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.

This entry was posted in Week2 by Veronika. Bookmark the permalink.

About Veronika

I am a senior studying Finance and ISIT, and am working full time as a Consulting Analyst following my graduation. In my free time, I enjoy photography, reading novels, cooking, and running.

2 thoughts on “Week 2 Reflection: Learning by Making and Sharing

  1. Hi Veronika!

    I found it so interesting how many ways 3D printing could shape the way that we live and work. And to be handed all of these amazing resources to be used in various ways is such a blessing. Additionally, I thought all of the thingiverse printables were so interestingly designed as well as innovative and visually pleasing. My favorite was the pug headphone wrap. I love dogs and the design was cute yet functional. I don’t know how many times I have searched for my headphones and found them tangled and nearly broken.

    I did some searching on my own to find more cute but functional designs and I found this key chain/Smartphone holder. Its a cute animal key chain that allows a space for someone to have their smartphone in to keep it upright like a stand so they can watch shows more comfortably.

    Check it out here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1587568

  2. Hi Veronika!
    Great job putting the fascinating development and capability of 3D printing into words while incorporating our readings into your reflection. It’s truly amazing how 3D printing slowly plays into all parts of our lives, and as you mentioned, websites such as Thingiverse and Shapeways definitely contribute to the widespread of the Maker Movement. I think it’s great that we’re able to download designs from Thingiverse and print them out ourselves. I really like your selections since they are not only unique but also super useful for everyday use. I really like to organize things as well and thought you may like this 3D printed cord organizer: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/454722893602742235/

Leave a Reply