Week 2 reflection

Reading the weekly article called In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms Are the New Bits, I am very surprised to learn a mind-blowing example of the power of micro-factories names Local Motors. It is a very creative business idea to transfer innovative designs into reality. Each design is released under a share-friendly Creative Commons license. The business model is very similar to the websites, such as Thingsverse and Shapeways that we have talked/shared in class. Customers are encouraged to enhance the designs and produce their own components that they can sell to their peers. Seeing the operation and core value of Local Motors in a bigger picture, on the one hand, the cheap explosion and powerful prototyping tools allow more people who are the lack of engineer or design experience to participate into the interesting process. On the other hand, the prototyping approach is able to transfer the current manufacturing from developing countries into domestic with increasingly flexible, Web-centric, and open to custom work. It is great to have a chance to get updates of the current industry as well as combine the learning from my supply chain management class.

Professor Sachdev led us to share some thoughts on different digital making websites. The exploration process not only encouraged me to critique and discover multiple types of designs but also motivated everyone to participate in our own first 3D-printing design. Although I have designed 69 cell phone cases on Thingsverse because of my research project, I have been so excited to print an octopus stand for my IPhone (Check out the pictures). I always want to have a unique holder when I watch videos/movies on my phone. I was tired of seeing the same and tedious designs on EBay and Amazon, so I tried to customize a distinct design. It was a little frustrated in the first half an hour because my printer did not function very well. The object failed three times, even with the help and several machine adjustments from Professor Sachdev and technicians in the lab. I revised my model and canceled brim for platform adhesion in the fourth time. It ran smoothly in the first ten minutes, but then one of the parts was removed by accident. The octopus stand finally worked in the fifth trial. Learning from this activity, I think some downsides of 3D printing should be improved in the future. For example, if the project fails in the progress, people have to restart, which it will be time-consuming for designer and increase material waste.

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Toothbrush holder http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1323678

A simple design is able to make our life easier and save space to keep small pieces organize. Furthermore, it is a good way to place wet toothbrush head without make bathroom table look dirty. The design can be customized depending on different types of the electronic toothbrush and the number of toothbrush heads that you want to keep.

Ethernet Cable Runners http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1320948

Ethernet Cable Runners provide a simple solution to keep your Ethernet cables neat, under control and easy to access, insert and remove. The range accommodates from 2 to 16 cables depending on your personal needs. Cables can be easily messed up at offices or home, but Ethernet Cable Runners allow bunches on cables to be run along under shelves. Customers are able to choose different version and angles of cable runners. It is a very flexible and cost efficient design.

Springy Apple Cable Savers http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1091637

My Apple cables are prone to breaking at the joint between the connector and cable through use, particularly I bring all my cable in my backpack all the time. Unlike alternative methods available to counteract this problem the Springy Apple Cable Saver does not just transfer the flex / break point away from the cable / connector joint to another point further up the cable. It is a good idea to make our lives better, but there will be some improvements implementing on the design because the holder is too loose. New measurements should be calculated.

Drinks Dispenser http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:832751

This is a very functional and useful design in the household. The “octopus” design helps people distribute drinks conveniently in eight cups. Very simple object but solve a big problem if you want to share drinks with guests. However, the current model applies for eight drinks. It should be customized according to personal preferences or have switched to control the flow.





2 thoughts on “Week 2 reflection

  1. Cool phone stand, was that a design you downloaded? And what kind of phone case designs have you experimented with? I’d love to see what you’ve created. What else have you done as part of your research project?

  2. Hi Jinran, as I sat besides you, I saw the printing of your octopus phone stand failed quite a few times. It did make me think some kinds of weird structured objects might fail a lot of times on a 3D printing because of the “layer-by-layer” printing scheme. Hope as the advance of this technology, it can be diversed into more printing scheme.

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