Week 4 Reflection

Learning Fusion 360 over the past two weeks has been a turning point in the semester for me and my perspectives towards 3D printing. I knew the technology was groundbreaking and saw the designs that could be exported from Thingiverse and other websites, however, seeing a lamp built from scratch on my own computer screen is when the potential of this technology really clicked. While Fusion 360 is fairly complicated and a lot to take in at first, it is unbelievable to me that basically any object that you can imagine can be made in a matter of hours with a 3D printer. I especially liked the render tool, because it brought the items to life and made them look realistic. In the near future, I would like to go to a 3D printing lab where I could print with different types of materials and metals.

This past weekend, I spoke to my 11 year old cousin who owns a 3D printing pen. I was astounded to learn that his middle school is investing in 3D printers just as a school would invest in traditional 2D printers in the past. His skills and creativity already outweigh mine. It was during this conversation that had another realization about the potential of 3D printing. Having generations of children grow up with this technology in their schools will develop the making economy rapidly. I told him about the class I’m in and think I may have recruited a future Illini!

Lastly, I took time this week to pitch my semester project on Facebook. I am planning on printing and selling cup holders to local bars, restaurants, and students. These cup holders will be customizable, and can be screwed into the wall or stuck to the wall with suction cups. I was inspired to make these after putting drinks on top of gross urinals far too many times. I’m sure this idea will evolve greatly throughout the semester.


3 thoughts on “Week 4 Reflection

  1. Josh, I had similar response to your post as well…Id’ say the most difficult part of using Fusion for me is changing the way I think about objects. I have never really been great at spatial thinking, so it took me a second to think about how I needed to alter my design in order to make it look the way I wanted.

    In response to my cousin’s 3D printing experience, I think it was a guest speaker that came to his middle school, but I was told that the CAD department at my former high school (Geneva Community High School) now has 3D printers for students to use, which is fantastic. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before they integrate the CAD program into the middle and elementary school’s in my hometown as well.

    I still have a lot of different routes I could take the cup holder idea, but based on the responses from my peers I think I am going to focus more on selling them to people to use in their homes, as they will last much longer and will be more appreciated. As a bar employee, I have learned that nothing lasts too long in a men’s bathroom before getting destroyed.

  2. Hey Nick! So I thought the idea for the cup holder was really interesting! I understand the issue and can see how it could get annoying! However, I think you may be able to expand the market to more people if there doesn’t have to be anything screwed or nailed to the wall! That way you could have students use these in dorm rooms and apartments. I think you are on the right route with the suction cups, and maybe 3M strips could be another option. Anyways, I have seen 3D pens around as well and they are really cool! Would love to see us get some here at UIUC!

  3. Hey Nick!

    At first, just like you, I was overwhelmed by Fusion 360 because of how vast and complicated it is. (Which aspect was the hardest for you to grasp?) However, yesterday’s class alleviated some of the stress through simplifying the creating process step-by-step. Also, I couldn’t agree more about the render tool! It is easily the coolest feature on the software. I love how you can choose the material and color of the product; it adds a lot to its aesthetic appeal. Did you end up changing the material for the lamp you created?

    A lot of the articles I have came across discuss how 3D printing is becoming more prevalent in younger kids’ classrooms. So, props to your 11-year-old cousin for having a leg up on most college students. If his skills and creativity outweighed yours, I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed the whole class up with his 3D printing knowledge and ability! Does his elementary/middle school offer a 3D printing course for students?

    Lastly, I think your project idea is great! There have been many times where I’ve had to place my drink on top of a urinal, which is gross. However, do you think these cup holders will get ruined and gross to the point where people won’t utilize them? (Of course, this mainly applies to the bar scene.) If yes, how would you counteract this? All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and I think your project idea has great potential!

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