Getting a Grip on 3D Printing

This week was my first official encounter with the world of 3D printing, and I have to say that it has been a pretty awesome experience so far! However, my first genuine experience with the 3Dp process was back at the end of August, just as the fall semester was beginning. Just some quick background on me for those of you who don’t know, I’m an athlete on the Illinois Wheelchair Track and Road-racing Team. Arielle Rausin, who was a student in Digital Making 2015, is also on the team and found a way to print our racing gloves. Rolling into DRES that day and seeing our gloves being created in a fraction of the time, drove me to pursue this class. Flash forward a few months, and here we are.

We started class of with a guest lecture from John Hornick on how 3Dp will rock the world. I had to say, I was a bit skeptical of that claim, but as he went on it was clear where John was coming from. These were the main points that I took away from the presentation.

  • High Cost Benefit Ratio – 3Dp has the ability to create something in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the cost. Going back to the racing glove example cost can be brought down from roughly $350 to $30, with labor times greatly reduced.
  • Accessibility – With the cost of actual hardware constantly getting cheaper and quality getting better, it is now a feasible dream that almost every household will have access to a printer, whether it’s at school, work, or home.
  • Rise of the Makers – This is really a result of the two above points, but with cost and accessibility moving the way they are, so many people can just let their imaginations run wild again. It is possible to create (almost) anything you can think of – you just need the drive, idea, and resources.

Can any of my fellow 2016 makers add a comment on something they thought was important from John’s lecture? I think it would be interesting to see what you all have gotten out of it.

I truly believe that 3Dp will kickstart a new generation of movers and shakers, one that will only become more robust and refined as time goes on with new advances. I can honestly see amazing things coming out of this new revolution in the industries of healthcare, sport, and even security.


2 thoughts on “Getting a Grip on 3D Printing

  1. I completely agree that I hadn’t even really though greatly of what this new revolution could do to help us all. I think what it needs is to get more attention especially in the medical field to make a greater impact.

  2. Hey Steve! I thought the applications of 3D printing in the healthcare space is particularly important. I talk a lot about it in my post for this week, but I think it will bring individuals the power to help others. It will give people the ability to rely on themselves, which is an important aspect of life. Overall, thought your post was interesting and I am looking forward to learning more about the technology!

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