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Bonus Blog 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?

With regard to the statement that "we do not adequately cover the design process generally" I think that this is an unnecessary thing to do. This is a 400-level design class, so even though there are no pre-requisites for this class, this is something that at this point people in the class should already know. At least for the ME's, we have taken EDSGN100 and ME340, both which cover the design process.

I'm not sure that adding more lecture time would help the class learn more. At the beginning of the semester it could have been helpful to have been given a more general overview of the printers and how they work because I know some people, like me, didn't know anything about 3D printers before taking the class.

Overall though I think that the structure of the class is good. We are given electives to take so that we can take different types of classes and learn a broader spectrum of subjects. I think just because this class is different from others does not mean that it isn't a "real" class. I learned alot about 3D printers and how they are built and work. Even if I don't use any of this in my future career, I think this material is something I'll actually remember in a few years, unlike some of my required "real" classes.

Bonus Blog C

Internal criticism of other courses has suggested that our class provides “something” which isn’t often experienced in other courses. Did you find something unique in your own experience this semester? (There seems to be some consensus in that doing what we have been doing contains some merit, though there is some debate about what those merits are.)

I like that this class is almost completely hands on and I hate that because it is, the class is considered less legitimate. Alot of the other classes we're required to take involve alot of "busy work" that I think can be distracting from the actual learning. This might not be a serious class that requires alot of studying, but there was still work that went into the class. I felt that it was like other design classes where we practiced working and communicating in teams. And like I said in the bonus blog B, even though we may not need to know anything about 3D printers in the future, that doesn't mean we didn't learn anything. It's not really that different from the pointless online art classes I've had to take to fill gen ed requirements where the information isn't something that I'll need in the future (and not that I remember any of it now).

December 7th 2012

Recycling of Waste material is an important problem, as you’ve all seen. There are several designs for DIY Recycling systems available: 1 2 3 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?

November 30th 2012

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?

I think the technology of being able to scan a real life object and print it out is really cool. However, I'm not so sure that printing out figurines of yourself or your family is really that useful or wanted. Personally, I think they look kind of cheesy and wouldn't want one of myself, and I think my parents would feel the same way. There are people out there who will buy anything, but for this price I don't see many people purchasing the figurines unless the price was significantly reduced.

November 17th 2012

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 absolutely think that 3D printing could be integrated into a high school or middle school curriculum. When I was in middle school for part of our physics class we got to play with cars with sensors, similar to the robotics class mentioned in "STEMulate Learning integrates 3D printing into classroom". And I agree with the author of "Why 3D Printing & Fabrication are Important to Education" and think that the next generation of kids need to have more opportunities to be exposed to technology at a younger age. Personally, I much rather would have taken a class like the robotics one instead of our required home economics class. I hope that in the future these options are available for kids with these kinds of interests.

November 10th 2012

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.

I stumbled upon this video before this semester began. I think that what this company did is awesome by using 3D printing to make biomedical devices. Before knowing anything really about this printers I would have thought that it would be logistically impossible for families to use these printers themselves. Now that I know more, I would think it would be possible and really convenient for this family, and others like it, to have a 3D printer of their own in their homes. This way they could easily print parts that have broken or scale up the size of the parts needed for emma's brace and print them themselves. I'm sure it would also be more cost and time efficient for the families so they don't have to call the company for every single part they need re-printed.

November 2nd 2012

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

I think that it would be a great idea to have 3D printers in libraries. A problem I see with this is that there is some skill needed to operate the printers (at least RepRaps). Also RepRaps tend to need alot of maintenance so there would have to be someone in the library who was knowledgable about keeping the printers running.

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'm familiar mostly with the engineering library located in Hammond. This I think would be the most appropriate library as far as I know to host a 3D printer since engineering students would have a high demand for using the printers.

October 27th 2012

Does this article support your argument then? Do you think this technology will find a use?

I don't think that the presence of this patent will have any impact on the reprap community. Like I said before, it will be nearly impossible to inforce regulations placed on open source 3D printing. I believe that attempting to place regulations is a good idea, I'm just not sure how practical it is. This technology is probably more suited for non-open source printers that are rented out by companies.

October 19th 2012

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?

By being able to print active components as well as passive components, we open up new possibilities for products we can print completely. When we could only print passive components, we would have to go to another source to get sensors, but this makes us more independent and self-sufficient

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

Our printers would have to be adapted to be able to print with the type of material used in light piping. Also we need to make our printers more precise to be able to print objects are this quality.

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?

We use these types of sensors in our labs here at Penn State. It would be cool if we had the capability to print these and could be self-sufficient and not have to buy these items.

October 12th 2012

1. What do you think of bio-printing? What sort of legal problems or technical problems can you foresee?

Bioengineering has always been very interesting to me so I think bio-printing sounds pretty cool. There are lots of technical problems that can be associated with it. I'm sure printing these tissues is very expensive. Legally, all medical research goes through strict regulations so that has to be kept in mind. Since this is so new I'm not sure what kind of precedent there is for this type of research so it could take awhile before these methods are approved.

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

I don't think RepRaps are really appropriate for bio-research. These tissues are probably very complex and should probably be carried out on bigger scale with more industrial type printers.

October 5th 2012

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

It's hard for me to think of a next step because I do NOT support this in anyway. But I suppose I would follow through with the legal procedures so that the project wouldn't get in any trouble that would set it back. Also in the meantime while waiting for that, we could work on the design more so that once we get a printer it would be more likely to work.

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 really have anything new to add. I feel that 3D printing should definitely be regulated for situations such as this. Manufacturing guns in other ways is regulated so why should 3D be exempt? But again, it's hard to do this with people having access to their own personal 3D printers

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

Any objects that can cause harm to yourself or others might attact similar attention.

September 28th 2012

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 has allegedly is shifting towards closed-source 3D printing. They want to control who can replicate their printers with the reveal of their new Replicator 2 3D printer. Prusa is concerned because this is not the direction he wants 3D printing to go in. He does not want Makerbot industries to own all the content on Thingiverse. Prusa has already started to stray away from Thingiverse and the rest of us may want to do the same. If we want to sustain the open source community running we will need a new Thingiverse.

September 21st 2012

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 think that that some sort of authority may try to place restrictions on 3D printing, however I see no practical way of enforcing this. Because these printers can be home made, it is nearly impossible to track who has these printers and how to make these users abide by these laws. It's similar to music piracy. It something that is so spread out and difficult to control that it can't really be stopped.

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 enjoy the sciences and the ability to convert flour, water, and eggs into a deliciously decorated cupcake is something I pride myself on. Although this may not seem "technical" I can assure there are many similarities to be drawn. The process of trying and improving a recipe is similar to designing and redesigning a 3D printer. Also, the best way to man is through his stomach, giving me a clear path to "attracting mates". This passion can also be profitable. Recently many bakers have been able to create successful businesses and even television shows.

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'm torn on this issue. On one hand, it takes credit away from those who truly deserve it. On the other hand, it allows more developments to be made in a shorter amount of time because there are less legal obstacles to jump.

September 13th 2012

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?

I don't believe that a fully 'self-replicating universal constructor' is possible, or at least I dont think that it would really be economical to have one. Machines need so many different types of parts (electronics, hardware, motors, etc.) that while a self-replicating machine may be self-sufficient, it would be inefficient to create all these parts from one source.

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.

This phrase means that the users of these reprap machines can make themselves wealthier by being self-sustaining and not having to spend money to make the things they want. Reducing the need for industrial production is what allows this cheaper production of objects. I think one of the main problems goes along with what I said above. Although you may be able to produce your own parts on your personal printer, these parts may not be as high of quality as those produced industrially. Also, you have to account for the down-time required to print your own parts when you could more quickly simply buy another.

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.

As the knowledge and popularity of RepRaps increase, I think there will be substantial growth made in the project. A few ways I believe this will happen are the following. I think that the printers themselves will become more reliable and easier to make due to the input of more designers and users. I think a more legitimate version of the 'thingiverse' site will be created also. I would like to see more classes like ours will be created at other universities as well.

September 4th 2012

After browsing the website "" there are 5 objects I would like to highlight.

1. Useful: Can Colander This really isn't the coolest thing ever, but I can definitely see it being useful. Personally I eat a lot of canned fruit and vegetables and often either cut myself or loose half my food attempting to use the jagged can lid to strain out the juice.

2. Artistic/Beautiful: Rose Just because it isn't a real flower, doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. It will also never die, so the beauty of this creation could be admired forever.

3. Useless: Steak I'm not really sure why anyone would want a plastic rendition of steak, so I'm going to designate this design as the most useless.

4. Funny: Rubber-Band Bow and Arrow Projectiles are always fun. Being able to shoot something across the classroom is something many students would find amusing.

5. Weird: Haiku As far as poems go, haikus are weird. Therefore, a 3D print out of one is also weird.