Entering Beckman just made me feel so smart! Another student in our class told me that first and it is the truth. Needless to say, watching the operation of an $80,000 3D Scanner left me amazed and wishing that I was an Engineer (although that lasted only till I saw the Grainger library). I’ve always dreamt of the many cool things 3D printing will enable in the future and getting to print an object that is very useful to one of the class’ students is the first step in realizing that dream. I find it really cool that Arielle’s custom-built racing glove is being digitally printed from an edited version of the scan that was taken by the ridiculously expensive scanner, it is the first all-encompassing 3D Printing project that I get to view first hand and I am excited to see how good the end printed model is going to be.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to learn the process of how an object is scanned, how that scan is then edited to remove the clinks associated with that scan, how the scan image then gets converted to a CAD model, which is ultimately used to print the actual object. The process is a LOT harder than what I initially imagined it to be. I was particularly surprised by the level of clarity that came with the scanners, even the 80k one. This just goes to show that 3D Printing is an area that could use people with the required skills, and so far, this class has been great as a base from which to build on in terms of knowledge regarding AM.