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.

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