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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

Here's a gorgeous Japanese-style folding screen with an ocean print. The design is both beautiful and simple although it looks complicated. I love the repeating pattern of the sides and the details on the bottom. Source


An item that is funny or strange

One of my favorite movies is Sweeney Todd and I found (by cleverly using the search bar) this Sweeney Todd razor. If you haven't seen the movie or musical, you probably would put this in the useless category, especially because it's probably not sharp enough to cut anything. But I think it's a fun print, even if it would be weird to randomly whip out. If you don't know what the movie about, Sweeney Todd is a barber and his accomplice is a pie maker (see if you can make the connection). Source


An item that is useless

This ping pong ball seems really pointless. If you wanted customization, you could probably use sharpie or acrylic paint on a regular ping pong ball and draw whatever you wanted. Also, I think it would be extremely difficult to print out a sphere perfectly, and having an imperfect ball would really effect a ping pong game. Source


An item that is useful

This is a cool print of a fold-able booklet. They didn't go into much detail of the technique they used but it is definitely unique, probably because I haven't seem that many wood prints. I think it would be cool to customize the front of the booklet, too. For example, you could have your name "engraved" on the front. The creators also mentioned how combining steps and using simple designs allows for cheaper production which is what I think a big part of 3D printing is. Source


The best printable Raspberry Pi case I could find

This was the best case that I could find. It had a lot of made versions and a lot of likes. It also allows for customization of the case, because the cut-out holes (that are in the shape of a raspberry in the original version) can be changed (there are some examples in the collection of "I Made One" pictures). The instructions also include a detailed blog post which seems useful for trouble-shooting and gives a lot of credibility to the creators. Source

Out of all the prints I found, none of them really surprised me. I'm not entirely sure how the wood booklet one prints and I'm a bit surprised/confused that someone would print a ping pong ball. I also am still not sure how printing with supports looks like so I would be interested to see that, but not surprised by the outcome, since classmates have already explained how supports work.

Blog 2: Topics of Interest

Write about a topic (or two, or three) which interests you which we've discussed so far - or not discussed in detail yet. It could be your project, or a particular type of 3D printer, or something you think would be cool for us to explore in the future.

Wii U controller.

Something that really interests me is the mix of a scanner and a printer. I used a 3D scanner while in a summer engineering program] in Nantes, France. It was really interesting and could definitely have a lot of uses. For example, in our program we scanned the Wii U controller. Once the 3D model was complete, it could be loaded onto the computer and edited with a CAD program. Using technology like this could make for relatively cheap and easy prototypes for new products.

Something else that I find fascinating is nanotechnology. I haven't really done too much research on it, but I know that it is similar to 3D printing, where you can build unique things. I mostly read about it in a book called Uglies, where the characters live in a technologically-advanced dystopian/post-apocalyptic society (that also involves hover-transport!). In their world, you could pretty much ask for anything and the "hole in the wall" would spit it out. When you were done with it, you threw it back, and it would break down into particles again that could be used for something else. (Similar to the recycler that we want to build for our printers).

Something else we've talked a little more about in class, is a topic that involves the dual-extruder printer. Someone mentioned being able to build supports that are easier to break off. For example, one extruder could use a material that is soluble in water while the other uses regular plastic. The final result would require just dipping the figure in water to get rid of the supports (instead of breaking it, which is what I assume they've done so far). Also someone mentioned being able to print with edible materials, which I think would be soooooo awesome because I love food (and it would definitely bring into discussion the idea of printing food in the future. I'm not entirely sure how the ingredients would work though... would you have some solid form of sugar and flour to make a baked good for example?????)

Blog 3: Blog Responses

This week we had to find classmates' blogs and pick some of our favorites. We also gave constructive criticism. I decided to choose a favorite post for each week so far (so one from week 1 and one from week 2). I also decided to add a section on commentary because I found some posts that weren't my favorites or didn't need much improvement but I wanted to give my opinion on something.

Best posts

Week 2 - Tunkelbs

I thought this was one of the best blogs for the second week. I think Brandon took a semi-complicated topic (digital rights management) and broke it down so it was easy to understand. He connected it well with the class and what we're doing, and other real-world examples like the music industry. He cited great sources. Aesthetically, adding pictures and changing the format of the sources would be an improvement, in my opinion. Also, he could have added a paragraph on his personal opinion or what he thinks would be an appropriate solution.

Week 1 - Tms5308

This was one of my favorites for week one. Thomas gave great explanations for his choices. He also included sources and pictures and formatted it well. (My favorite format was Dimitar's though!) Something he didn't do was talk about whether or not he was surprised by the choices. But I found a lot of people forgot that component of the blogs. (I did as well, but I edited my response in as of now haha). Also his STL links weren't formatted correctly.

A small note; in his second post some paragraphs would be nice. It's a big chunk of text on a fairly difficult to understand topic (although that could just be me).

Blogs that could use improvement


In the Thingiverse blog, the things he found were cool, but he didn't give much reason for why he picked them. A little commentary to get a feel for his thinking process would have been nice. Also the addition of pictures would be nice so the reader doesn't have to open a new page to view what items he chose.


The Thingiverse post is all right. Pictures would help in my opinion. He also has a few spelling/grammatical errors which should have been highlighted in the editor. His second post does not have much content. In my opinion, he could have responded to the links provided by the professor in the prompt to add more content.

Other posts I'd like to comment on

Med5342's 1st Post

This is more of a disagreement than a blog that needs improvement. His first blog is well-written and explained and includes pictures which is great. But in his section C, for something useless, I think he's incorrect about action figures. Action figures, I think, a big appeal of 3D printing for the more casual/hobbyist 3D print-ee (person who uses 3D printers xD), especially after reading Brandon's post on DMR. Also, the figure he chose is not just a random figure. I'm pretty sure it's actually Danbo, a cardboard robot. Without a link provided in Matt's post, I can't tell if he was misled but a lacking description on Thingiverse.

Dgdwazzaaa's 1st Post

Dimitar had my favorite formatting for the Thingiverse blog post. I think the chart looks very clean and it gives a great spot for the picture. He didn't give very in-dept explanations and some of the source formatting is off (OCD of me, I know), but he was the only one that used the chart.

Jrf5222's 2nd Post

Going along with improvements, it would be nice if some pictures were included. But I'd really like to respond to the first half of his second blog. The idea of different extruder sizes and shapes is really interesting. I'm not sure how it could be possible, though. The only thing I can think of is different tip heads we could put on the hot tip? But that would take more time and make the point of changing holes pointless. I do think it is an original topic to think about and it would be interesting to see if someone could create something like that.

Llf5095's 2nd Post

This was one of my favorites for the second prompt. I thought the topic was very interesting and very applicable to our class, especially because the lab is similar to a hub for the EDSGN 100 classes. I think cited sources would be beneficial.

A small note on the first post, I think it would be best to put the links to each item he chose next to the description so the reader doesn't have to scroll back up and down to read his explanation and see the picture.

Hidden blogs

There should be 23 people in class but there are only 21 blogs listed.

After some snooping I found Peter's blog!

Blog 4: Arduino and RepRap

This post is a response to this video.

The Arduino proyecto definitely seemed interesting. It reminded me of a computer science tool I used in high school called Alice. It was basically trying to teach the logic of computer science and coding without actually coding. I thought it was a simple way to get started into coding. I think the Arduino (I keep typing that incorrectly!) is similar in that it allows someone to bypass the usually difficult beginnings of something new and lets them jump straight into the "fun" stuff.

However, I still am a bit confused with the Arduino in general. To me, it still looks really complicated but I'm assuming by the statistics in the Keynotes speech that it's a great product.

The idea of Reprap was definitely easier for me to understand, especially since I've worked with them first-hand. A great analogy for the Arduino is the fact that I'm able to use and print things from the Repraps, even though I don't know how to make one myself.

The Business Model

The business model of giving something away for free seems counterintuitive. If you have something, and give it to someone else, you've just created more competition for yourself! But as the video explained, a lot of companies (e.g. Google) have adopted this model and are becoming successful through it.

In addition, the speaker made some points that make a lot of sense. Not worrying about copyright and getting feedback from a large amount of people is essential in the early stages of an industry. Although the speaker said 3D printing started 30 years ago, it still is very new and a lot of people haven't had any contact with a 3D printer or a 3D printed object yet. Having users collaborate and improve the printers will allow for more advances than if everyone was competing with each other and keeping ideas to themselves. As James Cash Penney said, "growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together." (Yes, I had to Google "working together quotes" for that one.)

Another thing that this business model reminds me of is Youtube. The users on Youtube who make videos allow people to view them free of charge. However, successful Youtubers will gain royalties off of ads based on how many views their videos get. It's a little different than the data-mining examples like Google and Facebook, but I think it belongs it that category because the primary goal of Youtube videos is to share content.

Blog 5: Copyrighting 3D Printing

After reading an article about a copyright claim for a 3D print, I took another look at some 3D printed items and the possible copyright and patent claims on them.

Examining My 1st Post Objects

To start off, I looked back at my first blog post.


The first item, a Japanese-style folding screen, doesn't seem to have any copyright-able or patent-able elements. It is a generic model based on a real-life object. The second item, a razor with the words "Sweeney Todd," is another story. Although the razor is probably fine, the fact that it has "Sweeney Todd" on it is not. It would probably be seen as copyright to the movie brand. I'm sure without the name there would be no problem. Similarly, unless the words on the ping pong ball were under copyright, the ping pong ball would be in the clear.

The fourth item, a fold-able booklet, doesn't seem to have any issues either. It's not under copyright, since the original designer put it on Thingiverse. Maybe in the future it could be under patent if it was deemed useful enough. And last, the Raspberry Pi case appears good as well. The original designer put the source codes on Thingiverse. And I doubt it would get a patent, because each individual iPhone case out in the market today doesn't have a patent (well except for certain case designs like the water-proof Lifeproof case. But that's a different story).

Examining Classmate's Thingiverse Selections

Carrot Suit
A My Little Pony and a Yoda figurine

I found a post with a character from the episode "The Great Vegetable Rebellion" from Lost in Space. Even though the uploader didn't meant for it to be a replication of the costume/character, it could possibly be under copyright, though I'm not sure anyone would do anything about it.

This post also includes two things that would be under copyright. The first is a My Little Pony model, and the second is a Yoda head. Both of these are under large franchises that (I'm assuming) make a lot of money. So if someone started mass producing these, or similar models, I'm sure they'd get into some sort of trouble. (In fact, Yoda was featured in this article about copyright.)

Licensing of Non-Copyrightable Files

Licensing Non-Copyrightable Objects

According to the article, there are two reasons to license non-copyrightable files, one legal and one cultural.

The legal one would be a sort of baseline no matter how copyright laws change. Even though essentially the license is useless because you can't copyright the item anyway, it shows that there is some permissive intentions in place. Personally, I don't see how this is beneficial, but I guess that's because I can't predict how copyright laws will evolve.

To me, the cultural reason is more important (but still, in a way, not useful, since it's non-copyrightable anyway...). It shows that the creator wants people to expand and evolve what they've worked on. It is basically what open source is - any community that wants to grow as fast as possible by constantly sharing and improving each other's work for the greater good of the community.

Bonus: Re-Evaluation of the First Article

D) Bonus: Why might you consider the author of the first article to be naive?

Blog 6

Blog 7: Article Discussion

An example of Shane Hope's art
I chose the prompted article "3-D Printed Paintings Make Jackson Pollock Look Plain."

This article is very interesting and shows a whole new side to 3D printing. While I think of 3D printing as a way to manufacture complete pieces (parts to a RepRap, models, etc., artist Shane Hope uses 3D printed parts as parts of art. His paintings consist of hundreds or thousands of parts that he designed. I think it's even more unique because each part is a piece of the art, and each part is a piece of art itself.

Hope purposely prints in irregular and unique settings to get creative prints. For instance, he'll change the speed of the print in the middle of the print. No manufacturer would ever do that, while Hope does it to try to find new aesthetic opportunities. I think the thing to draw from this is that we shouldn't be afraid to experiment and mess up. While most people who 3D print dread a print fail, Hope looks forward to them. Not only could he find new bugs and ways to print fail that might not have shown up otherwise, he could also find some printing methods that would benefit the 3D printing community as a whole.

A little off-topic, but I feel like this kind of free-spirited printing technique will become more popular as more and more recyclers come out and are readily available. When you don't have to worry about wasted material (only wasted time), people may be more inclined to print in a wider variety of ways, such as different speeds, temperatures, materials, and possibly things I can't even think of.

Blog 8

Blog 9: DIY Appliances

This is a toaster
I think the great thing about this article is that Howard is being creative with his 3D printing. He is trying to adapt 3D printing into areas of our lives that we wouldn't of thought of using 3D printing before. The assembly of the grinder reminded me of the manual assembly of our RepRaps. I think his point in that we could fix and modify our own household appliances is interesting. America definitely has the "if it's broke, throw it away" mindset, instead of thinking of ways to reuse materials.
Something negative, however, is the practicality of the idea. I don't think a lot of people would want to wait to print their own parts. Also putting it together could be annoying to do if a certain part breaks. And if people don't have their own 3D printers, they will have to order the parts, which isn't any better than going out to the store and buying a grinder someone else made. I think the design principles can be used in other ways, however. To me, using 3D printing for more customization and unique pieces would work best. For instance, instead of buying a pencil holder, you could print one yourself with your name on it. Or instead of buying jewelry, people could design and print accessories themselves.

When looking at this water boiler, you can see Howard uses similar techniques. He takes an item that is usually a consumer good, and figures out a way for someone to assemble it at home. I love how much of his materials are recycled or reused. Now making one might not be too bad. But making hundreds or thousands would be a nuisance. I really doubt that making these by hand is faster and more cost efficient than a machine would be in mass production.

Blog 10: Immelt and Gou

Jeffrey R. Immelt


Jeffrey R. Immelt is the current CEO of General Electric. He also happens to have the same birthday as me! Immelt has had an extremely positive response to 3D printing.

He has said that GE has been interested in 3D printing for quite some time, and that GE has been trying to integrate the process into their products, more specifically, new jet engines.

As a CEO of one of America's largest companies, it makes sense that Immelt is trying to do new things to keep GE on top. It is a smart move to go along with trends. 3D printing is becoming well-known, and it gives GE a good reputation when the CEO supports new, very popular technology.

In addition, based on the article, it seems Immelt is focused on efficiency, customization, and cost reduction. By spending less and making more faster, it means more money for the business (and for Immelt's pockets). All companies should constantly be looking for ways to reduce production cost and for ways to incorporate new technologies. Another point to add is that customization is also very important. People like things to be "their own," and appealing to that side of people is partially why 3D printing is so big.

Source 1 Source 2

Terry Gou

Terry Gou is the founder and CEO of Foxconn, a company that makes electronics for other companies (e.g. Apple Inc.). It is China's largest exporter and employs 1.2 million people.

Gou, as opposed to Immelt, has a more negative approach to 3D printing. He has claimed that "3D printing is a gimmick," and claims that it is more or less a fleeting trend that will end when people realize that 3D printing is not the future of mass production. He has mentioned that there is no commercial value, and that more complex models such as cell phones could not be made. In addition, he mentions that materials like leather cannot be printed.

Gou giving statements like that leaves a negative impression on the reader. Aside from the fact that the article source comes from a 3D printing website, Gou's words simply show how he feels about people who spend time 3D printing. Specific word choice may be lost in translation, but the general consensus is obvious that Foxconn isn't hopping onto the 3D printing bandwagon any time soon.

Although it is too soon to tell, Foxconn's track record might be proof of sticking with what works. Foxconn assembles an estimated 40% of all consumer electronics sold. Gou could be correct that manufacturing in a scale as large as Foxconn would not benefit from 3D printing. Gou could also be right in that 3D printing may never match mainstream mass production.

Personally, I believe that 3D printing does has commercial value and that more materials and printing methods will be available not too far in the future. Already, models of figures, jewelry, and printers themselves are selling well and have a lot of interest. Even if it's a niche, I believe it can be a profitable niche and 3D printing is something we should continue exploring and developing.


Blog 11: Pondering Printing Problems

I haven't been too frustrated with things in the class really. The most annoying day was when I came in late at night to print and I couldn't get anything to work. Luckily the next class I was able to print and it felt great! Some other things that are bothersome are putting together parts that need to be taken apart because they were in the wrong order.

Of course, if you want to see me confused, just hand me a circuit and some wires and tell me to set up a printer. I think the reason I haven't been too stressed in the class is that I'm doing sort of the "busy work" side of things. I think what I help out in is important, but I also think any able-bodied human could do it. Having no background in electrical or mechanical engineering (I currently major in Gen Eds), there wasn't much I could bring to the table. (At least, not much in the beginning of the semester. I'm sure if I sat down and focused on something for a while I could be able to do it, although I feel like other students would be better at it and there wouldn't be a need for initial "training.")

I'm still working on the Blue and White printer when they need help. Now that it's down to the end, and more electrical things are being done, I've been putting more time into good 'ol Rainbow again. It's sort of therapeutic just manually working with the screws and parts. It has been difficult to find a concrete plan for Rainbow though. It would be nice if someone made a "Building a OHM RepRap for Dummies" book.

Blog 12: OpenSCAD

For a general overview of the open source design platform OpenSCAD and a more complicated tutorial, check here or here.

Helix tutorial.

OpenSCAD seems like a great program for 3D drawing, although probably not as easy for everyone to use as the author believes. Some pros of the program is that it only uses basic features and everything can be built from that. Unlike programs like Solidworks, where there's a large array of complex features to mix and match, OpenSCAD apparently only has 10 things you need to remember. In addition, the models you make will be printable more often because there will be less holes.

There are limitations, though. The reason there are many complex steps in Solidworks is because it can do more. Just off the top of my head, I'm not sure how easy it would be in OpenSCAD to make a bolt. In Solidworks, you sketch a triangle (or whatever shape of the cut you want) and let the triangle follow a helix path to make a cut source.

In fact, after Google-ing how to make a bolt in OpenSCAD, I came across this wiki which talks about libraries. It shouldn't be surprising that the basic 10 things aren't enough. Just like any code, libraries are needed to take shortcuts in coding. Speaking of coding, that is another con of OpenSCAD. As a general stereotype, engineer-types who use CAD programs probably won't have trouble with programming. However, some people like architects or artists might have a problem. Coding doesn't come naturally to some people. Although I bet anyone can practice enough to get by, I'm not sure a program like OpenSCAD would be better than something like SKetchUp.

Despite the shortcomings, I would probably be interested in trying the program out, especially seeing that it's free. The process of turning images into models (in the second link up top) seems interesting. If I were to do it, I would probably want to make some (copyrighted) figurines. The process of editing the image was boring to read, but I'm sure following along with GIMP in hand wouldn't be too bad.

Blog 13: Circuit Scribe

The response to Christian is my favorite comment on the Kickstarter

Conductive Silver Ink video Circuit Scribe Kickstarter

I think this would be an amazing thing to incorporate into our printing. I think it would simplify the electrical component of building our RepRaps, and allow more students with less (and possibly no?) background in electronics. At the very least, it could be used to show beginners how the wiring in RepRaps work. If people were to exclusively use conductive ink, I'm guessing parts like the little clip-on LED lights would have to be specifically made for the RepRap, which could be costly and inconvenient.


Woah, I think just understood the prompt and got how big this could be. 3D printing conductive pathways into objects... that would be crazy. Instead of having wires, everything could be internal. I feel like so many gadgets could be printed for kids to play around with and learn electronics. For example, what if you printed a box and there was a conductive path in the box, and at the top was a LED light? Just attach a magnet at the bottom and you have a little torch thing! My brain is too tired right now to comprehend how cool that would be. We'd probably have to use dual extruders for the different materials.

With the printers we have now, I guess someone could try to actually print with the ink (or whatever it is). I'm not sure if it would harden thick enough to build up a solid. There would definitely be a lot of testing involved. But how I initially thought this blog was about, we could use it instead of wires for the RepRaps. Although I don't see how taping a piece of paper with a line drawn on it would be better or more aesthetically pleasing than the wires we have now.

Blog 14: Smartrap Mini

Discussion of the Smartrap Mini, a simple and functional Reprap

The main pro of this design is that it's smaller. That means less parts to print and assemble, less things that can go wrong, and hopefully more printers to go around. With assembly videos like the one included in their indiegogo campaign, I think there will be an easier learning curve on building.

On the flip side, I am guessing that there will also be less stability and flexibility of design. With a smaller model, first and foremost you have more limits on the size of things you can print. Another con is that it only uses PLA. Although I'm sure that someone could design a model that accepts other materials (and they should, especially as the community as a whole is interested in printing with a wide variety of materials in the future).

Another debatable con is that it loses some of the fun of building a Reprap, in my opinion. Personally, if I were to choose the Smartrap Mini or OHM, I would choose the Smartrap, because I need simplicity. But I really like how the OHM is very hands on. The parts of the OHM seem like regular parts you could buy, but instead you have a printed version. The parts of the Smartrap are very specific.

Blog 15

15 Odd and Unusual Things That Can Be 3D Printed

This list was pretty interesting. It definitely lived up to it's title of "odd and unusual things."

Things I Hadn't Heard About

Scanning dinosaur bone
13. Dinosaurs and giant fish

We did talk about printing faces (12), but not about prehistoric or rare animals. I think it's really interesting how we can use 3D printing to examine things we usually couldn't. This use is a bit different than the heads, for instance. Someone could study someone's head without the use of 3D printing but from this article it seems 3D printing is one of the only methods to study these extinct/elusive animals. I know that if I was really interested in marine wildlife, I would be ecstatic that I could learn more about species I didn't know about.

10. Snacks and fast food

I think it's sort of interesting that you can print snacks and fast food, but it seems sort of pointless. Junk food is cheap already and I can't imagine that printing it yourself is any cheaper. I guess a pro is that you can print the right amount you want, or if you liked specific/unusual flavors you could cater to that taste. I'm not entirely sure what material they print out of, and how good it tastes.

9. Drug paraphernalia

I think this is a dumb thing to include on the list. It seems the author of the article was trying to interest the (probably large) community of cannabis users. I feel like they could have explained that 3D printing is great for customization without specifically focusing on things like bongs.

8. Sex toys

Again, the author just seemed to want a shock factor. This is a stupid thing to include on the list. First of all, there's already a large variety of sex toys. Second of all, this doesn't even go into the details of any benefits of 3D printing sex toys.

6. Drones

This sounds pretty cool but I don't know that much about drones and I don't feel like looking them up.

3D printed house
5. Houses

3D building houses sounds interesting but to me, it doesn't seem like it would be any better or more efficient than current house building. Building the house would take an extremely long amount of time. In addition, what would they do to prevent print fails? On a scale as grand as a house, one print fail could be economically and physically disastrous. Also if someone really wanted a custom house, they probably have enough money to contract it how they like anyways.

I think that 3D house building could be used more for models. I can see architects benefiting from it.

3. Human masks

I think this sounds amazing! Really creepy, but amazing. Think of what it can do for the criminal investigating scene. But still. Real creepy. (Could she make my face out of this gum I'm chewing?)

3D fetus model
2. An unborn child

Again, pretty creepy. But I'm not surprised this is a thing. I think it scratches the surface of being able to see what your kid looks like. I've read articles about selecting certain genes for your baby, also called "designer babies." (I wrote a blog post about it for another class last year).

1. Surfboards

This is pretty interesting but also limiting. If you're not interesting in surfing, you probably won't read the little blurb, which is actually interesting. It basically involves using technology that reads how you surf and using that data to help design an optimal surfboard. It reminds me of a series called Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. In the series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, people transport by hovercrafts. They wear belly sensors that analyze how the wearer rides, and sends that info to the board to help them ride more optimally and to not fall off.

What Could Have Been on the List

Like my professor, I agree that a more informative/relatable list would have included more practical solutions. An example given by my professor is this PS4 mount.

I think there are a lot of practical uses for 3D printing. Off the top of my head I can think of:

  • Door stops
  • Jewelry holders
  • Hooks (like for jackets, towels)
  • Pencil/supply holders
  • Door handles

These things could be cheap to make, easy to install, and extremely customizable. In terms of entrepreneurship, I think there could be a way for a company to profit from things like this. Maybe if they had a high quality print service. Although as 3D printing spreads, there would be more competition. In addition, people could start to get 3D printers in their home and be able to print their own stuff.

Blog 16

Tom Lauterman in the art department is trying to make one of these:

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?

Misumi first parts

Blog 17: Reddit Does 3D Livers

The top two comments of this post.

It was really hard to pick two comments... I could think of a lot of sarcastic responses to "why this comment is the best." But I did find two to discuss.

This comment is one of the best because it explains, as simply as possible, what more needs to be done before a liver can actually be used in a human body. It is a realistic problem and puts the printed part into perspective (alliteration!) - right now the liver slice is mainly to be used for experimentation.

I think this comment is great (and it goes along with the first comment I chose) because it shows how articles tend to over-simplify things and allow readers to assume and be misled. Yes, the research that has happened is fantastic and has a lot of potential, but it's nowhere near the level of replacing full liver implants. I think this is a common trend with 3D printing. A lot of people think that it is the be-all-end-all of every problem in the world. In reality, there are a lot of problems that come along with trying to 3D print things (e.g. vasculature) that will likely take a long time to solve, if they're solvable/reasonable to solve at all.

And an honorable mention:

Blog 18: 3D Printers Branching Out

Brandywine's 3D printer, formerly one of the Orange printers
Honestly, I think it's great that we are helping commonwealth/branch campuses get 3D printers. When I first heard that a lot of them got sent away, I thought it was very altruistic but a bit unfair. Now, I realize that it does so much more good that I first imagined.

Like the article mentions, it allows undergrads who usually don't have access to 3D printers the ability to use the equipment. Even though nowadays freshman are being introduced to 3D printing, a lot of the people in this EDSG 497J class are upperclassmen. Having juniors from branch campuses coming into University Park already knowing a little (or a lot!) about 3D printing will really help the Engineering Design department and the 3D printing club.

In addition, it also allows students from commonwealths to get more out of their first two years. Typically (or what I've gathered) is that the 2+2 plan (2 years commonwealth, 2 years U Park) has most of the students do general education classes for the first two years. With a 3D printer, future engineers can get started on engineering design, problem solving, and things like mechanics and electronics right away.

The only thing that stinks is that we're giving away our best equipment. Of course, we can build new printers easier since we have more materials and manpower, but it is a bit of a hassle. I feel like some students working on the sent printers didn't realize they wouldn't get to use the printer they helped made, so that would be a little bit of a let down.