The Mobile 3D Printing Experiment

There is something about the human spirit that sometimes chooses to ignore rationality in preference for the wild and crazy.  This Mobile 3D Printing Experiment is one of those cases. The day started off at 06h00 with packing suitcases and 3D printer necessities (Octoprint server, Cubicity filament.  Chris had an appointment with Bobby from to buy a Honda 2000i generator.  At 08h00 the generator was purchased and relocation to a Home Depot was in order to properly set up the 3D printer / generator setup. Once at Home Depot, Chris found all the bare essentials to make this experiment work.  Here was the setup: 1x Honda 2000i (2000W) generator (1000W would also be sufficient) ~$750 from 1x Printrbot Simple Metal ~$600 from 4x Spools of Filament (we used scrap filament for initial testing so as not to waste our high-quality Cubicity / Voltivo filament) 1x Cargo Rod ~ $20 to support the 3D printer filament 1x Packet of

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Sunnyside High School uses the Rapid Innovation Cycle to generate new product ideas

Back on January 25th, the students at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, CA were challenged to execute a Rapid Innovation Cycle (RIC) – a process that helps people quickly generate new product or service experiments that allow them to test the “unforgiving market place” and gather insights on the potential success of the concept being tested. The TV Video Production class led by teacher Ms. Katie McQuone invited Chris McCoy–the co-creator of the Rapid Innovation Cycle–the opportunity to share the RIC process with her students in order to spawn “student-driven” projects.  K-12 educators have a responsibility to deliver curriculums that implement “linked learning” to bolster student engagement.   Researchers at UC Berkeley and others have experimentally proven that students are much more “engaged” and have much better “knowledge retention” when they own and generate the projects by which they apply skills and concepts learned in the classroom.   This leads to higher student success both in school and post graduation.  The Connected California website is a good resource for more information on similar

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Kickstarter First Week Update #2

So the RaverRing Kickstarter Project has been alive and breathing for just over 1 week now.  I have to say, the Kickstarter experience has been very fun, exciting and interesting. First, before we begin to ramble about the odds and ends of running a Kickstarter like a boss, we’d like to give a HUGE THANKS TO ALL OF OUR BACKERS THUS FAR!  YOU GUYS AND GALS ARE AWESOME, VISIONARY, BADASS and WE LOVE YOU FOR IT!  We understand it takes a leap of faith to place a bet on people who run Kickstarter campaigns, but rest assured, we’re going to make this experience well worth your investment.  Not only in delivery of your rewards, but we have some other tricks up our sleeves that we’re going to provide to you as exclusive, first-week backers!  Some things we’re thinking about: Sending you in advance your RaverRings (you’ll be helping us beta test our forms to ensure we’re asking all of the

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Kickstarter Launch Week Update #1

What is up people!!  We launched a Kickstarter project!!  It’s the first one that we’re aware of spawning directly from a project but hopefully not the last. Within the first 24 hours, we had 6 backers which was exciting to say the least!  Four more the following day and one more today.  There are still EARLY-BIRD prices on some of our rewards so buy them now before they run out!! We received a couple of early messages from people in the Kickstarter community but mainly just to help us get more promotion and help boosting our campaign.  While it’s awesome to have people want to help, we believe that the #RaverRings should be able to stand on their own coolness.  Obviously Timur and Chris will continue to push the campaign through as many clever social media and gorilla marketing tactics possible. HUGE THANKS goes out to!  They’ve graciously sponsored our initial set of RaverRing filament in a

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USDA Visits the TechShop in San Francisco and Learns About 3D Printing in the Context of Food and Health

UPDATED (February 10, 2015): New questions answered below! On Tuesday, Chris had the privilege of hosting an special group from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and introducing them to the world of 3D printing but with a twist…3D Printing the context of food and health.  Additionally, the talk expanded beyond 3D printing into the world of digital design and fabrication and how those technologies as well can and are being used in some cases in food innovations. Concepts such as 3D printing paste made from mashed cricket guts, laser cutting chocolate for caloric intake metering and laser etching ingredients right onto (and into) the foods we consume.  The goal for the group was to get their minds thinking differently about how the food industry might look in the future as these technologies go mainstream.  The USDA plays a large part today in keeping Americans safe from food and food-technologies that lack full insight to their impact on health.

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Sunnyside High School to fabricate 500+ Flashy Rings

UPDATE:  February 18, 2015.  Ms. Katie McQuone and her students put together this awesome video about their desire to use and manufacture “Flashy Rings”: Sunnyside High School will leverage the power of Hands-on Rapid Innovation to learn about digital design, digital fabrication and entrepreneurship via project spawned from RaverRings As part of the #AMakeADay hashtag on Instagram, the “RaverRings” as they’ve been informally named became a big hit at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, CA.  Being shown as an example output product of the Rapid Innovation Cycle, the students began “freaking out’ over the cool factor brought out by the 3D Printed rings. Founder and CEO Chris McCoy stated, “while 3D printing isn’t great for large scale manufacturing, for low volumes and especially with the custom nature of ring sizes, a handful of 3D printers could produce all the rings necessary for the student body” which is approximately 3500. The RaverRing that was demo’ed on January 28th during the

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Educating Educators on the Power of Digital Design and Fabrication

On Saturday, January 24, 2015, Chris had the privilege to present on behalf of You3Dit Inc to the Ventura County Office of Education and their newly credentialed K12 teaching staff.  Competing with about 7 other seminars at the same time, we packed Salon B with about 60x educators who were eager to learn more about digital fabrication technologies like 3D printing, laser cutting and desktop CNC. In addition, Chris also presented on the Rapid Innovation Cycle (as developed by Hands-on Rapid Innovation) as a method for driving linked- and project-based learning activities for students.  This process enables students to quickly develop market tests where prototypes are preferred over ideas and data generated from real market feedback helps drive the business decisions in both entrepreneurial and educational environments. A HUGE THANKS goes out to Mr. Mark Urwick, Robert Hochberg and Jacquelyn Lozano for all their help and facilitation throughout the day. VCOE Technology Integration Session Details Presented by Dr. Chris D.

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Most common 3D printer part failures and ways to fight against them

Here is the PDF link to the Common 3D Printing Failures and How to Fight Against Them talk by Chris McCoy at the World Maker Faire in New York on September 20, 2014:  140919-common-3D-printing-failures-wmf-2014-NYC-v02 Did you not receive a “Wedgie” at the talk?   Download and print your own today!! Here’s a link to Chris’s presentation information. In this article, I hope to give everyone general strategies to resolve the following issues (mainly for FFF-style 3D printers): Part delamination from build plate Mis-registration in your x and y axes Many extruder issues (clogging in nozzle, clogging in feeder, filament breakage, filament tangling, poor extrusion, inconsistent extrusion, etc.) Part warping Frozen or stalled 3D prints First layer issues Risks of leaving your printer alone (filament jams, tangled filament, etc.) Bed leveling common pitfalls Saving a print that’s had issues Overall, these problems are an artifact of early-adopter-version 3D printers.  Manufacturers of these machines are now very aware of some of these issues

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Preschool teacher Kate Brehob is wonderful with kids.  Everyone who has met her knows this.  What we didn’t know–possibly herself included–is that she can also design sweet customized jewelry that is ready to 3D print.

Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.
Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.

The back story:

My cousin is naming her second baby for my grandmother. She named her first child after her mom so now there is going to be a new generation of sisters with these same names. I thought it was such a sweet idea and I wanted to give her something she wouldn’t find anywhere else that also had meaning. I decided to create stud earrings with each daughter’s name on them. I also thought they would be cute as stud earrings because both names have four letters each. The next step was just to figure out how to get tiny custom stud shaped names! 

-Katherine, San Francisco, CA

Using TinkerCAD–an entry-level computer-aided-design (CAD) software–and the You3Dit network, Katherine was able to quickly able to make the earring parts which she then cemented to blank, earring studs.  We sent her this CAD tutorial from Hands-on Rapid Innovation to help her get started.

“TinkerCAD was pretty easy to use, but I’m not used to working in millimeters” said Brehob.  Most engineers and scientists prefer the metric system and regularly push using these units (as demonstrated in TinkerCAD), however, people living in the U.S. are typically more familiar with the inch, pound and quart units of measurement.  Thus, if you’re struggling to figure out the size / scale of your project, consider downloading and printing one of these “to-scale” rulers. Additionally, we worked with Ms. Brehob to tweak the z-dimension height so that the earrings came out a just the right thickness so simply work with your designers.

“The first set turned out pretty good, but I think I’m going to add hearts or something to hide the backing of the stud” said the preschool teacher.  This observation was made after she had received the first set of prints.  “This is exactly the benefit of quick & easy access to rapid prototyping tools like 3D printers” said Chris McCoy, co-founder of You3Dit.  “3D printers unlock creativity via rapid iteration” which allows for faster convergence on final solutions and allows the mind to explore many solutions without a lot of cost (time, money, effort).

3D printers are not the end-all, be-all solution for everything–we know this.  But if you show people their potential and how easy it is to get started, people can start to see their real value beyond just a mini widget factory.  Since people are not yet used to having extreme personalization in their lives, they don’t add 3D printing to their solution set for problems.  This is one of You3Dit’s main goals: highlighting the potential of desktop manufacturing, educating people about how the technology works and then, providing people access to these machines that can help bring their ideas to life.