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My name is Matt Digel and I am a Senior at The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Industrial Engineering. I intend on graduating in December 2014.


Weekly blogs are assigned by the professor and my answers to the prompts will be displayed here. These blogs will relate to 3D Printing and sometimes more specifically the RepRap printers

Blog 1

Amazing: Chainmail

The Prompt: Go to thingaverse and look for printable objects, which other people have actually printed finding designs which satisfy these descriptions in your mind:

A. Something amazing/beautiful

I have always found it amazing that the metal chainmail knights used to wear into battle could protect the wearer form the sharp blade of a sword. Now even more amazing is that the same loop within loop pattern can be made using 3D printing instead of by hand with steel wire. The STL file can be downloaded here.
Funny: Glasses

B. Something funny or strange

Funny sun glasses are always a great accessory to have at a theme party or for halloween. I have seen some with a mustache that hang below the lens, or ones that looks like a window blind that's ironically pretty difficult to see out of. These glasses provide the funny aspect of having curled eye brows attached to the lens while also still being able to see out of them. The STL file can be downloaded here.
Useless-Action Figure

C. Something useless

In a day where kids are growing up with video games and toys that are more technologically advanced than my first cell phone I believe it's pretty useless and wasteful to print out this block headed action figure for any child. It doesn't even have a face?! Action figures usually come with a cool story about saving the world or fighting off some villain. This guy looks like he could barely fight off a fly.
Uslessful - Ice Cube Tray Holder

D. Something useful

Living with 4 other roommates in one apartment can make for a crowded refrigerator. This little ice cube tray holder is simple, but would be very useful for any group of students or family needing to increase available space in their freezer. The STL file can be downloaded here.
Raspberry Pi Holder

E. The 'Best' printable Raspberry Pi case you can find At this point I don't know too much about Raspberry Pi holders, like what would make a good or a bad one, but what I do know is that this holder has 84 likes on Thingiverse and it looks very smooth, clean and put together. There were a few others that had around 50 likes who also had a nice color combination. My only worry is that these holders got likes for the way they look as opposed to their actual functionality. The STL file can be downloaded here.

Blog 2

The Prompt: Write about a topic (or two, or three) which interests you which we've discussed so far - or not discussed in detail yet.

Crazy Toothbrush Holder
Crazy Toothbrush Holder

This week I’ve found a problem in need of a solution in my bathroom. My roommates and I have trouble keeping our bathroom counter organized especially on the weekends. One thing that I think could help would be to have a toothbrush holder to reduce the clutter on the counter surface, while also adding something interesting to look at while your standing at the sink. I searched thingiverse for toothbrush holder designs with some good results but none that completely fulfilled my functional or aesthetic requirements, but definitely gave me some good ideas. I think it would be fun and an interesting learning experience to take this toothbrush holder idea from concept to design to physical product with one of our RepRap 3D printers. Though I do enjoy building the printers, I think my interest lies more in troubleshooting designs themselves and figuring out what can be printed, what can’t and going through the process of actually designing and creating something for everyday use. As it stands now, the specs for my toothbrush holder would be that it has to hold 4 toothbrushes and maybe the toothpaste tube as well. A design look that appeals to me is one that is tall and slender and kind of resembles an umbrella. The trick with a tall design would be figuring out if the toothbrush holder could be done in one print or would have to be broken up into two different parts. Either way the process necessary for product development with 3D printing is one I’d like to explore. To the right are some of the toothbrush holders I found on thingiverse.

Blog Number Three

The Prompt: Read some of your classmates blogs, find the best ones and suggest improvements to those who need it

Brandon Tunkel ‘s blog on digital rights management I found to be the most interesting and informational. He actually discussed a company I talked about during my show and tell called Authentise that plans on using a business model similar to Netflick, but instead applied to 3D printing. I liked reading about how the streaming DRM method they use is called SendShapes prevents users from saving the CAD file. It has gotten to the point where companies are having to send cease and desist orders to service bureaus to prevent the printing of trademarked figures and items so it seems that in some industries technology might be necessary.

Scott Milander ‘s blog on 3D printed kidney and how it can live up to four months I found to be very interesting. I had known previously from my research over the summer that companies like ONVO were printing human organs, but I hadn’t heard they could live for so long. I am still skeptical about their potential quality though. I find it hard to believe that science and unnatural processes could adequately create and replace such a personalized and unique part of the human body. Scott also had a very nice introduction that included a link to a page that gave a status report on the Rainbow printer that he is working on. This is something I should do with my Black Printer next week.

Crosby Owens’s blog on 3d scanners caught my eye. My question for him is if he has ever heard of the iPhone app called 123D Catch. I learned about it from a lecture given by the CEO of Dimensions, a 3D Scanning company based out of Baltimore. This app will create a 3D render of an object after you send it 40 pictures of the object from every angle possible. The Direct Demensions CEO had tried the app out on a statue head, by taking the pictures, creating the render and then printing it out on a Makerbot. I got to hold the printed statue head in my hand after his lecture at a conference this summer. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I also think Crosby’s discussion on food is interesting. Though I can agree that printing food will help to save food cost and waste, I have a hard time believing that the food from a 3D printer will be healthy or even appealing to customers by the time the technology is more advanced. Organic, and natural food companies and grocery stores are expanding and becoming more popular as we speak. People are beginning to be willing to pay more for healthier food. In my opinion, 3D printing food will never get paste printing deserts like chocolate.

Abbie Letts has by far the best blog 3. You can tell she read everyone’s blog for both week 1 and week 2 and genuinely thought that Brandon Tunkel had the best week 2 blog and Tom Stewart had the best week 1 blog. In addition she gives improvement comments to two classmates and then creates a whole new section for other posts she’d like to comment on.

Improvements: One thing that stuck out to me in a few blogs, specifically Brandon Tunkel 's, was that the introduction did not include very much information. I would have loved to learn a little bit more about him in his introduction. Right now it is only one sentence.

Also, after looking on the mailing list and comparing the names on that to the scrugmembers wiki homepage I found that Josh Beacham wasn’t on the wiki homepage. Or maybe he is just on the mailing list but not in the class?

Blog 4

From the user perspective I certainly love the open source business model. This idea of giving away a companies primary product for free is actually the foundation of not just Google, but a majority of internet companies. Every time I go on Facebook, Youtube, Ebay, CNN, or Glassdoor websites I am utilizing that companies primary service that adds efficiency and value to my life and I don’t have to pay for it. The traditional business model is followed by companies who create their primary product or service to be directly sold to a customer or user. For example, Proctor and Gamble makes and sells toilet paper, Toy R ‘US buys and resells toys, and UPS sells a delivery service. All these companies get paid for the main way they provide value to their customers. They spend money on material, machines, vehicles, warehouses and supply chains because they make money off of physical objects that can’t be infinitely copied or travel across the world in seconds. The internet allows companies to mass produce value to a customer without any physical costs and thus have nothing to lose by giving it away for free. By giving value away for free they can gain brand recognition and sell advertisements. In my opinion this is a win-win for the customer and company. The customer doesn’t have to directly pay for the specific product, but the company still has a way to make money through other means. The arduino and RepRap projects are examples of the rare exception of the “give away for free” approach applied to physical objects.

The arduino project is geared toward designers in a hope to get them thinking more about the electronics in objects. The goal is to help innovators easily make interactive objects and environments by receiving information from its sensors and powering lights, motors and other machines. This project represents a company that is based on IP and only makes money off their patented logo. This allows third parties to make and produce different types of the electronics platform and make money off a design that is open to everyone. I personally love this type of business model because it promotes learning, trial and error and maker communities. There’s no doubt that arduino’s or some platform like them will be used all over the world to teach electronics and computing within the next 10 years. For me though the hardest part was understanding what exactly an arduino could do. Below is a list of examples that I found here.

-Want to have a coffee pot tweet when the coffee is ready? Arduino. -Want to have plushie steaks glow? Arduino. -Want to make your own heart rate monitor for cycling that logs to a memory card? Arduino. -Want to make a robot that draws on the ground, or rides around in the snow? Arduino.

It seems the arduino has opened up a new world of creation to those that don’t know much about electronics and I think it’s greatest influence will be in the classroom whether that classroom is your own garage or your kids highschool.

The RepRap project is a result of the arduino platform and essentially the same concept of open source sharing but instead with the ability to make physical objects. My favorite part about both of these projects is the potential they create for those with the motivation to teach themselves. Though I realize it’s not to late for me now, I can not help but be a little jealous of the third grades being introduced to these incredible learning tools at such an early age.

Blog 5

Before reading “What’s the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing?” I did not know much about the rules involving intellectual property. I knew that I wasn’t allowed to copy and paste articles or essays for my school papers and that if I download a song from the internet besides on iTunes that was illegal. In regards to 3D printing I assumed that you just couldn’t copy another person’s design file because you didn’t make it. Well it turns out it is not so straightforward.

To start, I first learned the difference between copyrights, patents and trademarks. A copyright protects creative and artistic works like paintings, movies, novels and sculptures from the moment they are created. A patent protects useful things that you would expect an engineer or scientist to make like machines and technical systems after the creator applies for protection. And finally trademarks cover symbols and recognition in the market.

The extremes of examples on the copyright vs. patent spectrum are easy to understand. A beautiful painting is protected by copyright and a new key lock design can be protected by a patent. The questions and confusion arise when things start to fall in the middle, meaning they are both artistic and useful. In cases involving things in the middle the law will only protect purely artistic features that can be “severed” from the rest of the thing in question. The best rule to determine severability came as a result of a court case on the copyright law of a beauty school head where only the face of the head was granted protection. The rule states: Determine if independent, artistic judgment drove the creation of the non-functional elements. The objects that lie in the middle of the spectrum are the ones that cause the most copyright confusion.

The .stl files that are sent to 3D printers fall to the protectable extreme of the spectrum because the copyright law states that “maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans” are eligible for copyright protection. The disruptive aspect of this is that no copyright for a design of a useful object extends to the actual physical object. The legal questions result from whether or not a file in allowed to be copied based upon it’s artistic and useful elements. For example useful objects with a digital file created by a scanner are allowed to be copied.

Overall my biggest takeaways were that not every .stl file is necessarily protected by copyright law, and that most physical objects aren’t either. Now, I am going to examine the objects I selected originally in my first blog and see if there is any copyrightable or patentable elements.

My Objects:

Chainmail: Useful in the sense that it could be used as actual low quality chainmail, but in my opinion more artistic because it’s size could not actual protect much and seems more meant to look at

Funny Glasses: The glasses frame itself is useful, but the eyebrows, the part that makes them funny is artistic so perhaps that feature could be copyrighted

Action Figure: Though in my opinion boring and useless, some may consider this a work of art and therefore copyrightable

RasberryPie Holder: Useful and therefore not copyrightable

Other Classmates Objects:

Madeline Roche’s Mickey Mouse Statue: This objet is infringing on a artistic copyright law because they are using characters owned by another company… this may actually be a trademark, but I am not totally sure.

Atokarz’s Statue of Liberty: The Statue of Liberty is a work of art and therefore can not be copied unless the rights were given to this designer.

Dgdwazzaaa’s Octocat: This strange object is definitely a work of art, based on nothing I have personally seen before and therefore would be eligible for copyright protection.

The fact that most physical objects are not protected by copyright opens up an interesting realm of possibility for making money. By scanning useful objects onto a computer, redesigning them to be a little better or cooler and then printing them out might be a profitable business model that develops in the future because at no point in that process are you breaking copyright laws. Sense there is no copyright in place the license to recreate the object is essentially meaningless.

The author in the first article was naïve because the designer doesn’t have copyright claim over the figure at all because it is based off of an optical illusion, which are not subject to copyright law.

Blog 6

Prompt: Blog 6 is in some sense an extension of blog 5. I want you to go through your classmates responses to blog 5 regarding IP and the penrose triangle model. The main thing I missed in my pervious blog was including a wide range of objects from my classmate’s blogs. In blog 5 I summarized the reading and took away the some main learning points. My biggest takeaways were that not every .stl file is necessarily protected by copyright law, and that most physical objects aren’t either. Overall I am really glad we were assigned to read this article because before I read it I knew virtually nothing about the laws associated with 3D printing design. What excites me the most about this is that any of the “useful” designs I might find on Thingiverse I could potentially print with my own 3D printer and sell off to make a little extra cash.

Blog 7

Though I did read some of the articles posted in the email and found the Immunization Beads Garner Top Prize in 3D Printers for Peace Contest to be the most inspiring I am going to discuss a project that I found on today that has some disruptive technology that will affect 3D printing.

The name of the project is called Spike: Laser accurate measurement and modeling on smartphones. Basically the idea is that this smart phone accessory and app allows you to “capture, measure, map, model, share and 3D print any object up to 200 yards away.” This type of technology is nothing new though. Spike originally started with a product called ikeGPS that was meant for industrialized measurement solutions. The ikeGPS was big, held like a gun and very useful to the United Nations in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Now through Kickstarter, Spike is pushing to bring this technology to everyone. What caught my eye originally was purely the idea of measuring things far away with laser accuracy, but what kept me reading was how Spike advertises its ability to help you print a 3D scale model of the a building. This is something I have wanted to do with my own house, so I investigated Spike’s role in this process.

Here’s what’s required: -Take three pictures of the building with the Spike and your Smart Phone -Upload to your computer and highlight the vertical and horizontal lines of the building on each picture -These lines help translate the dimensions and model to a CAD program like Google SketchUp -Then it’s up to you to add the details of the building like windows, doors, shutters, etc.

So is it possible to use this device to help print 3D scale models of buildings? Yes. But do you still need to have a moderate knowledge of how to use a program like SketchUP? Yes. Good news is that Sketchup is easy to learn. The Spike costs $299 dollars on Kickstarter, but what is interesting is that there is an app called 123D Catch that can also help you 3D print a model building by taking over 40 pictures of the building and stitching them together. I am curious to see which technology would do a better job.

Here is a link to Spike's Kickstarter page:

Blog 8


At the moment there is no good names to describe what goes on during ENGR 497J: Open Source 3D Printing, the 3D Printing Club meetings and the variety of Additive Manufacturing that is intertwined with departments all over UP and other Penn State campuses. Our regional neighbors in Virginia Tech have what they call the DREAM Lab, which stands for Design, Research and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems. DREAMS Lab stated mission is to be “a leader in the transition of rapid prototyping technologies to new paradigm of additive manufacturing.” In the lab they have a variety of printers most of which are meant for industrial use. These printers include Stratasy’s Object PolyJet Printer and FDM 1500/1600, ExOne’s R2, and ZCorp’s 402 and 510. These industrial printers are comparable to the printers at Penn State’s CIMP 3D lab located in Innovation Park. CIMP 3D, stands for “Center for Innovative Materials Processing Through Direct Digital Deposition.” CIMP 3D’s mission is to “advance and deploy AM technology of metallic and advanced material systems to industry.” The printers in CIMP 3D’s lab are EOS’s M280, Sciaky Electron Beam-Based System and Optomes Lens MR-7. The main difference I see between DREAM Lab and the CIMP Lab is that though there is an industrial focus in the DREAM lab they still have desktop printers like Makerbot and [email protected]’s open source printing. CIMP 3D however only focuses on industrial grade printers and applying them to industry, that is wear ENGR 497J fills the void with our desktop and open source printers. So if we are to describe what’s going on with Additive Manufacturing outside of the CIMP 3D lab at Innovation Park at Penn State, the distinction needs to be made that we use desktop and open source printers.

Part A) Jordan Miller’s AMRI (Advanced Manufacturing Research Institue) out of Rice University has worked on the following projects:

1. 3D Printing via laser-sintering of thermoplastic powders 2. Ink-jet printing of genetically modified living bacteria 3. Digital light projection (DLP) photolithography of plastic and hydrogels: 4. Bacterial cellstruder for synthetic biology studies:

It seems these project are a little out of the scope for the equipment we have here in Hammond 312. When you begin to print with cells, bacteria and hydrogels I would think we would need completely different equipment and lab space for that. Otherwise I think the laser sintering of thermoplastics is within our grasp. Currently there is a desktop SLS printer on the market called FORM 1 by Form Labs. Below you’ll find links to videos about FORM 1. This could be potentially something to save up for.

Part B) Adjectives besides Open Source, Design, Learning, Education, Research, Additive Manufacturing, and Fabrication and State College RepRap Users Group that describe what we do: -Desktop -Disrupting -Hands on

Part C) Memorable Words OSPREY: Open Source Platform for Research, Education, do it Yourself

The A+MOLDER’s Lab: Additive Manufacturing for Open source Learning Design Education and Research LOADER Lab: Learning Open Source Additive-Manufacturing through Design, Education and Research

DARED Lab: Desktop Additive-Manufacturing through Research Education and Design

Blog 9

The idealism behind this Coffee Grinder is all that’s good about it in my opinion. His goal was to make “a grinder that could be repaired by almost anyone.” The issue is that just because someone can repair something or could easily figure out how to doesn’t mean that they actually will. The only people he’s served with this design is his fellow Maker community filled with people that will go out of their way to make a 3D Printed Coffee Grinder. Though he has accomplished the goal of making a grinder that most people can repair for cheap, I don’t believe the low cost would off set the time and effort necessary to do so for most people. I, on the other hand, would be one of those people that would be willing to spend the time and effort on creating a homemade coffee grinder and for that I think this is a cool design.

The article also mentions a website called 3D Hubs, which the designer uses to out source the actual 3D printing of his coffee grinder parts to a local guy with a Replicator 2. 3D Hubs goal is to connect people who want to print to people owning the machines meaning that it acts as a middleman in the service bureau market. After probing through the 3D Hub website, it seems the company is relatively new and European based. The most popular community is in Amsterdam with 591 makers and 43 printers, followed by only European cities in the top 5. Obviously the advantage here is that you can print your ideas without having to invest in a large amount of money for a 3D printer. But will this business model last? My assumption is that the main people using this service are not trying to sell the products that are printed, but rather prototype their designs out of pure interest with the maker mentality. If though the service is used to prototype a product with the intent of selling the final design, I would expect the designer would breakaway from the 3D Hub eventually by buying their own printer to reduce costs. With these two types of customers we can conclude that each customer will only use the service a hand full of times before realizing that in the long run it will be cheaper to buy a Replicator than pay 18 Euro every time you want to print your 25cm^3 object. Another thing to note is that most of the printers that are on the site are only high quality desktop printers meaning they cost between $1,000 and $3,000. So, the reality is that this company will only be successful so long as these type of printers stay at a price high enough to dissuade a majority of makers away from buying them.

The designer from the first paragraph also has created a Open Source Water Boiler. On the page describing the design he breaks down what parts are open source, and where parts can be obtained for different levels of production (Production of 1, 10, 100, or 1000). To me it doesn’t seem like this design is revolutionary because it is still subject to economies of scale for all the part purchases, and you also need to take the time to assembly all the parts which would take forever.

Blog 10

Jefferey Immelt (CEO of General Electric)- Quotes on 3D Printing: • “Additive manufacturing is worth my time, attention, money, and effort," • “3-D printing helps you make the product from the core up so you have less waste" • "The tool is cheaper, the time is faster. If all I thought 3-D printing could do was shoes, I wouldn't be talking about it."

Jeff’s goal is to bring as much manufacturing back to the US as possible through the use of advanced manufacturing techniques. He believes that the world economy is trending in a way that will allow manufacturing in the US to be more profitable than outsourcing overseas. A big reason for this is that the price of material heavily outways the cost of labor. Immelt noted a Manufacturing’s Next Chapter Conference, ‘if you can get a 1 percent lower cost in materials, it outweighs any labor costs.” 30 years ago a barrel of oil was worth $12 dollars and now it’s worth over $100. By keeping manufacturing in the US we can save on the amount of time it takes to ship. Immelt also believes the revitalizing of US manufacturing will only come with the investment in new manufacturing technolgies including 3D printng. Already GE Aviation is using additive manufacturing to build parts in for their jet engines, and GE’s Appliance Park has a new facility completely dedicated to industrial grade 3D printing of home ware products. In addition, this summer GE started an internal initiative called the Makers Guild that sends any GE employee interested in 3D printing a Cube to then conduct different missions to learn how to use the machine. The idea is to get employees using and thinking about new ways to use and improve the technology. GE has shown an intense investment and interest in additive manufacturing over the last year.

Terry Guo (Founder and Chairmen of Foxconn): Foxconn is the Chinese based largest manufacturing electronics services company that contracts with companies like Apple, Dell, Nintendo and Google. His Quotes on 3D Printing: • “3D printing does not herald the arrival of the third industrial revolution” • "3D printing is a gimmick"

Terry’s main argument against 3D printing is at the hype the technology has created. Foxxconn has been using it for decades, but also wants to make sure people understand that 3D printing isn’t going to change everything about manufacturing, especially in manufacturing electronics. As it stands 3D printers can not assemble electronic components or mass produce them (even though there are researchers out their experimenting with this.) I think once 3D printing become more easily implemented in mass production, Terry will have a change of heart.

Blog 11

The majority of the issues I have encountered have been during the printing. Using Replicator G is very easy and straightforward. I haven’t had any problems with rotating the stl object, placing it in the center or scaling the size up or down. Using the Slicer app on the raspberry pie has obviously been frustrating, with Slicer just randomly disappearing from the screen a few seconds after beginning to generate the G-Code. A solution to this is to move your stl file to the desktop of the Rasyberry Pi, as opposed to using the file straight form your flash drive. Another solution to this is to use Slicer on a windows computer, and save the gcode on to a flash drive. My first problem printing was when I printed the eyeglasses frame, were the ear frames were printed vertically up the z-axis on either side of printing platform. Since the skinny vertical pieces were so spread out, plastic would drip and drag off of each frame when the extruder would go form one to the other. I found out later that this drip and drag of the plastic could be countered by increasing the retraction speed in the printer settings. Lastly, the most common problem I have had is not getting the first layer of a print to stick to the printing platform. The first layer outline of the objects shape usually works fine if the temperature is correct, but when the printer starts to fill in the space between the outlines the plastic will struggle to stick. I remember one time specifically were the first few lines of the fill in worked fine and then all of a sudden one end of fill in started to curl up and away from the outline of the object and the fill in lines that followed proceeded to do the same. After some investigating and monekying with the printer and printer settings I realized that the adjustments I had made to the z-axis as the print had just started had left the extruder a little to high off the print bed thus making the back to back fill in line process difficult to complete without drags and curl ups of the plastic.

Blog 12

So far in my collegiate career I have used Solidworks and Google Sketch Up as my 3D modeling tools. I learned fundamentals of Solidworks in an IE manufacturing design class and sketch up on my own with youtube videos and other tutorials provided by Google. I found that google sketch up was a lot more straight forward for designing relatively simple objects like a model for a house. By the end of my Solidworks class I felt confident in my ability to make almost any object without a complex curves, but the longer I stay away from using Solidworks the harder it gets to navigate how to use the relations and dimensions correctly on a sketch. Some believe though that the 3D model-making program called OpenSCAD is the easiest of all of the other programs out there. Apparently in OpenSCAD there are only ten things you need to know to be able to create a bishop chess piece. These things include three different basic shapes you can start with, four transformations you can apply to the shapes and three constructive solid geometry operations. I really like the idea of using three simple shapes as the building blocks for relatively simple 3D models, because I think it is conceptually easier to think of objects in there basic shapes as opposed to an extruded 2D sketch. Where OpenSCAD falls short is in its ability to create models with complex curves and geometries that programs like Solidworks are meant for. I specifically remember last year trying to make a bicycle seat was hard enough in Solidworks and I can only imagine how difficult it would be to create it on OpenSCAD using only cubes, spheres and cylinders.

Though the coding aspect of OpenSCAD gives me slight hesitation toward using the software the article claims that if you have ever made a simple blog post (which I’ve now done 12 of now) or used HTML for a website (which I’ve also done) then you can handle OpenSCAD. I think including an assignment for future classes to create and print an object using OpenSCAD would be a cool and worth while experience for students in a 3D printing class because of its open source nature and simplicity.

Blog 13

The conductive silver ink pen is to electronic circuiting as the 3Doodler is to 3D printing. Both these pens enable anyone to either “draw” a circuit board or a 3-deminsional object. The 3Doodler is essentially the extruder of a Rep Rap made into a pen, so with this new pen that lay down conductive material it makes us all wonder if this pen can be implemented into a additive manufacturing process. At the industrial level a company called Optomec that works with Penn State’s CIMP 3D lab has a printer that does something like this. Their Aerosol Jet Technology has the unique ability to print fine feature electronics along with other materials. This patented process of theirs uses aerodynamic focusing to deposit their material with dimensions that range from 10 micrometers to up to a centimeter scale.

Opotomec uses this technology to print sensors directly on to complex surfaces like an aircraft wing, automotive components and military equipment as well as high and low band antennas for cell phones. The next level of desktop 3D printers and Rep Raps should have dual extruders, but with one of the extruders being one of these conductive silver ink pens or something like it. This new technology would open up a completely different twisted on 3D printing, potentially allowing engineers to print smart objects. I think a cool place to start would be printing working robots.

Blog 14


The most impressive feature about the SmartRap design is that there are only 8 printed parts necessary. The goal of this design was to make an open source printrbot that is extremely easily to use and build. I have already begun to print some of the parts for this design so I am hoping that next semester a student can take over where I leave off and get one of these designs working within the first few weeks of the semester. Having experience with a printrbot of my own I can attest that the build, use and maintenance of the printer are all very straight forward. I think having more of these printers in the classroom would allow more things to get done by the students during class time. With additional SmartRaps more students could participate in the repairing and building of the printers because of its simplicity. With a printer that is easy to build and repair this would mean that there would always be a decent about of printers available and ready to print. I think one of the main issues with the class right now is that there are not enough working printers for everyone to use, the majority of them are in need of repair so it has been difficult for people to actually print during class. If there were more of the smaller SmartRap printers around, then a lot more people could be printing to satisfy the print service demand. One of the weaknesses I have observed in the printrbot design though is its reliance on the fishing line to drive the x and y axis. I have found that I have to retighten the fishing line on my printrbot every few weeks, otherwise the loose line causes the print to skip. So though I think the repairs on the SmartRap will be much easier I believe the maintenance on them will be a lot more frequent.

Blog 15

Is there anything in there which you've not been exposed to during this course. Point out anything which seems new to you.

The List of 15 things 3D printers can do according to:

The lines with (NEW) were new to me when I read them.

15. Human body parts… Organovo 14. Prosthetics for people … Bespoke Innovations 13. Dinosaur Skeleton 12. 3D replica of people who have passed away (NEW) 11. Meat and leather 10. Sea scallops, cookies and banana-flavored… burritos from the Burritobot?? (NEW) 9. Drug paraphernalia - Bongs, grinders (NEW) 8. Sex Toys 7. Car… Urbee by Kor Ecologic (200 miles per gallon on the highway) 6. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 5. A house 4. Fashion 3. Human masks from the DNA off a piece of chewy gum (NEW) 2. Replica of fetus still in utero 1. Customized surf boards

I found number three to be the most crazy because of its combination of DNA sequencing and 3D printing. I find it a bit eerie myself that a piece of my chewing gum, could be used to produce a mask that looks exactly like me.

This list was just a collection of the most flashy weird, funny or cool things being done with 3D printers by companies and researchers with access to industrial grade printers or some unique technology. The true potential in desktop 3D printing lies in the practical solutions that can be installed around the house like the game consol holder. Designs that can help to organize the home great because they can be customized to the homes specific needs. I don’t believe that any one product that’s similar to the game consol holder could make much of a company because of need for the items to be customized to each consumers, but I do think that if a interior designer could benefit greatly from becoming well versed in Solidworks and 3D printing they could do some pretty elaborate things for their customers.