I am sure that one of the technologies that has inspired you more than most as you are beginning or have been studying your IB Design Technology course is 3D printing. It is the perfect example of technology push – where a specific technology leads to great innovation and in the next ten years will change the face of design, prototyping and manufacture. If you are lucky enough to have a 3D printer in school – then make sure to maximise its use within your projects. Why? You may ask – well if you are going into a career in design – whether that is shoe design, architecture, engineering or product design; I guarantee you now a large amount of your time will be spent utilising this technology to realise your ideas. Below are a some areas and links to resources that may inspire you – whether you have studies and already used a 3D printer or really want to have a go :-
- The first 3D printed gun – what do you think should the technology be banned, should there be policies and standards in place or is it all just hype ? What will your school do if they have a 3D printer and how it is used. This a great discussion to have with your teacher.
- The fascination of 3D printing is that it can be scaled either way – from printing buildings and architecture through to 3D Nanoscale Printers – http://www.materialicious.com/2013/07/3d-nanoscale-printers.html. This shows how much innovation is waiting and will happen in the future…whichever design profession you enter.
- The perfect example of technology push – comes from Cubify and 3D Printed Shoes becoming a reality where the shape, design and complexity could not have been produced before – http://cubify.com/store/creation.aspx?reference=f48TGauCpS5H. These shoes you can download and print for $25 – could something like this be part of your Major Project?
- Never used 3D printing – well a great introduction is creating a 3D printed cookie cutter. Thingiverse has a specific tool that means no CAD is really needed to produce the file necessary to print a cookie cutter. Just think you could start a business as quickly as this Etsy shop – with such a simple and innovative idea as 3D printed cookie cutters!
And do remember even if your school does not have a 3D printer – there are now many services that will print your CAD files for you including Shapeways and i.Materialise. So you could for your Major Project produce ideas and designs and then send them to be printed. However be careful of some of the criteria which you may limit your grades unless you are careful especially – the Manipulative Skills?