Endings & Beginnings

I’m really happy I took this class! I knew a lot of people in the class before taking it from other classes, but I feel like I got to know them a lot better through the course. We became friends learning about all the different tools and machinery. I thought it was so interesting to see people’s interests through the work they created and how they customized all their projects.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting from this course. My knowledge on 3D printing was not very extensive, but I have a lot of friends that use it and I always wanted to learn. I had taken a lot of artistic, creative classes through my time at U of I, but never within the College of Business. I consider myself a creative individual and I knew I was excited to try a new form of expression. I was familiar with a lot of machinery like the CNC machine prior to taking the class, but I had never actually used one and created something with it although I have always wanted to! I expected the class to be very technical and maybe a bit hard. I took an industrial design class my Junior year and I had used CAD software so I was expecting the 3D software to be similar to that.


Looking back now, I think that 3D printing is easier than I expected although it can be challenging at times. I loved using Fusion 360 and I’m very grateful Dan Banach was able to come in and teach us how to use it. It’s so much harder trying to learn these softwares just by teaching ourselves and having a professional come in and teach it made it a more meaningful experience for me. Fusion 360 is easy to use and has a nice, aesthetically pleasing interface which I really enjoyed. It makes me want to go out and learn more softwares through other classes or opportunities I may encounter.

Probably my favorite part of the class was the weeks we went to the FabLab. I had heard so much about the FabLab during my four years here, but I never actually ventured there myself. It’s an amazing place! I loved doing digital embroidery. I didn’t ever know that was a thing until we went to the FabLab. I have friends who are clothing designers and they always hand stitch all their embroidery so I was under the impression that was the only low-cost way to do it. My grandma also stitches clothing for fun and I think about all the time and effort she puts into her beautiful designs that could also be done using the machinery. I feel like I could easily make my own designs now leveraging the digital embroidery technology. I also loved learning the CNC machine and seeing it in action was very cool. My dad is a carpenter and I’ve seen wood being worked in all sorts of ways, but he doesn’t need a CNC machine so that was the first time I actually encountered it. It’s so cool! I want to go back and make a more complicated design with the technology and burn it onto a bigger surface. I’m glad we incorporated the lights into our designs as well. I’ve taken a lot of electrical engineering classes over the years and it was nice to literally weave the concept into our design.

I liked when the Design for America kids came in to talk to us too. I am a member of Illinois Enactus and we work to create sustainable change through entrepreneurial action. We actually have a lot of projects that leverage 3D printing and the FabLab so Design for America is really up my alley in terms of interests. I liked hearing about the different projects they’ve sourced and the ways in which they are trying to improve our community. I think anyone can be innovative and more people should use their creative abilities to help people. It was great seeing the Design for America people be so passionate and willing to teach.

Overall, the course taught me a lot of not only technical skills I will leverage, but also how to think like an innovator and creator. I’m grateful I got to experience the ‘maker’ mentality and I will definitely be 3D printing in the future. I enjoyed how open-ended our project was. We got to pick our idea and really leverage all available tools to make it come to life. It was a great time and I will be sure to recommend it to friends in the future. Thanks for a great semester!

One thought on “Endings & Beginnings”

  1. Hey Chelly!

    I agree with you that it is hard to find a class that is centered around creativity (especially in the business school) so this was a change of pace for me! I also agree that going to the Fablab was the best part of the whole course!

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