Even though most of my posts make me seem like the Grinch of technology I am actually a huge advocate of technology and have spent many years of my life promoting it. The problem is I have been burned and have seen lots of good money wasted on useless technology. I love technology, but I am careful when trying to implement it.
My biggest takeaway from week seven is that 3D printers have a way to go before they will really be useful. Melissa Griffin made unassuming comment about the potential of 3D printers. She wrote, “Or kids can print their own paper and pencils and be ready for class!” This exemplifies what people get wrong with 3D printers. You can print a plastic pencil, but you can’t print the lead and plastic might not be the best material for the job. My son created a CO2 car on auto desk and then printed it out with a 3D printer. It was really cool until he tried to use it. The layers stated to come undone before he even tested it.
The printer is only as good as the materials it used to print. I would love to to have a concrete extruding 3d printer like the one that printed a castle. You can see the pictures and read the article here. http://www.totalkustom.com/3d-castle-completed.html. Of course these are very expensive.
So the moral of the story is I am going to purchase a 3D printer for our CAD class and see what wonderful things these students decide to print. I like the potential and I really think this will help promote creativity and problem solving.