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I think it is better we focus on how to make the printers more reliable. By changing the design of the model, or the structure of the parts. Rather than creating a new printer, I would say improving the designs is a more of a priority. Making those improvements then producing printers is a better way to evolve the course.


I would definitely focus on the filament recycler. With developing a good filament recycler would save us a lot from cost wise. Because the printers now we are using are not very reliable, there is a huge chance to print out waste prints. With a filament recycler, we can reuse the filament. Then the entire filament can be used properly but not throw away. Also environmentalwise, this will prevent those plastic from being handled inappropriately. On the other hand, focusing on the dual extruder would also be helpful, which can provide us the ability to print different colors in only one print. Thus, focusing on filament recycler is better.


I would recommend that we use different materials for making the set of gears on the extruder. Because the ones we are using now is made by plastic, at higher temperature it would be so hot and become warped. Also some of the parts in X-Axis can be changed too. For instance, the x-180-z-bearing-plate had a lot of parts that were not very useful, and it is kind of wasting of materials. Another point is the screw holes are not very accessible when they are in small sizes.

Blog #10

I was not picked by anyone for blog 4 and 6. I think in the future I will include more useful links and information into the blogs. Also adding more pictures to make it easier to understand. The ones I chose for Blog #8, they are really good at summarizing the information from articles, and also including different useful links to their blogs. These are the areas I have to improve on my future blogs.

Blog #9

I had known the method of creating 3D models from photos. It is very helpful when creating very complicated surface models. However, the accuracy of the model largely depends on the quality of the photo. Especially the angle you shot the photos, and the pixels. The 3D scanning way of creating models is quite different from generating photo-based model. 3D scanning would be a bit advanced since it is more accurate.


blog 4

Chris Marcocci [1] It is a very interesting blog he had. He even included the price for a finger in the blog. That was very funny. Also the chart he creates to compare open source and closed source was very helpful too.

Xiaomo Zhang [2] I like his idea of studying engineering is to make a difference. In his blog, he stated in details the differences between open source and closed source. Also he supports that open source would make people more innovative.

Mark Keller [3] Mark provides lots of useful links in his blog. This helped me when I was printing and assembling the robohand. It is very important having those links. This way, the robohand project would gain more attention to better help the world.

blog 6

Chris Marcocci [4] The most point I like about Chris’s Blog is his opinion on introducing students to 3DP. He said that if all focus was on 3DP, people could forget other important skills such as machining. I couldn't agree more on this.

Mark Keller [5] Mark’s blog has lots of useful pictures and links. His summary on the articles is really helpful to understand.

Michael Bilyk [6] Michael’s blog was full of information, and his own opinion on the topics. I like his idea about using 3D printers in PSU.



3Doodler: 3Doodler is a great project to be worked on. It is a brand new experience to put something in one’s imagination into a real object. Whenever someone is trying to express their ideas, it is always hard for others to understand only in words. Even with the help of CAD software, it is not always practical in some circumstances. With 3Doodler, it enables others to draw out what they are talking about, and therefore improve the effectiveness of communication. It only took a few minutes to put an idea into a simple prototype. Formlabs The 3D Systems is suing Formlabs for their patent infringement. Formlabs is stealing 3D Systems’ technology of stereolithographic according to 3D Systems.

B. & C.

Kickstarter Kickstarter is a good place for crowd-sourced fundraising. However, due to the fact that the internet is not quite reliable for larger business, it might not be able to represent the future of crowd-sourced fundraising. With Kickstarter, people who wanted to start their own company can test their idea. Of course it will create some legal issues like Formlabs. If it developed very well in the future, there is a chance for it to be representing the crowd-sourced fundraising.

Blog #6

Read the two articles: Disruptions: On the Fast Track to Routine 3-D Printing [7] Using 3D Printers to Transform Learning in Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Courses [8]


The article talked about the future of 3-D printing. The technology had been advanced over the past years faster than anyone could anticipate. The applications of 3-D printing had touched every industry, from entertainment, food, biology and medicals. 3-D printers had been introduced to classrooms.


It is important to develop 3-D printing technology. As the more advance the technology is, it would save more money than out sourcing manufacturing to outside of US. The reason why mentioned it in the first article, it would probably make the article more noticeable.


Implementing 3-D printers into ME program would definitely be helpful as understanding structural designing and testing and other stuffs. However, some other courses, like thermodynamics and fluid dynamics cannot have such a great experience with 3-D printers.


It is not going to be fare to mimic their program using our printers. Because our printers are not so reliable as the commercial ones, it needs to be taken care every a few time using it. For instance, we almost spend the first half of the semester to fix different kinds of problems for our printer.

Blog #5

Read the article [9]

Part A

I don't think any models in my first blog would be patentable or copyrightable. However, if some of them has some additional features, they might be patentable. For instance, the showerhead [10] has some other modes for the flowrate of water, then it will be patentable.

Part B

Xiaomo's 3D glasses clip [11] might be patentable. Cjm5325's Minion from "Despicable Me" [12] is kind of violation of the copyright of the movie. YaqiYang's Bugs Bunny [13] also violates the copyright of the original owner.

Part C

I won't be interested in licensing of non-copyrightable files, since solely licensing the files won't actually protect the design or artwork by the law. It just went through some paperworks, and then let the world know who the author or creator is, and he/ she had put time on the design or artwork.

Blog #4

Read the article "How cheap 3D printers built a replacement hand for a five-year old boy"[14]

Part A

Thoughts after reading the article and watching the video

It is amazing that why this whole project started, and went to another direction. When Owen was only making a demonstration on a sci-fi convention, but this attracted Van As, who had lost four fingers. Then they started to work on making prosthetic hand for Van As, when suddenly Van got the email from Liam's mother. After that, they changed their plan to make a prototype for Liam, and then finally they set the final version of Liam's "hand". It will be a very successful project if Owen really got his dream of helping veterans who have lost digits or hands come true. But if that comes true one day, the technology would probably go closed-source.

Part B

Compare and contrast this technology to that of a closed-source apparatus. What are the benefits and weaknesses of each? How does the cost compare?

When comparing to a closed-source technology, one most significant thing separate the two could be the cost. An apparatus built by closed-source (cs) technology would definitely cost much higher than using an open-source (os). Another point is the time for producing. In my opinion, making one of the apparatus by "cs" would take a longer time, while creating it by (os) will only take half an hour as suggested by the article. However, from time and money concerns, open source 3D printing seems to be more advantage than a closed-source technology. "CS" will make the hand much better fit the kid, because it is generated in a higher level and more customized level.

Part C

Find the open source project they refer to starting in the article. How might we participate?

The project on the website Thingiverse[15] can be found here[16]. Liams Robohand preview featured.jpg

Also the project is on the Robohand Blog [17]

In addition, we can add some sort of sensors onto the existing project, which could make the kid not only use the hand to do stuffs, but also feel different things.

Blog #3

Part A

TEDxOjai - Behrokh Khoshnevis - Contour Crafting: Automated Construction [18]

The video shown a very advanced application of 3D printing. It applies the three dimensional printing technology to actually construction. It prints out different parts for a building. I think this technology would increase the building pace, however, this would cause a drop in employment. On the other hand, as suggested, implementation of such technology on other planets would definitely applicable.

Part B

How 3D Printers Are Reshaping Medicine [19]

I have seen the TED Talk on this before. ([Printing a human kidney,]). It was about printing out the actual kidney for medical use. It was developed by Anthony Atala's team. This is a great success in applying 3D printing technology to biomedical fields. Printing out an organ means more than cloning, for the fact that it would fit in different individuals better.

3D Printed Vascular Networks Made From Sugar [20]

It is an article on application of 3D printing to biomedical fields from University of Pennsylvania. However, this one indicates that the source of the feed is made from sugar, which implies other use of 3d printing, such as food field. This is not only for medical implementation on human beings, but also for experiment on getting new solutions for medical problems.

Part C

3D printed burger [21]

Applying 3D printing on food field kinda amazed me. I would have never imagined such an application. The price in the title shocked me too, a $300k burger, who would ever buy that? It is ridiculous. Therefor I feel like this implementation does not worth it.

3D printed chocolate [22]

Applying 3d printing on chocolate makes more sense. However, the technology existed previously had the ability to personalize chocolate. However, according to the article, each unit costs about $4,600, which enables the technology going public, rather than controlled by large firms. I actually don't really care what the shape of chocolate is, as long as they taste good.

Part D

3D printed dress [23]

Printing dresses seems cool. It will save a ton of money by printing out dresses, if you like buying clothes. However, this bring up the legal issues. Illegal downloading dress files, and then print it out. This is breaking laws by violations of copyright. You can check the gallery here [24]

Part E

I think printing out food would work if the shape is really weird, and hard to make by hands. For instances, fortune cookies and the shapes shown in the video [ 3d printing: now print food too,].

Blog #2

Mother of all demos [25]

I was not quite impressed by his demonstration. However, the features of a computer mouse and cursor were almost the same. For instance, the selecting action on different lines in the text was done by clicking; the movement of the cursor was done by freely move the mouse. If I were one of the audience at the time, I would have recognized the convenience that this new invention had brought to us when using computers.

Richard Doyle Presentation [26]

Professor Richard Doyle mentioned that Douglas Engelbart's invention was treated like a hoax by the people at the time. No one thought it is going to be useful.

Sharing of information makes individual's dream come true. Also sharing of information will improve the existing information. For instance, for our reprap, as we make it open source, it has been improving over time. This could be applied to a larger scale. To have a better product/ future, sharing is very essential. However, when we start to sharing information, there are always people trying their best to block our way. They change the existing information to something wrong, or even delete it. To have a better information sharing environment, we can build a web space that could only be adding stuff to it rather than editing or deleting. Then, have a monthly, or weekly (depends on the size of the space, and frequency of adding) collaborating to clean out space for more new information.

Blog #1

Part A:

1. useful:

The design in the page is a removable 3D printed shower head. This is very useful, since the shower head sometimes are stucked with small particulates in water. Those particulates are hard to be removed due to the reason that the shower heads are normally fixed.

2. artistic/ beautiful:

It is a really cool robot arm design. The rendered picture looks fantastic.

3. pointless/ useless:

A bedroom sign printed by 3D printer. It has to be a relative large size to be printed. I think it would be a really pointless job for it.

4. funny/ weird:

This funny looking design is a tippe top. It just looks funny to me.

5. scary/ strange:

The design is a flash light mount on wall, it looks strange to me. It is kind of hard for me to follow why people would need this thing to be printed out. Or even need it on a wall.

Part B:

Article [27]

I don't really consider myself a tinkerer, however, I think my roommate is a serious tinkerer. He always tweaking around stuffs that are broken in our apartment and tried to fix them by himself. The influence of corporate culture on tinkering is kind of negative. As the more corporate it becomes, more money concerns and legal issues brought up. Therefore, tinkering would made the individual or company having law suit troubles. I agree with the author's idea that tinkering would bring this nation back to track as it has been proven. Like Steve Jobs, his innovation was from tinkering, and a lot other inventors or innovators started from tinkering. Therefore, to continuously growing, tinkering is definitely an important point.

Video [28]

Cooperation of people from different background is a great thing I learned from the video. His group has a really large diversity. I was surprised when the printrbot was on the screen. The cooperation idea would definitely apply to our work here. For instance, collaborating people from a computer science background with people from mechanical/ material science/ and etc. would bring this reprap come to life. Only depend on the mechanical engineering, none of the machines would work, and vice versa.