Tag Archives: Fablab

Reflecting on a Semester of Creations


Coming into this course, I was excited by the prospect of making a previously foreign idea (3D printing) much more tangible. I expected to learn the ins and outs of creating objects with a 3D printer as well as learning more about the capabilities of 3D printing. Inspired by the first guest lecturer, Arielle, a previous class alum, I was very excited to see what product or creation my team would come up with by the end of the semester.

My Experience

My experience in this class has been much more wholesome than I expected. I would venture to say that I gained a more creative mindset that is no longer limited by the unknown possibilities of maker-spaces. If you had asked me at the beginning of the semester to define a “maker mindset” I don’t think I would have been able to. Each of the guest lectures and workshops we experienced this semester contributed to a growing knowledge of the resources and possibilities out there. I expected to be focused on 3D printing skills and printing items each week, however I was pleasantly surprised to pick up embroidery, Arduino, digital scanning, 3D modeling/ designing, and many more skills! In this post I’ll highlight my favorite takeaways from this course.

Designing & 3D Printing

I thoroughly enjoyed the iterative design process that goes into making things. I came into this class with no knowledge on how 3D printers worked so each time I printed something I learned something else to look out for. Taking an idea into Fusion 360 Cad designing software was a new experience for me and taught me that patience is required in order to create the object you are aiming for especially when you are not an expert with the software. One of the first things I printed was a phone stand (shown below) however it was too lightweight to support the weight of a phone. Additionally, I designed and printed a cord organizer for my desk however by reducing the infill percentage (in order to print in less time), it was not as strong and therefore the dividers shortly after ended up breaking off. Read about my experience with Fusion 360 here. With each print there was a new discovery but it was always fun to pick up a freshly printed item and test it out! I am excited to expand upon my 3D printing skills now that I am aware of all of the free resources by which to do so and hopefully utilize some of the things I have learned in my career!

FabLab Laser Cutting & Embroidery

One of my favorite series of courses were the ones at the FabLab. I was constantly inspired by all of the creations on display in this neat makerspace. We had 3 lessons at the FabLab focusing on creating a laser cut wooden box, digital embroidery, and then working with conductive thread. To read more about each creation, check out the three linked blog posts. A big takeaway for me from our time at the FabLab was how much of a resource they can be for any and every idea you may have. They have experts in so many different fields as long as you have an idea, they can help make your idea come to fruition! We spent many hours at the FabLab during our final project and enjoyed bouncing ideas off of the experts and hearing their opinions our project.

Vast Resources for the Maker Community

Each guest speaker we had this semester provided a little more insight into different areas of innovation within the maker community. I had not realized before the vast amount of resources that were available for anyone to use. Some of the online resources that I’ve found most eyeopening and will potentially use in the future are the 3D printing online libraries (primarily https://www.thingiverse.com/ and https://pinshape.com/). Additionally https://www.shapeways.com/ and https://voodoomfg.com/ both provide the machines, materials, and guidance in order to print anything that you design and have it shipped to you. All of these cites help to make 3D printing even more user friendly. A neat resource to learn new skills from that I was made aware of through this course is https://www.instructables.com/ which provides tutorials on almost any DIY project you can imagine.

Final Thoughts

One of my biggest takeaways from this course is that I am so much more capable of building and creating things than I expected. I learned how to program an arduino simply through expert advice at the Fablab and by watching Youtube tutorials. I learned how to design in CAD through a class workshop and then continued online tutorials. We learned how to create a vertical hydroponic garden through hours of online research, Instructible tutorials and advice from fellow makers and gardeners. I learned the iterative process of prototyping and the pride that comes from a final working prototype. The resources are out there and just waiting to be utilized to bring ideas into creation! This class has been one of my all time favorites and I am so happy to have had the chance to learn and grow with such a great group of people!

Thanks for following along on this journey, I hope you’ve been able to learn a little from my experiences or that you’ve gained a new interest as I certainly have!

Initial prototypes and Designing


Last week, I was not able to create my 3D Printed bust but I was able to do so this week! A classmate took a scan of myself that I uploaded onto Meshmixer. The original scan had some creaks and empty spaces but Meshmixer did a great job editing the scan. I was able to close the STL file by simply selecting a function called Make Solid and Close Cracks. Afterwards, I exported the file and opened it in Cura. The file was to small to be seen so I then selected all and scaled the item up (10000). After making some other edits in Cura, I then began the 3d printing process. In total, by bust took 45 minutes to print and I am thrilled with the results!

Project: Hydroponic Vertical Garden

This weeks class was mainly devoted on creating the initial prototypes of our final project. My part in the project is to create a voronoi patterned bottle holder to fit a 2 liter as well as drip nozzles.  I spent most of the weekend researching this history of voronoi diagrams and the results of my findings can be found in my last blog.


I went to the FabLab in hopes of finding someone skilled in Meshmixer to help me with parts I found difficult, but the students there were more familiar with other softwares. Thus, I went to Youtube and found great tutorials! After familiarizing myself with Meshmixer, I really enjoyed working with the software and created a wonderful bottle cage that I initially felt apprehensive about.

Bottle Cage

I was able to print the drip nozzle and the bottle cage. The drip nozzle was printed in less than an hour. Whereas, the bottle cage holder took nearly 20 hours to print! Initially, our team 3Dream wanted to have 8 plants but after taking into consideration how long it takes to print one bottle cage holder, we will now print 4 of them and 4 drip nozzles.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog and see you next week!

Week 9 Reflection: Lessons from Failure

Week 9 Creations
This week was our final week at the UIUC FabLab. In the first week, Clinton helped me design a Star Wars themed box using a laser cutter. Last week, Duncan helped me design an X-Wing embroidery using an automated sewing machine. This week, we got to improve our embroidery design by adding lights to the fabric. First, Clinton and Duncan taught us how to create a parallel circuit using a small battery, conductive thread, and a few LEDs. Clinton inspired us by informing the class that the LED was invented at the University of Illinois. I drew my original plan as a parallel circuit with three LEDs. I spoke to Clinton about my circuit, he helped me plan out my stitches, so I wouldn’t cross wires. I had not sewn anything since my Home Economics class in 7th grade, so I was a bit pensive about sewing the LEDs properly. After struggling to thread the needle with the conductive thread, I was able to sew a magenta LED and a red LED to my embroidery before realizing I mistook my positive and negative ends.
After speaking with Professor Sachdev about our group project, I decided to restart my sewing. I sewed my LEDs onto the rocket engines of the X-Wing, with a little help from Duncan. Unfortunately, when I started getting confident in my sewing ability, I made another crucial mistake. I crossed my positive and negative wires, meaning the battery would short circuit. I spoke with Clinton and he told me I could restart again, but we only had ten minutes left in class, thus, I decided to use the last few minutes to draw prototype sketches of our final project. Tomorrow, I will present my box to my youngest cousin, a huge Star Wars fan, in hopes that he will get more use out of it than I will.

Looking Forward

When we return from Spring Break, BADM 395 will reconvene in the Maker Lab to work on the final project. My group will be returning to the UIUC FabLab in the coming weeks to utilize their conductive thread, solar panels, and possibly Arduino boards. Clinton showed me a few sensors they had to detect sunlight. Our group’s idea is to create a solar panel heating unit for warm beverages. I look forward to using the lessons learned from the UIUC FabLab to improve the aesthetic appeal of our final project.

Let there be Light!

This week was our third and final session at the FabLab in which we added conductive thread and LEDs to our embroidery project. I was excited to use conductive thread and review circuits because I have taken an ECE class before and was fascinated by circuits. It’s neat to have my previous knowledge apply in areas I would never expect (ECE knowledge with a creative/ arts project). We started out the class by drawing out designs and figuring out where the conductive negative and positive thread would go into the design. This was important because you could not cross the negative and positive threads and it’s a lot easier to visualize by drawing it out than guessing where the path should go while sewing.

We then sewed the individual sides of the circuit. I did the negative side first and then the positive side. My design halfway through changed as I decided I only wanted to incorporate 1 light in the plane instead of 2 LEDs. One big lesson I learned was that you absolutely cannot have either the positive or negative side touching the other thread. After finishing hand-sewing, I tried to turn on the light and it wasn’t working at all. This was because the negative thread was touching the metal that the negative current goes through at all so the circuit was being shorted. I then hand sewed the negative thread down so that it would not interfere and it worked well!

I had an extra embroidery hoop at my house, so I decided to have this separate from the box we made in previous classes and use it as a small wall hanging. I’m happy with how it turned out and excited about the new skills I gained through this project. Unfortunately, it looks as if the storage on our site is full so I didn’t get to upload a photo but you can imagine it from my previous post!

What’s next?
We are starting to put in more time on our final projects at this point in the class. I went into the FabLab for consulting open hours on Thursday in order to gain more knowledge about the sensors the FabLab has and their experience with hydroponic farming. I talked to Brandon, a sensors expert at the lab who has also made a hydroponics window installation so he helped to clarify many details of the project and I am sure he is going to be a huge resource for us.


What Could’ve Been

This week I was feeling very under the weather after all the climate changes that have been occurring on campus as well as both of my roommates contracting Pneumonia and was unfortunately not able to attend class on Wednesday. Upon reading some of the other posts, I am very sad to know what could’ve been done in class and the awesome box I would’ve created (and will hopefully have the chance to create later).

The class learned how to design a small wooden box that will be then used as a base for the canvas that we embroidered last class. The box was to be created following the same theme as our original embroidery piece that we created last week. The embroidered piece that I made last week was one that depicted a couple dancing some sort of Latin dance, therefore, for my box I would’ve loved to design it with images of silhouettes of couples dancing to further fit the original theme as it is to represent the dance team that I am currently the artistic director to called “Dance2XS: Caliente”. If the silhouettes design did not look nice on the box I would go for maybe some sort of star design with little star shapes to go along with dancing to feel like a “dancing under the stars” theme.

The design would then go from the computer to a physical object with the help of the CnC Machine that seems to be the new technology that was introduced to the class that etches images and laser cuts them into wood. Having had worked at a carpentry as my first job growing up was sanding wood, I got to see a lot of carpenters shaping wood and turning it into some sort of furniture and this technology sounds like it could be so much more fun and interesting to have used at this workplace if the technology was available to them at that time that could’ve led to furniture that was a lot more aesthetically pleasing or creative and innovative designs that could even give the carpentry a competitive advantage up until others were to discover the technology. Furthermore, it could’ve made shaping and forming the wood into furniture more efficient as well if the laser cutter was large and powerful enough to cut through wood at the carpentry.

Adventures with Digital Embroidery

This week was the second FabLab workshop in which we got to try our hand at embroidery! During the workshop we learned several different functions within the software program in order to take an image from online and transform it into an image we were then able to embroider. I enjoy traveling, therefore I decided to embroider an image of a map for the top of my box. It did not go as smoothly as I expected going in so the rest of this post goes into the 3 main things I will look out for next time.

Lessons Learned

  1. Size Matters: One thing I did not carefully consider during this process was the size of the image. When making the map, I added an airplane and line coming from the US to signify travel while also making the image unique to me. However, when I went to load it into the embroidery machine, it turned out that it was too small to actually look like a plane but rather looks like a grey blob in the ocean. I know what it is though, so that’s what counts!

2. Double check thread before starting: My first attempt at this embroidery did not end up working. The white thread on the underside was not pulled taught when the machine started therefore about halfway through, the canvas ended up getting caught in the machine and I had to cut it out and start over with a new machine. The lesson learned here was to make sure both bobbins of thread are correctly inserted into the machine before starting.

3. Group colors within the image before exporting to machine: If you do not have all of the parts of an image that are the same color grouped within the software they may not sew consecutively, therefore you will need to change the thread color way too many times. I did not realize you can change the sewing order by moving around the items. For example, originally the machine sewed North America in pink, then South America in purple, and then went back up to sew Greenland so I had to change the thread color twice to the original pink color. In order to avoid this on my second run through, I made sure to group all of the colors and reorganize the object sewing order so that I would only have to insert each thread color once.

Overall, this experience was filled with lessons and definitely an exercise in patience but it was worth it! I have previous sewing experience however I have never made such a detailed embroidery before. I can definitely see myself creating various embroidery pieces to hang around my apartment in the future so I am glad I got the opportunity and experience with these machines and software.  I am happy with how it turned out and look forward to using conductive thread this upcoming week to add a couple lights!

Box Update: 

Another exciting part about this week was that I got to pick up my finished box from last week. We ran out of time in class to make all of the boxes so it made this class even more exciting since I got to pick up the pieces and assemble it. I’m really happy with how it turned out and look forward to displaying it in my room!

Embroidery Design Software @ The FabLab (Week 8)

This week, I was able to go to the FabLab (unlike last week when I was sick!) and I worked on the embroidery machines.

My neighbor has a pretty fancy embroidery machine that has all sorts of different patterns and designs you can download onto it and make the machine sew. I never thought of designing my own embroidery pattern before this class because the machine always had ones pre-made for me!

The software we used worked much like Illustrator. You could select areas of an image, change text, and simulate what it would look like before it was embroidered. We used Brother branded machines and accompanying software. My machine got its thread caught part-way through my design, so I had a bit of a mishap the has resulted in my design not looking like it was originally intended to. I wanted to make a mountain range – the points were relatively easy to draw and layer by hand in the software. Images are below:

This first image is of the completed design. It is three layered mountains with a moon in the corner. 

This is me pointing to the areas where you can see that the machine got caught and offset my design. I had to use a thread ripper to fix it.

This is the back of my design. I used a white thread on the bobbin, so that’s why the outlines on the front of my design and the back is all white. 

Next week, we will add LEDs behind our fabric and attach it to our boxes. Since I wasn’t in the lab the first week, I think the lab techs are going to make me a plain box to use.

My group decided on our final project idea – we will be creating a “counter”, likely using infrared technology, that will count the number of people entering and leaving an establishment. Currently, only mass retail stores use them, and they can be quite expensive. If we can create a low-cost version, it can be deployed to businesses across town and tracked in an app all consumers can use to monitor when the best time to go to a restaurant, store, or other business is. Additionally, our counter can be used in a more social entrepreneurial manner – we could use it at homeless shelters or emergency waiting rooms to track capacity levels.

Here are some links that we’ll use to make our own counter:


How to make a digital object counter using, infrared sensor, CD4026 and seven segment display

Because I will be working in the aerospace industry after graduation, I wanted to know if laser cutting was common in commercial plane production. It seems that, in the past, it has been used to cut the aluminum side-plates that make up the fuselage of the plane. However, I haven’t found any articles on how the increased use of carbon fiber (take the Boeing 787, for example) affects old cutting techniques. I expect laser-cutting is still used as it can reduce the jagged edges you get when you cut carbon fiber.

Week 7

This week the BADM 395 class had the pleasure of working with the technicians at the UIUC FabLab. Previously in BADM 395, we had the director of the FabLab, Jeff Ginger, visit our class to speak about his lab and the artistic creations they’ve recently made. Because of this meeting, I was quite excited to work with Jeff Ginger this week in his lab. Upon arrival, Jeff and his assistants gave us an in-depth tour of the different features of the FabLab. They showed us some of the new 3D printers that had the capability to print with an eclectic range of materials. Jeff showed us some of the patches that had been printed on backpacks, jackets, and pants. I was most interested in some of the 3D printed projects that featured Arduino boards and flashing lights. For instance, Jeff showed us a backpack that had sensors in the straps to detect when the user touches them. When touched, the Arduino sends a signal to lights in the back of the backpack indicating that the user intends to turn on their bike. The FabLab had an extensive supply of finished projects on display. In the middle of the FabLab, a carefully carved piece of wood peaked my interest. This board featured a fractal engraving on it and arrows jutting out from each end. Since a young age, I have been very interested in fractal patterns and their practical uses. Using the same math concepts employed by the creator of the board, you can create perfectly meshing gears.

In week one of three, we bifurcated the class to work on embroidery and 3D printing a box. I found myself in the latter group, using laser cutting to produce a small box. The assistant taught us how to use Inkscape, which I picked up quite quickly. He urged us to design our box around something we really enjoy. Although the new movies leave something to be desired, the original three Star Wars movies will always have a special place in my heart. As a result, I designed my box to have the Rebel Alliance logo on the bottom of the box with the words “The Force will be with you, always” wrapped around the side. I did not have a chance to print my box during class, so I’m excited to see the final project come Wednesday. For my embroidery, I hope I can put a Rebel X-Wing on the top of the box. Once printed, I want to give my box to my little cousin, the biggest Star Wars fan I know. I look forward to working with my group again next week to turn our ideas into finished projects.

Getting hands on with 3D Printing

This week, we had students lead the class and had a very enthusiastic guest speaker, Jeff Ginger. Jeff shared his vision and aspirations for the FabLab that we have here on campus as well for 3D printing in general. Jeff brought 3D printers into public libraries in hopes of having the younger generations develop a maker mindset. He incorporated the popular video game, Minecraft to peak the interest of the youth and it definitely worked!

Last week, our small groups were left to develop a logo and team name. We came up with “3Dream”, because I believe that if you can dream it, you can print it. We created our first sketch to encompass a dream cloud  with our team name at the center.

With this basic sketch, the foundation of our design was laid and brought to life with Tinkercad which turned our idea into a CAD model. Tinkercad offers only four different font options and I wondered if it was possible to import a font just like you can import a design. After some research, I learned that you could do this by using sketchpad, selecting your font and start typing, export it, save it, and then download. Afterwards, go to an online converter, on there you will change the image to an SVG, and select your SVG image to convert. Once it has been converted, the file can be imported onto Tinkercad! And just like that, our design was created.

We were proud of our design but we were not satisfied, so we made some alterations. By exploring Thingiverse we came upon a  model of a low polygon cloud  that made our 2D design 3D! With this change, we were able to see the differences and difficulties by working with different dimensional designs. Once our design was completed and uploaded onto the Cura software, it took 4 hours to print and it came out great! I was surprised that it took so long to print since the inside is hallow but I assume that is was due to the certain material used.

I learned so much this week and I’m very much excited to continue to learn, practice, and create in the future classes.

First 3D Creation

FabLab Guest Lecture

This week our class focused on the extensive possibilities of 3D printing applications and various examples of products created with various machines in the FabLab on campus. We had guest speaker, Jeff Ginger, who is the director of the Champaign Urbana Community FabLab. He shared insights on the various capabilities of the FabLab and example products and projects that have been created within the lab. I was absolutely inspired hearing different stories of several entrepreneurs who launched their businesses with the help of the machinery and expertise of the FabLab. I have visited the FabLab a few times and made laptop stickers using the Silhouette machines and software however I’ve never used any other equipment. Each time I’ve gone in, I’ve always wanted to explore the other machines but was intimidated by them so I look forward to familiarizing myself with more FabLab machines this semester and expanding my “maker” mindset.

3D Printing Process

The next part of the class we got to dive in and play with the Tinkercad and Cura software while finalizing our logo designs and setting up the printers to create our team logos. Our design went through a few different iterations. We decided on the name 3Dream inside a cloud to represent the endless capabilities of 3D printing and the many dreams that can be achieved through this technology. Our first logo was a flat rendition, as shown below, although after loading it into Cura we decided it would be neat to make it into a 3D cloud shape. We found a useful model for a 3D cloud on thingiverse which we then tinkered with in tinkercad adding our logo and stars.

One of the most challenging parts for us was adjusting our logo to fit perfectly onto the 3D model of the cloud. We utilized a few different tools within tinkercad in order to rotate and adjust the logo to lay flat onto the surface since the surface was angled. Below I have included images of our design in the Cura software as well as the final product. I was very happy with the final product. It took about 4 hours to print.

3D Printing Resources

Looking further into different resources available for people new to 3D printing, I am amazed by what the internet has to offer. I have included a variety of different resources I will be using this semester.

Models Library: Cults3D: https://cults3d.com/

This platform is similar to that Thingiverse and Pinshape however more selective. There are professionals who ensure the uploaded models are of the best quality whereas Thingiverse allows anyone to upload their designs even if they have not been printed. Additionally, many of the curated models on Cults3D are created by professional designers.

3D Scanning: Trnio: http://www.trnio.com/team/
This is a free IOS App that allows you to convert photos from your phone into 3D models. I am hoping to try out this app to see how well it works.

3D News: http://3dprintingindustry.com/

This website shares news about the 3D Printing Industry such as hardware and software but also discusses related industries that are impacted by 3D Printing.

A First Taste at 3D Printing

This week we got the pleasure to hear from Jeff Ginger, the director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab as our guest lecturer. It was incredibly interesting to listen and learn about all the different types of equipment that the fab lab and what all that equipment allows them to do in that space. Jeff also talked a lot about the work the fab lab does in the community and how he’s helping people of all types become makers in their own way. I was especially drawn to all of the programs they do, such as the summer camps and after school library programs, to introduce students into being more creative and giving them that ability to make things. Even using the popular video game Minecraft to develop kid’s ability to model objects on a computer was a cool thing to see and is something I would’ve never even thought of. The work that the fab lab does with students in this community is important and has inspired me to try to bring some of the programs Jeff talked about to my local community once I graduate and improve the education system that I went through as a kid.

This week in class we also got our first taste at making something and 3D printed our team logo using tinkercad and Cura. This was my first time 3D printing in 3 years but I was ready to get back at it. Once we got into tinkercad, I realized that our original logo (shown above) was going to be a little too difficult to model in the time we had in class so we decided to modify it to make it easier to print. Making the dollar sign was as simple as adding a line through the letter “s”.  We decided to add the word “maker” on top of the dollar sign instead of our original design.  Modeling this on tinkercad was easy and did not take long.

As shown above, our first attempt to print our logo failed because the material spooled in the back of the printer got caught on something and stopped following to the nozzle. This really hammered home the idea that 3D printing is not a perfect science and there are tons of things that can go wrong at any time.  This failure was quick to fix as all we had to do was reprint it after checking to make sure the material would not get stuck again.


Overall, I liked how it came out for a first print. I think the reason the “E” didn’t come out all the way due to how small of a print it was but it was still cool to see how something we made quickly on a computer could be physically in front of us in only 36 minutes. I can’t wait to develop my skills with 3D printing as the semester continues.


Makers in the Community (Week 3)

This week, Jeff Ginger, director of the CUC Fablab, spoke to our class about the Fablab, its global network, open-source software, and how the Fablab enhances maker education in the community. We also began making! My group designed our logo and successfully printed it. But more on that later – let’s jump back to Jeff and the incredible work he is doing with the Fablab and the CUC community.

Jeff received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Library and Information Science. His research focus is digital literacy, community informatics, public engagement, makerspaces, learning, and user experience design. In addition to his position at the Fablab, he is an adjunct lecturer at the university as well as the program coordinator of the Illinois Informatics Institute. His background and current jobs allow him to be perfectly poised to tie the maker world and his local community together – something he does very well.

Jess spoke on the public-school system and how many schools “teach to the test”, disallowing children to develop a more creative, “maker” mindset. Public schools receive government funding based on standardized test scores. Meeting the grade threshold, making certain yearly improvements, and ensuring a set number of children pass the tests becomes the primary goals of many teachers and their schools because the school’s future (and inadvertently, the teachers’ salaries) relies on these metrics. So, while Jeff is currently offering 3D printing workshops at the Champaign Public Library after school hours, his long-term goal is to get the 3D printing and other maker lessons into the curriculum of the schools themselves.

Illinois Enactus, a group I am heavily involved with on campus, has a space in the Fablab. We own a wet-saw and use the lab for glass-cutting and laser etching. The lab is a great space to receive advice from the employees, work on our projects, and get inspired by the amazing work that is taking place there. Each Fablab around the world has a standardized set of equipment and software – you should be able to visit a Fablab across the world and be able to create the same things. I hope to utilize the Fablab this semester more for my personal development and experience in the maker space.

Also, in class this week, my group created and printed our logo. We named out group “FF” or Fast Forward, to signify our focus on the future and how 3D printing is becoming more necessity than a novelty. 3D printing is a disruptive technology that will continue to change the world, and my group hopes to learn all we can about how we can use 3D printing and the maker space to make the world a better place. Our logo is a fast forward symbol (two arrows) with a capital F inside each of them. We used a transparent png file of the symbol we found online and converted it into svg (one of the files Tinkercad and Cura can use). We learned how to scale and group our objects and how to orient the text within our design, so it printed out with proper supports on Tinkercad. We also learned how to set up our 3D printer and transfer the files from Cura to an SD card. I didn’t know that the sizes of the nozzle and other little settings were so important! I got a better sense of how finicky the 3D printers can be and how using them does require trial and error.

The first time we printed our logo, the edges curled upwards and the plastic couldn’t quite grip the receiving plate on one part of the print. We were on the mini printer right next to the door and I suspect the strong draft had something to do with it. The second time we printed, we used a larger printer further into the lab and our design was nearly flawless! In the picture you see below, we just have to peel the supportive skirt off and ta-da! My group was really excited to see how well this turned out.

Through the videos we had to prepare for the class this week, I learned more about the materials 3D printers can use – I was surprised to learn that PLA is derived from corn. I hope to be able to print with the wood-based filament sometime. At the Engineering Open House a few years ago (when I was a prospective student), I was able to make a Lego block using stereo lithography. I explored this primitive 3D printing-type process again in the materials science and engineering course I took through The Hoeft T&M Program. I think this was a really good basis for me to understand how 3D printing works with all the layers it breaks the design into.

This was a packed week! I hope to get more acquainted with Tinkercad, Cura, and other 3D printing software next week. Until then, here are some sources I’ve found that can help myself and other students learn a bit more about 3D printing: