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Senior ME student at PSU working on RepRap in class. Current project is the [Rainbow Printer]

Blog #15 Due 12-12-12

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, ala sci fi).

The demo, which I watched a bit of, was really an impressive thing to watch. Some of the features are not too different than they are today and I was not aware that some of the basic technology (that I even use right now) is older than I thought. The 3D printer could go a long way if we are still in the comparative primitive stages as the computer once was. Today we could download millions of different items and make a household printer that creates things with very minimal user interaction. For example, just point and click of what you want on the internet and then the printer springs into action, homing itself choosing the color and printing an object quickly and accurately. In the future they could be able to print many different materials including food! Just think of ordering food online, and then it gets 3D printed onto your plate ready to eat! Although this idea might be awesome, it might not help the American obesity problem -_-, but it is a fun idea to think about.

Blog #14 Due 12-12-12

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?

I would prefer it to have unlocked firmware so that as the speaker said I can be sure that the program does not interfere with my interests. It would kind of destroy the private life if it could sense how many times I drove past McDonalds with my kids in the car and then turned around and sold that information to advertising companies and the next thing I know the internet and TV is flooded with the McDonalds kid's commercials. It would destroy whatever privacy I have left. If the firmware just did its job and allowed me to make some setting changes so that my interests were still kept that would be ideal. A completely open firmware always carries a risk of someone using it in a negative way, so as the speaker debated through his talk we must find a way to have this firmware where people can use their interests but the crooks and thugs of the world are kept at bay. It was a very good talk and discussion about what needs to be done and should be watched by many people, especially including the lawmakers of the world.

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

I would ask them if their interests were protecting people, or protecting corporations. I think the 3D printing community generally means well and it is a great technology for people to have. If people want to use it for bad, most sketches of regulatory framework won't stop them, just like it hasn't stopped modern day internet pirating from stealing copyrighted material.

Blog #13 Due 12-7-12

Do any of the designs above seem more suitable than the others?

My favorite design is the filabot design. It seems very robust and well put together. It also takes all kinds of plastic that it can recycle. Also I enjoy how sustainable they seem to be, although their parts are not printed exactly from a printer, it looks like a very sturdy machine. All of the designs seem feasible and good in their own ways though. The only drawback is that this design is not a DIY project.

What kind of influence might a recycling system have on the DIY RepRap community?

A recycling system will have a large influence hopefully. We create a ton of scraps during our class time and it would be very sustainable of us to recycle as much as possible of it. Overall I think the community will be very supportive of an easy do it yourself recycling system that they could use at home since the idea of 3d printing is to be sustainable and green in the first place. The amount of money and resources that could be saved by such a system speaks volumes on what kind of impact it could have on the DIY rep rap community.

Does building a filament recycler sound difficult to you, even with step by step guides?

The core idea of how it works seems simple enough to me and if a good set of instructions were put together on how to manufacture one at home with basic hardware and different ordered parts I think I could put one together.

Blog #12 Due 11-30-12

What’s your impression of this use of 3D printing technology?

The technology itself is very impressive that you can scan something or someone and be able to print out a 3D object. The actual use of this technology is kind of cheesy in my eyes, although I am sure there is a market out there for this kind of stuff.

Would you buy a model of yourself? Would your parents buy one?

I personally would not buy a model of myself, that might be kind of self centered. My parents probably would not buy one either, but once I move out for good you never know. The idea of getting a bust done with this technology is neat, it combines an old idea with a new technology. Instead of having a stone bust sitting like a statue, you could have a crazy colored plastic one.

Explain the merits (or lack thereof) in this business model.

In Japan it seems like this will be a good business model, since they said that families in Japan value the photo studio to create family moments. The process probably needs to be made easier for this to become more popular, 15 minutes is a long time to stay standing completely still. Also I was surprised about how high the price for a figurine was. The makerbot idea is cool as well. Their model is cheaper but it offerers only one color, still I think it should be pretty popular.

How much might competition drive down prices in the future for these kinds of novelty items?

Well as I said, the Japanese model is very expensive at the moment. I think as the technology gets better the price will go down. In addition to the better technology, competition will definitely drive the price of this service down if it seems to be a popular thing amongst consumers. If this novelty item does not catch on in the market then the price might not go down much because competitors will not see it worth their trouble to enter the market.

Blog #11 Due 11-16-12

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.

I think there is a place for 3D printing in classrooms. I think that the inclusion of such programs into high schools would help boost interest in the STEM degrees. Even the high school classes could print out items for younger students to boost their interest in the possibilities of 3D printing and also get them familiar with the technology available. Basically I agree with the "3ders" article in that introducing the 3d printing will make students more interested in STEM degrees. I agree with the "why 3d printing..." article as well in that students should be introduced to this technology because one day i also believe that 3D printing will be important to our society. Finally, the geek tech article is interesting that it has the perspective of the teacher on 3D printing in the classroom. The only unrealistic idea of this whole plan of inserting 3D printers into classrooms is that many older teachers can barely use powerpoint let alone run a 3D printer, but this problem will phase out as more people are educated in 3D printing.

Blog #10 Due 11-9-12

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.

A lot of the future possibilities have already been discussed in these articles and in previous blogs. That being said this technology has almost endless possibilities in the future since almost everything we come in contact with is manufactured these days. Making homemade parts for anything plastic is a definite possibility, which can be anything from a repair part for something simple around the house or a new design that you create yourself. Another possibility arises once the printer can use different materials while printing. Perhaps metals with lower melting temps or different plastics with specific properties almost any industry can use this manufacture at home technology. A possibility that we might not have discussed already is the idea of making home computer or controller chips. If the silicon board could be printed on with the correct materials, it would make the chip industry a manufacture at home option.

Blog #9 Due 11-2-12

Discuss the suitability of libraries as hosts for RepRaps (or other 3D printers)

I believe that this could be a sustainable project. Not everyone could afford a 3d printer in their home, but a community could pool together money and buy a couple for the library for all of the public to use. Ideally something between a professional printer and a reprap printer would be the best for a public library. The professional grade printers would be too expensive for the libraries and the reprap printers might be too unreliable and need too much attention. This type of attention would be good for the 3D printing community and educate the public on how useful and revolutionary it could be.

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?

I am familiar with most of the libraries on campus as well as the one downtown. There are not many libraries that are suitable for this kind of large scale project mainly because of their size. If one of the floors or sections in the main library on campus (Pattee-Paterno) were renovated for a fab lab, that might be the best bet. That is if they could get funding for such a project at a time where money is tight. That being said I believe that a library in state college with an option to 3D print open to the public would be a large success. The students and public alike would want to use them for multiple reasons and charging a small fee for material usage might help make the project be sustainable.

Blog #8 Due 10-26-12

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

This firm seems to be a shell company doing some patent trolling, this article is more radical than what I was arguing earlier. I still do not believe this motion to file a patent does not have the ability to control the rep rap community. Perhaps it would regulate the official companies who might put this technology in their product, but controlling the open source community with such technology is a lost cause. This is just one of many patents that this company has filed for and all that they are doing is hedging their bet that one day this technology might want to be used, at which point they sell the rights to develop it, I am not sure they are completely serious about fixing this problem, they just want to stake their claim and the community just happened to notice and then get upset about the idea of this technology.

Blog #7 Due 10-19-12

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?

In a general sense the idea of going from printing passive components to printing active components is an exciting one. Even if the idea of printing toys does not catch on, the printing of active objects will give good credibility to the 3d printing community. If it is a cheap and effective way to create sensors and lenses, then many people will take these ideas and run with them. Who knows what kind of things people will come up with off of this particular movement. One can only hope that Disney will share some of their knowledge to the open source community so the idea can explore all of the paths that it may be useful (or not) on.

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

Well the process was not entirely clear from the video, they showed us the "process" but left out what was actually happening. I think it will be tough to print out optical pathways inside a regular material without having dual extruders. Also to have the resolution necessary to get the detail of an optical pathway will be tough, not to mention the fact that we brought up in class about having air bubbles in the optical pathway due to our resolution, extruders, materials, and temperatures that we print with. I think that if we have some success in trying to duplicate and understand what Disney did at this point in the project would be good for the community. The improvement of our technology in the lab will help the idea of optical uses grow.

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?

There are many applications for cheap sensors that could be made with this method. One that I thought of off the top of my head was video game use. Some of the sensors that track motion or pressure might make the gamer's experience more enjoyable. Another application for sensors might be security uses in different industries. Making a cheap pressure sensor or motion detector might be useful in this and many other industries. Finally cheap, expendable sensors might be useful when one is engineering in the field. Having these cheaper but just as useful sensors makes the job easier.

Blog #6 Due 10/14/12

1. What do you think of this concept? What sort of legal problems or technical problems can you forsee?

This concept does seem very science fiction. I think it could be an awesome resource for helping the drug companies make drugs faster and cheaper. Also using the machine to print out organs for transplants would be revolutionary in the medical field. There are always people on waiting lists for organs and a development like this would make that process faster and make the standard of living for those needing a replacement better. Some legal problems that might occur are failure of organs or tissue in a patient. Also printing a living organism might be very technically difficult to do. Making tissues and organs without defects could be a large technical hurdle to overcome.

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

I do not think that it would be realistic to include printing tissue into the RepRap project. This project would take a lot of investment and effort...I am not saying that the RepRap project could not do a DIY bio-reasearch but most people do not have the resources available to DIY on a bio project. The companies that are into this technology at the moment have much more investment into the equipment and research that the RepRap community would be far behind the closed source compa

Blog #5 Due 10/5/12

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

If I were a dedicated member of the project I would carefully check all of the laws again and make sure that I would not be getting into any hot water with the federal government! I would seriously look into the rep rap community and use the funds that we raised to make our own printer, thus solving the leasing the expensive printer problem. That direction would be more under the radar.

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)?

I think the idea of 3D printing guns is scary, but there is no way to really regulate it. Once the plans for a printer are on the internet (or plans for anything) they are out in the public and can never really be totally destroyed without severely interfering with the entire structure of the internet and personal computers. The best way to regulate this kind of activity is to stop the sources of the 3d gun printing and to destroy the original files for these things, although there will always be copies out on the web, stopping this problem at the source is the only realistic way to do it. But hey, America is the "land of the free" and we are allowed by the second amendment to own weapons.

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

The unauthorized copying of keys for houses or cars should receive similar attention. Using this technology someone spiteful could copy a key and then take whatever that key opens. Other things that should receive similar attention are weapons and materials for making full automatic weapons.

Blog #4 Due 9/28/12

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

As far as I know, Makerbot is only claiming the rights to the thingiverse so that they can use things off of it to put into their products without getting sued. The fact that they make money off of that information that they freely and legally get off of people is kind of evil...especially if their new model is closed source (even though much of it has come off of reprap). Prusa's reaction is an interesting one....from the article that we read it seemed that none of the information about the new printer was factual, only based on rumor. Prusa could be crying wolf just to get the community all up in a stir about thingiverse, he is clearly trying to shift the community to a different website so who says that he does not have a motive for spreading this "news" about the new Makerbot. He could just be jealous that he did not get a piece of the pie and now is trying to hurt the company by trying to shift the public's opinion about them. Although I am not completely well read or informed about this subject it seems that the thingiverse polices are not new from makerbot and the closed model is only a rumor.

Blog #3 Due 9-21-12

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?

I do not think that realistic restrictions can be placed on open source printing. Perhaps websites like thiniverse can be regulated, but the building and operation of the machine cannot be limited. This is simply because the items needed to build the printers are not rare things and can be easily obtained for different uses. For that reason, not any governing body can place restrictions on the reprap community for creating and using these machines. Also, the instructions and designs are already out on the internet which means that there are possibly thousands of copies amongst the community.

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?

I have a few great ideas, but I am keeping that intellectual property to myself! Just kidding...I think all the time about alternate energy sources, or different ways to make peoples lives better. At this point in my life I am more concerned with making money than finding a mate and I guess that my thoughts about my passions do reflect that the ideas that I generate are there for the purpose of eventually selling them. In regards to finding a mate these days, I think people who are engineers, accountants, or doctors are not unattractive for using their intelligence for somethings concrete . Instead they are just as thoughtful as poets, musicians, and artists because the products that the technical side produce (although they also are made for money) do help people in their everyday lives. Also, unfortunately sometimes today's society values money more than wit which I suppose makes the technical "geeks" more attractive!

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?

Somewhere in between I suppose. An advantage would be that some products would evolve quicker and better without the bounds of intellectual property, however I think that because of intellectual property the strong ideas have withstood the test of time and only serious competition could compete with the best ideas. Many of Bowyer's ideas seem too romantic and unrealistic to be achievable in the real world, or at least the world that we live in now. If we have a new generation that we teach to share in the way that he envisions then maybe it would be possible, but with the older generations now these ideas would seem like doom. I do not think 3D printing has the power to kill all intellectual property simply because you cannot 3D print a car with better quality than you can make one now.

Blog #2 Due:9-13-12

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?

Perhaps such a machine is possible, however from what I have seen so far some work needs to be done. For example producing the microchips, motors, and assembly items is still an outside process. Also a machine that creates and assembles a new "child" is still somewhat science fiction. The closest thing could possibly be an automated manufacturing line, but those are many machines with some human intervention involved. The 3d printing project is on a very interesting path and someday they could maybe realize this goal (as long as large cooperations do not try to crush them)

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.

The basic idea is to be self-sustainable without having the need for money and to reduce industrial manufacturing by creating wealth for yourself with one of these machines. Maybe the main problem with this statement is that it is totally backwards from what most people are taught by today's society and that no matter how you produce goods (in your home or in a large manufacturing plant) there will be people that will try to make a profit and to control the money associated with this project. Also as the author states, some people will make things less durable because they can make another one, this shows that the progress of development might slow down if everyone can produce cheap products by themselves, then there is no need to make things better.

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.

The community and associated websites are already impressive. I think a more useful version of thingaverse will come about. A website that is easy to search for any products around the house that you can make with their respective designs. That idea will push the wealth without money motto in the right direction. Also making these machines better known about and easier to purchase or put together would also expand the usage of the machines. The article written by the creator of this project is idealistic, but not unrealistic. I think that better resolution or multi colored printers will also be in the future of the next generation.

Blog #1

1: Useful

This thing is very simple, but also very useful. In the case that you misplace the battery cover for any electronic device, this thing has you covered (literally). To help keep the batteries in place for sanity or safety reasons this thing is useful in every day life.

2: Beautiful

This thing I found is a mechanical clock. The way it is fabricated and has an open setup to watch the clock move is interesting. In my opinion it is a beautiful machine that someone took a lot of time and effort to construct.

3: Pointless

This thing I found is a CTRL-Z Ring, which you can punch the thing you want to undo and supposedly it is undone. This is humorous but very pointless as well because it does not have any function.

4: Funny

This thing is a desk catapult and I think the idea of having a catapult on your desk at work would be a fun addition to the office. It is a conversation starter and it deters annoying coworkers. It is humorous that someone would design something like this and I am glad they shared it on thingverse.

5: Weird

This thing is a pet monster that someone designed. It is called Frankensteam because it is a compilation of different strange parts including the possibility of a bottle opener arm, which also makes this thing useful.