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.


3 thoughts on “Week #2 Reflection: The Future of 3D Printing

  1. I think it is absolutely wonderful that even as an experienced 3D printing maker, you are able to continuously learn, challenge and improve yourself in this class. I was really fascinated researching the Mediprint start up. There are so many applications in the health field! I was actually first attracted to 3D printing for this specific field application. I remember last year I read about one of the players using a 3D printed brace which allowed for more flexibility and range in motion while also speeding up recovery time!

    Check it out: https://www.engadget.com/2016/02/04/panthers-thomas-davis-3d-printed-brace-super-bowl/

    Additionally, if you want to see how 3D printing can help severe burn victims, check out my Week 2 blog which has a link to that Mashable video.

  2. It is unimaginable what 3-d printing has in store for us in the future. I was particularly interested about the impact 3-d printing will bring about in the health industry as you have discussed in your post. Doctors are now printing human organs in whats called the Bioprinting movement and I believe this would drastically impact the lives of people from across the world in another 15 years.

  3. I enjoyed reading about the Mediprint startup, it’s an innovative way to solve issues around casts and injuries. Integrating 3D scanners to have the cast fit according to size is an effective way of utilizing the technology. It would be amazing to see this become more standardized and at an affordable price for people in the future. The FDA’s positive positioning on 3D printing in medical devices and pharmaceuticals will definitely aid in allowing more of these innovations to become possible.

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