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About Me



Jonathon O'Hora


Mechanical Engineering

Contact Me

Email: jwo506[email protected]


Extra Blog B

B) Outside criticism of our course has suggested that we do not adequately cover design topics or the design process generally, and sometimes further suggests that the content is not adequately codified. An important question to ask is this: Is there a better way to structure class time? Do we need less open lab time and more lecture time? Was this a ‘real’ class? (by whatever definition you choose) What did you learn in it?

This was one of my immediate concerns when first coming to class. With the amount of people compared to the amount of printers open lab time didn’t seem like the right fit. But if a reasonable amount of people are doing projects then they can use there open lab time to work on the projects. This said I think overall knowledge of the printers and reprap use would benefit from an every other lecture and open lab formula. This way we would learn lots about the printers and still have time to have open lab. In my experience I did all my prints outside of class time because it was more convenient and the printers weren’t full. This had benefits as said but also if problems with the printers occurred I had a harder time fixing it rather than asking for help. Also I enjoyed the lectures given by people who had related topics; thought they were interesting. This was a real class because I learned more than and will retain more information than I have learned in other classes. Thanks for a great semester.

Week Fifteen

Please watch the following talk by Cory Doctorow entitled “The coming war on general computation” (or download it to your mobile device with ) and listen to at least the first half hour:


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?

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

Do you think Doctorow's predictions for the future are plausible or likely?

Can the copyright war be won? Is so, how? If not, where do we go from here?

When the question is put in that terminology I would rather the locked firmware. If the software had something to do with something personal and hobby orientated I would want access. But the people designing self-driven cars are way more qualified to adjust the firmware then me. At best I would want the firmware to be public access to be seen and understood but not changeable. This way those people who are qualified enough to see something wrong could address the creators of the firmware and ask them to make changes or bring it to the public’s attention. So the firmware should be viewable but not changeable. If the UN wanted me to help them regulate 3D orienting I don’t think I would be much help. I think that what can be made out of a 3D printer should be allowed to be printed out of a 3D printer. I would try to make the point that people who are trying to do bad things or create bad things will find a way anyway and 3D printing aren’t enough of a danger going forward. Also the positive gains in education and manufacturing far outweigh the negatives and the community shouldn’t be regulated. Well his computer lingo is a little above my head Doctorow does make some good pints that I agree with. People will always be pushing boundaries on what your allowed to do and there is a large gap between theory and the way things should work and reality. So I guess I would say his predictions are plausible and heading towards likely ha-ha. The copyright war can’t be won. The lines are gray and the opponents are ever changing and adapting to what they can and can’t do. It is like the immune system and the flu; your body fights it off and builds immunity to the one virus but they adapt and there are thousands of them so your immune system is always fighting as well as the flu. As for where we go from here; do our best to fight for the outcome you desire.

Week Fourteen

Recycling of Waste material is an important problem, as you’ve all seen. There are several designs for DIY Recycling systems available: Do any of the designs above seem more suitable than the others? What kind of influence might a recycling system have on the DIY RepRap community? Does building a filament recycler sound difficult to you, even with step by step guides? All the designs have similar ideas but I would say the most suitable is probably the filabot. I chose this because they are making it a business and are putting enough time in to make it commercially viable. This recycling machine would just be purchased and then used. The other two would have to be designed and built off the specifications that the creators wrote down. There would definitely be some growing pains in getting your personal one up and running. Recycling in general is always a good thing to do for the earth and environment. When it comes to the RepRap community as we all know we have lots of prints that don’t go exactly how we want them, so it would be very useful to have a recycler for our printing material. If the recyclers could be made cheap by mostly printable parts I think they would really take off in the community. This said the instructions would have to be more straightforward than the ones I have seen. Like a specific motor, heater, and other things that can’t be printed and websites to get them. This would make assembly easier and more universal. The building of it doesn’t really seem that easy because with any building project there are always problems but especially when you have to get all the parts and do all the wiring without very specific instruction. Also I am a little confused on how the large plastic prints are broken down. Do we cut them into little pieces before we put them in the hopper?

Week Twelve

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

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

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

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

This use of 3D printing is interesting and neat, but I don’t think it is where the evolution of 3D printing is going to end up. This is just a side note of the tremendous things that will be accomplished by 3D printing technology. This novelty of a 3D action figure may grow and become more mainstream but will lose its novelty due its lack of usefulness. But on the other hand it may become cheap and mainstream enough that it is an alternative to a portrait or photograph. I probably wouldn’t buy a model of myself nor would my parents. But if I had the ability to print it out on a printer I might out of boredom and because I could. The business model that Makerbot is using is genius. By showing this very cool, very advanced way of using 3D printers, they are making their product more compelling for people to buy for their homes. In the article it says that they offer the heads for the low price of 25$ but then have their printers there ready for purchase if so intrigued. The 3D printer from Staples is very interesting as well. They use a combination of additive manufacturing and printing on paper. I was amazed by the real life quality of their prints. If they can make it cheap enough and have reasonable lead times with a material that displays useable mechanical properties then I think it has a real chance to be useful and not just a novelty. The topographic map was very cool and one can just imagine it could be very useful for design or explanation. The more successful either business model is the more competition it will create, which will inevitably bring down prices as well as improve design and capability.

Week Eleven

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. Again, short thoughtless responses will not get full credit. Make me think that you spent at least 20 minutes on this.

Certainly additive manufacturing can find its way into classrooms well before other types of manufacturing because it can be done small scale and affordably. Engineering and design courses at the high school level would greatly benefit from students being able to take their ideas from design, to the computer, to a real physical object. We made bridges from pop-sickle sticks in one of my design classes in high school and then tested how much force they could take. This would be really cool to have done with designs that could be printed out on 3D printers. Also they would have looked better haha. I agree with most of what the articles say and think that with the technology that we have today if the effort is put into 3D it could advance very rapidly.

Week Ten

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.

The quickest industries to adopt additive manufacturing I would think first be industry where a few specialized or unique products are desired. This includes things like medical prints where they are personalized for each patient. Other industries such as replacement or small quantity manufacturing would also find this beneficial as the article says. So what does this mean, bringing additive manufacturing to large scale manufacturing? First it would reduce some of the large scale automated manufacturing. It's comparable to when Henry Ford's creation of one black model T was the only option to the thousands of car options there are available today. This is how 3D printing can revolutionize manufacturing; giving the creator complete control of a final product. Some things that would be expected with this change are companies make competitive 3D printing devices and material to be printed out of them. This race would be close to the personal computer market where new innovations and improvements are being released every day. This competitive industry to provide the best affordable product to the middle class would catapult 3D printing to the front of the manufacturing world.

Week Nine

Go through these links:

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

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?

When you think of libraries you immediately think of a silent area with stacks of books. But in an ever more digital and computerized world the current thought of a library is becoming obsolete. I personally have been in college for 3 ½ years and haven’t rented a book out of a library. Most students are this way and only go for a silent study area or a computer to use. It’s no secret that public libraries are becoming less popular as well and I can see why; it’s hard to compete with the internet and things like kindles. Libraries are supposed to be a place of learning and creativity. I can’t think of any more suitable area for RepRaps and other 3D printers to be implemented. As far as my experience with libraries on campus I have been to a few. They all have pretty high traffic and I think that is what would be a major key to the success of the implementation of 3D printers. By keeping the printers in high traffic areas hopefully more students and faculty would become interested and that’s what 3D printing is all about. At such a large university such as this the library springing for a 20,000 dollar Stratasys printer would be peanuts. This link shows some of the expenditures and budgets of the libraries here at Penn State. [1]. In looking at the values it is easy to see they could afford some 3D printers and materials to run them. This method of putting 3D printers in libraries can be very successful and that can be seen from the multiple links that are above. Creativity and learning are sure to flourish in bringing 3D printers to libraries and is exactly what libraries in this day and age.

Week Eight 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 article is close to what I have previously said about control of 3D printing and the DRM is the tool that is going to be used. They article brings up similar arguments such as people patenting ideas and inventions that they didn’t create, just merely put it together or have legal backing. I can also see how DRM’s can be useful to an extent with weapons and such but the investment and excessive regulation to attain this small amount of good would not be worth the loss to 3D printing. The means by which things are made in the home should not be regulated unless they are being sold to the public; laws are similar to this in regards to firearms. I hope that DRM’s only find a small use or none at all when it comes to 3D printing because it could really stifle the movement and creativity throughout the community. The recent move by MakerBot with not releasing some of its designs has already had negative effects on its website Thingaverse which is the largest 3D printing idea center. This would only be accelerated throughout the community if harsh regulation and DRM’s were implemented.

Week Seven

Check out this article related to what Dan was describing to us on Thursday:

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?

They are a wide range of implications of being able to print optical sensing devices on demand, many beyond the scope of my knowledge. From what I saw in the video you can print things as one piece eliminating the assembly process and amount of pieces in the final product. Also you would be able to print things in many sizes and orientations that aren’t currently made for sensors or optics. These are just a few of the implications printing out optical sensing devises.

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

There would be a few complications I could think of. The material in the video prints out very fine to the point where it is a solid structure. Our printers have small gaps and this would hinder the light passing through. Also we print out in PLA and not a clear material so there would be problems with that initially. The hobby printers we use would have a few problems printing like the video but I would say that it is clearly a possibility in the future.

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?

These sensors could be used for video games and personalizing things that already have controls on them. You could print out switch boards for your car or house and make them completely unique. Things like accelerometers are already in use by insurance companies to monitor driving characteristics to adjust your rate for how safe of a driver they deem you. We could also use it in our 3D printers to make them more open source for the hardware and also if they were capable of printing that material than it would make them more replicating.

Week Six

"Most of our discussions have discussed printing object which are not alive, however many researchers are now looking into using 3D printers to create different organs or other bodily components. The NovoGen MMX bio-printer could change the field dramatically. "

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

"This is a really cool concept and I am amazed they are able to do this. I had heard that they print out to scale skulls and things like that, that are to be operated on and they use the models to do preliminary practicing and fittings on. This is actually printing out a real organ that could be functional which could potential save thousands of lives. That is really remarkable; also by giving the drug companies a way to test more efficiently and more accurately will help the consumer with both price and quality of future drugs. As far as technical problems I am sure there are thousands but they are way above my head. Such as keeping the cells living while they are being printed and having them efficiently bond together as they are printed. Legally things such as monopolies would come up on such a new idea, especially if they are able to print full functional organs. Also what kind of price do you put on a heart or other organ that could save someone’s life?"

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

"I feel like maybe in a very distant future it may be applicable, but there are so many challenges dealing with what they are doing that it is hard to see it extended to RepRaps. They probably have to print with a support material which RepRaps here currently don’t; but I’m sure that could be developed via the open source community. Maybe they could take a page out of the RepRap book and make all the research and technology open source which would expedite the process of printing organs and saving lives."

Week Five


1. Imagine that you were a dedicated member of the DIY gun project: What might you do now? “Well as a member I would do the same legal actions as they have taken such as consulting lawyers and doing homework on what they can and can’t do. The most important thing would be to stay out of serious legal trouble because that would completely cease the project. Next I would get a handle on some hobby RepRap printer so in the meantime of not having a commercial grade printer they can continue on design work with the project. Also by starting on the hobby printers they may actually get to their end goal without the intermediate stage of the commercial printer which is a hobby printer printable design.”

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 don’t think that 3D printing should be regulated. You have to think that the people who are using these printers are normally well educated people. Not to say well educated people don’t commit crimes but they aren’t the typical shooters in street side shootings. They can usually find means to get more dangerous things anyway then what can be created by 3D printers. As for if 3D printing can be regulated that is a definite yes. To what extent they would try to do it or the effects it would have are large variables.”

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

“Well immediately you think of drugs and things used to consume or enhance drugs. But these things can be found on the open market anyway. Most things that people would want to create on 3D printers that would cause negative attention can be found or made other ways as well. Like the article said people have been making guns in their basements for a long, long time.”

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

Makerbot releasing the replicator 2 is bound to have a significant impact on the 3D printing world. Another attempt at releasing a commercially viable printer on the market to make to make a profit could have adverse effects. But for the first time the printer isn't completely open source. From a financial standpoint it makes sense, but is it the right move for the community. I think it can be beneficial for the community in many ways. For one if they are making it commercially viable then more people will get into the 3D printer community. This adds more minds and ideas to the open source community. Also Makerbot defends its position by saying most things are open source just not the things that make the replicator 2 easily replicated by competing parties. At the same time it is a little bit of a shady move because the evolution that got Makerbot to the replicator 2 was all free to them but they are going to close source the advances that they have made. Also one of the largest source of communal communication and ideas; thingiverse is owned by Makerbot and they have all legal rights to the ideas that have been posted. Prusa the maker of one of the most popular 3D printer models does not seem to be a fan of what Makerbot has done. He personally took down all his postings from thingiverse and prompted others to do the same. He sees what Makerbot is doing as counterproductive in the evolution of 3D printing. I also think that Makerbot shouldn’t try to make a profit from other people’s ideas just because they made the website. If they do want to use an idea they should give part of the profit to the designer, whether it be for a toy, knick knack, or something critically useful.”

Week Three

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?

As with anything in the world greed can come into play. At the moment I think it is pretty far along and it would be hard to regulate design control. But even with that said if a company can find a profit out of putting controls on it and making them commercially viable then that may happen. I n our economy things are looked at as an investment and the only way to get return on investment is by controlling the product. In this case I don't see that happening in the near future. Hopefully.

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 would say my passion is being active. Whether it being sports, exercising, or just being outdoors. I share this passion comes from how and where I grew up. I don't think this is something that I will financially profit from but in the wealth of me enjoying life, I will prosper. I think that these activities will be part of me and my mates future."

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?

I don't think it is possible to absolutely kill IP. This is because huge things, complicated things, specialized things, and so on would still be unable to be printed. I think that the fact that people share all there ideas that the technology worldwide would grow more rapidly and there would be less poverty worldwide. Still things needed to copy these IP wouldn't be available to people worldwide. And also I think we overestimate people in general. I mean people aren't going to take the initiative to go out and build these printers or buy them if they don't see fast return on them.

Week Two

Read This should give you some feel for where Adrian Bowyer was coming from when he started the RepRap project. Respond to the following:

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?

To an extent I do think that a self-replicating universal constructor is feasible. What I mean is that the hardware, electronics, and other some of the other materials would have to be bought because they wouldn't be able to be printed in plastic. Also at this point I think the printers are to complicated for the masses to comprehend and build. The knowledge of assembly and operation isn't simple enough for it to expand exponentially like in the article. So now for the feasible part; the potential is certainly their because the printers can print out parts to copy themselves. As more evolution of printers happens I believe they could have less and less hardware and more reprap pieces.

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 phrase means that by having these printers we could replace things that we normally pay for with this cheaper alternative. Also by being able to print anything we can design or imagine we have greater wealth than even the consumer who pays for their goods because we choose what is made and don't have to pick out of what manufacturers decide to sell. Some problems are we are limited by the size of the printers and the size of the product created. Also many things we buy wouldn't befit to be made out of plastic. Such as a car; that would be a really long print.

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.

I think that the printers will continue to evolve getting simpler and more reliable as time goes on. Since there is such a large community and they are all eager to share their successes and knowledge, this project has a huge potential to grow and improve. I don't think that these will be life changing pieces of equipment that will be in every home such as the article infers; but I do think they are a really cool idea that many people could have to make cool useful things and explore their own designs and creativity. The reason I don't think it would be as big of a game changer as the article says is because of the limited size of the prints and the durability of the material that is printed with. Many of the things we use need to be made out of metal, rubber, plastics that are molded and not printed. One material can't replace the thousands that manufacturers use when making products.

Week One

Go to Use any means you like to look through the objects submitted to thingiverse and pick out 5 designs which you consider to be the most: 1. useful 2. artistic/beautiful 3. pointless/useless 4. funny 5. weird. Link to the 5 objects you’ve chosen, and discuss why you consider them well described by the 5 adjectives above.


Snap Together Mini Lamp This is a really interesting design and it is useful that you can put a light in it and have a functional light. It also is a replica of the PIXAR icon which is cool.


Nautilus Gears These are beautiful and symetrical based off logarithmic scales which makes them more apealing to the eye. It also interesting that you can spin them around and see how the teeth keep interlocking making it spiral.


Troll Statue Well you printed out nine large prints and what do you have? The pieces of a troll statue to glue together haha, though it is a little funny looking, it is also very pointless and also useless.


T-Rex Cookie Cutter This one is pretty self explainatory, it is shaped like a T-Rex and you use it to make cookies, what isnt awesome and funny about that.


Rooster Ring So this is a ring with a rooster on it. The making of a ring is a cool idea but why did they choose to put a rooster on it?