Week 2 Summary: Diving Deeper

Week 2, Monday, late-afternoon and the MakerLab is filled with the sonorous sound of the 3D printers whizzing away. Walking into the familiar classroom to not only hear the soothing buzz of creation but also to feel the ambiance of the eagerness to learn and have fun were certainly worth the climb and much-needed exercise up to the top floor of the Business Instructional Facility.

Week 1 was all about settling into the class with an introduction and overview of what “making” with alumni Arielle Rausin and John Hornick. Arielle, a local entreprenuer, talked about her glove business (mainly for wheelchair racing) and how 3D printing enabled her to become so successful in her innovations. John Hornick, the author of 3D Printing Will Rock the World dove into what 3D printing has in store for users in the future and how it changed the way people design, make and interact with the world. This week, we learned about additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. We had the privilege of listening to the guest lecturer and Director of the Champaign-Urbana Community (CUC) Fab Lab, Jeff Ginger. We also successfully reviewed the two learning objectives: discovering different websites where other people create and share different designs of objects and learning the basics of 3D printing.

To start off the class, we split up into 7 different groups to explore different sites in which different people from all around the world shared their creations. Many of these sites such as thingiverse.com and youmagine.com are open source and let beginners and advanced makers alike share and create designs to tinker with. These sites are platforms that make such “blueprints” easily accessible and have become important in the Maker Movement.

Here are the links to the sites that we explored in this class:





After going over these online sources, Jeff Ginger talked about the CUC Fab Lab, which is an open and collaborative workshop space for technology-driven innovation and design. The facility and other Fab Labs are central players in the Maker Movement (a social, economic, and political movement that incorporates both technology and DIY culture). Within the CUC Fab Lab, Jeff brought up the extensive equipment such as engravers, electronic cutters, sewing machines, and 3D printers, that enables local entrepreneurs and students alike to create their own products. The CUC Fab Lab also enable and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to stop by and explore the facilities with the help of the staff and volunteers. One example Jeff showcased was Monet and the Waterlily Friends, a children’s book by Judy Lee, an artist, and entrepreneur, that started at the Fab Lab and was successfully kickstarted. The Fab Lab encourages people to become makers through exploration of the design. You can learn more about the Fab Lab by visiting http://cucfablab.org/ .

After the guest presentation, we learned more about the basics of 3D printing such as the STL file (a file format used in 3D printing). We went onto http://thingiverse.com to find simple objects such as a toothbrush holder, a grocery bag holder, and an Illinois state keychain to print. We used the computer application, Cura, to help transfer the data to the 3D printer (through an SD card).

A 3D printer in action.
Charlene's finished Illinois keychain
In general, the students this week had fun and learned more in depth what 3D printing is. Many of the students before this class never saw 3D printing as something important. For a lot of the students and certainly myself included, this week was the first week we printed. Personally, I was definitely surprised and felt pride and accomplished that I was able to make my own keychain. The following are several students’ views of the course and Week 2’s activities:

“Before this course, I had never realized the importance of the Maker Movement that was being created and developed within the community.” – Charlene


“As we approach week 3 of the Digital Making class, I can say that this class has been extremely enjoyable thus far. There have been many things I’ve learned already and this is coming from someone who was going to buy a 3D printer about two years ago.” – Jorge


“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.” – Tiffany

Before the class meetup, we were also required to read The Maker Mindset and Neil Gershenfeld’s “How to Make Almost Anything.” While Gershenfeld raised more legal and moral concerns regarding the printing and possible fabrication of designs, The Maker Mindset took a more positive approach in commending how the Maker Movement transforms education by challenging and offering limitless opportunities for students to innovate and create their own objects. Personally, this hit a chord with me and reminded me that while this course encouraged us to push for creativity, challenge our thinking, and succeed in our projects, it was also an opportunity to fail and learn from mistakes. Many courses in the business school do not allow a lot of buffer room to make mistakes, learn from them and redeem them. Yet, after just week 2 and being able to observe not only an excellent professor with over 10 years of teaching, 4 of those years as the director of the Illinois MakerLab guiding us, but also being able to have hands-on experience and first-hand accounts of the digital making process, this class has already surprised me and have definitely spiked my interest. I am sincerely and genuinely excited to see how this class will shape and mold us into the creative and innovative future generation. I hope that in Week 3 will be just as enticing when Design for America presents about Design Thinking.

If you want to learn more about Week 2 and are interested in what individual students learned, here is the link to the Week 2 reflections:


Week 2 Reflection: The Age of 3-D Printing

So far it has been two exciting weeks of classes; listening to John Hornick talk about the future of 3-D Printing in the first week of class really manifested my curiosity towards the age of 3-D printing.

For week two, we had Jeff Gringer, who is the director of Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab come and talk to us about the Maker movement and his role in shaping future societies. The Fab labs play a crucial role in the Maker Movement, which is a social, cultural and economic movement that promotes creativity and learning  by integrating computer-tools with the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture. Originally started at MIT, there are now over 200 Fab labs across the world impacting children and adults of all backgrounds. One of the prominent feature of the Maker Movement, as described by Dale Dougherty in “The Maker Mindset” , is its potential to change the education system for the better. It is absolutely incredible to imagine that in the next 15 years, middle and high schools will slowly move away from rote learning methods and rather learn through creating, building and making things come to life with the help of the Maker Movement. I personally believe its going to simulate the next generation to create products and shape society in ways never thought of before and I can’t wait it.

Imagine going to amazon.com/3d and buying a table and then starting a print at home using your own personal printer! Class this week for interesting as we got to actually print our own products. Websites like thingiverse and shapeways allows users to not only browse through various products and collections but also download these designs for free and print them at home. From visually pleasing designs to useful day to day household products, these sites are slowly grabbing people’s attention allowing people to sell as well buy designs and market cool new products.

On the other hand 3-D printing is revolutionizing the health industry at the same time. Doctors and research scientists are digitally scanning organs and printing them out to simulate surgeries and save lives as seen in this video below.

Week 2 of class not only taught us how to download a design we like and print it but also inspired us to be a part of the Maker Movement and impact the society we live in today.

Week 2 Reflection: The Maker Movement and the Future of DIY

This week in class we were immersed into the FabLab and the unique tools and services that they offer for the local Champaign-Urbana maker community. The reading of “The Maker Mindset” stood out to me as it highlights how fast this method of manufacturing is growing and soon before you know it, there might be one in every home. The ability to be able to print anything on a whim while being able to customize it directly to your specifications is vastly different compared to previous manufacturing methods. The Wired article by Chris Anderson called, “In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms are the New Bits” shows how this is such a revolutionary technology that has been around since the 1980s but now is taking off and beginning to become affordable and widely used.

Jeff Ginger from the FabLab taught us about how many tools there were at our doorstep when it comes to being able to use it. The way he runs the FabLab is very interesting to me as it curates the Do-It-With-Others mentality versus the Do-It-Yourself method. Collaborating and being able to receive feedback is instrumental in being able to achieve a fine tune product or service. And the way Jeff approached it really stood out to me and how the maker movement is actually a maker community.

This week we also were put into groups based on the strengths and weaknesses of our classmates. I thought that this was extremely helpful since we are able to utilize each others’ knowledge base while also contributing our own. My group had a wide range of majors such as Information Systems and Information Technology and a Mechanical Engineer and me as Technical Systems Management and Architecture. This means that our multidisciplinary will have the leg up when it comes to implementing our product or at least have the resources to do so at our disposal. We brainstormed some ideas such as drones and tools for a GoPro, however, we did not apply the design thinking process yet and so determining the problem first would be the first. Upon determining the groups, we were taught how to utilize the Cura software and print something out on the Ultimaker machines. I choose to print out a bottle opener with DFA on it for my organization and it was extremely helpful learning how to do it on a low fidelity product first rather than jumping in with a tedious 3D printed model.  So now I am looking forward to further immersing myself into the technical side of it and being able to create my own models rather than obtaining it from thingiverse.


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.




Week #2 Reflection: The Origins and Future of the Maker Movement

Class Reflection

This past week allowed us the opportunity to gain exposure to not only the 3D printing revolution, but also the Maker Movement as a collective whole. Despite taking a course in high school through which I was able to tinker and play with design software like AutoCAD and Inventor, we never learned about other parts of the revolution. Through Jeff Ginger’s presentation, I learned about how the movement is making a tangible impact on the local community. The Fablab and the tools made available there to the public present endless opportunities to exercise creativity. This also relates to this past week’s readings, in which Dale Dougherty touches on the need for the Maker Movement as a form of creative learning in his article “The Maker Mindset”. Dougherty states, “The biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for the Maker Movement

This also relates to this past week’s readings, in which Dale Dougherty touches on the need for the Maker Movement as a form of creative learning in his article “The Maker Mindset”. Dougherty states, “The biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for the Maker Movement is to transform education.” Through reading his piece, I learned the enormous value that Making can have with regards to education. While in today’s society the majority of a student’s success is largely determined by his or her ability to perform well on standardized tests or to submit themselves to thinking in a very specific and rigid manner, the Maker Movement offers students the ability to be successful in more creative, outside-the-box types of ways. A specific example that Dougherty cites that I found to be particularly insightful was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory case, in which the company realized that recruiting students who had spent their childhood tinkering or building various widgets was far more beneficial than hiring students who had solely been the most successful by academic standards.

In the article “How to Make Almost Anything”, the author Neil Gershenfeld argues that we live in a highly materialistic society, one in which we are taught and raised to purchase and consume the basic things that we need. This, as a result, contradicts our inherent nature of being creative, of being self-reliant, and of providing for ourselves. I was completely unaware of all the capabilities that 3D printing and the general Maker Movement could have before reading this article.

Everyday Object Challenge

For the everyday object challenge, I specifically looked at Thingiverse, as I found this sharing site to have the most expansive variety of model options to download and utilize. The four objects I analyzed were a door bolt, a Pokemon toy, a GoPro stick, and a tube squeezer.

Door Bolt: I would definitely use this item from Thingiverse. It is incredibly practical and otherwise can only be found at specialty home improvement stores like the Home Depot. Thingiverse allows something that can be hard to find much more accessible. I would also include the files for the screws needed for the product, as the directions seemed a bit confusing.

Pokemon Toy: This toy was actually what I printed after class last week, and it serves as a reminder that the Maker Movement does not necessarily have to revolve around creating new, inventive products or bringing a solution to a greater problem. While it definitely can be utilized for those purposes, it can also be used to create simple toys and help children to explore their more creative passions. I would improve this product by giving it more defined features.

GoPro Stick: The GoPro Selfie Stick is a great example of how 3D printing can help disseminate the latest trends. For example, if you saw a new gadget at a convention or conference, you could instantly print it out to show your friends and family. Personally, I would make the stick extend a bit larger.

Tube Squeezer: While this may not be the most advanced product on the Thingiverse website, it is a perfect example of creating extremely practical inventions. Prior to seeing this on the Thingiverse site, I had no idea something like this existed. However, it is definitely a simple yet incredibly useful idea that I would definitely employ. The only change I would make would be to increase the size of the handle, as people with larger hands may find it difficult to gain a good grasp.

Week #2 Reflection: The Future of 3D Printing

As we approach week 3 of the Digital Making class, I can say that this class has been extremely enjoyable thus far. There have been many things I’ve learned already and this is coming from someone who was going to buy a 3D printer about two years ago. I honestly think the IS/IT major should include more hands-on classes like this one. What makes this class great are the three pillars this course is built upon: Learn, Make, and Share. Along with that, I think the one of the things I learned this week were 3D Printing Sharing websites. Websites like Thingiverse, Pinshape, MyMiniFactory, and many others allow makers to make a design, upload it to one of these websites, and share it with the internet to allow others to download, add on to it, and 3D print the design using their own systems. These websites also allow people who don’t have experience with CAD software to be able to 3D print since they won’t have to design anything.

In addition to learning about these websites, my favorite “skill” I learned was how to take a design on a computer and turn it into an actual 3D print. This was one of the things I never got around when doing my research on what 3D printer to buy. It amazes me how far software technology has come. Scott, our guest speaker last Monday, did a great job teaching us and explaining what each process does. My first print, unfortunately, failed so I definitely experience that 20% fail rate.

I definitely believe that the 3D printing industry will take off again, especially in the medical field. While browsing Facebook one day, I came across a video on a startup in Mexico. This startup focused on 3D printing custom cast for people. The difference between a regular cast and a cast from this startup is that it will allow you to “breathe” by the strategical holes they have on the cast and it’s super lightweight. In addition, the cast is removable for cleaning. If you want to read more about the startup Mediprint, click here to read an article about the startup. The way they are able to do this is by 3D scanning the person’s arm or leg. Then they design a custom cast around those parameters. I keep constantly running into articles on medical startups that use 3D printing. This is why I believe 3D printing will take off again very soon.

Overall, I’m extremely excited to start working on my semester-long project. My group members and I have already started brainstorming ideas for the project and they all sound like they can help out many people.


Week 2 Reflection: Learning by Making and Sharing

This week’s class was devoted to building an understanding of the various resources available in the world of 3D making, from the ideating process through actual production and distribution of the finished product. Making these resources accessible to a larger population is increasingly important as 3D making starts to play a role in all walks of life, from retail shopping to open heart surgeries. These new capacities are constantly furthered and redefined as more minds join the making movement; continuing this constant innovation is crucial, as Gershenfeld discusses in “How To Make Almost Anything.” We have been introduced to these resources in various capacities; the first of these platforms was an in-class presentation from the Champaign-Urbana Fab Lab, which provides opportunities for the public to learn about and gain hands on experience with 3D making. This lab and others like it are crucial to the mission of digital making: they promote building of these skill sets, and help increase access to these technologies for the general population. In doing so, they aid the transformation of education, as Dougherty discusses in “The Maker Mindset.”

This mission has been carried out across the web as well, as explored on sites such as Shapeways and Thingiverse. These sites accommodate makers of all experience levels, and provide various ways for individuals to engage to whatever degree they feel comfortable. For example, Shapeways provides free app downloads that guide beginners through a step-by-step tutorial to designing common items, such as key chains and ornaments. They also provide tools that scan and analyze completed designs to ensure all specifications and elements of the design are sound before production takes place. Finally, Shapeways provides the opportunity for makers to upload designs, and have the final products delivered to their doorstep; they also offer a marketplace where makers can sell their designs to the public.

Similarly, Thingiverse provides free downloads of designs for those who are new to making, and would like to download a preset design to print at an on-site 3D printer – a process we engaged in at the end of class, where I elected to create an Eiffel Tower keychain to commemorate my semester abroad in Paris. The designs available range a wide variety of complexities and purposes. A few of my personal favorites are the following:

Pug Headphone Wrap This provides a way to keep headphones from tangling when they’re thrown in the bottom of a bag. I chose this design because I think the piece is large enough that it will not get lost in my purse; I also think the pug design is cute and very unique. To improve the design, I would add a clip of some sort to the back, so that you could clip the pug onto a pocket inside a bag or backpack for easy access and organization. Click here.

iPhone Car Holder  This holder would be a great way to temporarily mount my iPhone in my car when utilizing Spotify and Google Maps for instructions. I chose this design because it is lightweight and does not require permanent mounting on the dashboard/windshield, so it can be removed when not in use. I would have to ensure that the sizing specs are aligned to my car, a Honda Pilot, so that it would attach to the vent on my dashboard. Click here.

iPhone Charger Shelf  This shelf would be a great asset in scenarios where you need to charge your phone in an outlet not near a table/ledge. I selected this design because putting my phone on the ground always worries me, as someone might step on it, so this would resolve that issue. I do not anticipate making any adjustments, as I have an iPhone 6, which the device is sized for. Click here.

Knife Block  This device would come in very handy in organizing the knives in our kitchen. My apartment has a silverware drawer, but no knife block, and as a result, our sharp knives are all jumbled in a drawer, presenting a safety hazard. This block is simple and would fit in a drawer or on a counter, and would help us stay organized (and safe.) I would adjust the design to accommodate blades of different widths/lengths as well. Click here.

In conclusion, during this class session, we explored the start-to-finish process of selecting a design, making adjustments to the template, and going through the actual process of printing, all while utilizing and building an understanding of the tools at our disposal.

Intro to 3D Printing & the Maker Movement

This week in class, we learned about the different ways to make things and terminology of 3D printing, such as stereolithography and fused deposition modeling. In addition, we also learned about utilizing the software Cura that edits and converts STL. files into G code files that are ready for 3D printing. The guest speaker Jeff Ginger, director of the Fab Lab, provided great direction into the various resources available both on campus and online that could be incorporated in our semester projects. A few things that stood out to me from the lecture were the digital embroidery machines at the Fab Lab, the 3D scanner at the Beckman Visualization laboratory, and the term DIWO (do it with others) which is a updated take on DIY.

From the readings, Neil Gershefeid writes about the digital fabrication revolution. One of the things that interested me was his timeline description about how the digital fabric revolution had its origins from the 1950’s with cutting aircraft components using digital computers with milling machines. In Dougherty’s article about the maker mindset and the maker movement states that, “Making is source of innovation.” I agree with his statement because it is a free form process whose possibilities are still being explored and experimented with. Dougherty also points out that the maker movement is an excellent opportunity to transform education to create both a creative and stimulating environment. I believe children’s exposure to maker spaces is a great hands on way for them to learn how to work well in teams and develop their problem solving skills.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1990412 – Scissor Sheath

This product is great for safety, especially for people with young children or pets. One thing I would change making the length and width adjustable to fit other scissors as well as knives even.  

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1768185 – SD card Holder

SD cards are tiny and can be easily lost or misplaced. This item is perfect for storing them all in one place. I love that they added the customizable function to allow you to adjust from micro to normal size SD cards.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:404028 – Soap Holder

I have been needing a soap holder and would love to be able to print one out. I would also add a cover to the holder, so that I can bring it with me to travel or prevent water from the shower from shrinking the soap.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:411163 -Tube Caps

I think the tube caps are perfect for storing all sorts of items. It functions well with paper towel or toilet paper rolls. 

Week 2 Reflection: UIUC Maker Community & Ways to Make (3D Print)

Staying in a class for three hours is draining but this BADM 395 class is the exception to that rule, here we listen to exciting and innovative speakers, watch the makerbots 3D-print objects of different colors and get to see finished products on display in the lab.

In this week’s lecture we learned alot more about the maker community on and around campus from Jeff Ginger – Director of the CUC  Fablab – with a focus on the FabLab and the potential locations for making and innovation on campus even he had not fully explored yet, but intends to do so. From the many examples of projects and initiatives they do at the FabLab that incorporated art and innovation, I look forward to working within the FabLab space for our semester project. From his talk, I could see a lot of correlation with the “Maker Movement” and the “3D Printing Revolution” that were in the readings and how they work hand in hand. These blew me away with the many applications and potential for 3D printing in our futures, daily lives and industries as well as education through the utilization of 3D printing in maker spaces for classes.

Then after this I got to meet and introduce myself to my two new team mates for the semester project – Tiffany and Odelia – then dived through thingiverse as part of our in class activity. This showed me a facet of the interconnected world of makers, a community set up to spark creativity and give access to cad files for personal use/customization. It showed us one of the 3 ways to make by “Downloading and Printing”. Then we were able to download a creation of our own choice and 3D print it. My choice was a bee hive drawer:


By diving further into thingiverse and shapeways, I found a couple more cool things that I’d love to print and use:

Vice: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1117728

I work on a lot of tech teams and a frequent problem we have is holding things we use upright, but with this I could easily solve this problem by printing versions of this cad file but resizing it to fit the specific use I need them for.

Raspberry Pi Case: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:922740

Last semester I was working on a personal arduino/raspberry pi project that invilved a bulky shield on it that would not fit the case I saw online for it, but this case on here would be perfect for the project I was working on with a little resizing without keeping the aspect ratio constant. This is but one of the many cool microcontroller cases i saw on these pages with cool designs.

USB Cable Holder: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:755186

I am someone who attends alot of workshops, events and conferences that give away alot free gadgets that have usb cables and because of this I have a lot usb cables lying around in my room in a disheveled mess. This with a bit of resizing and probably more than one duplicates would be able to help me organize these cables and access them better.

Stackable Battery Holders: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1004996

As I said, I am someone with alot of gadgets that either are recharged by usb cable or AA-battery powered. With this I would be able to keep all of my extra batteries in a cool way rather than digging around in the bottom of my drawer/cabinets just for one. I would probably resize it to be able to store more batteries too.

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.