Fusing Fusion 360

Prior to this week’s session with Jeff Smith, I had downloaded the Fusion 360 Software and begun experimenting with the various settings by following the Absolute Beginner Videos created for Fusion 360. When I first started using the software I was having some difficulties trying to follow the videos, as I did not have much experience with design and creating products through a technological format. However, I was eager to develop more skills during class and build a better understanding of the software as well as the company, Autodesk, itself.

Learning about Jeff’s experiences after college was incredibly insightful. Though he had very positive moments he still went through hard struggles, however, those struggles had helped him realize the strong connections he had unknowingly built and the skills that he had developed from being on the work force for so many years. With all his skills, Autodesk had found him to be incredibly competent in a position with them and he acquired this opportunity because Autodesk was once his client. Though he went into Autodesk, he had no knowledge of the software he would be teaching to college students. Now hearing how he has excelled in Fusion 360 only brings a light into my learning abilities, I could achieve the skills he has in using Fusion 360 for any future projects and creation of products or services. As Jeff spoke about Fusion 360, I was wondering what the intention of Autodesk providing free software for students were. Sure, we were a good group of individuals that would be able to learn the software quickly, but what the ultimate motivation for them to do so. Jeff had explained that the commercial companies that acquired Autodesk software’s required them to teach college students because they needed to be sure there were individuals that would be able to use these products to create innovations.

Fusion 360 has provided a way for designers to design products or services from what took hours to only a couple of minutes. We are all eligible to work on live versions of models, making it possible to bring designs to life. The software is allowing creativity to becomes designs within minutes. Furthermore, the software does not force the designer to be in a certain location but could design in the safety of one’s own home and still be able to collaborate with others. Through Jeff’s initial training of Fusion 360, I was able to have a grasp of the tools that were a part of the software. It’s amazing how powerful the tools are compared to other software’s that would require three moves; Fusion 360 would only require one. Overall, I enjoyed the experience of being able to have a hands-on learning of this new software, and I hope to be able to keep creating through this method.

Here is a model of a perfume bottle created through Fusion 360.

The Ins and Outs of Design Thinking

Looking back at my childhood days, I created my own designs and drawings during class whether it was through my past knowledge or imagination. Most children have in some way shape or form created their own design. Therefore, we all of the ability to design and make plans for the future, and having a better knowledge of the design thinking process will push individuals to create services or products that meets consumer’s desires in a technologically feasible and strategically viable method.

In order to help all the students better understand the process of design thinking, Vishal had brought in UIUC’s very own Design For America. Two students from the organization had come into give a hands-on presentation of the different aspects on designing and providing creative methods to let our creative juices flow. The first activity was done by having each group choose three cards, the first card was the consumer the group was targeting, the next one was the location and the last card defined a constraint for the first two cards. My group had to think of a product that required a girlfriend, located on a train to make something out of glass. Sure, we realized how estranged a product we could create, we let our imaginations fly, and as a group we created a glass notepad that had the boyfriends face ingrained on it, and on the train the girlfriend could draw as she wished on the glass notepad. In this activity we tried to design a product for our so-called consumer, but this is just one step of design thinking. In this case, we had not thought about what exactly this consumer was searching for in glass products, therefore we cannot be sure the product will be profitable on this certain market. Another activity we had accomplished as a group was creating a product that would help senior citizens drive safer during the night. In this activity we had accomplished another step of design thinking which was to create a prototype, we would obviously need to further test it if we were to put this on the market for these particular senior citizens.

The presentation done by Design For America had given me a better understanding of the design thinking process because I was able to go through the steps in a quick manner but with easy topics to help grasp this concept. In the article, “Design Thinking”, I really enjoyed the video that explained the main points of the process. From the article, I realized how many companies are not truly thinking about the desires that their consumer has. Rather, many companies delve into past products and make products or services through risky bets based on instinct and not through evidence. Though the article had quickly explained the three steps to design thinking, I was able to better understand the details of the process from the videos on “Design thinking and 3d Printing” where Vishal was speaking with David Weightman, a professor of Industrial Design. Professor Weightman follows the design thinking process created by IDEO, which is what the article had been based on. In order to create designs, individuals or organizations need to create them for their consumer by better understanding their consumer whether it is through observation or questionnaires. After understanding a consumer, the product or service created needs to have a business value, in the sense that it will generate profit. Furthermore, the products created for these consumers will need to be tested from prototyping then move towards final implementation to verify that is durable for manufacturing. During our class we had created prototypes, and even mentioned by Professor Weightman, that these prototypes are evident in the thinking process and using pipe cleaners, which we had done, would be a very suitable method to feel out the results of the product. From the article and the videos, I realized the most important part of design thinking is the consumer process, without these consumers, we would not be creating such designs. Therefore, we have to understand that our main goal is to cater to the consumers and not irrationally coming up with ideas that we believe they will purchase, we need to come up with ideas that we know they will purchase.

After doing the hands-on activity in class, reading the article and viewing the videos I wanted to see how actual organizations are taking on design thinking within their work environment. The first article I had found was through IDEO that shared the thoughts of Tim Brown called “Unlock your Organization’s Creative Potential” (https://designthinking.ideo.com/). In the article, Brown had emphasized how critical it was for organizations to generate, embrace and execute new ideas because creativity was the essential ingredient for organizations to survive and continue competing within their industry. For organizations to succeed it cannot be done only through the leadership team, it has to grow from the individuals learning to lead creativity throughout their work. However, the leadership team does need to begin this sort of creativity and create an environment for the organization that allows the individuals in the company to replicate. I believe that creating an environment with no constraint will help creativity grow within an organization. Allowing employees to speak their mind can generate incredible ideas. Brown’s reflection of design thinking had made me wonder if there were any strategies used by current organizations that have successfully brought the organization to a creative life. The second article I had found was called “Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation” (http://www.creativityatwork.com/design-thinking-strategy-for-innovation/). Ultimately, when individuals think of design thinking they believe they need to be a designer, but in actuality individuals only need to map out a strategy to be considered a designer. Therefore, to design an individual can achieve that through learning by doing as designing is done through a creative thinking process. Organizations need to teach their individuals the planned out creative strategy, the culture of the strategy and the skill-sets to become a good designer. For an organization to achieve design thinking, I believe the organization needs to begin with planning out the strategy then implementing it throughout the entire organization. Sooner or later, any organization can achieve when their design principles are applied to strategy and innovation to hopefully follow the successful footsteps of many design-led companies: Apple, IBM, and Coca-Cola.

Week 2 Reflection


Before this course, I had never realized the importance of the Maker Movement that was being created and developed within the community. I had always wanted to play with the different technologies available but had no idea where to start. Furthermore, I wanted to learn how to make a difference in the arrival of new products by learning from past products and experiences to create a product suitable for the future use. From the article, The Maker Mindset I realized how much the makers used experimental processes that required creativity in building up new technology for the future. I realize that each individual is born to create and make, we are here to change the game of being a consumer, and we are finding alternatives to challenge ourselves, and our community to grow even stronger.

When the director of CUC Fablab, Jeff Ginger presented to us, I was in awe with all the possible opportunities and locations for making and I was really inspired by his passion to continue growing the community. One point stood out to me, making in the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab was not done through DIY but instead it was DIWO, from learning that making requires all sorts of functions, such as coding, design, fabrication, software, etc., collaboration was definitely the most suitable method and one of the best ways to keep the community members engaged and empowered to create. Another aspect of the Fablab I enjoyed was the diversity and inclusion of all ages and skills; there was no competition but a desire for members to create, collaborate and share their knowledge to create future products.

After Jeff’s presentation, Scott had prepared a presentation on the beginnings of using 3d printing. In the first class I was already eager to begin 3d printing but I had no knowledge of how to do so. Scott had given a very informational yet easy to understand presentation, I was able to grasp the basics of using various software or websites to create or find a product to print. I had no idea there would be so many settings in regards to printing an actual product, there were so many different numbers for the sizes and the nodes. I had decided to print an Illinois keychain that I found in thingiverse. Being able to play with the dimensions of the keychain and learning the printing settings had really let me experience the new technology at firsthand and I can’t wait to start creating more products. After the printing process begun, I was extremely mesmerized with the 3d printing machine, watching it’s every move as if it was a layer of glue being added by a glue gun. The process of creating products through 3d printers is amazing, the creation time of the product was relatively quick and the material used is incredibly sturdy. Below is an image of the finished Illinois keychain.

The first product I chose from thingiverse is the Action Camera Flex Bubble Tripod (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1201115). A year ago I had studied abroad in Southeast Asia and carried my GoPro Hero 4 around, trying to capture footage whether it was on land or water. I had many issues with the GoPro flotation holder because it would easily rust after being in the water for a short period of time. Therefore, with the action camera flex bubble tripod I would like the material for the tripod and screws to be usable in water.

The second product on thingiverse that caught my attention was the Customizable iPhone case (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40703) because the case had bumpers surrounding all four corners of the phone making it less likely for the phone to be cracked or scratched. After looking at the details of the case I would hope that the internal case material isn’t too hard and scratches the phone itself. Furthermore, I would like to have two colors on the case, where one color fades into another color, making the case more unique.

I have always been very intrigued with growing succulents, as they are such beautiful decorative items, yet the plant itself never died easily. Seeing the planter for succulents on thingiverse I was very excited with the possibility of printing my own pots for the plants. I really like the idea of the Hex Planter (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:914521) because of the design and the aesthetic of the plant holder. I am worried that the holder will not be able to withstand the soil and the constant watering of the plants hurting the material or structure of the plant holder.

The last product that I had found on thingiverse was the Smart One Hand Bottle Opener (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:269463). When I had participated in a research study on campus I was given a bottle opener to answer questions on for the research, then I was given the opportunity to give back the bottle opener and receive a dollar or to keep the bottle opener. I decided to keep the bottle opener thinking it would be a great idea to give the opener a shot, as it was 3d printed. However, I was extremely disappointed with the product because it was very hard to open the bottle due to its softer material and poor curve design. Seeing the one hand bottle opener having finger slots immediately makes the product easier to use. To improve on the product, the opener should definitely use better and harder material for the curve that attaches to the bottles, to ensure that it can be opened in one pull like most metal bottle openers.