|Just another day at the office with Dave Dalton, owner of Hammerspace!|
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats
|One of the many 3D printers you will see at Hammerspace|
Hammerspace Hobby and Community Workshop has been around for about 3 years. It is “a curious space in Brookside where tools and devices of every size are placed for you to use at the exact time they are needed. It’s like a gym for folks who build and create. It’s where you go to exercise your creativity. It’s where you bulk up your knowledge and work out your designs.” You can take a class, become a member, or just pop by and get inspired by what all kinds of people are in there designing and building.
Sound magical? Well it is.
Think back to school when you wondered, "when am I EVER going to use this ____." Dave shares he uses much of what he learned in many of his classes. He uses trig and geometry daily as he works with spatial awareness and integrates components from the areas of STEAM through projects in this community workspace. He is passionate about the design process and how important it is for all ages to learn how to plan out their creations before just clicking "print". There are many steps before you get to actually print your 3D object. Dave talks the importance of creating designs collaboratively and how educational it is to actually print multiple parts which all come together to create one product. Manufacturing comes alive and is incredibly exciting when a group of creators work through it all together.
That doesn't mean you can't work alone at Hammerspace and you work with recycled and eco-friendly materials. One creator created this creature below (which resembles an elephant). It was designed and manufactured through 3D printing with the material PLA (poly lactic acid). In our "throw away" society, it is important that we manufacture using biodegradable materials such as PLA which is corn based. It also uses less oil and generates less pollution. Plus, with this type of manufacturing you are only producing what you need, as opposed to mass production: high quantities that create waste. Think about the latest version of an iPhone 5 case, which takes about 6 months to design, make the molding, package and ship out to sit on the shelf for about 3 months. Then usually 1/3 of the cases don't even sell. Money is lost, more garbage to deal with and onto iPhone 6 (which is set to come out this year),where cycle starts again.
|Animal of the Future: 3D printed in this color and with movable parts, all one object (not separate parts).|
This all sounds great, but what about real-world application? For example, how is the business world using 3D printing? I talked with David Reid as well today, a Principal at the national award winning Gould Evans architectural firm. He sent this pic to me to give a visual of how 3D printing has an amazing impact on their business.
Below is an image of an architectural model for the new sanctuary at Church of the Resurrection. Gould Evans is providing local architectural support to HGA Architects out of Minneapolis. This is a presentation model they recently generated from a 3D printer – it’s pretty detailed as you can see and includes a removable roof section.
|Is this an inside view of the Death Star from Star Wars? No, but it is the future of this world.|
David explains that there are two processes that are useful in the architectural business; 3D printing and laser cutting. Each has a purpose with different constraints and outcomes. Because 3D printing lays down layers of plastic, and the quality of plastic varies, careful attention needs to be made to the kinds of shapes one is trying to execute and choose the tools accordingly. For example, if they are trying to conceptually express the height of a building via articulation of the floor levels, they will opt for a laser cutter as it utilizes bass wood. (If they attempted this in plastic on a 3D printer, it would have been more delicate and required longer set times to avoid sagging while the plastic was still warm.)
"Don't let the sales gimmickry of 3D printers fool you into thinking you'll save magical amounts of time. There's a lot of effort required to get the 3D model to a printable form. But once you do, it's much easier to make modifications from which we can generate alternative design ideas to be evaluated in physical 3D form."
David Reid, Principal at Gould Evans
Next time you need something or your child asks for a new toy. Think of how you could actually DESIGN, CREATE and BUILD it, and go do it! Head over to Hammerspace and manufacture something YOU can be proud of and then think of way to make it even better. Don't keep filling your pail with useless objects.
Light a fire and use your mind.
Check out this dad who made his son a prosthetic hand with 3D printing. Unbelievably cool.