First Prints

Last Monday was the first day we got our hands dirty and were able to start 3D printing basic objects. Vishal gave us a very simple rundown of the program we needed to use, and the websites we could use a design resource. After about an hour students were getting their first little trinkets made. The very first thing I printed was a mini figurine from the video game Fallout. I scaled it down a bit for speed’s sake, but it still turned out pretty well considering I would have no idea what I was doing in a 3D printing lab a week earlier. After class, I came back in a put design for some stickman figures and a wire ball which I cam back and picked up the next morning.

The most inspiring and interesting part of the class for me was simply browsing the thingiverse website and looking at all of the types of things that I could be able to make in the coming weeks. The best part of 3D printing is that more complex objects don’t really require any more skill on the creator’s part, just more patience. I quickly added 10+ items to my thingiverse collection list. Next week I plan on printing items that I will actually utilize to make my life easier such as this iPhone dock and can holder. I am hoping to replace a lot of broken things around my house using 3D printing rather than making a dreaded trip to Home Depot!

Week 1 Reflection

3D printing is a technology that I have never known a whole lot about but

have always been fascinated by. I knew 3D printers had immense potential for

artists, students, and entrepreneurs, but had never really consider the overall

economic impact they could potentially have. The guest speaker we had last

Monday gave a perfect, concise breakdown of ways 3D printers can be used

practically, and how people are currently leveraging the technology. I am

legitimately interested in reading John’s book as I believe he is correctly predicting a

trend that is slowly finding its way into the mainstream. The biggest takeaway for

me was his statement “Everyone has the potential to be a maker”. This was

astounding to me because in the near future, we could have households with 3D

printers where homeowners simply print anything they need at any time,

eliminating the need for massive manufacturers, which would in turn create

massive ripples in the world economy. I think its incredible that the university gives

us an opportunity to get our hands on this technology and gain skills that will very

quickly grow in importance.

Additionally, I’d like to learn about how 3D printing will impact healthcare. It

seems like every other day there is news of a new type of organ printed by a 3D

printer. I am working for a healthcare tech company this fall, so I am sure that 3D

printing will have an impact on my career as well. Specifically, my firm creates

software used in hospitals across the world. As demand for 3D printing increases,

I’m sure the demand for 3D printing healthcare software will increase. I believe it

was even mentioned by one of our med students in class. I’m sure learning about the

potential health benefits of 3D printing this semester will help prepare me for

success at my new job this fall.