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.




4 thoughts on “Week 2 Reflection

  1. Hi Charlene,
    Thanks for the post, and I enjoyed reading your perspective on both the articles and presentation. I, too, did not comprehend the sheer magnitude of the impact that the Maker Movement will have–and already is having–on our own lives. Since you mentioned you are curious about the real-life applications that 3D printing can have, I encourage you to look at this article from Reuters that was just posted today (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-siemens-turbines-3d-idUSKBN15L103). The article focuses on the giant German engineering firm Siemens, which recently completed a successful 3D print of gas turbine blades. If applied to commercial use, this can cut down manufacturing times from two years to just two months! Also, I enjoyed reading about the products you discovered on Thingiverse. They seem very practical and relevant to daily life!

  2. Hi Charlene,

    I agree with a lot of what you had to say. I definitely think the “Do it with others” mentality is a driving force behind the Maker Movement. Fab Labs are an excellent opportunity to share resources, ideas, and learn as you go. Like you, I did not have any experience with 3D Printing prior to Scott’s introduction and our first prints. Although I would still say 3D is becoming more accessible to everyone, I think people underestimate how many settings and preferences you can adjust to perfect your print. However, it is promising to see how people off all ages, including children, are eager to learn, make, and tinker all on their own. I also really liked your mention of the bottle opener, as it points out pros and cons of 3D Printing. On one end, it allows you to design, test, and modify quickly and at a low cost. However, as you mentioned, the material may not always be the best. I also noticed that the the bottle opener on Thingiverse had a big writeup about not being the owner and pointing to the actual inventor’s website. This reminded me of the readings where it was discussed that 3D Printing and intellectual rights may become a big discussion point. Do you see this as becoming a bigger problem?

  3. Hi Charlene,
    Great reflection! I definitely agree that each of us is born to create and make, and this 3D printing technology really changes our role as consumers and gives us opportunities to maximize our potential. I was also just as surprised to find out how extensive Fab Lab is around the world and how we are fortunate to have one here in our Urbana-Champaign community. The products you found on Thingiverse are really cool. I especially like the succulent plant holder since I adore tiny things/decorations myself as well. Also, your idea on how to improve the bottle opener is really well thought-out.

  4. Great post Charlene. I also discovered more about the importance of the Maker Movement and the endless possibilities that can arise from it. From the guest speaker, I was just as excited as you were to hear about the various resources on campus that are at our disposal. I am definitely going to check out the Fab Lab and utilize their technologies. The products that you found on Thingiverse are very interesting. It’s great that the bubble tripod has flexible joints. The Hex planter is perfect for decorating the apartment and convenient with multiple planters. I also found this planter designed after the Pokemon Oddish that might interest you. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1112783

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