A Print-Sharing Economy

Jeff Ginger

This week in class, we had a guest speaker come in a give us fascinating presentation. Jeff Ginger is the director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab. When he was speaking though, I got the impression that he truly embodied the “maker mentality” we’ve discussed in class. He embodied the idea of a print-sharing economy, where community members had free access to the designs, hardware, and assistance needed to make their dreams a reality. I appreciated his vision – he was truly passionate about enabling another generation of future-makers. I enjoyed seeing the real-life examples of community members that utilize the Fab Lab to grow their small businesses. I also learned that there is a global fabrication lab network! I had no idea that you could visit a different country, and find a lab with a standardized set of fabrication tools. I found it fascinating that there are both regional and national conferences, where makers all over the world get together to share ideas, get critiques, and collaborate on projects. I am very excited to visit Jeff Ginger’s Fab Lab (just right across from ACES…I passed this building every day my freshman year and had no idea what it was!) and learn how to best utilize these free resources.

Considering that our MakerLab only had 3D printers, I look forward to learning how to truly ‘fabricate’ products using a variety of tools: laser cutters, sower machines, circuitry, etc.

Class Takeaways

This week in class, we finally got out hands on the the Cura software and the Ultimakers! Admittedly, it was an unfortunate week to not have our actual professor teaching (Vishal had the flu); the students were a little frenetic and not the best teachers. However, a lot of group-learning and collaboration happened – and we were able to make things happen!

We started by learning how to use TinkerCAD – it was a surprisingly usable tool. The user interface reminded of an iPhone game – very fluid, logical, and responsive. In just a few moments, I was able to import an Illinois keychain and render my name on top of it. Though I did not print this, I was pleased with how smooth the process went.

My team’s name is “Animakers” – a combination of ‘animate’ and ‘make’! My team spent the second half of class trying to render our logo. It was more difficult than we expected with our original creation (we needed a lot more experience on TinkerCAD) so we modified our original design. Instead of a 3D Printer with a hand for a nozzle (see original mock-up below), we decided on an outstretched hand holding the world on it’s fingertips – literally representing the world at our fingertips to make.

After a lot of self-learning, we were able to initiate the print! It was scheduled for over six hours, and we have yet to return to the MakerLab to see how it went…either way, it will have been a learning experience! Things will only get better from here.

One topic I want to continue learning about is supports – the process of printing temporary structures to support a complex design that cannot initially stand on its own. I found this 3D Hubs resource to be incredibly insightful…I suspect mastering the art of supports will be key to creating unique and powerful prints!

3D Printing Meets the Right Brain

This week, we got to learn more about the specifics of 3D printing—everything from how a 3D printer actually works, to how different designs are shared and eventually materialized. While the videos were insightful, I really enjoyed hearing from Jeff Ginger, who talked about the various projects that have taken place at the CU Fablab. What I found most interesting from the discussion we had was his strategy for making the Fablab a very open and inviting environment on campus. He spoke about how other 3D printing labs at Illinois already catered towards engineers and business students for more entrepreneurial or scientific endeavors—as a result, he wanted the Fablab to serve as more of a community-oriented space for newcomers, as well as local artists to tinker around.

In learning more about some of the artists who use the Fablab’s resources, I was excited to think about the various possibilities for my own projects. I explored the CU Fablab’s Instagram tag and found some more art ideas such as:

  1. Laser printed notebook covers:

Notebook laser-ing in progress!

A post shared by Emily DeCicco (@decicco17) on

  1. Embroidered patches:

Making more patches! #sadfood #sadicecream #irononpatch #snacks

A post shared by Mad Maxx (@xxmedium) on

  1. Screen printed apparel:


As much as I enjoy reading about the various scientific advancements and industry transformations attributed to digital making, I look forward to learning more about how it intersects with some of my own more “right brain” hobbies like painting or sewing.

We also had the chance to 3D print our own group logos during class this week. My team, Synergy, chose a puzzle piece as our logo. Here is the final product of what we printed (which only took 1.5 hours!)

Digital to Physical

The digital is now becoming physical.”


The Clash of the Digital and Physical World

Throughout the world, the emphasis has constantly been on the progressive digital movement: digital currency, data,  communication, media – the list is endless. Everything that was once physical is in the process of becoming digital if it hasn’t already. Hence, a phrase deeply caught my attention during my 3D Printing – Digital Making Seminar lecture. “The digital is now becoming physical.”

If the digital can become physical, then what does this mean for our world today?

How Far Have We Come?

Before I started to explore the world of 3D printing, I was constrained to believe that 3D printing was a concept that was too restricted by its weakness in tangibility. The examples of 3D printed items I had seen in the past were merely too elementary. Yet, upon learning about what has already been accomplished in the 3D printing industry, my view has completely been revolutionized.

I began reading how fully functioning cars, wheelchairs, weapons, everyday items, and even fully functioning hearts had been printed with 3D printers. This further birthed a curiosity in me to find out what the limitations would be for 3D printing technology.

How neat would it be to print out your own car in the future?

Existing Designs

Here are four cool designs of everyday items I’ve found online that is easily accessible:

(1) Measuring Cups 

Need a way to measure specific units, but don’t have the necessary tools? This design allows you to print out different sizes for measuring cubes. One thing that I would change to this design would be the availability to make custom cubes with exact measurements.


(2) Phone Holder

One of my personal favorites, this design allows you to set up a stand for your phone in a tri-pod like fashion. This is great for filming videos and taking still photography. A cool addition to this design would be the availability of making it more portable.

(3) Webcam Cover

Have you ever seen someone cover their laptop webcam with a post-it note? Even Mark Zuckerberg covers up his webcam on his laptop. With this neat tool, you are able to easily cover up your laptop’s webcam to prevent anyone from invading your privacy.

(4) Earbud Holder

Do you ever get your headphones in a bunch? This neat trick allows you to carry around your headphones in a neat and orderly fashion to prevent wires from tearing.




Week 2: Creating in 3D

When I first heard of 3D printing, it was featured in one of those eyebrow-raising headlines that you’ll never hear of again. Fast forward to this semester, surrounded by the digital making community the past two weeks, and the current state of 3D printing technology seems futuristic. Furniture, organs, guns, and even houses all digitally printed layer by layer. Printing complex products without the need for individual parts is a monumental shift in the manufacturing process. This is why 3D printing is being called the third industrial revolution by some people. I don’t understand how these milestones have been happening under my nose. Owning the means of production used to be a privilege reserved for the rich, but now everyone can print from their home with this technology. The consumer’s changing relationship with traditional manufacturing is fueling the maker movement.

In the Maker Mindset reading, Dale Dougherty states that “makers are inspired by others.” Designing concept ideas and sharing them with others has slowly helped the movement gain steam. People are able to redesign concepts and tweak them to their liking. For example, you could print a customized sofa for your living room that filled the perfect amount of space. This digital making movement is as much about manufacturing as it is about art. It’s an extension of the inner human desire to create.

Although 3D printing has stayed under my radar, I discovered it through the education movement pushing it.  Dougherty’s reading states that real learning occurs while students are at play, which in this case is creating. Community 3D printing centers are being built all over the world so kids can have more control over their ideas. I believe in this learning philosophy because curriculum can sometimes feel rigid.

I had lots of fun looking at the Spaceway marketplace for 3D printed products with my groupmates. Sharing the funny, useful, or simply random products definitely sparked some project ideas for later in the semester. 4 Notable mentions included:

Universal Chopsticks Helper T2

As a Chinese restaurant goer, I liked this idea. The chopsticks could be customized to fit your grip.

iPhone 6/6S Wahoo Mount Case – Hill Climb 

It’s annoying to continuously get your phone out to change the music or for directions while biking. A phone mount for the center of your handlebars is a handy gadget and safer alternative for bikers. The mount could customize the mount to fit any bike.

Bitcoin Cufflinks

What screams “I’m a millennial” louder than 3D printed Bitcoin cufflinks? Jokes aside, the 3D printed fashion options for men’s belts and cuff links weren’t bad. Maybe one day I’ll be wearing a belt buckle and cuff link I made myself.

Bugle For iPhone 5

This is one of my favorite products because it’s a simple, yet creative solution to someone’s problem: their iPhone wasn’t loud enough. You don’t need to be a physicist paid by a corporation to explore cutting-edge acoustic quality research to develop your own product. Testing 3D printed prototypes is inexpensive compared to current mainstream manufacturing. Although the item pictured above is a crude amplifier, it shows that anyone can be an engineer.


My name is Michael and feel free to comment or read my future posts, I’ll be here all semester.



Hello world,

My name is Roger Hernandez, and I am very excited for this course as I have been hoping to learn more about 3D Printing and making physical things as opposed to just thinking and discussing about concepts like we do in most classes. Ever since I saw my friend who happens to be an art major make a bust of himself with a 3D printer I have been very intrigued with learning more and more about it.

Something that further sparked my interest in what we are going to begin to work with and learn in class was what the guest speaker Arielle Rausin showed us in our first class about the 3D printed racing glove she made that began as just a class project but blossomed into her career. Its just so amazing to think about all the doors that 3D printing can open and how things will become more easily accessible, easy to create and easy to replicate with more accuracy in the future with this new technology at our disposal. Additionally, as professor Vishal has mentioned, this software and physical technology is becoming more affordable and will continue to become more affordable in the future.


Some exciting creations from the website Pinshape that I found that can be 3D printed are:

  1.  iCable Guards (https://pinshape.com/items/17951-3d-printed-icableguards-free-4-eva)

    This is a very interesting creation that is basically a protective cover for the ends of charging cables that helps remove the issue of charging cables ripping and not working from folding it incorrectly. It is a great design that I can’t think of changing to better but potentially adding some length to it would be beneficial as currently it is a very short guard that may not remove the issue completely but will delay the ripping from the cable for some time which is still very helpful.

  2. Wall outlet shelf (https://pinshape.com/items/6272-3d-printed-wall-outlet-shelf)

    This design is for a shelf that you can place over a wall outlet when using a charger for some device that is great for when you have short charging cables but do not want to leave your phone or device on the floor. You can put this above the outlet and lay your device on it while the outlet is in use. One modification I would make for this design is adding some protective bumpers on the sides of the shelf for the device to not fall off from the shelf while being used.

  3. Smartphone hugger (https://pinshape.com/items/34527-3d-printed-smartphone-hugger)

    The design is a U-shaped object that acts as a stand for phones or devices that is great for not only those iphone video watchers who need a stand for optimum viewing, but also for those who need a safer and easy way to wrap wired headphones that are not being used. I would try to change the design to be foldable in order to be stored easily.

  4. Violin (https://pinshape.com/items/24608-3d-printed-violin)

    This is a design of a life sized violin that according to reviews can actually be used which is very impressive to think about as these instruments many times costs an immense amount of money to purchase. I would modify this design to different usable sizes since some reviews mentioned that they could not make the violin if they did not have a big enough 3D printer.

From Fixed to Growth Mindsets: 3D Printing

Hi everyone!

My name is Bridget and I am looking forward to this class. I think it will be unlike any other class I have taken because of the high tech material we are discussing, specifically 3D printing. I am eager to learn more about 3D printing and eventually be able to print my own items. Our class project will be a great way for us to hands on learn and be creative. I think technology can be very intimidating, but after two sessions of class I feel more confident understanding the concepts. The future of technology is scary, but this class will prepare me for all the possibilities that will come in the world and my career.


“The Maker Mindset” article stood out to me the most. It made a bold point about the education system and how 3D printing can positively influence students. 3D printing allows a growth mindset for kids who thrive in an environment of creativity. Currently, our education system is a fixed mindset that believes our capabilities are set and we need to excel academically. With the current technology trends, it is obvious that people who think more abstractly are succeeding. This is called a growth mindset. It makes me have hope for the future direction of our society knowing that kids are adopting the maker mindset; a can-do attitude.

The “How to Make Almost Anything” article used a microwave as an analogy to 3D printing. It said that microwaves did not replace a kitchen they are just convenient and an addition to cooking. This made a lot of sense to me. I interpreted it as 3D printing will not take over the world, but it will guide us in another direction to be more creative with ideas and develop future innovations. Knowing all the possibilities 3D printing has to offer is exciting. I am most interested to learn about how it can help mankind with health care. For example, John Hornick explained that doctors were able to print a miniature heart. I found that fascinating because 3D printing could change the future of medicine and save lives.

Design 1: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2773219

This is multi-use cord holder would be great for students living in dorms or apartments because it helps organize cords. As a student, I feel like I have extension cords all over my room and it would be useful to attach them to a holder. Also, my roommate just got a puppy that loves chewing on everything. This would help keep the cords out of the way. I would add four screw holes to the rectangle to ensure that it holds the cords into the wall.

Design 2: https://www.shapeways.com/product/NT9URUCJ4/earpod-attachments-for-active-people?optionId=43788262&li=marketplace

These are ear pod attachments that help keep headphones in your ear. I would use these everyday for working out, walking to class, homework etc. I think they are a practicable item. What I like about the design is that they are inside your ear. I have used some before that wrap around your ear, which is uncomfortable. These look slick and innovative. From the picture they do not appear too secure, if that were true I would work with this prototype to make them secure and comfortable for the consumer.

Design 3: https://www.shapeways.com/product/JQ6B2VWEG/padfoot-stand-for-ipad-1?optionId=1692859&li=marketplace

This is a very innovative product for an IPad. I constantly have the problem of holding my IPad with my hands or a chunky stand. I remember being on an airplane trying to stand my IPad and the tray area was too small for the stand. High schools would benefit from these stands because a lot of students use IPads and this way they can use it as a laptop in class. If possible, I would connect the piece to the IPad from the back. This would make it even more discrete.

Design 4: https://www.shapeways.com/product/56XNYUS4R/finger-fork-by-j-c-karich?optionId=9747450&li=marketplace

This product is so cool! As a student, I always take lunches to go and I am constantly looking for utensils to eat my food with in class. In the morning when I am in a rush I take a silver utensil, which is a huge pain. This finger fork is small and silly, but would help the environment because it reduces the usage of plastic utensils. I could throw it in my bag and be able to reuse it. I like to bring a yogurt to class, so a spoon would be another good idea.

Week 2 Reflection: The Power of 3D Printing

The main takeaways for me this week revolves around just how powerful 3D printing can and just how incredible this technology has gotten in the last couple of years in really transforming from something a few hobbyists would play around with to a full-blown industry that welcomes everyone. We have seen countless examples the past 2 weeks about how people have taken 3D printing and built not only full on businesses but entire communities where people can share and learn from each other. This community especially resonates with me because I was introduced to 3D printing by my brother in law back in 2014 when he purchased a Printrbot Plus and started to show me what the technology could do and the communities around 3D printing. We would spend hours browsing on thingiverse.com looking for cool stuff to print and just seeing how creative people got in designing and creating solutions for problems that I didn’t even realized existed. Granted, most of the stuff we printed revolved around designing our own versions of NASA satellites and space ships as well as some other stupid stuff, I saw then the potential that 3D printing is showing now and it makes me want to dive into it even more.

Another thing that struck out to me from the reading was one of the main points in the “The Maker Mindset” by Dale Dougherty about how one of the biggest challenges to the maker movement is education and how giving students the resources to be able to explore the realm of making things is incredibly important. This really resonated with me because as a kid I took apart everything I could get my hands on to learn how stuff worked and how to put it all back together. Although my parents were often pissed off at some of the things I “borrowed”, they realized that they needed to support my curiosity.  They gave me a large workspace in the basement so that I could tinker with things and bought me my first set of tools and even gave me old electronics and appliances and challenged me to get them to work again. When I wanted to learn a new skill, whether it be soldering or carpentry or electrical work, they went out and found people that could teach me these kinds of skills. Students these days need the kind of space and support I had so that we can continue to generate makers and people whose tinkering will lead to the next great invention.

Looking on Thingiverse and Shapeways, I found 4 objects that I would use in my everyday life.

  1. DJ Headphones Holder


I’ve been running my own Professional DJ and production company for about 8 years now and one of my biggest pet peeves is where to leave my headphones so that they are out of the way but I can get them when I need them easily. This item is just a simple holder that hooks on to a fly case. I’m going to have to print this.

  1. Audio Equipment Mixer Faders and Knobs


Another item I would use while DJing. These are knobs and faders that are used on a variety of music equipment. After a while, they can either break or become worn and buying new ones can be a hassle. I love the idea of being able to print your own instead. While this design is based off of Pac-Man, I would likely make them more suitable for my style in terms of grip type and weight.

  1. Small Tools Holder


This is just a small tools holder that is designed to sit on a desk or work space that would be perfect for me because I have a bunch of small tools like this that I am always misplacing when I work on things.

  1. Vehicle Cable Wrap


This is a simple cable wrap that would keep my aux cord and phone cable in my car nice and organized instead of always been tangled up. I would most likely mount it in a different place in my car.

Week 2: Exploring the World of Digital Making

Hi everyone! I know we all introduced ourselves in class, but since it’s hard to remember, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a senior majoring in Marketing and ISIT. I’m very happy I was able to secure a place in this course, as the world of 3D printing (and overall Digital Making) has always intrigued me. Being able to learn to use these machines to produce not only existing designs but also my own creations is very exciting to me, and I cannot wait to get started!

Though I’ve been interested in this world for a long time, I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of information I’ve sought out for myself. That being said, I loved the chance to listen to Ms. Rausen and Mr. Hornick. Both had such unique and fascinating experiences with digital making and offered fantastic insight and stories for the class as a whole. Mr. Hornick’s examples of things that have been digitally printed fascinated me, such as the jet engine and human ears or other organs. I didn’t think about the fact that this could be a game changer in terms of rarely needed (or less in-demand) products. When Mr. Hornick explained that it makes less sense to have a whole factory (which is time and capital intensive to build and maintain) for things that do not need to be mass produced. I also didn’t think about how much the way Digital Making is putting more and more power in consumers hands. With access to a digital printer, for example, I can make my own passive speaker cheaper and more customized (which I actually plan to do) than one I was considering ordering on Amazon.

On that topic, I thought I’d include a few of the passive speakers (basically just an amplifier for the speaker your phone already has) that I am interested in making.

The speaker above is interesting to me because of the two-part design, and also just because it’s an amusing design. I might like to change how large the funnel is. Although this design is probably louder than if it were smaller, the smaller design would be more convenient for storage sake.

This design is more convenient in that it is small enough to put in a bag or to store at home, and it is less complex to make than the other example.  I would make it my own color, but other than that, it definitely serves it’s purpose well.

Thingiverse has impressed me in the variety of products I can feasibly make for myself. More examples are below.

This is a hair stopper that goes over a drain. I would not change this at all, except perhaps the color, because it serves its purpose perfectly. As a female with long hair, too much hair in the drain is a definite issue.

This is a phone holder, that I would find useful when watching videos. I would love to add a smiley face to the head.

Finally, this is a beautifully designed cup, that I included because, while it definitely is useful, it’s also very aesthetically impressive. I would use this cup all the time, and would possibly like to print other animals of my own design.

Week 2 Reflection

Hi class! I’m Madeline Lager and I am looking forward to making things with you all this semester! I feel as if I have already learned so much about the digital making world and what it all has to offer. I’m excited to discuss our thoughts together on this forum and explore what each other has learned throughout the course.

First, I will discuss what I took away from the different articles we read before class last week. What I had not realized before was just how personal digital making is. It may not reach the ideal economies of scale by producing more products, but the things can be made for a more focused and smaller target market. As I was thinking of things I could make in this class, I was going in the wrong direction trying to think of things I could make for hundreds or even thousands of people. However, this is not necessary and I can make a smaller group of people happy with a product I create in this class.

Additionally, I liked how one of the articles discussed sending data across the world and how we are able to print something that was sent to us from thousands of miles away. This was fun to investigate further in class when we explored the different websites that share products to 3D print. Specifically, I browsed pinshape.com and grabcad.com. Both of these websites offered different products that I would enjoy printing and can see myself using in day to day activites. It was exciting to see all the possibilities that are available through 3D printing.

One thing I was excited to see on pinshape was a cable guard for your phone charger. As my team was brainstorming ideas this is actually something I had thought that I wanted to print. It prevents your phone cord from fraying and becoming useless which has been a recurring problem for me and my phone chargers. To make it more suitable, I would change the guard to be able to fit any size and shape of phone charger.

iCableGuards - free 4 eva' 3D Print 64882


Another item I saw on pinshape was straw cups. These reminded me of cups I used to have in my childhood and would love to recreate them in this class! I would maybe make them look a little less childish to make them more usable for my age.

Big StrawGlass - Practical 3D Print 113443


Next, the glasses holder is a product I would love to print and use for myself. I often find myself just throwing my glasses on my desk which can cause them to scratch and break. I loved this product when I saw it on the website and thought it was a great idea. I would make the product more feminine perhaps to make it look cuter if it is sitting on my desk all the time.

Porte-lunette / Glasses holder 3D Print 34277

Lastly, the iPhone shelf holder is another product I can see myself using. I think it would be fun to make different sizes so I could even use it for my laptop and other devices that require charging.

Wall Outlet Shelf  3D Print 23525

Overall, I am very optimistic about this semester. I can’t wait to see all of the exciting things our class makes throughout the course!


Genesis is the first book of the Bible, covering the Christian creation account. In it, God speaks into the darkness, and brings something from nothing.  I too, this semester, plan to bring forth things from nothing in this course. The advent of 3D printing truly symbolizes the 4th major revolution in human history; I look forward to joining this movement and becoming an avid maker. A little about myself – I consider myself a content creator – music, photography, videography – but I look forward to entering into the physical realm!


In class this past week, we had a guest lecturer discuss the implications of 3D printing changing the world as we know it. I found it incredibly insightful – hearing John Hornick’s ideas about the future of ‘prosumerism’ really shifted my paradigm about being a maker. I learned that 3D printing is far more than printing face models and paper weights – in reality, people are printing human organs, jet engines, and entire cars! What interested me the most about what he said was regarding the unregulated nature of 3D intellectual property. In the assigned reading for class, I read about the theorized dangers of 3D printing for the masses. British scientists theorized about the ‘gray goo’ – a nefarious name for a mass of self-replicating robots capable of consuming all biomass on Earth.

It seems like something out of a sci-fi movie – but with the rate that artificial intelligence is growing, along with the growing ubiquitousness and complexity of personal 3D printing – it makes me wonder how far-fetched this idea really is. Consider Cody Wilson, a law student who released blueprints for a 3D-printed plastic pistol called “The Liberator” in 2013. When he did this, there were over 100,000 downloads of this actual weapon – capable of shooting actual bullets! It makes me wonder what measures we should be taking to protect 3D-printing technologies from not getting into the wrong hands.

Luckily, we won’t be printing any weapons this semester in class. Rather, I look forward to understanding the methodologies and practices behind creative design and bringing my thoughts to life! Something out of nothing!

Everyday Objects

I accessed the popular online design database, Thingiverse, to discover some potential projects to make. They are detailed below:

  1. Canon Lens Hood (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:36284)

As a photographer, I’m naturally interested in practical photography accessories. I would definitely explore this lens hood design for my Canon T5. To improve on it, I would explore integrating an actual lens cap into the lens hood itself, so I can be confident I can protect my lens if I leave for a quick shoot.

2. Flash Stand (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9534)

I would also look into creating this simple flash stand! People always underestimate the value of external flashes during a big photoshoot – but setting up flashes is the most difficult part! Being able to print these en masse would make life much easier. I would see if I could modify this design to attach it other accessories like Speedlites or diffusers.

3. Ring Lamp (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:480042)

A ring lamp is an essential tool to create epic videography scenes. This would require a lot more work (buying and wiring the LEDs), but offers the ability to customize the ring lamp for any custom lens I own. This would be a great addition – but a lot more labor and fabrication intensive. Learning opportunity!

4. Canon 5D Model (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:29662)

This last design has no particular utility – but would be a great addition to my desk, or as a gift to a fellow hobbyist. This body is a classic and recognizable design – I would modify it by adding some degree of personalization – perhaps a custom monogram on the lens cap!

Signing Off

I learned an unbelievable amount in only 2 weeks of maker lecture sessions. I look forward to actually getting hands-on with my work. The next time you hear from me, I will have brought forth things from nothing.

Week 2 Reflection

This week was my first week in class and I really enjoyed hearing from our guest speaker as well as meeting everyone that I’ll be working with this semester. I enjoyed our discussion of 3D printing and the idea of being able to create at zero marginal cost. It’s an interesting look into the future of technology.  3D printing has the potential to be a disruptive technology especially if more and more people begin to use it.

I particularly enjoyed reading “The Maker Mindset.” I believe students learn in different ways and the ‘successful’ student isn’t always the one who thrives in a classroom setting. I agree that we should be pushing innovation and creativity in the classroom instead of stifling it. Giving more students access to 3D printers would give more students opportunities to explore their creativity.


This is a Coral Candle Fixture. It is a candle holder that casts light in a beautiful way. I would tweak it so that it had a bottom portion to it that would be able to hold the candle.


This is a makeup holder. I wanted to buy one of these, but I know making it myself would be more satisfying. I would tweak it so there are more spaces and by adding a drawer to the bottom of it.


This is a speaker for your phone. Its simple, but it looks really fun. I enjoy music and would like to hear how amplified this would make music.


This is a lamp that you can put over your lightbulb. I think it looks really appealing and would consider making it for myself.

Week 2 Reflection

The potential of 3D printing is bound only by the creativity of the user. Wednesday’s class taught me to broaden my horizons and open my mind to the endless possibilities that 3D printing creates. Before entering BADM 395, I thought 3D printing was an esoteric technology that would take at least five years to develop into maturity. I now understand that the speed and ubiquity of 3D printed technology is accelerating and has passed its early adopter phase. I hope to implement 3D printing to fix important issues in our society.

My first takeaway from BADM 395 came from guest speaker Arielle Rausin. Rausin’s use of 3D printing to develop form-fitting wheelchair racing gloves opened my mind to the various uses of the technology. If 3D printing can be used to help disabled racers, could it also be used in prosthetics for amputees? Or braces from those suffering from spina bifida? Those most disadvantaged in our society could reap the most benefits from 3D printed tools.

In the article “The Maker Mindset,” Dale Dougherty makes a compelling case that 3D printing technology should be taught in schools to prepare children for the impending technological shift. While adults can become rigid and complacent, children tend to think outside the box and have a propensity to learn. Because of this, children have a growth mindset, meaning impediments are perceived as opportunities to learn and problem solve. Being in the maker mindset requires you to expand your possibilities as you expand your knowledge.

At first, I was pensive about the futuristic notion purported by John Hornick in “Zero Marginal Cost.” The idea of truly reaching zero marginal cost has serious implications for the field of economics and could lead to an economic catastrophe if not well-planned. Just as horse labor became obsolete with the progression of the internal combustion engine, will humans face the same fate with the progression of 3D printing? Or will humans create new jobs to occupy us in the post-zero marginal cost world?

I found 4 interesting objects on Thingiverse that peaked my interest.

  1. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1385312

This 3D printed marble machine by Tulio interested me because of my love of marble tracks. I used to build elaborate marble tracks in my basement when I was a kid, complete with jumps and an elevator. I have an extensive collection of marbles at home I would love to send down this marble machine.

  1. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:36321

This 3D printed earbud wrap would help me reduce the clutter of my room. I have far too many earbud cords and power cords congesting my living room. With proper cord management, however, I can eliminate this problem.

  1. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2545456

This 3D printed sunglasses holder would improve the safety of my car. When I return home, I often forget to bring a pair of sunglasses with me to drive, compromising my vision. If I had this holder, I could eliminate one potential hazard of driving.

  1. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2369887

This 3D printed Pokémon Chess set is by far the most intriguing item to me. I have had a profound love for both Pokémon and chess since I was 4 years old, but never had a way to couple them. This Generation 1 based chess set is the most unique chess set I have ever seen.

Creativity in Education

This week’s class got me very excited to start using and learning about 3D printers. At first, the initial idea of 3D printing struck a chord with the creative side in me – but I definitely questioned its ease of use and practicality in the real world. After just two classroom sessions, readings, and exploring, I am inspired by the possibilities that this technology will bring to my world.

I think the greatest source of my inspiration comes from the article ‘The Maker Mindset’ by Dale Dougherty. Dougherty makes a strong case for 3D printing to take a front seat in education, discussing how the skills gained in a 3D printing lab combine several elements that explore our creativity. He wrote at length about growth versus fixed mindset, its position in today’s education, and outlook towards the future. Having a growth mindset is all about understanding new challenges as opportunities, rather than impermeable obstacles. The idea of 3D printing alone can potentially be overwhelming to people with fixed mindsets. Having a growth mindset allows one to take on the world of possibilities that 3D printing undeniably breeds. We need a world of creators, doers and problem solvers. These people will be foundational to the advancement of our society. Therefore, the case for 3D printing in education is an easy one: to have our students explore the endless possibilities of creating something out of nothing is to give them the tools to solve our world’s most pressing issues. It is not to say that 3D printing will solve global warming, but it is to say that the creative exploration of it may lead to important discoveries.

Below, I have picked out 4 every day items from thingiverse and will discuss each.


The first thing that caught my eye was this webcam cover for computer security. I feel like it would be a good use of a 3D printer as a tool because it would be relatively simple to make, and represents a large upgrade from those who use a sticky note or other self-created camera cover. The functionality is nice because it allows for a quick cover and uncover without removal. Simple in its functionality, I don’t see anything I would change about this device.


The second thing that caught my eye was this movable sinus rinse drying rack. I connected with this creation because I often have a stuffy nose, and use a sinus rinse device that I cannot seem to find a place for (and am often lazy to clean). To improve this device, I might create a handle so that the entire print can be used in the same process as the sinus rinse. This way, it may function beyond the capacity of merely holding the bottle and nozzle.


The next item I found that resonated was this anchor belt buckle. On Thursday, my only belt’s buckle broke off while I was attempting to reverse the belt from brown to black. It would be so cool to 3D print myself a new, custom belt buckle to replace it. I would improve upon this design by designing my own belt buckle, perhaps with my initials JP.


This is an example of an improvement on a product that I need more frequently than is available. Commonly referred to as a dongle, this device allows new iPhone users to listen to music with wired headphones, despite the device’s lack of an auxillary input. The device connects to the charging port on one end, and the headphones on another. The shape used by this designer is a little tothick for my liking, so I would create a thinner, smaller version of my own. Still, it makes perfect sense to use a 3D printer for this type of gadget because the item is something that I need often, but is rarely available.

Week 2: The Power of Creativity


My name is Maddi Wethall and before coming to this class I didn’t have much interest in 3D printing or the way it can impact the business world. However, after the two speakers, the multiple videos and the conversations I have had with other students, I am extremely excited to get started and learn as much as I can about 3D printing.

The main takeaway from the readings and discussions in class is the power of experimenting and being creative. The only reason Arielle Rausin has become so successful in her customized wheel chair racing gloves is because she took a chance and allowed herself to think out of the box. I think society today is very logical and straightforward, therefore we are afraid to think out of the box. However, with 3D printing, that is your only choice. Neil Gershenfeld talks in his article, “How to Make Almost Anything,” about the importance of creativity and curiosity.

I also found it interesting when John Hornick was talking about the “Zero Marginal Cost,” meaning that making one print is just as expensive as making one million. This is a huge benefit of 3D printing.  This idea of zero marginal cost allows the consumers to become the makers and designers of their own products. Hopefully, 3D printing can become more popular and allow us to save resources and ultimately helping our environment.

While looking at Thingiverse and Shapeways, I have found four interesting objects that I think could really benefit my every day life.

#1 Tea Helper


The tea helper lifts up the string from the tea bag, not allowing the tea to leak through the string. This is a simple, yet effective tool that could benefit your every day life. You can customize the grasp of the tea helper to fit your exact coffee mug.


#2 Guitar Mount Pick Holder


This pick holder jumped out to me right when I saw it. When I play the guitar, often times I put the pick in the strings of the guitar when I am done with it. This causes it to easily fall out or get stuck in the guitar’s hole. With this pick holder, it allows you to place your pick on your guitar without the chance of it falling out.


#3 EarPods Attachements


This one definitely stood out to me the most because this is what I suggested to my group about making for our project (I guess everything HAS been thought of!). Apple headphones are not customizable and are expected to fit in everyone’s ears, which is obviously not possible. So, these earpod attachments allow you to have customized headphones without the insanely expensive price.


#4 DIY Hue Living Color Light


This device allows you to add “mood lighting” to any room you’re in! Most college apartments have strong, florescent lights, so it would be nice to have a customized light that allows you to have dimmer, more comfortable lighting.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to reading yours as well!

3D Printing – The Making Mindset and Entrepreneurial Applications

Hi Everyone!

My name is Jason Ho, and I have really enjoyed the last two sessions of class. During the past two weeks, I have been focusing on learning as much as possible about how 3D printing works and the various applications of it. I am greatly interested in the applications of 3D printing and hope to gain skills and knowledge throughout the rest of the sessions that I can utilize in my future career.

The major takeaways I have had from class so far have been from discussion with my teammates and from guest lecturer Arielle Rausin. Arielle’s presentation about her business reminded me how practical the applications of 3D printing really are. It was amazing to listen to her speak about how she took a product she built inside the classroom, and turned it into a business. I learned how easy it was to integrate 3D printing into entrepreneurship. From discussions with my teammates I have begun to adopt a “making” mindset. Collaborating with other students to consider products we could produce for our final project has challenged me to think critically about problems in today’s world. I am seeking to work with my team to design and create something that will help make individuals lives easier. I really look forward to start making with my group.

After examining Thingverse, I found four interesting, everyday objects that really stood out to me.

#1 Multi-Purpose tube rack for falcon, eppendorf and PCR-tubes


This is a rack designed to hold various types of test tubes. I picked this item because I am interested in how products created from 3D printing can be used in our everyday lives. The tube rack is something that could be used in science classrooms and laboratories. I would improve this object by adding in a handle to make it easier to carry.

#2 Gopro holder


The second I selected is a Gopro holder. The holder provides support to safely and effectively hold a person’s Gopro. I picked this item because of its practical use. It reminded me that 3D printing is capable of producing items that will improve existing products. I would improve this object by providing enclosed support above and below the holder.

#3 Portable iPhone Stand


The stand provides support to an iPhone. It allows easy access when watching videos on the go. I would improve this object by re-designing it to be able to support all smart phones. I selected this item because of its practicality. 3D printing can create consumer-based products like this that can reach a large audience.

#4 Zelda Castle


This castle is modeled after a castle from a video game. I am amazed by the level of detail a 3D printer can produce. This object demonstrates that 3D printers can create objects with extreme detail and precision. I would improve this by increasing its size so it could be even more detailed and realistic.

3d Printing Will Rock The World!

Hello! This is blog post #1 and a recap of what I learned, found interesting, and further researched on 3D printing.

First off, “3D printing” is a current buzzword that  seems to be making the biggest headlines in innovative technologies. But, to my surprise, 3D printing is not a new concept! From the article, “How to Make Almost Anything” by Neil Gershenfeld, he discusses how 3D printing was first introduced in the 1980’s.  After reading the article, I was inspired at what 3D printing could accomplish but he also presented a dark outlook on 3D printing that isn’t always at the forefront of peoples minds. This technology has already resulted in weapons being printed, the development of counterfeit money, and potentially in  “gray goo” – self reproducing machines that multiply out of control and consume all of the earths resources! I don’t know how realistic gray goo is, but one thing I comprehended from this reading is that laws and regulation of 3D printing are a must. 

Aside from that, the other reading, ” The Maker Mindset”, and the guest speaker/alum interested me into the wonders of 3D printing. They presented numerous possibilities of what 3D printing has to offer and how this technology can develop a wide range of items! Thus, the foundation of what 3D printing  was set, and that bar was very high. Our class then broke down into small groups and we started thinking of items to create. I had plenty of ideas, but the problem was that they were already  created. So, I went to find inspiration on 3D printing platforms and I found 4 items that I would like to make during the class sessions. Those include:

  1. Webcam Privacy Screen


In a time were infringement of privacy seems oh so popular, I would love to create a webcam privacy screen. Many students, including myself, use stickers or cut up sticky notes to cover their webcams. This object would be very useful to have but I would make a sliding screen to open and close the cam.

2. Cube Nails 


I was excited to see 3D printed nail art being developed because the classic gel nails are so damaging as well as expensive. This is a flexible polish with richly colored nylon plastic with a smooth finish. Comes in multiple colors! I would like to make different designs that are more flat and add images if possible.

3. Robbie and Bird


I would like to make something fun like a creative vase! In addition, this vase has nice detail that I would like to see a 3D printer construct.

4. The Little Meteor


I would like to create a pendant that is polished brass plated with 14k Rose Gold! Many people are hesitant to get things 3D printed because they fear that the quality will lessen. I want to see if that is true by printing this item.

The Culture of Digital Making (Week 2 Reflection)

This week’s reading, combined with the guest lecture from John Hornick, really opened my eyes to the ways in which digital making has evolved, not only on a technical level, but also on a broader, cultural level. As one of the articles illustrated, the so called “Maker Mindset” is essentially that of a growth mindset—students must display curiosity and embrace failure, while facing challenge with a positive attitude.  I’d argue that this attitude is necessary to succeed at anything, but it seems to hold especially true in a community where ideas are quite literally coming to life, and where people can interact and share their ideas with so much more ease.

I think rapid globalization only makes the case for this exchange of ideas stronger. Neil Gershenfeld’s article How to Make Almost Anything talks about the first fabrication lab (“fab lab”) which was launched in the South End of Boston in order to promote education and excitement about technology in urban communities. The concept quickly caught on and was soon replicated in other countries, where students who might not have access to a full college education are now getting the opportunity to put their skills and creativity to good use. I did some additional research, and thought this article about a fab lab in Western Africa was quite interesting: https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/africa/3d-printer-electronic-waste/index.html)

Along with this cultural shift towards collaboration to solve problems, I think digital making is transforming the way in which we view the world. John Hornick explained how many of the things people are making today have a unique appearance, and often look like things created by mother nature. They are lighter, more efficient, and force us to rethink the norms of our physical world. I think it will be interesting to see how the field of design changes as a result, given that everyone will have the capability to be their own designer. Personally, I look forward to learning more about design principles and stretching my mind when it comes to what I can create, because I often feel limited or somewhat narrow-minded when it comes to making things.

When browsing Thingiverse, I came across a few prints that I thought would be quite useful:

1. Page holder reading tool https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:144660

I thought this idea of a “book ring” was pretty handy—I often have a hard time keeping books open with one hand, so having one of these would allow me to read more comfortably. I would modify it to fit my thumb properly, and I think it would be beneficial to add a grooved portion that hands under the bottom of the book, so that the rest of one’s fingers aren’t under too much pressure.

2. Self-watering planter https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:903411 

I’ve been on the hunt for a good self-watering pot for a while, since all of the house plants in my apartment sadly died over winter break. This is a basic model, but I would tweak it to make it a little more colorful, and maybe add something with which I can mount it to a wall.

3. Cookie cutter https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:572208 

I’m an avid baker and I thought these holiday-themed cookie cutters were really cute. I often wish I could customize my own cookie cutters, so if I had the chance, it would be cool to create a cookie cutter that resembled my house—it could also make a great holiday gift for families.

4. Earphone holder https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:416992

I thought this idea was really creative and definitely useful- my earphones get tangled all of the time, so it would be nice to have a tool to organize them. I wouldn’t make any modifications to this design—I thought it was quite functional as is.

Getting Started with 3D Printing (Week 2)

Hi everyone – my name is Aubrey and I look forward to getting to know you in class and through our blog posts this semester!

Week 2 Reflection

This week, we delved further into the implications of 3D printing in industry as well as how the market currently operates. I found it interesting how creative and collaborative the 3D printing world is. The idea that everyone is a “maker” or “creator” really makes the community feel rather open and welcoming. Many makers have the dream of breaking the consumer glass ceiling. This is such a radical idea that I truly admire – Fortune 500 companies control what we do and what we consume simply because they are usually the only option for us. But 3D printing can change all of that. We can customize what we need to our personal needs. We can share ideas and make products at a zero marginal cost. I really value this way of thinking as it puts power back in the hands of everyday people. I really enjoyed the video clip we watched from the Danish Design Center. If we can make products at zero marginal cost, if everyone can be their own employer or employee when it comes to consumer goods, we can begin focusing on saving our environment – the things that keep us tied up or reluctant to make environmental changes now will be eliminated.

We also began brainstorming our semester project product with our groups. I realized how hard it is to create a new product that will benefit society beyond trivial application. It is also hard to create a product for a need group when you yourself are not part of that need group. However, our group did note a few ideas already. 3D printing instruments could allow lower income schools to purchase beginner instruments and keep the arts and their teachings alive and relevant. A 3D printed alcohol and drug sensor could keep students safe on campus and abroad. Customized knee braces could save female soccer players hundreds of dollars (especially when insurance won’t cover the purchase). My group wants to make a positive difference in society – we just need to find the right need group and product.

Design 1: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:72671 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

This design is a capo for a ukulele. Capos allow a string player to change the key of the instrument without having to change fingerings. For example, if a chord progression is C, F, Am, C, but the key is too low for my voice and I don’t want to transpose the piece into different chords (which can be a lot of work), I can put the capo clip on which will increase the pitch of every string and allow me to play the same strings but sing in the higher range that better fits my voice. These can be up to $20 at a music store (precisely the reason I do not have one for my ukulele yet), but can be printed very cheaply on a 3D printer! I would have to add some soft rubber to the design to ensure the pressure on the strings is enough to change the key.

Design 2: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:240454 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

This design is to make a desk ornament/toy of one of the space shuttles. I work for Boeing and love all things space, but the shuttle has a special place in my heart! I think this would be an awesome addition to my desk when I start work this summer. If possible, I would add more details to the rockets or switch the rockets for the shuttle’s Boeing 747 carrier.

Design 3: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2515531 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

This design is just a fork. I am trying to be more green and one thing I want to do is to carry my own silverware in my backpack so that, when I eat out, I do not use the disposable plastic silverware many to-go or counter service restaurants have. I might add a spoon to the other side.

Design 4: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:952915 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

This is a more complicated/bigger design, but I bike everywhere everyday. This wind-bike is a pretty cool design, and if I was able to print with something like carbon fiber, it would be a pretty cool and useful design! I really wish I had a light bike I could carry up the three flights of my apartment and leave in my living room. However, those bikes are generally around $1000+. Looking at the comments, it seems the wheel spokes don’t print/work very well. I would probably modify this design and opt for regularly manufactured wheels.