To Make or Not to Make – Week 2

I found the class’ emphasis on making by adapting currently existing designs incredibly beneficial and important. Often times, makers feel like they need to create a design out of thin air, which can often result in a product or item that has no utility or benefit to others. Our discussions epitomized the significance of asking the question:

Should I make this or not?

This does not necessarily mean that every object or item produced using 3D printing or other digital making softwares need a practical or lucrative purpose, but it most have some kind of purpose. If something is made simply for the sake of utilizing the resources that are available, it does not maximize the capabilities that these resources can provide. This reminds us to engage in design thinking, which enables us to think deeply about the nature of what we want to make and how it can impact others.

The presentation from Prof. Peppler shed light upon the enormity of the maker movement and how it is revolutionizing education. Schools across the country are implementing unique kinds of materials in order to teach students by empowering them to create and innovate. This is a breakthrough that is resulting in a generation of design thinkers who approach problems tactically with a hands-on approach. This significance of this development will be seen as the students experiencing these unique curriculums go into the workforce and are able to apply these unique aptitudes. The maker movement is continuing to produce more and more of these kinds of thinkers every day and the opportunities for growth in this industry appear to be endless.

4 Products I Would ‘Make’ Slightly Differently

1. Bag Holder

The bag holder is essentially a handle with hooks that can hold grocery bags. I love this design, but I think it could be modified to address the problem people encounter with the comfort of carrying various bags. If the handle had a grip made up of flexible material, I think the product would be improved by having added comfort on the handle.

2. ZipPad

The ZipPad is a wonderful idea – often times, zippers become difficult to use due to the nature of the material it is made out of. This would enable users to functionally use the zipper regardless of what is covering their hands. I think that adding an additional rung in the middle of the zipper hole would decrease the likelihood that the zipper wouldn’t be able to be grabbed, in addition to the unique material used to make it.

3. Snow Scooter Shoe

The snow scooter shoe seems like a very practical device for areas saturated in snow. It also seems like an amusing item to have to traverse snowy areas. I personally would make the platform that touches the ground wider in order to obtain a greater sense of balance if this device was used to potentially ride down a mountain or inclined surface.

4. Ice Scraper

This Ice Scraper is great to use for smaller areas on a windshield that don’t require a longer pole to get to. I think that the actual device itself also has an interesting printed design with its grooves. However, I think adding just a little bit more distance between the handle and the ice scraper would prevent ice from getting on an individual’s hand. Additionally, making the scraper thicker could add to the force scraping the ice and seeing as this is such a small design intended to get those difficult areas, the force will be an important factor in the item’s success.