Building 3D printers Week 9 Reflection

Building 3D printers
This week the team came together in BIF’s atrium to attend the “Build a Printer Event” from Matt, an Ultimaker representative. When I hear digital making, 3D printing is what first comes to mind.
We came to the workshop really dazed at the thought of actually building this incredible machine, and we skeptically listened to Matt’s comparisons of how using this kit was “as easy at putting together IKEA furniture”, and if you can find someone who can put together an IKEA closet in less than a day, I’d like to meet them. This was, however, exactly what it was; a kit chock full of wooden parts and bolts and screws. We didn’t end up finishing the printer, but this workshop definitely allowed us to see the build of what a 3D printer is made up of (and some teamwork skills!).
I had come across an article where the company RepRap made a “self-replicating manufacturing machine”, basically a 3D printer that can build a 3D printer. For some reason, this concept really surprised me because when we think of 3D printers, we think of it printing objects that are mostly for observation or decoration, but the fact that these machines can build useful devices that can be put to use is kind of revolutionary. Material waste is becoming more commonplace nowadays and the plastic filament that 3D printers use can really be molded into anything.
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