Looking Back

Looking back at this semester and thinking about everything that I have learned is incredible. This class has introduced me to things I was unfamiliar with. It gave me the skills to be able to go about an idea in serveral different ways.

I thought back to some of the speakers that made an impact on what I learned. Even on the first week, when we had two speakers. The video call from John Horlick kicked off the semester. He had written a book on how 3D printing was really becoming more and more prevalent in business and our everyday life. This opened my eyes to Digital Making. I realized that things were constantly changing in how things were being made, but I did not realize how much of an impact innovation was actually making. Even though this presentation was mainly on 3D printing, I felt like it spoke for more than 3D printing. It showed that there is always a better or smarter way to do something. There are also many ways to achieve that goal and I believe that is what Digital Making entailed.

Most of everything I learned in this class, I had not been exposed to before. Something that was really foreign to me was coding aurduinos. I never thought I would mess with that. I had understood some of the code because I had dealt with coding before, but it had only been solely on the computer. I had never used a breadboard before. It was also awesome to see a product come together after our few weeks of class spent at the Fab Lab. Not only did we code Arduinos, but we lasercut wood boxes and soldered wires together. This was great experience that helped prepare us and our teams create and develop a product of our own for our final product.

Throughout the entire semester, I felt like each class taught us the skills to tackle a problem or accomplish a task that we would encounter as we did our final project. The guidelines of the final project were for you to create a project that solves a problem.

When I decided to take this class, I was hoping to get a better understanding of using different softwares. I took this class because I really liked the work I did in the lab and I wanted to be able to do more. I only had one class freshman year that I was taught a CAD software, Creo Parametric 3.0. Other than that, the only time I have had experience with other softwares was when I would help out with workshops at the MakerLab. I wanted to be able to learn them well enough to create things of my own.

I feel like that expectation I had about the class was met. I was taught various softwares through a workshop type environment in class. That helped with figuring out where to start and what to look at to finish a design. Then I had to apply those skills I learned to the final project. It really tested me on how well I knew how to use them. I used Tinkercad for most of anything I did with the final project including the team logo. I was able to do it from my laptop in my free time. When I was looking at a folder I created on TInkercad and photos of designs I had sent my partners, I could see how my skill had improved throughout the semester. When I started, I did the basic shapes and a lot of things were uneven and had odd proportions. As I practiced, I was able to fix those problems and create more complex things. It was frustrating at points, but I was able to get my designs to how I wanted them to be.

This class opened my eyes to many things.  I was able to explore different ways of making I had never done before. I also, went through the product design process that made me explore every aspect of a design even if it is identifying what you can do yourself and when to seek outside help. In this class, I learned what I wanted to learn and more.

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