Posted in D L Williams, Education, Physical Chemistry

Brainstorm Session on 3D Printer Waste

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Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ideas. Look at the picture of the dual extruder tip cleaning fences and give me your thoughts on what they could be used for.

Background: I have recently added a 3D printer to my lab to prototype chemical laboratory accessories.

I purchased a dual extrusion Makerbot and I love it. I will blog a review of its performance sometime soon.

Technical Details: Aside from the waste produced from being a noob at 3D printing, there is also a lot of built in waste from raft and tip cleaning fence material. Turning off rafts and supports does not save filament because these help ensure a successful print. If the print fails without rafts and supports, then you have still wasted a lot of filament.

So get those creative juices flowing, and comment on what you would use these tiny little fences for. Toys? Rear view mirror bling? Let me know.

Posted in Science Education

Failure is Your Friend

“Mother Nature is a tough old bird” my undergraduate research advisor Dr Joe Lagowski was fond of saying. The only way to find the limits of nature is to try experiments that fail.

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Sometimes it is the technology that fails. We recently purchased a 3D printer so we can print new measurement devices developed in our lab. As the failures mount and our recycled ABS plastic bin fills we are learning the precision limits of our Makerbot and ABS filament.

Sometimes it’s the people who fail. As we work through the patent process we find that some do not share our passion for the product of our efforts. Motivations vary, but we press on to the goal because to do otherwise would be worse than failure.

But on some rare occasions an actual limit of nature is found. These are the victories in failure. When the technological tools are working well and the people are qualified and alert a verified failure is a great result. To quote Lagowski once more, “No is an answer, too.”

Have you ever had a Successful Failure in science? Comment on it.