Week 9 – Build a 3D Printer

This past class session was held in the BIF Atrium for us to show other students what we’ve learned in BADM 395 – DMS so far, as well as answer any questions they might have about 3D printing. Our stations included

  1. A group of people building an Ultimaker 3D printer
  2. A small group upgrading one of the current printers we have in the lab
  3. A scanning station for people to print out 3D molds of themselves

I started off with the first group, but there were so many of us that it was hard to not be in the way if you weren’t already playing an essential role. I did the most that I could do to help find bits and pieces, but after the first hour passed I needed to set up the scanning. Since I had misplaced my laptop charger, I had to use my roommate’s laptop for the scanning. To do this I had to download the Sense Software to be used with our lab’s Sense scanner. People would sit in a spinning chair and I would hold the scanner steadily, grabbing the image frame between their chest and the top of their head. Before the person being scanned started turning in the chair, I would start aiming the scanner at the back of their head. This is because once the person makes a full rotation, the image sort-of “combines” itself after the rotation is complete. And it’s better for the image to come together on the back of the head so that the face doesn’t get distorted. Once the scan was complete, I would clean up the image then download it to Cura and prepare it for printing.

I thought the event was really fun but if we were to do it again I would suggest that we make the set-up for the event a little bit more open. I had believed the event was meant for other students to learn about 3D printing but our set-up made the event seemed private and closed off (especially with the separators). I had a few friends mention to me after the event that it seemed pretty cool and they wanted to come say hi, but they didn’t want to interrupt us. I also know we were supposed to build 2 printers but only 1 had arrived, that was why it seemed a bit crowded when working at that station. There was also a lot of frustration for people since the instructions didn’t exactly match the parts we had needed. Not much we could’ve done about that, but I admired how people tried to work around those obstacles at that station.

I did speak to some students who had come up to my booth about 3D printing and the class itself, overall people were very interested in taking the course next year and the possibilities 3D printing offered in general. I enjoyed explaining to them about scanning and how the process worked.

3 thoughts on “Week 9 – Build a 3D Printer

  1. Working the scanner with you was very cool, Paige! Do you think you will use it in your final project at all? If it is available to us in the future I think I may try to scan some objects just to become more familiar with the Sense software.

  2. Awesome, I’m glad you were able to get people interested in the course!

  3. I agree that the event felt a little isolated. Its a shame that more people didn’t come over to check things out or get 3D scanned. Like you mentioned, I’m sure the fact that we only got the 1 kit made the event seem more crowded. But in the spirit of #digitalmaking, we can always learn from it to make it better next time, right?

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