Week 2 reflection

The highlight of this class, for me, was finally learning how a set of gears worked, and how important of a role they play in today’s world. This only came to being as our team was assigned to research a hyperbolic planetary gear-set from thingiverse. It is a unique gear-set and while I am not sure where it can be used (thanks to my lack of engineering knowledge), I’m sure it’s spatial structure (or other iterations of its structure) will have uses in many areas. Learning about the gear-set also fell in place with the theme of the session – learning through making. Although the only object we made in class was our group logo, we still managed to learn how a gear-set works by almost making.

Dr. Peppler‘s talk on how new technologies are enabling completely new and fun forms of education, albeit very informational,made me wish that I was born post 2000 and also left me feeling old.  Another interesting aspect of the session was my group’s name and logo. My teammates are Jill and Lin. My first thought was Jill-Lin aka Chillin, but upon realizing that my name wouldn’t be a part of it, we just decided to go with JKL, they’re placed conveniently in order on QWERTY keyboards and also in the universal English alphabetical sequence!

For my four interesting objects, here you go:

  1. Combatit – A cool fusion between a Counter-Strike video game weapon and a comb!
  2. Pulp Fiction coasters – Being a Quentin Tarantino fan, these just have to be printed by me soon.
  3. The 10 Cent Flashlight – Just an example of how AM will be a game changer in the basic consumer goods industry.
  4. Glasses Holder – Just how cool would it be to place your glasses on this before you go to bed everyday.


Week 2

This week was all about sharing. But not just sharing the way you would split up a pizza between all of your friends. We explored the world of sharing ideas.

We first learned how to do a basic design on tinkercad.com. With this new knowledge we all went into design-mode to create the best nameplate for our assigned group. This was a chance to share ideas of how to take advantage of the 3D printers to make a unique design.

After finally agreeing on a design and color, we were then given a new task that was a chance to dive into the many different sharing websites. My group was assigned grabcad.com, gitfab.org, and pinshape.com to start off.

My favorite of these three sharing sites was by far pinshape.com for many reasons. The biggest factor was the design of the website. It looked exactly like etsy.com and had some of the same features.

Pinshape.com is a place to buy 3D design downloads or pre-printed 3D objects. There is a huge range of products from toys and gadgets to jewelry and art. But any category you looked at had creative designs.

Here are a few of my favorites and how I would use or change them:


This simple butterfly pendant is an original work of art. It would normally be tedious to make by hand or to create a mold for such a small item, but 3D printing allows for such a intricate design to come to life.

I would most likely buy this design to be able to acquire all the different colors possible. It is simple enough to not be limited to just a black, plastic butterfly. I could potentially print enough to turn it into a decoration in my room or just have a different colored necklace for any outfit. The possibilities are endless.


These paper towel holders are an extremely practical design. They would add something to any kitchen and be a great conversation starter. It is quite simple in terms of the idea, but it would be so easy to produce with a 3D printer.

I will unfortunately not be purchasing this item anytime soon because the design is not available for download and the printed object price is too high for me.



This product is unusual and I would never even think to make this. However, imagine you were in charge of a birthday party for a little boy that loves dinosaurs, but you don’t want to buy the cheap cupcakes at the store with unpersonalized toppers. This is the best solution to make a homemade dessert decoration for that party.

Of course the dinosaur part is not important, but the concept of creating a personalized cake topper can lead to much more. Maybe your local bakery would be interested in having you design a variety of cake toppers to sell at their store.



This charging and amplifying dock has potential to be sold in Apple stores across the nation. I’m not sure why Apple hasn’t already started producing 3D printed docks. It’s genius!

Not only is it a great product that would be easy to market, but it’s cheap to produce. Right now it is free to download the design, so here’s your chance to create a useful product before Apple realizes what it’s missing

-Amanda Kowalski

Learning Update Week 2

In class we have heard how 3D printing is changing the manufacturing industry, how learning by making is a big thing right now, and explored different sites exploring 3D modeling.  My group was assigned to explore thingiverse.com and shapedo.com and come up with a description of the sites and the differences between them.  Both sites feature a collection of 3D models posted by users in an open community format.  Thingiverse is a property of makerbot, and the models are optimized for makerbot printers.  I found shapedo to be more of a blog type site with open posting, commenting, and downloading of content, where as thingiverse is more professional.

Below are screenshots of thingiverse.com and shapedo.com

Thingiverse Homepage Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.53.17 PM

  • Four 3D models I have chosen, all off of thingiverse.com, are listed below with links.  I chose to only find models on thingiverse because I feel most comfortable navigating thingiverse versus the other sites.
  • My first selection is a mud guard for a bicycle.  I ride my bike daily and need a mud guard with all the precipitation in Illinois.  I would not change the design at all, but rather change the color to brown, to absorb mud colors better on the surface.
  • Secondly, I have found an easy to use bag clip for any bag needing clipped, but in my case, chips.  I have a few bags of chips at my apartment that need a clip to stay fresh.  The design here is great, I wouldn’t change it at all.
  • Next, I chose a vase, not to hold flowers, but for spatulas, cooking ladles, and cooking prongs.  Instead of laying them on the counter, holding them up in an organized holder would be nice.  I would widen the top part of this particular vase to make the top better for holding wide items, like a spatula.
  • Because my first three are all serious items that would improve my life, my final pick is a fun item.  A shot glass I randomly came across while scrolling through thingiverse. The shot glass has a skull face embedded into it.  I would change the size of the skull face, to make it smaller and less protruding.  Also, the skull should be in dark grey.

-Mark Panno

Week 2 Reflections

This class explored the already existing world of 3D printing designs and how they can be applied and modified to better fit our own personal needs. My sharing assignment allowed me to explore one, specific design and wonder how it could be applied differently.

The chain mail bracelet design could be applied an expanded to modify other 3D printed jewelry designs in both plastic and metallic compounds. Looking at this design allowed me to better understand the way of thinking required for this class. Using this, I looked for other designs that I could modify and use in my own day to day life.

Alexa and Sinclair-10’s Musical Instrument Toys

One thing I love to do almost more than anything else is make music. This collection of printed instrument designs provide little ways to use a Makerbot to bring music into your home. The rubber band harp made me wonder if it was possible to use multiple materials to make a mbira, commonly referred to as a thumb piano.

Wall-Mounted Utensil Holder

In college, we all need to save space as much as we can. One great way to do that would be to be able to hang kitchen supplies on the wall. This utensil holder could be modified to hold kitchen tools. Because everyone has different kitchen supplies, each holder could be modified to hold the utensils that each person needs.

Mac power cord clip

As someone who travels with my laptop on a daily basis, sifting through a bundle of chords has always been a pain. A small, easy to make devise would be perfect for someone who travels. As a PC user, I would need to modify the design to better accommodate my own cable and power block. This modification would be simple to make, but important for everyone’s use.

Labyrinth Gift Box

This is a cute way to give your loved ones a gift that you didn’t put that much time into thinking of. However, this provides a memorable experience with a good reward at the end. You could design each tube to be different for each person receiving the gift. Also, one change could be to make the tube clear so that the person could see the gift inside as well as the labyrinth itself in case they got stuck.


— Noah Baird

14 tips that will help your maker post succeed

When it comes to writing for the internet, you have to always remember that lolcats.com is just a click away for your reader, so when it comes to blogging, generally the quicker you get your ideas across, the better you’ve done.

Readers of the internet like gleaming the meaning of a story from its words, so they don’t necessarily want to read every word in a sentence. You have to construct your narrative so that the important stuff sticks, which is a tricky thing to do.

You probably “skim” all the time too, right? So intuitively, my first piece of advice would be to write for yourself – write in a way that would keep you tuned-in as a reader.

Outside of that, here are some guidelines:

  • Don’t be afraid of using bullets. If you have a list of things, particularly things that need to be explained, use bullets. Throw in some bold if you’re feeling extra fun. Readers like seeing a change in format. They like knowing what the key concept is, and what they can glaze over.
  • Keep paragraphs short. In journalism, we drop the prefix from the word and refer to them as just “graphs,” just a fun fact I thought I’d share. The idea is that you give the reader some breathing room, and additionally, access points for when they jump ahead.
  • Inverted pyramid. So along with the previous bullet, try and structure your graphs like this: 1st graph should have a hook and something that explains what your post is about. The 2nd graph should follow that up with more details. Then you get to the meat of your story, and with these graphs, try to move what you view as important up.
  • Use subheads. It helps organize your story better.
  • Hyperlink important things. This helps you seem more credible, and makes you a resource for your reader. It helps to add some depth to your blog.
  • Have a “flow.” You know, transition from paragraph to paragraph. Don’t use “First” or anything like that, just flow from concept to concept. Try to end your sentences in a way that leads into your next sentence.
  • Be concise. If you don’t, the reader will think you’re grasping for word counts.
  • Share anecdotes. Just be sure you’re telling them in an interesting way, like with quotes.
  • Be conversational. It’s a blog, not a report. Directly address your audience, ask rhetorical questions, etc.
  • Explore different formats. We’re all familiar with the Buzzfeed list format that’s taken the internet by storm. I mean, even the Weather Channel has them now. It takes on a completely different format than your standard blog, but it works. Imagine “7 simple steps to make your very own ____.” There are other formats out there too, just look around and be creative.
  • Use extra elements. WordPress allows you to not only upload media, but also to imbed using the text feature. The class itself has a limited amount of server space for our photos, so we probably could only post a couple per story, depending on size. However, we are allowed to embed. You can upload a video to Youtube and embed it onto your blog. You can also upload your photos to box and embed a whole slideshow onto your blog. You can even imbed Spotify playlists.
  • Market your content. Every writer is their own best salesman. Write your story for a particular audience, and then market it to that audience. Post it to twitter and use a trending hashtag in that audience, and at least post it to your wall for your friends and family.
  • Optimize your headline. Essentially, label your post something with words you think your audience would Google. So if you’re blogging about your favorite beat recipe, label it “The Best Beat Recipe.”
  • Add tags. Search engines use tags to help searchers find what they’re looking for. The more specific your tags are, or the tags that you think most people would use to find a story like yours, the better your post will do. Also, always add a tag for whatever week you’re post is going in, like “week2.” You can add tags on the sidebar of your post page.