Week 2: 3D Printing will Rock the World

Class Reflection & Takeaways

This week’s class has been a wonderful introduction to the world of 3D printing and the third industrial revolution. I have been wanting to get involved with the MakerLab each year of school but never took the time on my own to visit and get more involved with it. The first week I was incredibly inspired by Arielle, the guest speaker and class alum who spoke about her final project. She turned her project, printing wheelchair racing gloves, into a successful business after completing the class. This got me thinking about various innovative uses for 3D printing that may not have been done before.

Our second class, which I will focus on in this post, provided a great overview of the various resources available to provide inspiration and templates for printing various items. During class, we explored the resources in depth and I looked further into https://www.shapeways.com/. This is a website that provides a marketplace for people to sell their designs and have them printed in various different materials. If interested in buying a product, you have the freedom to choose what it is printed in, materials from 14 karat gold to silver to various grades of plastic. They will then print it for you, and ship it to you, giving a loyalty to the designer as well as making a profit. As I was exploring this website, there was everything from games, to household objects to jewelry. This was interesting for me as it raised the question of whether the art of handmade jewelry will continue, or if 3D printed jewelry will slowly replace the traditional methods.

The readings for this class provided interesting insight into how 3D printing is not only affecting the consumer and manufacturing market but also the mindsets of a large group of people. Dale Dougherty in his article, The Maker Mindset discussed how important this idea is, the innovative way of creating that helps our world flourish. He critiques the current academic curriculum for failing to emphasize creativity and innovation. Makerspaces are wonderful places for a variety of skills and ideas to come together to create something altogether new. I found this an interesting concept, as I have always loved the arts and exercising the more creative side of my brain. I can only imagine what it would be like to go to school in an environment that encouraged creativity over math and sciences or in combination with the more technical courses.


Below I have listed a few items I am interested in printing:

This coaster is unique and I know I would enjoy using it in my own apartment. I drink coffee and tea quite a lot and like nice looking coasters therefore this one is perfect for me! I cannot exactly tell what size this design is, but I would want to make sure it fits a large coffee cup but is not overly large, taking up too much space on my small desk.


As a larger project, I am interested in attempting to print a violin this semester. It seems as if there are quite a few different designs out there both for acoustic and electric violins so I have included a few of the designs I found for them below. For the acoustic violins, I would most likely print them in white, for a sleek looking design, I would also make sure they had supporting posts inside to hold the back up from the top of the violin while being played.





I am interested in printing a small carrying case for my GoPro camera as I do not currently have a case or any good way to transport it. This box seems to be the perfect size and with a hinge it would be much more protective than the current way I transport my GoPro (which is typically unprotected in a backpack). I have never even seen cases like this sold in stores or online so I was very excited to discover it on the internet available to print. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2210863

A final object I would like to print is a candle holder. I found this design beautiful and enjoy burning candles while I study. I would love to have one that I personally made. A way that I might modify it would be the changing the shape slightly to fit different sized candles as well as printing various colors.


4 thoughts on “Week 2: 3D Printing will Rock the World”

  1. “This was interesting for me as it raised the question of whether the art of handmade jewelry will continue, or if 3D printed jewelry will slowly replace the traditional methods.”

    I really like this insight and question. I will be writing my “special” post for the once-a-semester activity on musical instruments and 3D printing. If the same quality can be achieved through the 3D printer, will it replace traditional methods? I think the demand for handmade jewelry and instruments is continuously being driven down. Unfortunately, artists nowadays are often not compensated for the time they spend making the product. In an ideal world, they should be paid for the materials they use, the talent they have, AND the time they have spent at the workbench. Many people are making less handmade goods because they are not being compensated for that time. So I think the 3D printer will help a lot of these artists make the beautiful designs they create, but nothing compares to the time and care someone puts into a handmade product. So, while there is less of a demand, I do not think handmade art will be eliminated completely.

  2. Hi Helen. I loved that you included a link to shapeways! I figured there must be a website through which buying and selling self-printed items was possible, so I am happy that you gave me the opportunity to explore the site. Also, your aspiration of printing a violin inspires me- I had not previously considered printing such ambitious products, but will definitely be looking into it more in the future! I would love to see you do this in class.

  3. Hi Helen,
    I agree with you when you say “how 3D printing is not only affecting the consumer and manufacturing market but also the mindsets of a large group of people” With technological advances, companies are able to learn more about their customers and better cater to their needs. With this in mind, consumers and their mindsets are expecting products and services from companies that are designed just how that individual consumer desires it to be designed. Thus, digital making is influencing this on-demand customization to be easier and more readily available for consumers and companies. As this trend continues, our views on the world will continue to transform in that we expect products/services to be customized to each of our individual preferences.
    -Scott Provenzano

  4. Hi Helen!

    I found Shapeway extremely interesting as well. It made me wonder how the jewelry industry will stay afloat when you can so easily have it customized to your specific liking through this website. In my post I also discussed the importance of creativity and curiosity, just as you did. I agree that the MakerLab is a great place for both of these things! Also, I LOVE that candle holder as well. It looks super unique and after clicking the link, it doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult to make. Thanks again for your post!

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