Week 2 Reflection


Being able to download and slice a model design with the Cura software and print it out in 3D with the Ultimaker machine for the first time was one of the most fascinating experiences. Mesmerized by the 3D printer in action, buzzing away as it slowly built my model one layer at a time, I certainly felt like I was a little kid again. For this first printing project, I went on Thingiverse, an online 3D model sharing community, for inspiration. After giving it some thought, I decided to print a 20-sided dice for my first project. As silly as it may seem, this decision stemmed from my obsession with tiny objects. No matter how hard I try to keep my desk clear of any little useless things like car-shaped erasers or ice-cream cone key chains, there’s somehow always little things lying around. This led me to the thought that a dice could be an interesting addition to my mini desktop “collection.” The process of printing it took about six hours, a little more than I had imagined for this tiny dice.


The end product came out to be fairly decent, although unfortunately two of the twenty sides were compromised due to the fact that it was printed with a base. Also, I had to use a Dremel to polish and smooth out the ridges. Though it didn’t turn out perfectly, I was still very happy about my first 3D printed dice.
Besides getting hands-on experience, during this week’s workshop we had the opportunity to learn about Fab Lab from guest speaker Jeff Ginger. As the director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, he introduced us to this collaborative workshop space for digital making and opened our eyes to the extensiveness of this organization across the world as well as its impact on the Maker Movement, which encourages people to create things on their own. I really like how Fab Lab engages people of all ages and backgrounds into the world of creativity and innovation.
Also, in these past few days, I read the article “How to Make Almost Anything” and started flipping through “3D Printing Will Rock the World” by John Hornick. 3D printing is definitely not a novel idea as it has been around for about 30 years. However, it’s still in its infancy and has a lot of potential to grow. It truly amazes me how 3D printers are such powerful machines that can essentially build things that traditionally require several steps to assemble with a single step. This reminds me of BADM 375 in which we calculated throughput rate of business processes using Little’s Law. It’s very interesting to think that in the future with 3D printing technology, efficiency in manufacturing may be increased due to the elimination of lag time between processes.

Finally, the following are the four things from Thingiverse I’m interested in:

Music Box: I’ve loved music boxes ever since I was little. It’ll be amazing if I could even arrange it so it can play a certain tune.

Phone Case: I think it’ll be great to be able to customize and print my own phone cases. I could maybe make one for my tablet as well.

Piano Book Opener: I’ve always had the problem of piano books closing on me while I’m playing so this would be a very useful tool for sure.

Glasses Holder: This cool-looking glasses holder will serve my everyday needs and prevent me from misplacing my glasses.