Extra Blog B
Before this class, I knew nothing about 3D printing, RepRap, or the Wiki world and unfortunately I'm still not sure I know very much about these topics. I have learned a lot about the different uses of 3D printing but that is mostly through doing the blogs. What I still don't know much about is how to how the actual printers work. I have no problem using the machines to print, but if one of them stops working correctly (which has happened a lot while doing prints)I have no idea how to try to fix it. I am on a build team which I though would have taught me a lot about the internal workings of the printers, but we really just built it by looking off of a working printer. My point is that I wish there would have been a little more structure to the class (at least for the first month). I realize that almost everyone in the class knows a lot more about these printers than I do so maybe there could have been more lecture time for students who wanted it and the rest of the students could have spent their time working on their individual projects. I do feel that this is a "real class". Although I didn't learn much about the actual printers, I learned a lot about how they are being used which will greatly help me in the future as I am currently pursuing a full time job in the bio medical field. Bio printing has taught me a lot about the new technology being used in that field. I also really enjoyed the actual process of printing and the print service, and I know most of the people I have met in that class have also greatly enjoyed it. I think it would be beneficial (especially to students in the engineering field) to having this class for future students.
While reading an article from I previous blog post, I briefly learned that the army is also starting to use 3D printers. I started to further investigate this and I found some very interesting things. In an article I found dated back in August, they explain how they actually have a mobile unit in Afghanistan. The mobile unit is always very close to the front lines and contains 3D printers and CNC machines. These machines allow for custom parts for guns, armor and other equipment to be made on scene. This will give the soldiers immediate access to potential lifesaving equipment. From another article, Rapid Technologies Branch Chief Rick Moore says “It is kind of a magical thing” when explaining how he feels when he sees the reaction of people coming through the labs who have never seen technology like this before.  Moore’s branch uses this technology to print parts of their protective masks. A laser scanner passes over every millimeter of the object and plots the points on screen where the mask shows up immediately. A solid copy is then printed out from a 3D printer. Something else I found incredibly interesting is how in the future, medical personnel will use 3D lasers to scan each soldier before he or she is deployed. If the soldier is injured on duty, they will be able to have surgeries or get prosthetics that will be an exact replica of what they looked like before the accident. In a final article that I found, The Army Corps’ U.S. Army Engineers are actually using 3D printers to make detailed 3D landscape models. A 3D landscape model would be much more help to soldiers than a simple 2D map. They explain that using 3D printers to replicate topography has cut weeks off of construction labor and cost while having a final product that can accurately distinguish land, water, buildings, and terrain. I am very glad that I came across a few of these articles. I enjoy learning about the new ways that 3D printers are being used and this was a unique approach that I had never hear of before.
At first I thought the idea of having a print out of yourself would be totally creepy, but in a way it’s no different than if you have a picture of yourself hanging up in your house. I think a lot of families would think having a small family replication would be a lot better than a traditional photo. I also think (seeing as these prints are not extremely expensive) that some people might think it’s cool to have a 3D print out of themselves just because it’s something different. Having said this, I do not believe my family or I would ever buy a model of ourselves. When I think of little models like these, I think of action heroes or little toys so I would think it would be a little were seeing myself as a little 3D print out. Even though I would never do it, I believe there could be a very high demand for personalized models. I believe the ease of sitting still for 15 minutes to get your model at a reasonable cost would be appealing to a lot of people. The only thing that may be a problem is how long the models would take to print. I don’t believe it says in the article, but I would have to assume it would take a large amount of time to print these models. I’m also not sure what competition there would be since there really is nothing like these models. Maybe the only competition could be tradition picture places if people decide that the models just aren’t for them and would rather just have a 2D picture.
I think 3D printers would be a greater addition to schools especially at the high school level. I just finished a semester long project for my mechanical engineering design course where we were to design and build a science exhibit for the local children’s museum. This project required me to do a lot of research into STEM and how to get young kids interested in science. Even though I did my research on young children, whom I believe would not find 3D printing as beneficial, we still need to be encouraging high school students to be thinking about going to college for STEM based majors. A 3D printer in a high school would do wonders for the science curriculum. My high school was very fortunate to have a great theoretical math and science program; however it lacked a hands-on engineering and design curriculum. CAD drawing programs were basically the extent of our engineering classes. I am embarrassed to say that I actually didn’t know anything about RepRap or 3D printers until I got to the EDSGN class, and I only found out about it from a friend who had it the previous semester. If I would have had some experience with 3D printing in high school, I may have gained earlier interest in the robotics field and would have been open to different job opportunities.
From what I’ve seen in the articles, it seems like RepRap machines are making great improvements based on their resolution. A lot of the things in the article are either very small or very artistic looking with a lot of curves. Ever since the bio printing blog, I have been thinking a lot about how 3D printing could affect the medical field. Along with that, I believe the next big area for RepRap machines could be with electronics. Because of the improvements being made to these printers, it is becoming more of a possibility to effectively print very tiny things. This would be perfect for electronics since every new upgrade with an electronic device features it at a smaller size.
I think it would be a great idea to get RepRap machines for libraries on campus to expose more people to the 3D printing world. I know as an engineer, it would be great to be able to print out prototypes of projects and models for our classes. If Penn State would get printers for a library, I believe they would have to buy a more expensive one than the RepRap machines we are using in EDSGN. Maybe get a printer of the same cost and quality of the one in the article. I believe we would need one with a higher quality of print since so many people will be using it for various things. Because not a lot of people around campus are aware of 3D printing, we could probably start out with just one printer and maybe open it up to just one department. The engineering department could use it for many different things as well as the biology department or other science departments. Once people on campus become more aware of 3D printing, I know it would catch on and maybe we could get more printers. There are many places around campus to put the printer. The logical place seems to be Pattee/Paterno library because it is totally accessibly to everyone and everyone knows where it is. Ideally, I think it would be great if over time we could get a printer for each department and put it in either their library or department building.
I really think they are fighting a losing battle. We have seen restrictions put on so many things and people still find a way to violate the copyright law (example; music downloads). I understand why they are trying to do it. It’s all about money and personal gain which, as I’ve said in a previous blog, I don’t have a problem with. If you put the time in and create something of your own, you should get compensated. It’s not right for someone to steal your ideas although people will find a way to do it.
1. I am a little conflicted about this. I think the technology is great as being able to print optical pieces could increase production for other devices and reduce the cost. However on the other hand it seems to me like you would need a much more precise printer than what we use so that could increase cost. I don’t know much about this subject and I’m not sure I fully understand what is going on so maybe that is why I am getting conflicting feelings about this technology.
2. I don’t believe our printers would be able to do prints implementing light piping. They simply are not reliable enough and they do not have great enough resolution. We would have to find a way to stop our prints from getting the “bubbles” in them. I also don’t think you would be able to use the plastic filament.
3. I’m not sure if I’m on the right track with this, but it seems to me that just about any device with wires could use these optical sensors as a substitute.
1. This is the surprisingly the first time I have heard about this and I think it is incredible. While on my current job hunt, I have been interviewing with a diagnostics group that does some work with prosthetics and artificial limbs but they never mentioned doing any bio printing. I am now very intrigued by this article and I will have to ask them about it at my next interview. I really do not see much bad coming from bio printing. As long as it is safe, I don’t see how anyone could have a problem with medical advancements and that is why I don’t foresee any legal issues. People may have some personal or ethical issues with it you are trying to make something that is nonliving into something living. I am a bit concerned of what exactly the “bio-ink” they are using is made out of. If bio printing ends up not working out for things such as creating artificial organs, at least it seems like it would still be an effective and cost efficient way to test new drugs.
2. I really do not see bio printing being extended to RepRaps or DIY research. Bio printing is dealing with some very extensive scientific research. If someone would print out a heart, what exactly are they going to do with it? They can’t exactly do a heart transplant on themselves. I don’t see bio printing extending much further away from a hospital/research setting than maybe a med school or some teaching facility.
1. If I were a member of the DIY gun project I would probably continue on as they are by trying to obtain another printer. I would also try to obtain a federal firearms manufacturing license while trying to get a printer just in case no one will rent you out a printer. I’m a bit confused with the whole process of renting a printer. Do they have to tell the rental company what they are using the printer for? If not then they should not have even told them they were using it to print parts for firearms. Another possibly, although this would also be costly and time consuming, is to rent a printer and print parts to make your own printer. Then you could print whatever you want.
2. I am not a fan of allowing just anyone to own a weapon so I would like to see the printing/owning of guns regulated. Having said that, from reading this article it seems the regulations on weapons are inconsistent. If they make one weapon illegal to privately manufacture without a license, they should make them all illegal. Even though I would like to see it regulated I don’t believe there is a way to do that without putting some sort of regulation on 3D printing. It would be easy for someone to make their own printer and print whatever they want with it.
3. Some things that seem prone to prohibition are obviously any weapon or device that could cause harm to someone. I also think people may start to get in trouble for printing someone else’s ideas or patented items.
I don't see a problem with Makerbot's Replicator 2 being closed source. Many people are probably not completely honest with how they use 3D printers, and they may take advantage of Makerbot being opened source. From a business standpoint, I always thought the whole " opened source" and sharing ideas was crazy because you would never be able to make a decent profit. Like all other consumer products that are initially sold at low cost and get more expensive as the product gets popular, Makerbot is just trying to get more from all of the hard work they put in. I also don't understand how Makerbot can suddenly own everything on Thingiverse when Thingiverse is a collection of many people's (outside of Makerbot) ideas and designs. I don't believe it is right for Makerbot to claim everything as their own. As for Prusa's idea to take his Thingiverse things down, I think it's a good idea. I would not be happy if someone was suddenly making money off of my idea just because it is on their website.
1. It is hard to say just how big 3D printing is going to become. Before taking this class, I personally had no experience with 3D printing and I hadn't really heard much about it, but since taking the class I have realized how popular 3D printing is becoming. But what if this is as big as it gets for 3D printing? If 3D printing never reaches households or businesses as some people assume it will, there will be no need for patents. I do believe 3D printing will continue to grow and that there should be some limitations put on printing however I really dont't think a patent will protect it anymore than it has protected against the illegal download of music. People will always find a way to illegally buy things so they don't have to spend any money just as they do when downloading music, and if in fact 3D printing continues to become popular, I don't see how you will be able to stop people from illegally using them.
2. My passion in life is sports and it has been for a very long time. I love the competition and teamwork, and the fact that on any given day the underdog can rise up and win. Sports are so unpredictable. I believe that as a girl and having a love for sports, people would see me as well-rounded which I believe is a great quality to have.
3. I disagree with Professor Bowyer about this. First off, although I do see 3D printing growing, I don't see people printing every sort of household item with it. I also don't think it will completely erase intelectual property because not everyone is going to use the machines illegally. As much as people may not believe me, I actually buy all of my music legally from iTunes and Amazon. I also know I am not the only honest person who does this. If 3D printing grows so big that you have to put restrictions on it, there will still be many people who will use it the right way.
1. I think the concept is great but I have some doubts that the process will work as smoothly as the author thinks. I don't think the machines will be able to successfully copy intricate pieces such as the extruder. If the initial machine was much larger and of higher quality I could see this process possibly being successful, however that may lead to a cost increase.
2. The phrase 'wealth without money' means you have a large amount of personal goods without having a lot of money. I think the author's goal for the replicating process is to have the user pay an initial cost for the constuction of their first machine, and then they will save money on any items they wish to create with the machine including self replicating the machine itself. The machine will allow the user endless means of production so they will have 'wealth (objects) without money'.
3. In the future, I think the RepRap machine process will continue to gain attention and grow. I think you will see them in many more homes being used to produce simple household items as well as in some businesses. Beyond this, I really don't see the machine's self replicating process growing the way the author invisions it happening. I believe the machines would have to become larger in size and of better quality to really gain a lot of interest, however this would increase the cost which would also be a turnoff to customers.
Useful: Acrylic Hair Dryer Mount  Hair dryers are usually big and bulky so finding a storage place for them isn't easy. This Hair Dryer Mount would leave your hair dryer hung up nicely and give you more drawer space for other things.
Artistic/Beautiful: Bellerophina Vase  This vase is very artistic looking and unlike any vase I have seen before. It is very unique.
Pointless/Useless: Pile of ABS scrap  There is nothing I can think of to use this for.
Funny: iSpork  This really made me laugh when I saw it. It would be very funny to see someone actually using this.
Weird: Skull Bowl  This may be useful around Halloween but I still find it to be creepy and weird.