. In small-scale production, that can be effective. However, it won’t be efficient in resource distribution if this project becomes a mainstream production.

B) In general, the author thought the OSE project was too utopian. For more details, the environmental condition of e farm village was too hard to handle by project volunteers. Project volunteers were less skilled compared to expectation. The whole project was really struggling rather than the beautiful and efficient image in Marci’s head. The author consider the OSE project is too idealistic and Marci always try to use passion to solve the problem which is not appropriate.

C) I think the ecocar team probably will have interests on auto parts DIY sharing. However, I still feel negative about this idea and think the open source sharing should be limited to simple mechanical parts and systems.