BADM 395: Reflecting Back

glove presentation

Our final presentation

At the beginning of the semester, I was feeling a little lost. Many students in the College of Business know exactly want they want to do by their junior year. Accountancy at Deloitte, marketing at Caterpillar, consulting for Ernst and Young, but majoring in Management with a focus in Entrepreneurship, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, I hadn’t quite found exactly where I fit in. But then I took BADM 395 Making Things. The course is about as broad as the name makes it sound, but the skills that I developed over the past 16 weeks have helped me immensely while planning for the future.

Every week was something new. At the beginning of the course, we mostly focused on developing our understanding of 3D printing and the software we would be working with throughout the rest of the course. I am certainly no expert, but now I find I am comfortable working with Autodesk Fusion 360 and Geomagic, to create and manipulate my own 3D objects from scratch. It started with learning to make something as simple as a tiny hat, to eventually printing a complex wheelchair racing glove after merging and cleaning many files after an extremely precise 3D scan. I also know my way around the lab at BIF, so I can complete the printing process from start to finish by myself.


First object created from scratch!


World’s first 3D printed glove!


Finished glove

Aside from those kind of technical skills, we also took a couple weeks to build our creative thinking and teamwork skills. Usually when a professors says there is going to be a group project, red flags go off in my mind, but the diversity of majors in this class made our group projects incredibly interesting and very productive. Students from all colleges took the course, there were engineers, industrial designers, journalists, IS/IT majors, and everything in between. Not only did I meet a bunch of awesome people, I was also exposed to the very unique ways each type of student thinks. So many ideas were thrown out that never would have occurred to me as a business major, and becoming friends and teammates with these people broadened my capacity to see things in a different light.

Learning about the technical process of 3D printing was definitely my favorite aspect of the course, but we also did tons of other workshops at the Fabrication Lab that were a lot of fun, and helped to give me more ideas of what is possible when it comes to the things you can build and create right here on campus. I really enjoyed learning to use the laser cutter to create our own personal leather bound journals and vinyl stickers, and working with the digital embroidery machines was cool as well. It’s amazing to me that someone in the lab was able to create their very own hand bag that can capture solar power and use it to charge a cell phone! The possibilities are endless and whenever there was class time in the lab, it was always so informational and inspiring! We also got to play with Arduinos in the lab, and just learning about what an Arduino is and how it works was an opportunity that not many students in the College of Business have. The fact that a team in class was able to use that knowledge to create a device that could help the elderly remember to take their medication shows the kind of real world applications all of the demonstrations in class have.


First experience with Arduinos


Digital Embroidery


Vinyl sticker made by laser cutter


Personalized journal made using laser cutter

What I gained the most from this course was the simple ability to be imaginative and think outside the box. Because I’m studying entrepreneurship, I am very interested in starting my own business someday. After taking this course, I see all of the potential in 3D scanning and printing, and hope to pursue that as a career. Having heard presentations from my classmates about how you can print prosthetic hands, or an actual three dimensional CT scan of a human brain, I have been inspired. This technology could make a huge impact on the world, it already is, and taking this class has helped me realize that I want to be a part of it. Everyone at this university wants to make a difference, everyone here wants to save the world, and with 3D printing, I think I have found my niche. My little place where I can maybe make a change and help someone in need.

From here I plan to continue working on my group project for the duration of the summer, and see where that takes me. I have met some amazing people in the field that have graciously offered to help me increase my knowledge on scanning and printing- so my journey into the world of 3D printing continues. As I learn more and more I see myself one day developing a product and starting my own business using the skills I’ve gained from this class, but as for now I will keep experimenting on my own until that lightning bolt of an idea strikes me.

I would encourage any student- no matter what major- to give this class a try. Having access to so many kinds of equipment and the professionals who know how to use it is a distinct opportunity that you will likely only come across during your undergraduate years at university. Now that I have been exposed to all that is possible, with 3D printing and “making things” in general, I have become motivated to put that knowledge to good use and make something that matters.

Fusion 360: Two Weeks Coming Full Circle

The past two weeks our class has been working really hard to get a decent grasp of Autodesk Fusion 360. Because it is such an expansive and powerful tool- there is no possible way for us to master all of its features, but the goal is for us is to understand what can be done with the software, and develop a set of skills to make a basic 3D image from scratch.

After looking back on my classmate’s reflections, I was pleased to learn that I was not the only one who had difficulties starting out with the program. Noah voiced my thoughts exactly in his post, “As I continue to work with Fusion 360, I am learning how to control and shortcut my way through this CAD. This program has had a faster learning curve than other new software I have tried in any regard. While I may struggle now, I know that as I continue working with this software, it will begin working for me.” We’re all learning together exactly what can be achieved through the software – so now we’re just on the journey of figuring things out for ourselves.

Some people in the class have had prior experience with 3D design software, so it was interesting to learn their take on a unique program. Nora talked about how it differs from software she’s used in the past like Inventor. “Fusion is quite an interesting modeling program because it integrates the whole product development process-from design, to engineering, to fabrication-into one cloud-based tool. Because Fusion 360 allows users to create certain geometries that would be difficult, if not impossible to create in Inventor in a matter of minutes.”

For a little background on Fusion 360; it was first released two and half years ago – but has undergone dramatic changes in recent times. It is one of the first technologies for direct modeling to bring together organic yet complex form design.

It was good to know that Fusion 360 stacked up well to its competitors. We have each put in at least ten to fifteen hours (minimum) with the program, and it would be painful to hear there was a software out there that would suit our needs better. But because so many of us are beginners not only in 3D design, but to the whole 3D printing process in general, it really seems like Fusion 360 is the exact tool we need to learn to use.

The first week during our introduction to Fusion 360 we had the privilege to hear a presentation by two Autodesk representatives. They spent a solid three hours with us, helping us one on one, to design a lamp using the software. The amount of knowledge they possessed on 3D design was unfathomable to someone of my novice status, but listening to them talk about their careers in design was something I definitely appreciated. The skills and knowledge that we are gaining through this class are one-hundred percent applicable in today’s business world. Even beyond applicable- I would go as far to say they are actively sought after, and with the speed technology has been advancing at, I only expect that demand to sky rocket.

A week later after we had all completed our homework of designing a few more objects in Fusion 360, everyone seemed to have a much better grasp on program in general. I felt very similar to Gian in his post, “I feel MUCH more comfortable with the Fusion 360 software now, and I feel much more capable of creating an object from scratch. I’m still learning about the different nuances of the software, but I feel confident in my ability to create a relatively simple object and modify it to meet certain specifications. “

For me, personally, I was able to navigate between the menus and viewpoints much, much easier the second week- and I also finally picked up the ability to customize measurements to an exact inch or millimeter- which proved incredibly handy when building more complex objects for personal use.

My classmates were able to print and design some really awesome things the past two weeks, and I’m really excited to move forward from here and see what we are able to produce next!


Week 6!

So evidently I’m not very good at remembering to write reflections (setting a weekly iPhone reminder now), but class is going great and I feel like I am finally getting the hang of 3D design software. Two weeks ago when we had the in class Fusion 360 tutorial I kind of felt like repeatedly banging my head against the wall. The presenters were great! But I don’t know if I was just having a really “off” day or what, but I could not master a single one of the steps they were trying to teach us. My lamp was never going to be a lamp- so I eventually gave up and settled for messing around in Sculpt mode making pretty blobs.

But low and behold, after much fiddling and tinkering- I made something! From scratch! By myself!


It’s a hat! haha I just vaguely followed a Youtube tutorial and sculpted some cylinders, but I think I’m starting to grasp how this whole “design process” actually works. I wasn’t too fond of Fusion originally- but the sense of accomplishment I had after finally printing something that was my own, was pretty awesome.

Here’s another thingy I made the past two weeks that I forgot to write about.



It’s me! Turned sideways- I’ll figure out how to rotate images in my next post.

I’m really excited to design more things and just explore the world of 3D printing more. I find myself wandering onto Tinkercad when I have a spare moment in class or to procrastinate on hw. Can’t wait to play around with scanners in next week’s class as well.

Week 2 Reflection: Arielle

So far I am really excited about this class! Just playing around on Tinkercad was really fun, and I’m anxious to learn more about the whole 3D printing process in general. I have some big goals and ideas (probably too big for one semester), but I’m very grateful that I’ll have such an open and helpful environment to explore this new world in.

Four super cool things I found on Thingiverse are as follows;

1. A Coffee Filter holder!

That may sound lame to some, but I have an unhealthy obsession with the stuff. I currently brew all my java using an aeropress, so this nifty holder would be a perfect way to simplify my mornings even more. The only change I would make would be to throw in some color! 🙂

2.  Artsy Candle holder

Another holder, I know, but this just struck me as beautiful. I don’t per say need it in my life, but making it would be pretty fun. I love having a candle burning in my apartment so this would just add to the ambiance even more.
I love the design of the trees and their branches, but I might switch out the moose for some other woodland creature if I felt so inclined.

3. GoPro Mouthpiece

So… this is super weird, but pretty intriguing. I have a GoPro 2 that I have played around with quite a bit, but pushing my wheelchair and holding the camera steady proves a challenging task. I’ve gotten pretty creative with duct tape before and made some sad looking mounts, but this is a new concept I had never thought of. I’m not so sure I would necessarily use it, but I like the idea and where it’s heading!

4. DSLR Phone Mount

Again, I’m not so sure what I would use this for, but the idea is really neat. I have a Canon and when I’m filming it would definitely be nice to have my phone out and ready in case I need to google something or use the maps feature for some reason. It may actually serve as a semi-decent secondary source for audio…I’m not sure but I think this mount has potential. If anything it could be used to document or record your recordings and make it easy to share quick clips live via Facebook, or Twitter, or something. I don’t know if there is a direct use for this product, but I’m sure there is something cool you could do with this.